We all cher­ish se­cret am­bi­tions, says Fiona Blayney – and so do our clients. Time to en­sure the value we pro­vide is rel­e­vant and mean­ing­ful, to avoid be­ing edged out by the part-timers.

Elite Property Manager - - CONTENTS - FIONA BLAYNEY Fiona Blayney is the founder and di­rec­tor of Real+ on­line. For more in­for­ma­tion visit re­

Fiona Blayney

I THINK EV­ERY­ONE has an in­ner wannabe. I’m not talk­ing about the so­cial wannabe, the one you’d as­so­ciate with a school­yard name-call­ing, but the adult wannabe that ex­ists in us all.

There are two types of adult wannabe sta­tus. One that in­vari­ably rears its head is when we’ve got the time and in­cli­na­tion to dab­ble in that pro­fes­sion we fancy as a ca­reer in an­other life; the other is think­ing we can get the job done cheaper by do­ing it our­selves – think Dad in the 80s and a leak­ing sink... oh, how Mum wished he’d called the pro­fes­sional.

I def­i­nitely class my­self as a wannabe. My wannabe sta­tus takes me into many ca­reers; in pre­par­ing for a Tri­bunal case I feel like my in­ner Law

& Or­der comes out and I be­come a wannabe lawyer. Wannabe builder is an­other ti­tle I’ll own; when ren­o­vat­ing our home in 2016 I’d be on site, at times don­ning a tool belt at the first op­por­tu­nity. I’d be help­ing the boys – not sure they saw it that way, but the re­stored fire­place is my pride and joy.

MOST RE­CENTLY, when it came to the de­sign and cre­ation of our ‘out­door liv­ing space’ (as we pro­fes­sion­als call it), I be­came the wannabe drafts­man. I fig­ured the $2,000 I’d been quoted for the plans were bet­ter spent else­where. Re­search­ing Houzz, read­ing Home

Beau­ti­ful and search­ing through the myr­iad of other re­sources for style fea­tures, I de­cided on a de­sign. I spent hours mea­sur­ing, de­sign­ing and draft­ing plans. I learnt the lingo, sourced the ma­te­ri­als, and had my de­sign cre­ated in 3D for $30 through Fiverr. com, ready to brief the land­scaper, car­pen­ter and kitchen com­pany. I was in wannabe drafts­man heaven.

On the other hand, as my friend Rach and I sat on the new deck, she shared her story of the de­sign and con­struc­tion of her out­door space. Rach out­sourced every­thing de­sign, and af­ter be­ing quoted dou­ble the price we had for con­struc­tion (her space was a quar­ter of ours), she and her hus­band put on their wannabe land­scaper hats and did the ma­jor­ity of the work them­selves.

As I lis­tened to Rach, I was in­trigued as to the dif­fer­ence in our per­ceived value for our re­spec­tive projects. We def­i­nitely al­lo­cated it dif­fer­ently – Rach to the de­sign and I to the con­struct. I’ve thought about this a lot and, like any­thing that is front of mind, I started see­ing value de­ci­sions ev­ery­where.

WITH THE BIRTH of our third daugh­ter we needed a new car. An­other friend was rav­ing about the Mercedes, but I couldn’t see the value and opted for the Mazda CX9. Yet when I am buy­ing my milk I head straight for Dairy Farm­ers, while my hus­band will col­lect the generic brand. I love ‘ugly fruit’ yet verge on be­ing snobby when it comes to pizza. How is that we for­mu­late our value po­si­tions?

As so­ci­ety evolves, so too does the value po­si­tion of the con­sumer in ev­ery buy­ing de­ci­sion. As a con­sumer we look at the so­cial pro­file of busi­nesses, their com­mit­ments to pro­duc­tion lo­ca­tion, en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns – we even look at what it would take to do it our­selves – and weigh up the time, knowl­edge, de­sire and risk against cost pro­file.

EV­ERY BUSI­NESS OWNER, not just in our space, faces the chal­lenge of re­main­ing rel­e­vant to their con­sumer, giv­ing them what they want and need at a price they are will­ing to pay, pro­vid­ing rel­e­vant value for ser­vice. Per­haps it’s time that you held up a mir­ror and checked in to see if you are still rel­e­vant?

If you want to min­imise the fi­nan­cial im­pact of busi­ness evo­lu­tion, make it harder for clients to be­come a wannabe agent and pro­vide rel­e­vant value. ■


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