Manos Findikakis: How to combat project fatigue

With the countdown under way to the end of the financial year, it’s a busy time in any real estate business.

There are KPIs to cross check to see if your business is on track, meetings to schedule with your accountant, Business Activity Statements to file, and it’s that time of year when you reflect on what’s working and what’s not inside your operation.

It’s also a period where you look to the future to consider targets for next financial year, while reviewing all those internal business elements, such as systems, procedures, logistics, marketing and more, to determine what can be improved so your business can grow into the future.

In the meantime, there’s a wealth of bright shiny objects and emerging technology to consider, such as lead generation tools, CRM add-ons, automation and so much more.

Yes, it’s a lengthy list of business activities to work through, and even writing it brings on that creeping sensation of weariness and the reality of a phenomenon known as project fatigue.

But what exactly is that, and how can you get around it to ensure the plans you put in place are quickly actioned so your business can grow?

The truth about project fatigue

At its simplest, project fatigue occurs when team members lose enthusiasm for and interest in the projects they are currently working on.

And there are numerous reasons this might occur. It might be due to the fact a project has taken longer than expected to deliver. Perhaps it was more complex than initially thought, or maybe that project they’re working on is stop, start and requires frequent refining.

However it comes about, project fatigue can have disastrous results, including low team morale, additional business expense, or plans that never quite make it across the finish line.

When an organisation is faced with project fatigue, it’s important the leader steps in to refocus the team and act decisively.

With that in mind, here are five steps you can take to ensure your team stays on track, avoids wasting time focusing on the wrong tasks, and doesn’t feel the damaging effects of project fatigue.

Less is more

If you’re looking to improve your business, it can be tempting to start adding things into your processes, procedures, tech stack and business offering.

Yes, sometimes an alternate way of doing things is necessary but often it’s not about adding in extra steps. Instead, it’s about recognising less is more and that streamlining creates efficiency.

Whether it’s more tech, more systems, or more steps in a process, adding more rarely translates to a more profitable business.

Importantly, it also rarely translates to a business that is easy to work in and fun to be part of.

Simply remembering this rule in the first place can help you stop embarking on unnecessary projects. It can also help you refocus existing projects that might be getting off-track.

Speed is key

Today’s business landscape is defined by speed. And this applies to both your people within your business and your clients.

Customers want to be served and communicated with swiftly and professionally. Your team wants to meet this need efficiently and effectively.

When considering both existing and prospective projects, be sure to factor speed into the equation. In other words, how can that project deliver speed for your team in their job, and how will it improve the experience of the customer?

What’s the outcome for the customer?

On that note, what’s the ultimate customer outcome you are looking to achieve? All projects should be weighed up with the customer front of mind.

If a project does not improve the customer experience or increase their desire to work with you, then perhaps it’s a project taking your business and team in the wrong direction.

Measure to manage

You’ve all heard it before, but it’s worth saying again, you must measure to manage in your real estate business.

Keeping a measure of all key performance indicators of a business (from financials to employee productivity, and systems and processes) highlights gaps and opportunities.

Openly measuring what’s going on in your business also improves receptiveness within the organisation when it comes to new and emerging technologies or improvements that can be implemented to make the business more profitable and more efficient.

A dedicated R&D team

As we all know the real estate industry is changing quickly and there is a lot of new tech that is available to assist.

One of the key ways we manage this infiltration of bright shiny things is via a dedicated research and development team.

Their role is to look at, understand and weigh up the value of new technology and systems that become available.

As they’re dedicated to this space, their knowledge of emerging technology and industry shifts is extensive and invaluable, allowing us to make informed decisions about what to take on and what to pass up.

It’s an exciting time to be in the real estate industry, but it’s not without its challenges. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to selecting which projects to embrace and which to let go.

But with the right people, the right focus, and the right thinking, you can overcome project fatigue and ensure the initiatives you take on propel your business forward rather than sidelining you with distractions.

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Manos Findikakis

Manos Findikakis is the CEO of Agents'Agency, Australia's first multi-brand real estate network.

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