Real Estate in Victoria has been an industry that has suffered significantly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. While deemed an essential service in the first round of restrictions and able to work in a limited capacity, there was significant emotional pressure experienced by team members as they dealt with tenants who could no longer pay rent, landlords who were no longer getting an income and people who had lost jobs and income and desperately needed to sell their homes.
Tony Larkin, Director of the Barry Plant offices in Frankston and Cranbourne, was very aware of the potential fragility of his team and has worked hard over the last six months to try and keep them engaged and positive.
Recently he invited Dave Burt, SALT founder, to run a Re-Emerge session with his team and it proved a highly valuable experience.
“Since the Stage 3 restrictions were introduced, I’ve tried to keep a structure and routine for my team members,” explains Tony. “We’d have sales and property management zoom meetings daily, team meetings and weekly trivia nights. I have a young team and I knew that, without a lot of life experience, what we were going through would be particularly hard for them.”
When Stage 4 restrictions were announced, and real estate was no longer considered an essential service, Tony found that his team really struggled. “As we got closer to the 13th of September, which was the first date where we were supposed to get some lifting of restrictions, I noticed that my team were battling to keep any sort of focus, so I backed off on the structured meetings and started calling people one-on-one to check up on them. When the restrictions were extended even further, then I knew I needed some professional help and so I called SALT.”
Tony learned about SALT and its activities through Corina Vucic at FC Business Solutions. Corina was dealing with similar scenarios to Tony over a range of businesses, and she talked to Tony about SALT’s approach – how they worked to promote Post Traumatic Growth rather than Post Traumatic Stress.
“It was a pretty confronting session,” Tony admits. “The way Dave was able to elicit, in a way that protected confidentiality, what the issues were, was a catalyst to a really powerful session that I know bought our team closer together. Everyone developed a better appreciation of their colleagues and what they are going through. There was no judgement, just support. Opening up and talking honestly knitted them together into a tighter unit.”
Tony believes that his team appreciated that management cared about their mental wellbeing and as a result he feels that they now feel they can freely come and talk to him about any issues they may have.
“The announcement over the last two days that we can now carry out private inspections and property appraisals has re-energised my team. They are optimistic and engaged and I believe the SALT session was perfectly timed. My team will now hit the ground running and that’s good for them and good for my business.”
Tony intends to run further session for his team with SALT.
SALT’s Workplace Re-Emerge course will take 60-90 minutes. To enquire about or book your session(s) go to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1300 980 424.