Special Features

Coronavirus and business opportunities?

Nicola Firth | Knowledge Bank
12th March 2020
Nicola Firth Knowledge Bank
"Here’s to continuing that with that resilience and fighting spirit and to embracing technology to demonstrate our stoic attitude of ‘business as usual’."

Anyone who knows me will know that I’m a positive person. I like to get creative when it comes to finding solutions where others see problems. The current Coronavirus outbreak is no exception!

While we are waiting with bated breath to find out what the Government’s next move will be with regards to containing the spread of the virus, I am seeing lots of discussion about industry events being cancelled, BDMs being told they’re not to do face-to-face appointments and firms stopping lenders from coming in to see their brokers.

And here is the problem: while these reactions are entirely responsible, we are used to doing things face-to-face. We like it. It’s how business is done. But it doesn’t have to be that way all of the time. In fact, the current climate gives us the perfect opportunity to get creative and we already have the solution. Technology.

It has never been quicker, cheaper or easier to use technology to communicate with each other remotely. We’re all used to phones and email, but what about Skype, FaceTime, webinars, conference calls, video conferencing… the list goes on. It’s not like when video recorders first came out and you needed either a degree in rocket science or a small child to show you how to work them. These technologies are all at our fingertips and are relatively simple to get to grips with.

There are lots of opportunities to get on board with this, from industry events and BDM visits to brokers doing client appointments in the same way. There’s no reason why we can’t just carry on with ‘business as usual’ by utilising these kinds of technology. You may be surprised at the results –some may even find they prefer it!

And there are other positives, too. There are the obvious cost savings and benefits to the environment as we all leave the cars on the driveway. Indeed, China has reported a massive reduction in air pollution in some parts of the country, and up to a 25% reduction in carbon emissions, which is more significant and certainly faster than any climate change negotiations. There are also the time-saving implications of being able to fit more meetings and appointments into a day as you’re not sat behind the wheel or stuck in traffic, and the efficiencies this brings.

We can’t forget that for some industries there are going to be massive negative consequences from this and we may yet still feel the overall effects of these. But if we accept what we can’t change, we have to look to our own industry and to what we can do to ensure that we continue to thrive in the face of adversity.

This is nothing new to us: as an industry we’ve ridden many a storm over the years and far worse ones than this. There is an amazing resilience which surfaces in the worst of times which always makes me proud to be a part of the mortgage industry.

Here’s to continuing that with that resilience and fighting spirit and to embracing technology to demonstrate our stoic attitude of ‘business as usual’.

However, despite my infinite positivity, even I have to admit that there are some problems that technology just can’t solve. Virtual loo-roll is another matter entirely!

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