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Developing residential land vs. suburban sprawl: Developers talk about expansion in central PA

The Cycle of the Economy is Only Temporary
By William M. Gladstone, CCIM, SIOR

Were you one of the many who decided you wanted to start instituting change in 2009? In most cases this was change for the better. In other cases it was change for change sake only. It made no difference whether or not you were actively involved – changes were made and you are now working in that system. It was inevitable that something was going to happen. In early 2008 the signs were there, but many of us decided the past years had become our standard instead of the bubble that was about to burst. Things were too good for too long and we got used to it. By the end of the second quarter of 2008 the grim reality had set in, and things were going to get worse. A year and a half later our Group, the Bill Gladstone Group of NAI CIR (BGG), no longer dwell on the problems. We recognize they are present and the only thing we can do is focus on the solutions. That is not impossible, solutions do exist! We just have to look for them which is something many of us are not accustom to doing anymore. We have not had to do such a thing for a long time. However, it can be achieved effectively if those of us chasing the solutions stay focused on our main goal.

Keep your business relationships strong. Make sure you are taking care of business by staying in touch with your current and past clients. They are a strong source of business either directly or through referrals. You have already built your credibility and earned their trust. Do not neglect them. Do not let ‘top of mind’ awareness escape your focus. How often has a postcard, flier, email, or even a visit to a Web site reminded you of someone you could do business with at that very moment? It is important to make sure people remember who you are because with all of life’s interruptions, it is easy for people to stumble and forget you. These ideas are not new, they have been around forever. If you are already doing the things mentioned here, you should be asking – “What else can I be doing?”  

That is a good question. In our business, one hot topic is ‘Going Green’ and saving the planet. How can I help? I am in the process of obtaining my Green Associate designation within the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program. Also, the BGG is moving away from traditional paper and postcards and moving into the electronic age. We have spent time researching what our clients are doing online so we can reach them digitally in the best way possible. We will be recording monthly videos of community leaders on topics relevant to the real estate industry. These will be posted online with links e-mailed to our clients and posted on our social networking sites.

Most importantly, we are trying to recognize the fact that we need to be even more creative. We need to be in front of our customers and clients in ways we have not tried before. Whether it is in a traditional sense or fresh new ideas we find by moving into the digital arena, either case needs to stimulate interest and help clients remember we are the people to do business with. One day per week our Group has a long creative session. These sessions are as creative as possible to stimulate new ideas in both personal and property marketing. It has helped us succeed in a less than great economy. We encourage this as an excellent way to review your actions in preparing for your best success. The only way to encourage yourself or your team to give the 120% necessary to pull through a tough economy is to stay focused and find new ways to approach the same issue. Pursue new avenues by bringing new value and services to appeal to the needs of your clients.

As you go through this process it may not be easy. Some of us have set our expectations based on pre-2008 years.
Those no longer exist and if we do not remember what it was like during the last down time, than it is a relearning process. Relearn it, revisit it, and move on. Your business will come back because of the attention you give it. Remember, this cycle of the economy is only temporary. It will be what you make it. Be positive, stay focused and be
receptive. Your bottom line will improve. Best wishes for a profitable 2010!

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