FROM THE GUEST EDITOR
Natalie Hastings, Hastings + Co
DO YOU REMEMBER that
moment? Undoubtedly, ‘that moment’ is different for everyone. For principals who’ve chosen to go independent with their own brand, it could be the moment they saw their fresh brand signage being put up. For sales agents, it could be seeing their name on a ‘For Sale’ board for the very first time. For property managers, it might be winning that very first management to add to the rent roll.
‘That moment’ has come to everyone who works in real estate, as it’s a vocation sprung from total passion and energy. As the years go by, though, it’s easy to lose sight of what drew you to excellence, and to build your career in real estate.
This is particularly so when you are a principal, divorced from the rough-and-tumble of daily prospecting and the ecstasy of winning new business. Instead, you may be increasingly buried under paperwork and busy ‘putting out fires’. The light of inspiration has gone out from your eyes, and like a traumatised character from Apocalypse Now you’re starting to see spectres where none loomed before.
You cease to see staff as powerhouses of potential growth for your business, and instead they appear as liabilities beyond your control. Rather than looking at new ways to improve your business with marketing innovation (AKA trying something new), you stick to the same ol’ same ol’. It worked in the past, didn’t it?
Warning! You are now entering real estate entropy, the land of the walking dead. Of course we understand how you got there – anyone who has been in property long enough has felt the undertow and overwhelm of compliance and the day-today running of an agency threaten them financially, emotionally and physically.
What isn’t understandable about these circumstances, however, is becoming
belligerent and negligent; letting your business sink into the mire of forgotten agencies, before desperately looking for a purchaser to buy your rentroll. If you’re in deep, the only way to get out is to keep going.
From my years as a trust accountant, providing training and support for Australia’s estate agencies small and large, I know that with the right support and a desire to look to the future you’ll soon be out of the doldrums and close to feeling that moment again. Now is the time to build upon the experience and rock-solid service of your existing business, enhancing it where it needs polishing and improvement with outsourced, expert services.
Real estate agencies are incredibly costly operations to run in terms of staffing and compliance – and don’t even get me started on insurance and technology! Outsourcing to experts who understand the real estate category and its unique concerns makes sense in more ways than one. They can immediately plug gaps in your service offering, improving your client experiences and making you compliant.
Take outsourced trust accounting services, for example: rather than the expense and worry of vetting and recruiting for an employee, with all the contracts and responsibilities formal employment brings, look to a specialist outsourced accounting firm (like hastings + co) to balance your books, pay your owners, your suppliers and even run payroll for your business.
Accounting within real estate agencies is complex and full of potential compliance pitfalls for well-meaning yet ill-informed or time-poor principals. If you don’t have the skills to oversee trust-accounting within your own business, outsourcing is a good idea. That’s one – very substantial – worry off your overstuffed principal plate.
Other categories of expertise worth outsourcing in the name of getting your real estate mojo back include inspiring coaching and training to infuse you and your organisation with fresh energy and new perspectives on delivering exceptional, tongues-wagging real estate service in your catchment area. Stymied about social media and worried about negative feedback online? Outsourcing to a social media and digital strategy expert who can assist your agency to deliver a fully-realised and intelligent, on-brand message is also a wise decision. Let’s be real: communications and graphic design are rarely skills that your property manager or sales agent is skilled enough to deploy on your business’ behalf in the way that digital media demands.
It’s absolutely normal, at times, to feel uninspired, flat or even overwhelmed in the face of the real estate industry’s relentless change. What’s not normal is to give up and admit defeat: often the very things you feel incapable of delivering are just a reliable, outsourced service provider away. Doesn’t that put a spring in your step?
IT’S ABSOLUTELY NORMAL TO FEEL UNINSPIRED, FLAT OR EVEN OVERWHELMED IN THE FACE OF THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY’S RELENTLESS CHANGE. WHAT’S NOT NORMAL IS TO GIVE UP AND ADMIT DEFEAT.