With all the debate surrounding so called on-line estate agencies director Richard Murray of leading Veco™ property software provider Eurolink warns: “The screws are tightening and ‘traditional’ estate agents need to be alert to the threat of the new competition and even more so retain control of costs in the face of emerging disruptive innovation.”
Richard continues: “At Eurolink, we are often called in to estate agencies to find solutions to cutting costs, increasing productivity and gaining competitive advantage and we find that simple changes can make a huge difference.
“Agents should become increasingly tech-savvy in order to meet growing customer expectations and competition from on-line competitors. Putting a more immediate and personalised service at the forefront together with the correct software solution can play a significant role in improving productivity, efficiency and service delivery.”
After spending more than 20 years providing property professionals with relevant advice and cost-effective products and services, Eurolink is well placed within the industry to highlight the key areas businesses should develop in order to generate greater efficiency and increased market share.
Richard continues: “In these times your offering needs to provide more for less – that is, less cost to you the estate agent and less cost to the customer. Innovative technology can improve business decision-making and, ultimately, customer service, which is one of the benefits of IT advances of the last few decades.”
Eurolink’s top tips for an efficient, cost effective, market leading property business are:
1. Automation: Streamline your processes, in particular, the repetitive manual ones such as emailing property particulars or client statements which take up valuable time that is better spent on negotiating and closing deals.
2. Setup a solid IT infrastructure: Ensure your systems and website are functional, reliable and easy to navigate and that staff are well trained in using them. “The more time your staff spend calling the software firms helpdesk is time missed dealing with prospective customers” says Richard.
3. Maintain a dependable IT support network: Use a reputable IT support provider to ensure consistently quick access to data and to prevent being caught out when systems or internet lines go down.
4. Keep staff knowledge up to date: Provider regular training sessions and news updates for staff, advising them of new legislation changes, and local events and your key point of difference from local or on-line competitors, and how these might affect business practice and your varied client base.
5. Customer Relationship Management: Ensure that your software application and website can deliver all of the relevant contact information for every individual client you deal with. Understanding who the person is and what they mean to your business will ensure that all potential opportunities can be explored.
6. Integration: Utilise one software and website provider for both your sales and lettings work. This allows for the cross sharing of customer data, reduced data storage and is cost effective (you only pay for one license, one support team etc.)
7. Familiarity: Implement a software system that is familiar to your staff, as a complicated and unfamiliar interface will make adoption difficult. A product like Veco™ allows for easy navigation and will mean staff take less time to embrace the latest and most innovative technology.
8. Organisation of data: A complete software solution allows your business to free itself from the restraints of filing cabinets and is also environmentally friendly.
9 Streamline customer communications: Link your network phone system to your software solution to enhance customer communications by delivering a fast and knowledgeable service.
10. Security: Store data in a secure software storage facility. Information can still be easily accessed by authorised staff and access can be monitored.