Rebuilding real estate connections after COVID-19: First National's Ray Ellis

The building of relationships cannot be done over Zoom or via email, says Ray Ellis

Rebuilding real estate connections after COVID-19: First National's Ray Ellis
Rebuilding real estate connections after COVID-19: First National's Ray Ellis

After a year of COVID-19 impacts, getting back to business as usual will present challenges for some real estate agencies. According to a Melbourne Institute study, 70 per cent of workers who worked remotely during the pandemic wish to continue working from home.

The challenge for businesses is creating those beneficial moments that occur during face-to-face contact. In a hybrid work model where team members might not align on working days, those connections that are so important to collaboration and innovation will be fewer and farther between.

Leading firms believe that holding in-person business events is key to improving the hybrid working model with moments of powerful team building.

The human brain is hardwired for physical connection and eye contact, something that cannot be replicated by using screens.

In less than a second of meeting someone, physical engagement fires up your neurons, generating the chemistry that pre-empts the beginnings of empathy and trust. A group of connected people can change how we see an issue, alter our priorities as a group, and create a capacity to collaborate around shared values.

At First National Real Estate, we’re working hard to make sure that the crucial bonds that lead to knowledge sharing are re-established as quickly as possible. I’ve always strongly believed in holding business events that bring people together and our national convention, this May in Canberra, is on track for 500 First National co-operative members and their employees. The event is already oversubscribed and we’ve had to book an overflow hotel.

After spending so long away from peers during COVID, the desire to get together to share our journeys and our experiences is critical. But the way I see it, this is not just a business session or awards event, it’s about helping our people return to normality, become a better person and run a better business.

Pre-COVID, First National would run 30-50 events a year in each state, ranging from training to functions, as well as two to three national events. Having in-person meetups in different locations is critical to the success of the business.

The greatest benefit has been the sharing of ideas. We’ve got offices from Bendigo to Cairns and that shared business experience, whether staffing, sales, legalities, or HR, is 100 times better than Googling or trying to muddle through on your own.

The building of relationships cannot be done over Zoom or via email, only done by good old-fashioned chat and advice, so events are critical to what we do.
Events can fast-track the restoration of relationships that have diminished during the pandemic.

According to researchers at Yale University’s School of Management, during COVID-19 our professional and personal networks have shrunk by almost 16 per cent, or the equivalent of 200 people.
That has dramatic consequences for businesses. It can lead to less creativity and more groupthink.

People with fewer connections at work have a decreased sense of belonging and are less likely to identify with the organisation, which puts them at higher risk of turnover and possibly even fraud and negligence.

Ray Eliis is the CEO of First National Real Estate

Tags: 
COVID-19 Real Estate Agents Real Estate Agencies

Comments

Be the first one to comment on this article
What would you like to say about this project?