The impact of COVID-19 on the world has been immense in so many ways and some industries will never be the same. Real estate is certainly one of those and I think we’re all still adjusting. Now, I’m in the process of designing my business to reflect the lessons I’ve learnt in 2020 because all clouds come with their silver linings.
As D Residential Group settles into its ‘new normal’, I’ve been reflecting on the habits and lessons I’d like to keep from this year and wanted to share with you what’s staying.
- Pick up the phone more and check in
If you’re a phone addict, this is not an affirmation to carry on scrolling. While we were all staying home, I picked up the phone far more to check in on loved ones and clients because connecting felt so important when face-to-face was no longer an option. I checked in with both tenants and homeowners about how they were been affected, and some couldn’t afford full rent or mortgage payment. I was able to help them negotiate great options, whether it was rent reduction or waiver, that brought them peace of mind. It was incredible to be able to help when my clients needed it, and I wouldn’t have known until I picked up the phone and took the time to have an open conversation with them. I’ve continued these open lines of communication and connecting is a priority more than ever.
- Working from home is amazing
It’s not just about the trackies (ok, it is a little bit!), but trialling working from home made me realise I could run my own business from there. I took a leap of faith, after 16 years in the industry, and opened D Residential Group this year. The flexibility of doing things in my own time means life isn’t so chaotic anymore. I can do school drops offs and pick ups every day with my kids, and even prepare dinner early. For my business, I can be really flexible with my clients and work with them at less conventional times.
- It’s opened our eyes to local travel
While European trips are on ice, we have so many beautiful places in Western Australia to explore for our holidays. We love going down south with the family, getting out in nature, eating amazing food at the wineries and visiting hidden gems. Dunsborough, Margaret River and Eagle Bay are some of our faces but next on the list is heading up north to Broome!
It’s also made us appreciate how amazing our neighbourhood is – Mt Hawthorn is so vibrant. We’ve tried as many local cafes and shops as possible (Spritz, Birraz and Papagallo are our faves – we love our Italian food!), especially when cafes and restaurants couldn’t have dine-in. It was a great time to show our support and order takeaway as much as possible, which was a lot of fun. Seeing our community spirit flourish in these unusual times has been very cool.
- Family and health are my top priorities
Part of the reason I started my own business was realising family (including friends that are like family) and health are everything to me. I visit my parents more often and schedule catch ups with at least one to two different friends each week.
With gyms closed during the peak of COVID-19’s impact here, I really struggled with my fitness. Online classes were not for me, so I have thrived now they’re back open and won’t take them for granted again! I also love regular walks in nature now, brilliant for both my physical and mental health.
- Collaboration over competition at work
No longer socialising at work, from eating lunch together to water cooler chat, was a big adjustment. Real estate is a competitive industry, as you can imagine, but when I moved to working from home it gave me a different perspective. I’m excited to be collaborating with another agency as they pass on property management work my way as it’s my specialty, but not theirs. This works well as not only am I referred clients, but I also have business partners to talk shop with and ensure I’m constantly achieving the best results for my clients, both homeowners and tenants.
It’s also been wonderful to see owners rewarding their long term tenants in the current market.
I hope my top five lessons give you some inspiration to reflect on what you’ve picked up this year and perhaps even what you’d stopped doing. Please share on our social media accounts if this year has guided you to some beautiful new ways of living. And if a new property is part of your grand plan or you’re after an excellent tenant, let’s talk.