Ariane Artinian, the chief editor of My Sweet'Immo interviewed VITRINEMEDIA's founder, Thibault Guillaume, during the lockdown. At the dawn of restrictions being eased, he explains how he organized his daily life in the face of the crisis and the lessons he wishes to draw from for the future of his company.
How do you manage a 15-year-old company with more than 250 employees which distributes its products and services in more than 40 countries around the world when a crisis of this magnitude hits the globe? We give you all the answers to these questions in the human and positive interview, by presenting its highlights below.
With the health crisis that has hit the entire world, Guillaume Thibault approached the situation philosophically: "It's an opportunity and it was beneficial because the real estate market (especially in Paris) was going completely mad. For our part, we were able to work differently and just as effectively on the topics that were truly important for the company. It's also a great opportunity to stay at home and spend time with my family, which is something I haven't been able to do for too long" (VITRINEMEDIA's offices are in the Paris area while Thibault lives in Montpellier).
Thanks to this forced retreat from his activity, Thibault Guillaume was able to count on a more efficient work organization: "Many of the habits acquired during the confinement will be kept, which will allow for a different way of managing the company. I realized that face-to-face meetings were obviously useful, but not as useful as I originally thought" he notably admitted to Ariane Artinian.
While the lockdown has made exchanges with real estate agencies more difficult, and those make up 80% of the company's clients, VITRINEMEDIA's founder foresees a bright future: "All this time has allowed us to think about what we could bring back to our clients. We have worked on new products and services, we have worked on a new website and a new CMS, and have even been able to complete a merger with VITRILIA DISPLAY". A tour de force in itself.
His secret to staying so optimistic? "Forgetting everything! And getting up every morning as if it were a new day. Follow your instincts to the maximum, and don't think for too long while standing still completely still". While continuing to rely on its 3 main pillars which have contributed to VITRINEMEDIA's success over the last 15 years: constantly adapting ("crises are not new and there will be more"), investing for the future ("hence the merger with VITRILIA") and joining forces ("whether the period is good or not, you have to gather good ideas around a common motivation").
What did Thibault Guillaume miss the most during containment? "Nothing! I'm glad the world has stopped a bit. It was necessary. Real estate is made up of cycles and the latest cycle had to end. It was necessary to calm people down to get back to normal, because economy is also ecology, which must be respected as much as possible."
Thibault was also able to work on his swing (he set up a driving range in his garden) and run for 30 to 45 minutes a day: "ideal to clear your head at the end of the day!" he shared.
And in the future? "I'm going to invest in real estate! It's something I've never done before, and at 47 I think it's time to start planning for my retirement."
And you, what reflections have you had during this lockdown? Which work arrangements have you changed and will you keep in the coming weeks? Feel free to share your good practices in the comments!