We recently welcomed Melbourne member, Patricia LaTorre CKD Au to our mentoring team. We asked Patricia to share her perspective on some of the challenges we’re all facing. Here’s what she had to say:

Is the current health crisis prompting you to change how you market to potential new clients? How so?

As it’s been part of my plan for some time to post more often on Instagram or Facebook, I am taking the opportunity to further develop and plan on these platforms. Having the time to think and plan is a welcome opportunity.

Note: you can find Patricia on Instagram here or Facebook here

What about communicating with clients and trades? How are you approaching this today? Have you thought about how you can do this over the coming weeks/months?

In place of meetings for presentations, I am now scheduling meetings via Skype. Also, rather than emailing clients, I am calling them to talk. Through personal daily experiences and those of my colleagues, I find a phone conversation allows some social, casual conversation, not necessarily all focused on work/project. “Listening” not only to what my clients are saying, but also their “tone” informs me if they are okay, happy with our work so far etc.

Have thought of the weeks ahead, especially when I have to do a site inspection. My approach now is to confirm with Builder and client access to property, arrange a visit while no one is on site, do an inspection, take the necessary notations and follow up with emails.

I do find that I am spending far more hours on each project, but I feel fine with that as long as my clients are happy AND the build team. I see it as an investment, a type of advertising that will lead to further recommendations in the future. Beats paying for advertising when cash flow is tight!

Are you adding any new services to your existing lineup in light of the way things are changing around us?

At this stage, due to demand, I am considering developing the service to include soft furnishings etc. I have a handful of clients who request assistance with furniture, bedding etc. With a bit more time up my sleeve, I hope to do some research and conversations with suppliers, designers etc.

How are you keeping your staff optimistic?

At this stage I have one assistant who is now working from home. Again, I make of point of phone conversations and have expressed commitment to provide some work as long as I can, even if reduced significantly. I always ask the question: “does that sound okay with you?”

How are you looking after yourself?

There are heaps of options for workouts, yoga or dancing on Youtube.

I try to get out in the sun. Take myself for a walk to the park nearby.

When I am feeling overwhelmed I seek conversations with friends, colleagues, neighbours.

And there are times that I have theme days, e.g. I wear my favourite pjs for the entire day, take a bubble bath, do my nails etc. Or, I dress up in beach gear, eg sari, thongs, kaftan and pretend I’m on holiday on a beautiful island. I read my books and make cocktails… I need to get some of those tiny umbrellas for the cocktails!

Any other positive, uplifting or motivational thoughts to share with your fellow Members?

In my previous life as a Social Worker, one of my specialties was working with adult victims of sexual abuse, I had the privilege of working with so many people with so many terrible experiences and what always inspired me was their strength and determination.

There is always light at the end of the tunnel!

As always, we’d love to hear from you, too. What is your take on the challenges we face? We’d love your opinion, so feel free to comment below.