In a world of so much choice, trying to find a service or route to market that everyone can agree to, defining a clear vision of what you want to achieve against a backdrop of constant change can make the whole process of working collaboratively feel like an uphill struggle.
Conflicting views, needs and wants from each party can take a lot of management.
With the property industry in a state of flux, increased legislative oversight and a Government that seems intent on making the industry even more accountable, the challenges of collaboration can often feel overwhelming and you may start to question whether it’s all really worth it?!
But to continue to sell and rent out properties, we have to be willing to change or at least explore the options to work smarter, become more efficient either by leveraging skills, streamlining processes or bringing in the best in class to work collaboratively with to amplify our own services.
Many of us are in property to either realise a dream of owning our own agency, running a profitable service or bringing a business to scale to exit and maximise returns. But how does that all look and, in reality, work?
Managing everything in-house with all the associated costs of staff, systems and often outdated infrastructures, can cause us to lose focus and have an impact on the relationship between agent and customer.
So back office support needs to be streamlined with plugged-in services that make the front office function, and it’s day to day management, easy. This will leave agents to focus on supporting the customer. Gas certificates, floor plans, marketing, property management and reports; the list of potential services and collaboration opportunities goes on!
But to be able to deliver this customer centric model, agents need to look at who or what can provide those core functions and services.
Agents with an eye on the future are likely to lead the change with a hybrid model of plugged-in options, the most successful having streamlined services by using collaboration partners and platforms with open minds and API’s.
But how will that look?
I think the key is to concentrate on or do what you are good at and outsource all other roles and tasks to those more qualified, more experienced, to service providers who are cost efficient and will get the job done.
Finding a great supplier isn’t challenging, and working with them asynchronously, being kept informed without having to ask or prompt, is now a role already played by the tech-led relationships that many of us have already brokered.
An integration, collaboration partner or service is the ‘A class’ ideal we all look for. That one person, company or provider that will deliver a seamless service as well as a good return on your investment.
But in determining the value collaborative working can bring, we need to be aware of what our own goals are.
Measuring your goals
A term I have only recently become aware of (I am no marketer by the way) is the North Star metric.
For those not yet in the know; the North Star metric is a measurement that is considered the most predictive of a company’s long term success or that uses the metric as a focus for growth.
The way to understand this, in more simple terms, is that there are 3 things that each metric must have to fully realise it’s purpose.
The metric must:
- lead to revenue
- reflect customer value, and
- measure progress
Amazon’s North Star metric is based on the number of products they move on a monthly basis. Airbnb the number of nights booked.
To get to that number, each business or service must deliver on a number of smaller measures that link and drive the key metric to the end point (star). So for the property industry, metrics are likely to be:
- Lettings agents – the number of tenancies, number of landlords on the books, or limiting the number of voids.
- Estate agents – the number of properties in the pipeline, sales either agreed or completed.
But to be able to reach that pinnacle (the star at the end of the light) there is a lot of work and process involved.
No one wants to be stuck doing the boring ‘adminy stuff’ like adding data onto CRM’s or carrying out inventory reports of inspections when time could be better spent on meeting monthly growth targets that ultimately contribute to the Christmas bonus!
We all know that relationships between provider and customer are equally vital when it comes to service provision. They need to be based on trust as consumers know what they want and more importantly, expect when it comes to personalisation of a service.
Everyone is so much more tech savvy nowadays so assurance is needed that the mechanisms embedded in the software are reliable, efficient, scalable and maximises efficiencies to gain that all important edge on the competition.
Inventory Base Connect
This is our glimpse into the future of how CollaborationTech can work, how it will provide frictionless services and aid communication by digitising the property journey, creating convenience and ultimately a greater return on investment.
But as we all know, service doesn’t stop at delivery – it is a continual cycle of innovation, learning, development, implementation, quality assurance, support and of course, collaboration.
CollaborationTech like Inventory Base Connect that allows users to work with approved suppliers is one of the ways to achieve this ambition and will underpin the success of smooth, asynchronous, transactional relationships as the industry continues to develop and grow.
CollaborationTech – The Future of Estate Agency?
In a word, yes. But in order to collaborate on a level playing field and maximise the opportunities, we all need to ‘up our game’ and challenge ourselves to provide solutions that meet the needs of our customer base and find the ‘best fit’ for users.