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Be like the cuttlefish – 3 ways to thrive as we emerge from Lockdown Britain

We're all having to rapidly adapt to the new normal, says Orla Shields, but what can we do to earn landlords' trust and help them through these difficult times?

Orla Shields, CEO, Kamma

Orla Shields Cuttlefish image

Whilst we recognise that this is a truly difficult and testing time for all, at Kamma we have been inspired by actors becoming webinar experts, gin distilleries making hand sanitiser and parents finding new ways to work at home while simultaneously looking after their children.

Why? These innovators follow the way of the cuttlefish and its incredible ability to rapidly adapt to unfamiliar and harsh environments. The cuttlefish naturally changes its colour, texture and even shape to thrive in an ever-changing world. This survival instinct is a quality that many of us in the property industry need to call upon to not only survive, but flourish in the current harsh climate.

As the residential market reopens and we begin to regain some form of post pandemic normality there is an impetus on businesses to ensure they have evolved, rather than simply return to business as usual.

Here are three steps that letting agents should follow to ensure that they leave lockdown more resilient than ever:

1. Consolidate your existing portfolio

Slower movement within the rental market meant that agencies have had to rely on their existing books to get through this period – but why not adapt?

Now is the perfect opportunity to hone and expand client management skills. Your handling of clients during this crisis will speak volumes and be crucial in retaining that trust post-lockdown when landlords may be looking for improved service from their property manager. Adapting to best practice during these times will reap long-term rewards, building your reputation as a resilient agency delivering premium service.

Whether it’s through sharing information on financial support, offering flexibility or developing new service offerings, it is vital that agencies work to maintain their landlords’ trust and bring them into the post-lockdown future.

2. Get creative and diversify

Adversity breeds innovation.

We’ve all seen how the lockdown has led many leading agencies to scale up video viewings, a great example of technology assisting human experts, not replacing them.

Orla Shields imageMany agencies have introduced a licence application service for landlords. This carries the triple benefit of reducing your financial risk, solidifying your agent-landlord relationship, and building a new revenue stream from existing clients.

Many agencies we work with have managed to convert their unavoidable compliance obligations into resilient new revenue streams.”

As Kamma CEO, Orla Shields (pictured) says, “Many agencies we work with have managed to convert their unavoidable compliance obligations into resilient new revenue streams – effectively turning risks into profits. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught many that over-reliance on revenue sources that are at the mercy of seasonality and unanticipated pandemics can be detrimental to business health. Linking revenue streams to compliance is a very clever way to diversify into more resilient revenue streams.”

3. Get on top of regulation

Although post-lockdown policies will no doubt bring much change, something that certainly will be not be going away any time soon is property licensing regulation. Within the private rented sector, property licensing is continuing to trend upwards and now is the time to ensure you have the right processes in place to stay on top of regulation.

Whether it’s keeping on top of property licensing or abiding by new electrical safety standards, agencies who approach these issues proactively and diligently will be the businesses that thrive in the competitive market.

Cuttlefish are the masters of adaptability, allowing them to succeed in dynamic environments. The property market is changing fast and agents that can be more like the cuttlefish will not just survive, but adapt and thrive.

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