Business: Expectations vs. Reality

Our Next Steps as Business Owners

Businesses have been swept up in a whirlwind these last few months, some still in a holding pattern, some barely surviving and others, well….thriving.

Let’s step back for a moment. Think about when you decided to start your business. Remember the vision that seemed like it was “placed” in your brain? Whether you used vision boards or something as simple as graphing paper and #2 pencil, it flowed out of you because you saw something, you knew something, you put it together in your mind and it came out as a plan which then became framework, which became a business model, then business plan and so on and so forth and the rest is history, right?

Now, let’s step into the here and now once again. Here we are, fellow business owner, in the middle of a pandemic and newly evolving guidelines presented to you practically every morning. You are meeting with your management team via zoom or spread out in your conference room awkwardly, observing social distancing requirements. Finances, Human Resources, Safety Committees, Operations on “high alert”…so many factors, so many things to manage. Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or is this more like a cyclone?

America has experienced catastrophic situations since its inception. Through each tumultuous trial that we have faced as a nation, one thing has been a constant. Americans are resilient. American business owners are fierce. We are innovators, inventors, and imaginations run wild, even when chaos is all around us.

From what I am observing, the businesses that are “thriving” have taken a moment, poured a cup of coffee or tea, turned off the noise and had a reality check of their own. You’re sitting there in your quiet place, probably holding your head, saying to yourself, “I had a plan, I have expectations…now what?!?”

Don’t forget every expectation that you had coming into 2020, however, you are going to need a reset mentally and operationally because as with all of the aspects of life, we have to adjust our expectations to meet our current circumstances. Some businesses are still rolling along because they’ve made “adjustments”. They didn’t loose their identity nor did they throw their vision in file 13. They did re-envision their business models and came up with ways to continue to offer their services, manufacture and sell their products in innovative ways that worked in a COVID-19 environment.

So, a word of encouragement to business owners who feel like they are in the cyclone rather than a brief stint in the tunnel: You were visionary and innovative and creative and clever when you started this business of yours. You still ARE! Gather your team and have brainstorming, collaborative sessions. Make ways in the desert. Focus on the positive. In 2020, you have so many different internet/digital avenues to keep your message, your brand, even your new offerings out in front of your potential client base. Make your name known. Provide special offers to potential clients. Create community by making a concerted effort to build a “fan base” within your social media channels. Make friends with other local business owners and give them props on your channels. Feed the unity and draw the community closer together in this time “apart”, and thrive in this season of uncertainty. Your new normal, your new reality might be your next favorite vision.

Is Prospecting Part of Your Weekly Routine? …It Should Be

HiRes_txt1 Hey CRE professional. I hear ya loud and clear. “I am so stupid busy trying to make my current stuff happen. I feel like the wheels are spinning off the bus!”  If some CRE mogul tells me I have to do one more thing to make money in this business I’m gonna hang it up, don some beach attire and head for paradise found. iStock_000024086772Large

Hold on now…although I’m with you on the paradise idea. I’m not saying you have to do “another thing”. I guess what I’m trying to get at is this: If you are not constantly going after new business, rest assured, someone else is going to. You hear buzz phrases all of the time like sustainable and renewable as it pertains to energy, resources, etc. What about your commercial real estate business? Is it sustainable and renewable? Think about it as a living, growing identity. If it is not continuously full of life, growing  and rejuvenating what is it? Dead or on its way out in this day and age and in this marketplace. Electric Car

So I can hear those of you that come from the small brokerages saying, “We don’t have access to all of the tools the national and international brokerage houses do”. That may be the case, however, you might have essential tools that will help you get the job done. Yes, it might take a little more elbow grease, but the effort is worthwhile in the end. We have an online system available in our area that provides us not only the extensive public record information, but allows us to query based on multiple factors, such as tenant occupied vs. owner occupied, type of commercial use or latest sale price to all units on certain blocks with your specified criteria.

I know some prefer to purchase mailing lists or emailing lists. I understand the fishnet method. I also know that approximately 18% to 30% on average return to sender or bounce. But if you are trying to target a specific user type or a specific type of property, why would you pay for or waste time on all that file 13 or spam potential?

If you’ve done your homework, you know your target. You know the zoning officer your potential client will have to work with. You know what the locale is expecting to do based on your local economic council’s reports. You can give the property a price range off the top of your head because you have the averages based on the data you collect for yourself on a consistent basis. You already have a potential buyer or tenant in mind because you are keeping in touch through social media, email, phone calls or an occasional golf game or coffee meetup.

So, you see, you’ve already done the prep work. Kudos! Now make it all work together to a successful end by connecting your efforts with targeted movement for a great ROI for all that hard work. iStock_000017018615XSmallWhat are the tools that you find most useful in prospecting for your CRE business?

A Personal Fav …

A Personal Fav courtesy of Nelson Mandela on Leadership:

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Nelson Mandela

What Drives You?

I have been told that I am a “driven” individual. I took some time this morning to ponder that for a bit. It’s great to be a driven individual, but I find it equally important to assess what the root of that drive is.

We all have “motivational factors” within us. They could involve a laundry list of items including our families, our ambition, our need to be successful, our “perfectionistic” nature, etc.

The one core driving factor that I try at all costs to keep first of mind involves my spirituality. Some of you may say, oh wait a minute Beth Anne, don’t go all “religious freak” on us and then try to tie it in to Commercial Real Estate. Actually, if you were truly honest with yourself, your core beliefs have a lot to do with how you live, your priorities, how you conduct yourself in business and even your goals you set forth for yourself or your company.

 

As I was mulling this over, I found that my faith has a lot to do with how I treat people (including my co-workers), how I present myself, my work ethic and how I view the Commercial Real Estate section of my life’s “pie”.

So now I go out on a limb, but at least I can say it’s my limb to sit on so it’s okay, right? I relish my personal relationship with Jesus Christ and do not segregate HIM from the rest of that life “pie” that I mentioned. I guess I’m a little different, or so I’ve also been told, because I see my purpose, (my real job per say), as servant hands and feet to show people the same love that my GOD has shown me. My secondary job (out of necessity) is Commercial Real Estate marketing and operations.  I enjoy both immensely.  I find that they intertwine often. I like to bring a positive influence to the table. I love to help others, encourage them and build them up. I strive to give above and beyond the call. Call me over-achiever, but 130% is a favorite number of mine…just sounds good to me. I desire to make a difference. I desire to BE different. Those are the things that drive me.

ImageI recently had this conversation with someone when they asked me, “If you could quit your job tomorrow, what would you do? Take a long vacation, travel the world, read more – do less? My answer was this, “I would continue to do the one-on-one street ministry with the homeless that I do as part of “The Way Ryders”, but I would do it every day, not just twice a month. I would also lead worship every evening at Delaware House of Prayer, not just once a month.” See? Life wouldn’t change drastically. The true purpose would just expand.

I encourage you to take a deep dive in “Lake YOU”. Your driving purpose can impact others in such a positive way and make a tremendous difference. ImageEvery day I have the choice to be all about me or all about HIM, which in turn, makes it all about others. It works out well, don’t you think?