How To Prepare Your Real Estate Business for the Unexpected
The world right now is very different than it was just one week ago.
We’re all struggling to keep up and cope with the change being brought to us on the daily.
But rather than focus on that which we can’t control, let’s shift perspective slightly and look at what we can control and learn from the COVID-19 global pandemic.
The important thing here is not to panic. It’s time to proactively plan for that rainy day.
We can start today and use the additional time at home, while social distancing, to prepare our real estate business for the unexpected.
What You Can Do Today to Prepare for Disruptions
The very first thing you can do is start to record and document how you go about your day-to-day work. There are various applications and tools available that you can use to record your laptop screen to share the order of operations, or you can create notes on how you do things, such as:
- Updating your blog
- Sending out an email newsletter
- Following up after a recent client meeting
- Preparing for an open house
- Filling out a document checklist for onboarding new clients
Essentially, these are all the things that someone else could use to cover for you if you happen to get sick or are in quarantine.
Don’t forget that these operating systems and guidelines are also great to have for when things settle down, in case you want to bring on another team member.
Have an Emergency Fund for Your Real Estate Business
We all know that real estate is a roller coaster in a good year. REALTORS® are entrepreneurs and need to be comfortable with inconsistent income. But how much wiggle room does your business have right now?
You need to get clear on your numbers, specifically:
- Revenue (on average, per month)
- Business costs
- Living costs
Getting familiar with your numbers is the first step to putting a plan in place. By knowing the difference between your revenue and your costs, you’ll have a figure for your margin (or profit).
Some of that profit should be transferred into an emergency fund. This isn’t just good business advice, it’s good personal finance advice.
The rule of thumb is to have three months’ of business expenses, and three to six months of personal expenses put away in an emergency fund.
But when a global crisis arises, such as a stock market crash or a global pandemic, it’s also important to reevaluate your expenses.
Reevaluate Your Business and Personal Expenses
As business owners, we all tend to have tools and recurring expenses in our business. But when unprecedented circumstances arise, it’s time to look at what can go in the short term.
The reason for this is we don’t know how long the crisis will impact the economy. So, you want to decrease costs in order to make your emergency fund stretch further. As a real estate agent, that means both your work and living expenses.
Ask yourself the following:
- Could I get by with a free version of my email marketing software?
- Instead of using a videographer or editor, could I switch my content to Facebook Live or IGTV for the time being?
- Can I watch Netflix and forgo cable for a few months?
- Could I spend less on food by being more regimented with meal planning?
- Can I put my gym membership on hold so that I can workout at home?
When a Crisis Looms, Reassess Your Content Marketing Plan
Take some time to look through the content you were planning to share across your social media profiles and via email.
If any of the messaging feels “off” and you aren’t sure whether you should still share something, err on the side of caution: don’t share it.
Slot in some other piece of content and consider what your audience needs right now.
In the midst of a global pandemic, many small businesses and entrepreneurs are showing up differently on Instagram and Facebook, supporting people in their community.
You could share inspirational content or advice on how to deal with rough times. You could also show up in your Instagram Stories or in a Facebook Live to discuss daily what’s happening in the real estate market where you live.
The more you communicate honestly with people and address the current crisis head-on, the more relatable (and trusted) you are. So adjust your content and really show up from a place of service.
The world needs more kindness and community, especially now.
Have recent global events got you thinking about how to crisis-proof your business?