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Entrepreneurship is a journey, one that’s usually unpredictable. No matter the industry, you’re likely to experience some form of crisis, whether from within the company or externally, and the Covid-19 pandemic generated seismic changes in the real estate sector. Metro-areas saw a dip in sales in 2020 not seen since the housing and financial crises of 2007-2008 and so sellers were hesitant to put properties on the market, even as the demand for houses outside of cities spiked.
I picked up this shift in demand and positioned my brand as the go-to place for luxury houses away from city life, and came away with a few ways to rebuild a real estate brand after unexpected market shifts.
1. SWOT analysis
One thing that I learned to do after a crisis is assess my company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) — determined its weaknesses that would impede an ability to recover. Next, I identify ways of minimizing these weaknesses. For example, could I need a new team? Should I outsource to an expert with special skills? This type of analysis helps you become aware of where you are as a company, and is integral in helping you rebuild.
2. Cultivating networks
A broad range of connections plays a vital role in real estate success. For instance, there were moments after a crisis when an opportunity landed on my lap thanks to my widespread network. Having one before market shifts makes it much easier to rebuild. If you lack one at the moment, you should include its build-out as a vital strategy.
Related: 7 Ideas to Boost Your Real-Estate Brand and Get More Sales in 2022
3. Fine-tune your team
Reviving a business only works when it has an effective team. In some cases, yours may lack skills needed to help you scale up, and you may have to get rid of up to one-third of their members to seize upon opportunities. The taking on of replacement staff can pay off in the form of gained new knowledge — people who will come with fresh ideas and a zeal for helping you achieve.
4. Connect with core DNA
A business can face so many challenges that one can forget why it was started in the first place. So, when you want to revive yours, it’s essential to look inside the company DNA — its reasons for being and the qualities that make it stand out. Once you identify these unique attributes, you should build on them by communicating them to your target audience. In putting purpose at the center of strategy, you realize three specific benefits: more motivated stakeholders, more unified internal messaging and a broader positive impact on society.
5. Stay in contact with clients
Following up with clients helps determine whether they’re willing to continue purchasing. If not, the follow-up can help you understand why they’re no longer interested. My mantra in the real estate business is, “Always seek to connect with people,” and the feedback I get from them helps me identify areas I need to rebuild.
Related: 5 Tips for Gracefully Accepting Constructive Criticism
6. Failure is not final: arriving at a new vision
The effects of a crisis can seem like a failure, but with an effective strategy, you can revive. Doing so requires that you to tap into your innovation. Part of my strategy entails researching a target audience: I find out how their needs have changed as well as the evolving market trends. Next, I use information gained to recreate my service in a way that addresses their pain points. Innovation requires you to do something new, which means you have to research market conditions and competitors and develop new ways to sell your service.
A new vision helps motivate the team and sets the tone for change, and you should create one that reflects your goals and precisely communicate it to team members. When crafting a new vision, it helps considerably to include your team in the process: Encourage them to share ideas to make it as impactful as possible.
In the end, this renewed perspective will help you make decisions, maintain focus, motivate talent, help define the company culture and prioritize resources.