To be fair, there aren't a lot of things that scare me. That's not because I think I'm particularly brave, it's because I subscribe to the 'what's the worst that could happen' frame of mind. I approach most things on the belief that not trying something new is far riskier than remaining unchanged - be that as a person or a business.
It's with that mindset that I finally gave in to Jane Gardner at the EA Masters last year and agreed to take part in this year's Agents do Strictly at the Agents Giving Ball in Epsom. As I've said, there isn't much that scares me - but failing, or even worse making a fool of myself, in front of my friends, peers and clients terrifies me.
It terrified me in 2018 when I agreed to sing at Agents Got Talent and it got me even worse at this year's ball. Needless to say, ballroom dancing is not this Viking's bag! However, scaring yourself is, I believe, healthy and, in fact, essential to living a full and varied life. After all, fear doesn't harm you. It's there to protect you, but it can, if you let it, control you.
The same can be said for evolving and innovating within your agency. If you are doing OK, your staff and clients are generally happy and you take home an OK wage, you could continue to operate under the 'if it ain't broke....' mentality. The problem is, one day it will break. When it does, do you want to be scrambling to catch-up and survive or do you want to be ready and continue on as if nothing has happened?
Changing things at your agency doesn't have to start with huge sweeping changes. Start small. Pick one element of your business you aren't happy with and set about seeing how you can change or resolve it. This might mean restructuring/training staff, it might mean adopting a new product/service or it might mean doing something no agent you've ever known has done before. Whatever it is, whatever the time of year it is, whatever else is going on, just do it. Nike nailed it when they said this.
It was this attitude that led to us (at base property specialists) developing PropertyFile with jupix all those years ago and later offering our 'maintenants' (property life skills tutorials) and 'base/ic appliances' (free temporary appliances) services to our managed landlords and tenants in 2012.....and we haven't stopped there, launching The Depositary in 2020.
So, beat your 'ballroom demons' and start innovating and evolving your agency. There's an array of amazing products and services out there and, with the support from the likes of Kerfuffle and the ICG, lots of advice on how best to choose and adopt.
What is more, agents up and down the country like myself, Spencer Lawrence, Perry Power and so many more will happily and openly discuss agency operations, challenges, ideas and concepts. So put that music on and get dancing!
*Kristjan Byfield is co-founder of base property specialists and the founder of PropTech solution The Depositary.