Ariane Artinian, editor-in-chief of MY Sweet'Immo, interviewed Thibault Guillaume, the founder of VITRINEMEDIA, during the lockdown.
On the eve of the recovery, he explains how he organised his daily life in the face of the crisis and the lessons he hopes to learn for the future of his company.
How does one manage a 15 year old company with over 250 employees that distributes its products and services in over 40 countries around the world when a crisis of such magnitude hits the globe?
We give you all the answers to these questions in the human and positive interview, of which we present you the main moments below.
With the health crisis affecting the whole world, Thibault Guillaume welcomed the situation philosophically: "It's a chance and it was good because the real estate market (especially in Paris) was going completely crazy. On our side, we were able to work differently and just as effectively on the subjects that are really important for the company.
It's also a great opportunity to stay at home and spend time with my family, which I personally haven't been able to do for too long" (VITRINEMEDIA's offices are in the Paris region while Thibault lives in Montpellier).
Thanks to this forced hindsight on his activity, Thibault Guillaume was able to count on a more efficient work organisation: "Many of the habits acquired during the confinement will be kept, which will allow a different management of the company. I realised that the face-to-face meeting was obviously useful, but not as useful as I had originally thought," he told Ariane Artinian.
While the confinement did not facilitate exchanges with estate agencies, which make up 80% of the company's clients, the founder of VITRINEMEDIA sees a bright future ahead:
"This whole period has allowed us to think about what we could bring to our customers. We worked on new products and services, worked on a new website and a new CMS, and were even able to complete a merger with VITRILIA DISPLAY. A tour de force in itself.
His secret to maintaining such optimism?
"Forget everything! And get up every morning as if it were a new day. Follow your instincts as much as possible, and don't think for too long in total immobility.
All the while continuing to rely on the three main pillars that have made VITRINEMEDIA a success over the last 15 years: to adapt constantly ("crises are not new and there will be others"), to invest for the future ("hence the merger with VITRILIA") and to join forces ("whether the period is good or not, you have to gather the good ideas around a common motivation")
What did Thibault Guillaume miss the most during the confinement?
"Nothing! I'm glad the world stopped for a bit. It was necessary. Real estate is made up of cycles and the latest cycle had to end. It was necessary to calm the spirits to start again on a normal rhythm, because the economy is also the ecology, which must be respected as much as possible."
Thibault has also been able to work on his swing (he has installed a practice range in his garden) and to run for 30 to 45 minutes a day: "ideal for clearing the 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 preparing for my retirement."
And you, what reflections will this confinement have given you? What work solutions have you changed and will you keep in the coming weeks? Don't hesitate to share your best practices in the comments!