By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
A former Bahamas Real Estate Association (BREA) president yesterday said altering his business model was yielding signs of positive results, after ending a two-year “retreat” to his home office at Love Beach.
William Wong, head of William Wong & Associates, told Tribune Business the decision to re-establish a physical office presence back at Cable Beach was already yielding higher client inquiry volumes just three weeks into the move.
Explaining his response to a 50 per cent drop-off in business at the recession’s peak, Mr Wong said he decided to close down the company’s former office in a bid to slash overheards, with himself and his sales agents dispersing to work from their respective homes.
While that succeeded in cutting short-term costs, the past BREA president said the lack of “visibility” provided by a physical office presence had impacted business levels, prompting him to reverse course.
“I was operating from Love Beach in my home office, and found that just wasn’t working, so I returned back to Cable Beach,” Mr Wong told Tribune Business.
“That business plan was not working, so I had to get back into the hustle of things at Cable Beach. I’m optimistic that moving back to Cable Beach should improve things quite a bit.”
Mr Wong said he was hoping the move would “transform” business for his company, and added: “I needed higher visibility, so I checked into new offices at Cable Beach.
“Hopefully, with Baha Mar and the economy turning around, we should benefit when it happens. I’ve been here for three weeks, and there’s been a change, with people walking in and asking questions.
“There are more inquiries, the phone’s ringing a little bit more, so I’m hoping this is the right thing to do. Rentals are picking up more. With having a higher visibility and changing how we do things, hopefully we will see some results from being back at Cable Beach.”
Mr Wong told Tribune Business that his self-imposed stay at Love Beach had lasted two years. He explained: “In that slow period, when money was not coming in, I had to retreat for a while. “
Suggesting that business had dropped off by as much as 50 per cent at the recession’s peak, the ex-BREA chief added: “Sometimes the business model you have is not working, and you need to make some changes to it. That’s what we’re doing.
“We’re trying to re-energise ourselves to make some money. We had to retreat for a while, and now need to come back and charge ahead.”