Who could have known, in advance, what kind of a year 2020 would turn out to be?
A pandemic, a global recession, and then inside the same 12 months, a strong rebound in international equity markets. It was a rollercoaster of challengesfor all of us, on personal and business levels. And yet, when reviewing the2020 year, we see numerous indicators of growth for our business. You read that correctly - During the 2020 COVID year Forbury was able to thrive. But how?
Like every business, in March and April of 2020, we took stock of our business plans.
Like many businesses, we embraced the use of zoom and teams. We stayed connected within our own team and we aimed to not only maintain, but increase, connections with existing customers and new customers interested in our products. We ran 11 webinars and lunch-and-learn sessions online. We also offered online training sessions so our customers could continue to upskill in their use of our tools.
We continued to receive strong support from our existing customers, and in addition we welcomed 22 new customers during the 2020 year.
Our customer retention rate came through as a shining star, with the realization that 99.5% of our customers choose to stay on board with us.
We noted an increased frequency of valuations for commercial real estate. In response tothis, we hired 10 new staff. This continues to enable us to support our customers and to meet the trust, efficiency, and simplicity our customers expect in our solutions.
Another increase was in the number of valuation calculations running through our Forbury servers. In 2020 we reached an average of 1,000 valuations per day.
We introduced to market a Comparisons tool to advance the property analytics of our service. We released a Development appraisal product and continue to expand on our own Cloud-based Security Solution. Our Sharing network had its’ first full year of life, which equated to 500 shares. (Side note: What a collectively massive time saver!) We also introduced e-learning so our customers can upskill in Forbury anytime.
With all the increases noted above, as testament to our growth, we received an endorsement from the New Zealand Government, with grant funding approved.
In 2020 we undertook market research opportunities and built out our strategy forbusiness expansion into new markets globally. In this area, we did note what we’ve heard referred to as the COVID enabler or accelerator effect; with increased interest and zoom call acceptance from new customers.
As we reflect back now, after the close of the 1st quarter of 2021, we’re noting that we’re well-funded, with exciting projects in the pipeline. We’re looking forward to opportunities presented by technology enabled channel partnerships. Our focused team is ready to continue to support our customers and to progress with this period of rapid growth for Forbury!