Gloomier and gloomier

11 November 2008

Incessantly bad news seems to be the order of the day, today.

Just visit the BBC business website today, to see what I mean. The most striking headline is that Estate agents sold an average of 10.9 houses each in the last quarter. Yes fewer than one per week.

That's not enough to pay staff pay and commissions, salaries and fixed overheads. So why aren't more Estate Agents going bust? I put it down to the triumph of hope over adversity AND a decent cash balance when this crisis kicked off? The clients we have recently worked with ran out of cash sooner.

In November we have saved two professionally run companies with 7 branches each: both have slashed employment costs (with nil cash cost), both have removed management overheads, both have focused on SURVIVAL. Both have kept branches open on skeletal staffing levels.

You may recall we also rescued another multi branch firm in October?

Interestingly our client based in the South East saw October sales just ahead of our gloomy forecast and November has continued with some sizable sales made and COMPLETED. So that means that they will still be here come January.

I wonder if the many struggling small to medium groups of agencies could learn a thing or two from our clients? Why wait til the company runs out of cash, notwithstanding your legal obligation to act if the company is insolvent?

Talk to me in confidence if your agency group needs a lifeline.

Keith 07974 086779