“Who had this on their Bingo card?” is an over-used phrase these days – but really…who had any of this on their 2020 bingo card??? When I was planning for 2020 last Fall, I thought by June, we would be close to or moved into a new office. I also thought we would be printing up fresh new marketing, branding and talking about GrandView transitioning to the future. Well, those things have been delayed just like a lot of things in all of our lives. While I am always pushing change at GrandView, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.
It’s been more than 100 days since the GrandView team went remote and set up our offices in our homes. For the most part, it has been great. We haven’t had too many issues because we do almost everything in “the cloud” and we’ve been using video conference for clients that couldn’t always meet in person. Everyone likes the flexibility, dressing casually and showering/working out in the middle of the day. One of the great things we started is a quick check-in meeting each morning at 8:30. Back in my hospitality days, all the hotels I worked with did this – Ritz Carlton is famous for it – and I have wanted to implement the practice at GrandView. We will never not have this meeting.
Most everyone knows that we have moved except we moved into storage and still working out of our homes. The new building is coming along but we have a few more weeks before we settle in. I thought about extending our lease around mid-February because it was looking like we would not be able to get into the new office until the end of June. As the days went by, I realized that we were not going to be able to meet with clients anyway, so we let our lease run out and packed all our stuff in the attic and basement of the new office. While we get to move 2 times, we have saved some rent which is good financial planning.
We’ve had a couple of staff changes since going remote. Aaron left for another opportunity right after we went into quarantine. Debbie is no longer with us as of June. Alisha Lane, our UAB intern over the last 9 months, graduated in May (one of those Class of 2020 grads) and started with us full time. We have also had an advisor join us out of the Oxford Anniston area. Jake Pollard has several years of experience in the industry in the bank channel and has returned to the independent side of the business after a couple of years working in healthcare. You can read more about Jake here.
I plan for us to stay lean and mean for a while. The outlook on the economy is still uncertain and while GrandView is fine, I want to keep us that way and not overextend ourselves. We are looking at some different programs to use for scheduling and texting with clients. LPL has several technology upgrades planned for this year – also delayed but should be implemented in the coming months. We are looking at a scheduling app (for clients who want to use it) where one of us on the team sends out a link via email. You will be able to look at our calendar and find a time that works for you. This should eliminate much of the back and forth we have done in the past. We plan to implement this for the entire team. We are still in the experimental phase but will be able to implement this a little at a time.
I’m not going to lie, y’all. These last few months have been tough. We’ve made a lot of hard decisions and worked like crazy to keep things as normal as possible through a health crisis, financial crisis, on-going transformative social changes, construction project and a move into storage. It’s been a roller coaster of emotions. I am so grateful to the team for sticking with it and pushing through as well as we have. I/we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help.
I’m excited for GrandView’s future and where we are going. The path and the timing may not be exactly like I am planning it, but I know we will get there.