Monday, December 04, 2006

Fishwives! Yet more idle gossip

FishwivesAnother rumour, another big Spanish real estate company. Apparently staff are not getting paid and offices seem to be shrinking.

If true, this would be the third of the bigger companies to experience difficulties. Interealty went tits up last year and Viva's recent dramatic policy shift was, presumably, brought about by a lack of coins in the piggy bank.

The market in Southern Spain has undoubtedly slowed significantly, and large companies have large overheads, so its not surprising if we see a degree of "rationalization". In my opinion ( for what its worth), companies that have done OK during this downturn, appear to belong to one or more of three types:

  • those that have stayed focused on their core market, refused the temptation to expand and kept overheads low.
  • those that have, conversely, embraced emerging markets (although watch out for a glut of resales in the near future).
  • those that have understood and exploited new media, ie the internet, where the cost per lead can still be incredibly low compared to traditional media, exhibitions and the like.
Invariably smaller firms find it easier to be flexible and adapt to changes in direction, plus any downsizing is fairly low profile and does not generally attract much comment. So take these observations as anecdotal, and remember that these are just my opinions.

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