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Coronavirus: 6-point plan for survival

It's affecting everybody and damaging business but good communications and a caring attitude can help get your business through the crisis.

Richard Reed

The property industry could be hard hit by the Coronavirus pandemic – but there are things that agents can do to help themselves and help clients.

That is the message from Jerry Lyons, managing director of Property PR Expert, who says it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom.

To help people cope with the impact of the Coronavirus he has come up with a six-point plan which he says was first put together in 2009 to deal with the Swine Flu outbreak.

He says the 6C system can be summarised as ‘communicate calmly, clearly, consistently and compassionately with your community’.

Opportunities

“There are opportunities out there,” he said. “Not just to win business, but to change perceptions of our industry. And remember in bad times you can still do good things.”

The 6C system

  • Communicate: Don’t hide away and hope it goes away. Communicate (call, email, What’s App, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) with anyone involved in your business. This means clients, prospects, suppliers, contractors and the communities you serve. Let them know what you are doing. Have a front-foot mindset like Tyson, not a ‘shrink into your shell’ turtle. Focus on what you can do, not on what you can’t.
  • Calmly: Good leaders don’t panic, and if you get your communication and content plan working well, your agency will be taking responsibility and leading the way. Stick to the facts, be honest and remember this will eventually pass.
  • Clearly: There’s a reason why this plan is on one page and summarised in a single sentence. People can’t take on board large amounts of information, especially in anxious times. Keep your messaging simple and clear, eg “We’re open for business. Here is our six-point Coronavirus protocol. We’re here to help no matter what.”
  • Consistently: This is a fast-changing situation. Be ready to communicate at least daily for the foreseeable future. Also, only use recognised sources – the NHS, BBC News, reputable newspapers and magazines – Not Frank from Facebook or Tina on Twitter.
  • Compassionately: People are worried about themselves, their children, their parents, their jobs. Think carefully before sending out communications. How does the tone sound? Are you being too salesy? These are highly sensitive times, and your agency’s tone needs to reflect this.
  • Community: We are all in this together, and your content and communications need to reflect this. Be as community-focused as possible. No-one will remember your market share during this time, BUT they will remember your agency showed genuine, compassionate community care – such as encouraging people to use local independent shops.
March 17, 2020

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