Oona Collins: Seven new year tips to help you and your business prosper in 2021 (as featured in Prime Resi)

Jan 5th, 2021

The inspirational executive coach behind some of the biggest names in property explains how to deal with constant change by building a resilient mindset…

One thing 2020 has taught us is that change is constant. And to succeed and thrive, as change continues in 2021, a resilient mindset is essential. Our mindset can be our greatest asset as it influences our ambitions and decisions, and the way we lead and motivate.


In December, I was invited to speak to the Federation of Independent Agents on ‘the Mindset of Executives in 2021’ where I shared insights on building a resilient mindset and business. And as we embark on a new year to create new possibilities and instil hope and confidence, I hope these tips will be of value to you, your teams and your business.


Much of my work with leaders is about assisting them to sustain, adapt and grow their businesses, and for some to transition to new ventures. A significant trend in the property industry has been the rise of the ‘entrepreneur’ and I have seen many people fulfil a lifelong ambition to create their own businesses, driven by the desire to control their own destiny and build a lifestyle that works for them and their family.


It has been interesting to see the rise of the entrepreneurial residential agency based on the US model of building a team of highly experienced self-employed consultants. Many of these high-calibre professionals leave the corporate world so they can focus on what they enjoy doing while having the freedom to create a more balanced life.


The mindset difference of a corporate employee and a self-employed consultant cannot be underestimated. It can be lonely without the support of a team and self-motivation is key. One of my clients with ambitious growth plans for their property agency recognises this and has invested in integrating one-to-one coaching as part of their on-boarding process. The team members have the choice of using this service as and when they wish, and many have found working with a trusted confidante can help unlock times where they feel stuck and drive their motivation to succeed. It is an investment in building a mindset of success that also increases loyalty and commitment to the business and its growth.


Ambitious people have a mindset of growth, so organisations need to provide clear career paths to retain key talent.


Ambitious people have a mindset of growth, so organisations need to provide clear career paths to retain key talent. Many companies are restructuring and looking to build the best teams and making sure those career conversations happen can prevent the unexpected loss of a valued team member who has become demotivated.


Here are seven tips to help you and your business prosper in 2021:


1. Clarify Priorities

Professionally and personally, know what is important and where you should be spending your time. Be rigorous and apply the 80/20 rule. 80% of income often comes from 20% of your clients. In the same way, 80% of success is dependent on 20% of your activities. Do you know what they are?” I encourage my clients to continually ask. “If I say yes to this, what am I saying no to?” Being clear on priorities will reduce overwhelm and you will feel in control.


2. Keep close to your clients, old and new

During the first lockdown, I created a four-module virtual programme on Leading in Turbulent Times for a national property company who wanted to build resilience and make the most of the opportunities and challenges ahead. During the module on ‘Generating Income and Building Client Loyalty’, we focused on applying simple habits, including picking up the phone and having conversations with old clients who they had lost contact with. In a progress review four months later, one director reported generating £80,000 from this single habit, and it has now become a consistent focus throughout their region.


3. Pay attention to your people

Your time and attention is your greatest gift. In my work with one team recently, I asked “What is the one thing your directors could do for you that would add the greatest value?” I was struck that they all praised their company’s founding partners for the time and effort they made to contact them personally on a regular basis. That attention meant a great deal as many felt isolated working alone from home without the usual team banter and networking with colleagues. It made them feel valued, motivated them and increased their loyalty.


4. Succession Planning to retain key talent

A high achiever in the finance industry recently resigned as they were offered a role with more growth opportunities. Their employer did not want to lose them so offered them a significant promotion to persuade them not to leave. It was too late for this executive, who had the integrity to honour the commitment he had made to his new employers. Had that opportunity been communicated earlier he would not have left. Early succession planning to develop top talent aids recession-proofing to allow for those unexpected losses at times of change.


5. Build your own Support Team

A leader’s role is to deliver messages to build hope and confidence, but many feel uncertain and anxious inside. They prefer not to share these concerns with their teams and so it is vital to build their own support team – a spouse, coach, peer, or a group of fellow leaders – to process those thoughts in a safe environment. This will often help them realise they are not alone in experiencing uncertainty and can give them a new perspective, and spark creative thought.


6. Schedule ‘me’ time in your 2021 diary

As you fill your diary for 2021 make sure you schedule a consistent reflective time to read, walk, and quieten the noise around you. These are equally important ‘meetings’ as it is at these times that you may suddenly find a simple solution to a pressing problem or a new idea. Make sure you schedule in important events outside of work too – your children’s sports days, hobbies and holidays. People who lead a balanced life, where they are not consumed by work, will often have a healthy mindset that impacts their career success.


7. Build Personal Resilience

My top 3 strategies for times when you need a boost:
• Do what you love – it leverages your strength and restores your confidence
• Write down your career achievements – we forget how much we have done and when we see it on paper it reminds us of what we are capable of
• Contribute to someone else’s wellbeing – it makes you feel good and can often change your perspective.

Published on Prime Resi on 4 January 2021. Read the original article here.