COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of good infrastructure and development in our cities, and that brings a wealth of new opportunities, says advisor and analyst Joseph Matina.
Matina, managing director of Property Council member Accumwealth Financial Services Pty Ltd, provides an “array” of services to clients across the industry, from real estate consulting and coaching to credit risk analysis and advice on finance, lending, accounting and compliance issues.
Matina’s business is expanding rapidly, even in these challenging times. His company was well prepared for the COVID-19 crisis and “we haven’t had had to play catch-up because we had already invested in advanced digital mediums”.
“We’ve adjusted quickly to Zoom, Skype, Whatsapp and Sharepoint, for example. And we’ve always offered a flexible workplace, so when the lockdown started, our team took to working remotely quite easily.”
Matina says his team has also embraced virtual property inspections. At first they “looked unworkable” but Matina is now convinced they allow the buyer or renter to “inspect a house online from the comfort of their own home and at their own leisure”.
“Our business model is based on relationships. As maintaining operations has not been a challenge or a distraction, our team has been able to focus on these relationships and continue checking in our clients to understand how their needs are changing,” he adds.
Matina says his business was “inundated” with queries from clients seeking help with the various stimuli applications. “We had to act like firefighters, putting out fires. The barrage of new legislation – which wasn’t always clear and changed daily – kept us on our toes as we absorbed it and communicated this with our clients.”
“The word ‘unprecedented’ has almost become cliched over the last three months, but there really isn’t a playbook for responding to the series of events we have experienced so far in 2020.
“Our Property Council membership has helped us understand how other members are responding and reacting to events, both immediately and in the long term.
“Given the amount and variability of content and media available on COVID-19, it’s reassuring to know that the news and updates from the Property Council are relevant and well-researched.”
Now, as restrictions ease, feedback from Matina’s clients has largely fallen into two categories: “those who are still a little cautious, and those who are actively looking for emerging opportunities and possibilities”.
This makes Matina optimistic about the future.
“The quick response from the property industry to understand what a post-pandemic world might look like is uplifting,” he says.
“The lockdown experience has only strengthened the focus on providing good access to infrastructure and open space in our cities. We think this will lead to a positive outcome for our cities and our country, both in terms of liveability and investment.”
Learn more about Accumwealth Financial Services and find out how you can join the 2,200 Property Council members that are working together to create prosperity, jobs and strong communities.