Calling a Code Red
Everyone needs to be a master of reinvention to survive the longevity of being in business.
Business is always tough. You have to keep up with new trends, heed the winds of change, and constantly invest. Most importantly, you will need to be prepared to make very difficult decisions.
There have always been challenges throughout my career. Sometimes people will replicate our brilliant ideas after we’ve done the hard yards, made the investment and created a product that the industry wants and needs. I understand that that’s sometimes the price you pay for doing the hard yards – I get it, but I don’t like it.
However, this year has been particularly tough, one of the worst and hardest of our years. The bulldozers came through with the Federal election, Brexit, Donald Trump’s tweets and a general feeling of uncertainty, so businesses took the knife to training.
We are among the best at what we do, because we understand tech and technique. The traditional art of selling, communicating, talking, and speaking in a room are more relevant now than ever, but the market, what people want, and how they want to learn, changed. We were caught out. We booked rooms and paid for our seminars and catering for 150 people a year in advance, and 40 turned up. Five or six big events in a row left me wondering if we would be open in the next few months.
I had to dig deep and deal with the structural changes, digital disruption, and shifting consumer sentiment that had been wrought on the national and global economy. People do not want to invest money travelling to seminars and parking in Sydney at $65-$80 a day, let alone the seminar itself and the cost of time away from work.
Incredibly, at the same time, what people need to know has never been more complicated. To offer what the client expects in a seamless way is data-driven and extraordinarily labour and resource intensive. Our market has gone international, yet consumers still want a local feel. We have to access the many versus one-to-one in the most efficient way. Agents must be multimedia and social media specialists who can create a carefully targeted voice, product, video, blog, and content piece on their own, to gather data which is used to generate content for future campaigns.
In order to survive I had to decide whether to let it go or let it grow. It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. We were so close to doing it on our own, but could we hang on until we got there? I couldn’t say for sure, but the alternative was difficult too. It was hard to invite investors into the beautiful company we had created.
After much deliberation we decided to stay in the game and Go Big – bigger than we ever imagined. We spent two million dollars, made a massive investment, and created a powerhouse that will take the industry through this current massive structural change. With Training on Demand (TOD) we can teach what you need to know in the way you want to learn. We can talk to a hundred people or ten thousand at the same time.
We are now a multimedia village. We have an amphitheatre and a recording and TV studio to broadcast locally and internationally which is accessible to all. We can provide the premises and the infrastructure to sell and support product. We can record all different types of media. We’ve got Studio One, which is our webinar room, so our whole national training circuit can be booked as a webinar instead of all of us travelling out on the road doing seminars. We can deliver webinars to thousands of people at once. We can go beyond Facebook and go live to a private purchaser.
We have the facilities to ensure reach and, just as importantly, we also have the knowledge. I have never been an island and I have always collaborated with the best. So we have outstanding content and experience from our twenty years in the business working with the best from around the world.
We know what works and how this new ecosystem works. We have the tech and the technique. Our approach, our digital survival system which we call Value Performance Advertising (VPA), will ensure the survival of the Real Estate Academy and the real estate industry as a whole.
It’s been tough, but we did what we had to do and called a code red. We’ve done it again – we’ve reinvented ourselves and we’re ready for what’s to come.
Why don’t you come with us?