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Crisis-Ready: Why Your Real Estate Agency Needs A Business Continuity Plan

Crisis-Ready: Why Your Real Estate Agency Needs A Business Continuity Plan
16 April 2020 Stafflink

With the uncertain future of the COVID-19 pandemic, government agencies have responded with rules and procedures to mitigate the spreading of the virus. This could prove to be a major roadblock or even downfall for businesses, but it doesn’t have to be.

With a business continuity plan your business can continue to operate with a temporarily altered strategy.

If you want to know where to start building your business continuity plan, we cover some basic tips in our free learning course here.

Increase Your Business’s Rate Of Survival With A Business Continuity Plan

The benefits of having a business continuity plan goes beyond the crisis itself. In fact, one of the key reasons for having a business continuity plan is the ability to bounce back in the aftermath of a crisis.

Here Are 5 Reasons Why Having A Business Continuity Plan Can Be Advantageous

Retaining Key Staff & Clients

Showing business resilience despite the odds is a good indicator for your clients that your business is prepared for any challenges and are always there to provide good service.

Because of the current COVID-19 crisis, many real estate businesses have either been shut down or forced to stand down staff.

Listings coming into the market are significantly lower, reduced commission fees for sales agents, and an increase in job layoffs which means tenants wouldn’t be able to pay their rent. These are all the things that are being affected by an economy affected by a global pandemic.

It’s unfortunate, but with a great continuity plan, you can increase your chances of staying in business.

For example one of the things you can include in your business continuity plan, are steps on how to train staff to deal with customers who are being impacted. In times of crisis, businesses should be adding more value now than ever before.

Staff who have familiarised themselves with your company’s business continuity processes are more agile to adapt when things go wrong. In effect you are also building a culture of strong and perceptive individuals who can think on their feet and help each other grow.

At the end of the day, having just a plan isn’t enough. You need the right people who are led by a strong management team to put it into effect. But more importantly, you need customers to keep the business afloat. Long story, short. In times of crisis you need to protect key staff and clients.

If you need help on how to communicate with your clients during times of crisis, consider our free COVID-19 Business Continuity Course on the STAFFLINK Learning Platform.

It Elevates Your Brand And Reputation

Ensuring that your clients’ business and staff are in good hands can only give your business an image boost. And what better way to prove the resiliency and capability of your business than recovering from an unfavorable event?

A successful business continuity plan means that your company is competent in handling potential risks that could lead to an increase in your brand’s value. It may seem bleak, but this is a reality of doing business during a disaster.

Forces You To Rethink Your Business Model

Having a business continuity plan can create an opportunity for you to revise your business model. This change doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with your current service, but rather it’s adapting to the current climate of the industry and the shared situation all around the world.

Take for instance our own company. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, STAFFLINK is unable to host conferences over the next 6 months. Rather than shutting down, we are re-focusing our efforts to releasing the STAFFLINK Learning Platform to help guide our clients and prospects through the COVID-19 pandemic. With our limited capacity, We are able to adapt our digital platforms and have integrated our resources to the cloud.

A Business Continuity Plan(BCP) helps you refocus your company. For some businesses, minor tweaks to their business model are all they need, whereas others might have to invest in a new innovative model to ensure their business doesn’t get left behind. But if you are unsure where to start, consider the following strategies:

  • Rather than an open for inspection, try creating a virtual tour for your listings.
  • Create a breakdown of all wages and subscriptions, and rank them according to importance. You need to prepare for the worst in order to better survive it.
  • Work on a script to help you speak to affected clients.

Every business is different, so every BCP will end up different as well.

Reduces The Financial Blow

In a March 2020 survey, it is reported that 78% of respondents believe that the economy will take a turn for the worse in a month’s time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is probably the most obvious reason why it’s important to have a plan.

The start of the crisis is an opportune time to review all expenses to the business including wages and subscriptions, and update it as necessary.

But you don’t need to do a review only when a disaster hits, you can preemptively review your expenses and rank them according to what is most vital for your company. A simple 1 to 5 scale can be useful, like this example below:

Cost per month Importance Pre-Crisis 

Rate these 1-5 with 5 being the highest

Importance During Crisis 

Fill this up when disaster hits.

Marketing Agency $2500 4
Property management software $100-250 5
Meals and Entertainment $300-500 3
Advertising $5000 4
Sponsorships $500+ 3
Equipment & Supplies $1000 4

Take note that the last column “Importance During Crisis” has to be filled up during the crisis itself. The column “Importance Pre-Crisis” is a good metric when business is running smoothly, but during a crisis you may have to reprioritise what is truly important for your business’s survival.

A good business continuity plan can lessen financial risks. By designing strong foundations to keep your business afloat, you’re not only mitigating the losses of your investments, but also saving the livelihood of your staff as well.

Improves Visibility & Streamlines Processes

With the right people putting your business continuity plan into motion, success will surely follow.

You define your plan when you document your processes and roles. You determine the responsibilities and strengths of your team, then train them to execute the plan as accurately as possbile, which ensure continuous operation of the business. If you don’t know where to start, try using a RACI matrix like this one below:

The RACI matrix or responsibility assignment matrix, is an effective way to implement your team’s duties and roles through a simple chart. Not only are staff aware of who does what, but process improvement can be as simple as changing or removing a letter.

A business continuity plan is only as good as the people who are implementing it. Make sure you delegate the right roles to the right people so you avoid having to press the reset button for your business.

If you would like to know about doing business during the COVID-19 Pandemic, please click here to access your free course on the STAFFLINK Learning Platform.

If you are considering outsourcing during this time, consider our services. Here at STAFFLINK, we have built contingencies to help our clients get the best outsourcing experience for the real estate business. Not only that but we have an excellent training program to help your staff understand your culture, as well as the survival instincts to help you grow.