A mortgage broker in Christchurch said that the COVID-19 pandemic allowed her to show her values as a business owner.
For Maria Thackwell, owner of Maria Thackwell Mortgages, the lockdown period provided an opportunity to “reaffirm the human-centric values such as empathy and relatability which are at the core of her business operation.”
“Being in such a high-pressure industry as finance you need to understand the huge problems people are facing due to financial issues,” said Thackwell.
“People can react differently to how they normally would, but you know that it’s just due to the complex situation and you don’t take it personally.”
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During the lockdown, Thackwell and her team were able to transition to their home offices – however, she emphasised that video meetings are no substitute for face to face contact with clients, especially at the beginning of a professional relationship.
“We used social media and other avenues to let our clients know that we were still available and accessible to them via Zoom and other online platforms, said Thackwell.
“It’s wonderful to have this type of technology, but for me personally I found it was much harder to pick up on all the little signals including emotions and body language cues that you get when you have a face to face meeting. It was a really good for me to know that I won’t change my business model.”
Thackwell’s advice to businesses operating in a post-COVID world is to keep believing in the vision of their business and focus on their values, while also seeking expert advice.
“Believe in yourself and your business and stay true to your values. If you are following your values, then you have the tools to guide you through the both the good times and the difficult periods,” said Thackwell.
“You also need to get the right advice and seek help from experts outside your industry to give you new perspectives.”