COVID-19 Has Created the 1 in 4 Syndrome Like None Other!

Stephen Atcheler
Stephen Atcheler


Every Real Estate Agent has the challenge in their sales career of being consistent, month in and month out. Your daily activities will define what your month will look like, your quarter and your year. What happens though, is things day by day are done out of a reactive deposition, which is usually needed. I need more listings so I will prospect today, I need more sales so today I will work on price reductions. Sound like something you have done or seen in your office?

Using this reactive disposition creates the 1 in 4 syndrome which is 1 good month in 4. I will get to this on an agent basis and talk about how we can iron out this 1 good month and turn them all into good months, with a bit of simple planning. What I want to talk about in this article, as much as I am sick for hearing about it, is how Coronavirus is affecting Real Estate Businesses everywhere. I am hoping that it goes away for the fact, I want to hear a conversation that does not start with “C.”

How this came up was that I was talking to my business partner and he stated that he said Real Estate in Australia looks like it is back to normal. I said, “Yeah, that’s probably what it would look like to someone on the surface and someone who has never been in Real Estate.”  Yes, activity may be back up, but there are 2 months of disrupted activities that will have a drastic flow on effect, I am thinking in June 2020. Like this month.

Let me guess things financially are ok as you have had settlements flowing in from sales made in Jan, Feb, and the early parts of March. These settlements have taken place over the last 2 months and kept the bank looking ok. You may have also had some reduced costs in April, and May that have kept the profit margin looking good. June, as things start becoming normal, you will have those expenses back and less settlements. This is really the time to tighten the belt.


For Real Estate Businesses, one thing notable would have changed in your disposition toward the future of Real Estate. Working from home is a thing.  It means virtual is the way to go.  Some expenses just never need to return and to become more robust, is a necessity. What I have noticed is businesses that adapted to this quickly, have avoided this syndrome, as they found ways to keep the activity going by getting clever with the way they do business and the costs associated with running a business.

Let’s start looking to the future and how we will run a more profitable, clever business to fulfill what we wanted to get out of Real Estate in the first place. Our business here is no different.  We were really caught out by this bloody virus, but thank God we acted quick and have made the adjustments to be better and more streamlined, moving forward. We have had to embrace “work from home” which looks very different in the Philippines. It will not be a long-term thing as it is a third world country here and every household has a damn rooster crowing, that will drive you nuts as a client. For now, it is filling the gap and we are making it work.

Right, enough about all of that, let’s get to a little bit of value for Sales Agents and Principals to manage them, to avoid them.

Here is a quick spray of tips, off the cuff, that worked for me, as an agent, and then managing a team of salespeople.

Not everybody is the same and not everybody works the same way!

Some people are night-time people, some people are early risers. Create a day that suits your lifestyle and stick to it. There is nothing wrong with saying to a vendor, if you have an issue with your price, I will call you first up Tuesday morning, so expect a call around 8am. Get an answer on your reduction by 7pm Tuesday night and be set up for sale on Saturday. It makes sense, so I just stuck to that. Why in the morning?  Because I hated those difficult calls, so I got them out of the way first.

Mark Dwyer from Sales Trainer nailed into my head that I must set one appointment a day and attend a listing appointment a day, so that was my focus, as soon as I got into the office, I was obsessing about setting that appointment. Next, I would go to an appointment to try to get a listing and then I was free for the afternoon to show properties. Fridays, I would never have an appointment because a part of my Friday was scheduled in a boozy lunch with the team. Having something to look forward to in your calendar will really minimise poor performance and the 1 in 4 syndrome.


The key to this is, there is no perfect plan, but you must have one. Another person’s plan will not work for you. Not everyone will do as I did and make their daily vendor catch up calls over a few beers or wine.   I found it was a great time to chat, once vendors have put kids to bed.  So, have a look at your calendar and start thinking what works for you and put it in there!  If it is in there, it must be done.  That is the other key, which is discipline.

Things may vary, based on your role, and in this example, I was talking as a sales agent.  As a sales manager or principal, your day will look a bit different. The only difference is, you manage the team’s days and lead, rather than doing the calls and sitting in the living area. However, the principles of this method are the same.

I hope the information in this article is useful and that you have got something out of it. I am not a writer, that’s for sure, but a part of my monthly activities is to write one feature article for our content strategy, so that’s what I am doing at 3am, buzzing out on too much coffee. Thanks for your time, have a rocking day and my last tip is, make prospecting daily in any business, like brushing your teeth!

About the Author

Meet Stephen Atcheler, the Managing Director of a Real Estate Virtual Assistant Company. Stephen has been working in the industry since 2013 and has a wealth of experience in making outsourcing work for real estate businesses. He fell in love with real estate at a young age and has been working in the field since 2005. Stephen's passion for real estate and helping other business owners thrive led him to start his own real estate business in 2012, and eventually, to establish a real estate virtual assistant company to take it to the next level. Stephen's wealth of experience and knowledge in real estate and outsourcing make him the perfect person to guide you in setting up your own virtual assistant team. Feel free to reach out to him on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram.

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