How COVID-19 Has Affected The Business Community
Over the last year, business took a significant hit because of the changes taking place due to COVID. The authorities were constantly changing the rules to keep people safe, but that meant shutting down businesses and making people work remotely. Mortgages during the lockdown were another challenge. Companies were getting a lot of their staff gone because they could not meet deadlines or their targets. The remote working option saw a significant decrease in productivity, and people were not sure about their jobs or the future of the work.
Mortgage companies were not giving out loans because they wanted to ensure the people they were giving them out to could pay for them back. Mortgage agents would coordinate through financial institutions and various other avenues to get their clients the best deals possible.
If I was to predict the changes taking place over the next six months, I foresee the economy having a positive impact on my business with markets opening up and people going back to work. There are other changes that they would have to get through as well.
Regarding the job I work, I focus on small and medium-sized businesses and prefer personal interaction with business owners but was not allowed the option because of the physical distance. As much as I liked interacting with people in person, I could no longer do that because many clients were not open to meeting me. They wanted to work remotely to protect themselves against COVID.
We had to make any changes to the way we were interacting and communicating with one another. I started communicating with businesses almost exclusively by phone and email, whereas before COVID, I would visit local businesses in person. I was waiting for things to get better so we could check out local businesses in person again. When it comes to getting any work done, for the most part, I coordinate it through my home office. There are very few, very urgent meetings that we handle. Unfortunately, there were a lot of challenges with working remotely. While not having the option to interact in person was a significant one, the biggest was keeping myself motivated without personal interaction. Other small challenges include being forced to order supplies online instead of visiting your local supplier to pick them up.
Eventually, with the easing of rules, people were allowed to meet in person, as long as they maintained the right amount of physical distance. Unfortunately, I was a bit restricted because of the rules associated with COVID as my office is small and the space too confined to allow physical distance. I had to delay meeting at the office for some more time and continue remote working for the most part.
We had to work on other aspects like ensuring we were not bringing any of the viruses back when we headed out for groceries and other changes. I began using disinfectant cleaners when going outside the office. I always wash my hands thoroughly when returning.
Some things had to remain stable, and one of those was our work hours because we wanted to be approachable to our clients. We wanted them to always find us and I wanted to do some overtime to make up for the beginning of the pandemic. My working hours have not changed, but I will extend my work week to seven days to accommodate clients.
Regarding the work I handle, I do not use a secure platform 90% of the time but will limit access to confidential files to only those designated. I use Google Drive and Gmail to share and connect with clients and make sure the information I am passing around is limited to people who should be seeing it. I do not have a specific platform overall but instead, send secure files to the client where permission is required to open attachments.
Throughout the pandemic, I have been open to meeting clients and getting things done. However, I do not want to overstep and make my clients uncomfortable. If they prefer not to meet in person, I stay away from it. I am personally open to traveling and meeting clients in person as soon as they lift restrictions in my province. When I do I will wear a mask and observe the physical distance. I make sure that my clients are following the same rules and restrictions put down by the Government.
I currently use Zoom for conferencing. However, I do make changes and use another platform if it makes sense to our clients. We want the process to be seamless for our clients and are happy to make changes to meet that requirement. I have participated in a couple of local Chamber of Commerce meetings. I am open to handling some more of those shows if they are virtual and could assist in giving my brand a better voice considering the pandemic. The biggest drawback of the COVID-19 lock-downs has been not being able to visit lifelong friends who live quite a distance away.
If you are looking for assistance when it comes to mortgage services in Canada, connect with Canadian Easy Loans. We assist with mortgages and loans for small or medium businesses across Alberta. We understand the requirements of our clients and provide them with services to match them. We were in this line of work for some time and built relationships to meet all our clients’ needs. We can assist them in any way possible. If you are looking for a better understanding of the services that we provide, please click here. If you want to get in touch with us, please click here.