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Leaders do not stagnate during a recession, but use as it as an opportunity to rethink their approach, explore new opportunities and build on strong strategies. This Forbes article taps into expert advice on making it work for your organization during the current crisis.

Advice on how to manage during the COVID-19 pandemic is coming at us from all angles. However, as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”

But, what does that mean for housing at the moment?

The current landscape is rapidly changing. During a recent presentation, Ali Wolf, chief economist at Meyers Research, said that the national unemployment rate rapidly shot up from 3.5% to around 14.0% in a matter of weeks and home sales are slowing after a strong start to the year. Her data shows a 46% drop in new home contracts from February to March as stay-at-home orders slowed builder traffic.

Wolf expects that normalizing will not be seamless, actually extending to around 18 months, for a variety of factors, including low consumer confidence due to lack of job security and the risk of exposure to the virus. Builders also report receiving notices from suppliers telling them to anticipate delays in the coming months, further slowing down construction.

So, how do we seize the day? How do we turn these difficult times into opportunity? I spoke with a slew of marketing geniuses from every aspect of the housing community and here is our collective advice.

Now is a great time to train your sales team and be ready for opportunities.

1. Before you do anything, survey and research to know exactly the head space of your customers.

2. Be Authentic. Intent can be felt, capitalize on integrity not crisis. Rebecca Horton, marketing director, RDL Architects.

3. Be positive and help clients understand this is not a time to stand still. The old adage, “if you aren’t growing, you are dying,” still rings true. They may need to pivot practices and reinvent the way they do business. Now is the time to help them plan and prepare. Online shopping used to be a nice-to-have, now it will become a necessity. Healthy products and personal well-being will likely become more and more important. Help clients think ahead and move ahead. Becoming their business partner is the goal. The sales will follow. Martha Capps, vice president of client experience, Hanley Wood Marketing

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