It’s very difficult to provide commentary on the property market at the moment. You don’t need me to tell you how crazily busy it is currently. And you also don’t need me to tell you that there’s a lot of uncertainty as we move into next year.
In situations like this, where it can be easy to get carried away with excitement at the current boom or carried away anxiety about the future, I find it better to largely ignore what’s going on in the macro environment and focus on what you can control.
Sometimes, when things get most complicated, the best approach is to get back to basics. Take a look at your business with fresh eyes and analyse what changes you can make to put it in a stronger position going into 2021.
One area I think a lot of companies can work on is developing strong, mutually beneficial partnerships with synergic businesses. Most brokers will have some sort of referral arrangement with ancillary firms that form part of the homebuying process – estate agents, solicitors, surveyors etc. But how many brokers can say that these arrangements are genuine partnerships as opposed to a small side-line income in return for a few leads?
At Arnold & Baldwin we have a referrals portal for brokers, and that’s great. We prefer, however, to build long lasting relationships with business that align to our core values, ethics and ethos.
The reason is that we think genuine partnerships can provide so much more than just a revenue stream. By establishing long lasting relationships with other businesses, you can also strengthen relationships with your own clients. If you have excellent communication with a business and a good understanding as to how it works, then you can rest at ease that it will deliver the service your clients deserve, and they’ll thank you for a positive referral.
Just as partnering with the right firms can enhance your credibility, a referral arrangement with the wrong type of business can damage it. It’s more difficult to know what type of experience your clients can expect with a loose arrangement, but if you work more closely in partnership with another business, you will have a much stronger idea as to whether it is having a positive or negative impact on your reputation.
Good relationships with partner firms can also lead to smoother completions, which can help the flow of your primary revenue streams.
I’m quietly optimistic, but I don’t know what will happen to the property market next year. I do know, however, that whatever happens, businesses that have formed strong partnerships, will be in a stronger position to continue to make hay, or weather the storm.