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Matt Lahood: What is your rebound strategy?

The Agency Chief Executive Officer Matt Lahood has explained the importance of having a post-lockdown strategy, breaking down the key elements required to make a successful plan.

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” and that’s never been more true for real estate than it is now.

I know what you’re thinking if you’re sitting in one of the many cities and property markets in lockdown right now.

You’re asking yourself, ‘What can I do when I’m only allowed to leave my house for a short time each day’?

Short answer: a lot.

There’s a lot you can and should be doing to prepare yourself and your business to rebound successfully once lockdown ends.

Do you have a post-lockdown strategy? What is it, and how will it work?

If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you have a lot of work to do.

When restrictions ease, I expect a surge of vendors who have been sitting on their hands, waiting to sell, will bring their homes to market.

You need to be prepared to meet that demand and deliver exceptional service as vendors will be keen to secure a great price in as short a time as possible. 

Similarly, the strong buyer interest we saw before lockdown will return with a vengeance as more people look to upgrade, upsize or make a tree or sea change as a result of COVID-19’s impacts.

So, while much of the country will have a shortened spring selling season due to lockdown, it’s likely we’ll experience a longer and stronger summer market with a bottleneck around the Christmas and New Year period.

While many agents may be tempted to only plan one, two or three weeks in advance, what I’m urging my crew at The Agency to do is reassess and restructure their business and financial plans for the coming six, 12 and 18 months, now.

The five key elements to consider are:

Your financial plan

Now is the time to reach out to your financial advisors and accountants. What your business looked like from a financial perspective before lockdown will look very different post lockdown. 

You may have scaled-down your overheads during lockdown and now need to swiftly push them back up again. Alternatively, you may need to tread carefully if your bottom line isn’t what you had expected it would be.

Staff numbers

Having the correct staff numbers in the right positions will be critical to meeting post-lockdown vendor and buyer expectations. During the lockdown, you may have reduced staff numbers or reduced the number of working hours from full-time to part-time. 

Also, consider the roles your team are in. Agents will need to be ready to cope with more properties coming to market, so it might be wise to have extra hands in the admin department so agents can focus on vendor management. 

I also expect buyers to be plentiful post lockdown, so having a buyer specialist on the team could also be useful.

Sale numbers

Have you hit your sales volume targets, or has lockdown thrown a big spanner in the works? Now is the time to assess your numbers and decide whether you’re going to condense your targets or keep the same figures and devise a strategy to make up the shortfall.

Organise suppliers

If there’s a tsunami of listings and sales post lockdown, it won’t just be you that’s busy. Your suppliers will be too. So now’s the time to reach out to your lawyers, mortgage brokers, photographers and stylists, with a plan for managing the workload once restrictions ease. 

Accountability

In uncertain times it’s important you surround yourself with the right people, and that should include a coach, mentor or an accountability partner.

There’s no rule book for the COVID-affected market at the moment, and the goalposts keep changing. 

This can be unsettling, so it’s crucial you have someone you can turn to for guidance and to help you hit your targets

It might be tempting to switch off during lockdown and mistakenly believe there’s nothing you can do now to sell properties. 

On the contrary, I’d urge you to think smart and think ahead. Now is the perfect time to ensure you have a sound strategy so you can be on the front foot and rebound quickly once lockdown ends.

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Matt Lahood

Matt Lahood is CEO of The Agency Australia. Visit theagency.com.au