When real estate professionals have to downsize due to a downturn in the market, they sometimes make the error of turning highly professional responsibilities over to a valued employee who – while truly stellar in their field of expertise – is rarely trained in the complexities of the tasks demanded by a completely different role. For example, while your business development rep may be highly proficient at bringing in orders from a competitive market, they may have no idea how to navigate the intricacies of creating and managing a marketing and social media plan. Rather than burden a great employee with work they can at best only stumble through in their downtime, consider outsourcing tasks that require specific expertise. Benefits of outsourcing in a downturn There are a lot of advantages to outsourcing in general but let's focus on three that are specific to managing business requirements in a recession. Cost savings Let's start with the obvious. If you have full-time work for a full-time employee, that is probably cost effective. But when that work is cut in half, it may make more sense to outsource the work, even if it is only for the short term. In addition, one great advantage of outsourcing to a company who is focusing only on one aspect is that they are well-prepared to grow with your particular needs, so there is no worry about losing momentum as the market starts to gear up again. Must have There are some tasks within a title agency that you can temporarily suspend when cutting costs, but there are others that are absolutely mandatory to meet legal and regulatory requirements. If some area of your work has diminished to a point where you are no longer in need of a full-time employee in that position, but you absolutely must have this work managed, outsourcing to a competent third-party provider allows you to maintain the high standards demanded. Reducing errors The title insurance industry is highly specialized and takes years of training to manage much of the complex work. And as everyone in the industry knows, you can't hire someone out of college with the requisite skills to reduce salary costs in a recession. The curriculum doesn't yet exist to provide a ready-made title expert. However, you may be able to outsource to a firm who handles specific tasks you may need help with or identify a highly experienced person who has retired who is willing to step in as contractor. Either way, the important thing is to ensure you have the most competent person handling the task to reduce potential errors an untrained in-house person would no doubt commit. And finally, downsizing your agency in a recession is stressful for everyone. Your team no doubt wants to pitch in wherever necessary and you may end up with some employees over-committing to tasks while neglecting their own important role within the agency. This can only lead to burnout of your most valued staff when you need them the most. Collaborating with your staff to determine what to outsource and what can be more easily managed in-house will create a cohesion to the plan and sufficient buy-in to make it successful. At Positively Balanced, we offer many services that could be of tremendous help to you as you navigate an uncertain market in 2024, including, bookkeeping, escrow reconciliation, positive pay, audit preparation, and escheatment of unclaimed property.