Real Leaders

This is How to Lead During a Crisis

The real estate industry is no stranger to crisis. As a sector that heavily relies on in-person interaction, COVID-19 has created noticeable challenges for the industry. However, throughout this uncertainty, we as leaders have learned to find new ways and rise to the occasion to see our businesses progress forward.

Due to low consumer confidence, stay at home orders, and other social distancing measures buying and selling a house became increasingly hard—this, coupled with low interest rates, made for a fluctuating and unpredictable market. 

The Role We Play

As leaders, we’ve been tasked to adapt, motivate our employees, and reassure clients that we’re available and online. Decision-makers must be surrounded by a supportive and forward-thinking team and utilize experience to lead with confidence.  

For many executives, determining the next steps while navigating the unknown is the ultimate struggle. Fortunately, our leadership team collaborated and worked through these issues to come up with solutions. 

Using The Past To Lead The Future

One way to approach these difficult decisions was by reflecting on other professional hurdles I had experienced during the duration of my career. One of which was navigating the housing crash and the other, transitioning our former law firm into our current title agency. Using hindsight to guide my thinking allowed the leadership team and me to navigate the obstacles Covid-19 presented calmly. 

Looking back at these experiences and comparing it to today’s current obstacle, Covid-19, I can’t help but notice certain similarities. The two most significant being the unknown and change.

 Following both the housing market crash and our companies transition, there was a lot of uncertainty, new procedures, and change. For our team to push on today, I’ve leaned on the lessons learned from the past and found value in these three pillars when making decisions. 

1. Communicate 

Our job as a leader is to communicate and overcommunicate to ensure every employee understands their role in moving the business in the right direction. Without proper communication, employees can get off track and not perform to the best of their ability. Inadequate communication is a disservice to your staff and your organization, and to set employees up for success, there can be no confusion. However, another consideration is that communication is and should not be one way, at Patten Title, we value our employees’ feedback. We are always open to recognizing and listening to their insights. This open-door policy has proven successful when tackling an obstacle, big or small.

2. Prepare for Change

Being prepared for changes in the market and embracing the unknown has shown to be valuable. The ability to be flexible and agile during uncertainty allows for an easier adaptation of new policy and eases transitions. The unknown is most challenging to navigate through my experience, but recognizing and being in tune to change is the first step when navigating a crisis. Having back up plans and emergency protocols in place are necessary to combat a crisis when it occurs and being mindful of what do when a disaster strikes not only gives employees peace of mind but also allows businesses to pivot more quickly towards the right solution. 

3. Proceed with Caution

As mentioned, it’s essential to be agile but equally as important to be cautious. Often, employees will look to their company leaders as a voice of reason, so it’s critical to be attentive and not overly bullish when it comes to decision making. During Covid-19, as state sanctions begin to lift, many business leaders are left with tough decisions on their plates, so recognizing the times we live in and heeding warnings is vital to ensuring employees and clients feel safe and valued. 

The impact of communication and comradery play on business during tough times is priceless. With changing laws, new hurdles inhibiting our work, and other questions arising – a strong team is crucial to succeeding. We always strive to put our people first. Through communication, preparedness, and caution, we’ve been able to resolve issues quickly and present solutions that have allowed us to respond and take action during past, current, and future disruptions.

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