Real estate development: Staying ahead in challenging times

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kishor pate.In a slow economic environment, the only way in which to grow one’s business is by taking it on a war-footing. Conducting business on a war footing can be defined as being ready and prepared to take on or sustain war.
A related concept is ‘war economy’, which is a term used to describe the steps undertaken by an entity to mobilise its economy and resources for war production. However, in the context of real estate development, going on a war-footing quite simply means assuming a mind-set that focuses on producing, mobilising and allocating resources to not only sustain but exponentially grow business.

Get out of denial mode
There is a problem and it is not going to go away by assuming an ostrich-like attitude to it. The best way to deal with an economic crisis is to admit and accept that the crisis prevails. The real estate company – from leadership to employees – should not be in denial of the situation.

Get into innovation mode
In times of economic uncertainty, real estate companies rely on innovations in marketing, sales and customer service to maintain and to expand market share. One of the prerequisites for running a successful real estate development company in such times is offering clients that decisive bit of extra that clearly defines the products as superior, and going the extra mile on pre-sale as well as after-sale service.

Know your opponents
To win a war, one must know one’s own strengths but also those of one’s competitors. Real estate is a highly competitive business, and it is necessary to evaluate the competition on a regular basis. This will help in defining success strategies.

Change the game plan
In order to retain and increase market share in challenging times, real estate developers need to adapt by changing business models which are no longer working. A 360-degree approach change to capitalize on the prevailing market condition has helped many real estate companies to not only survive but also retain their market leadership.

Ramp up on employee management
In a slow market environment, real estate developers must take advantage of the fact that this is, in fact, the ideal time to recruit the most talented people. Management needs to open their ears to ideas on how business can be improved which emanate from within the ranks. Creating ‘think tank’ groups is an ideal way to harness the collective power of mind merge.

Study the market like never before
In a challenging business environment, it is extremely necessary to develop greater insights about one’s customers, the manner in which the business is changing and what kinds of new technologies can be adopted.
One can then develop frameworks that clearly indicate where clients need better services, and address those needs in a proactive manner. The mantra needs to be ‘service improvements’ rather than ‘business improvement’, because improved business is a direct outcome of improved services.

In today’s times, every real estate development company needs to follow the strategies that have historically worked for businesses that set out to grow in a competitive market:
•Identify and focus on your ideal target market – then strategically broaden your horizons
•Cultivate a and grow a comprehensive database of prospects, vendors, past customers and future prospects
•Distinguish yourself from the competition – extend exceptional customer service. Under-promise and over-deliver
•Communicate with your target market on a consistent basis. Do not ignore the strengths of the competition, but articulate how you are different
(The writer is CMD, Amit Enterprises Housing)