How Our Company Rode Out the Recession: A Case Study
Brett Alegre-Wood is the founder and MD of Your Property Club, a property investment company that specialises in educating beginner property investors.
Your Property Club researches, analyses and interprets long-term property market trends and presents the information in free articles, blogs, videos, articles and reports. It was set up in 2004 and now has over 700 clients and over 20,000 subscribers who receive weekly e-mail newsletters directly from Brett. We asked him how a property company managed to survive the recession!
How did the recession initially affect business?"Working in property, this recession has affected our industry in a massive way. Everything about the business has had to be considered. Given the severity of the mortgage situation and the free fall in house prices, demand dropped like a stone. This had a huge effect on the business. Add to this that it has been a long drawn out recession, so the team has had to work twice as hard. We've had to spend much more time educating clients as well as a massive amount of time working with suppliers. I guess you could say that everything became difficult rather than easy and took twice as long."
Did any difficult decisions have to be made in order to keep the company going?"The most difficult decision was to stay on course and remain committed to the business model. So many of our competitors chose to move into other areas, overseas property, second hand property. I had faith that what we did was the right thing and that we did it very well. At the time it appeared so much easier to change tactics but in hindsight it was one of the best decisions I could have made."
The easiest thing would have been to decrease the number of staff through redundancies but I decided that we would actually be better off to increase the marketing spend and branch out into other marketing channels, this combined with bringing a number of other products online that complemented our existing products. This has proven to be one of the best and most rewarding decisions I have made. We have doubled in size, turnover and profits whilst 80% of our competitors went bust. I think the important thing here was to up the marketing and add products that complemented our existing products so we were selling to existing clients rather than having to generate fresh ones."