Dream of speedier selling times, simpler processes and happier clients? Discover how becoming more agile can give you the edge you need to succeed.
It's a challenging time for estate agents. With surging inflation, rising borrowing costs and squeezed profit margins, pressure is mounting on all sides. Trying to predict the future is a fool's game right now, but one thing is certain. To navigate these complex and turbulent times, estate agents must be ready to respond and adapt quickly to whatever the market throws their way.
If you're not all that familiar with the term agile or this is the first time you've ever heard of it, this post covers everything from what agile is to how it can help your agency become more adaptable, collaborative and efficient.
Agile has continued to grow in popularity since it first hit the business world over 20 years ago (read more about its rapid rise to fame here). Considered both a mindset and a methodology, it started out in life in the tech world as a way to speed up and improve how software was developed. Today it is widely used across many industries to improve adaptability, increase collaboration and help businesses deliver the most competitive customer experience possible.
“Agile is non-linear. It focuses on flexibility, collaboration between team members, and delivering consistent value to stakeholders. With each iteration comes new, actionable insights into what's working, what isn't, and what needs to change." (source: Agile 101 by Sean Blake, Head of Marketing at EasyAgile)
Adopting agile could answer your prayers if, like most estate agents, you are dealing with complex and convoluted processes, multiple contributors, and a whole host of different tools.
Becoming more agile can help you:
Keep everyone on the same page and working to achieve the same goal
Stay in sync with customer needs and priorities
Quickly spot and remove obstacles to progress
Build stronger customer and industry relationships
Improve completion times and boost revenue!
All sounds great, right?
But where do you start?
To help you on your way, here are five simple steps every estate agent can take to become more agile.
Communication issues are cited as one of the top causes of customer complaints to the Property Ombudsman. It's clear that more can be done to improve how estate agents communicate with customers. But wait, what's this got to do with being agile?
The whole premise of agile is improving continuously. As an agent, one of the best ways to do this is to stay up to speed with changing customers' priorities and needs. In practical terms, this could mean calling customers for a chat to find out how everything is going instead of waiting on an issue to prompt a call. Focusing on quality interactions that build mutual trust in the relationship will help minimise nasty surprises on either side!
If you don't ask for feedback, you are flying blind. Instead of seeing feedback as opening the door to more headaches and complaints, look at it as a powerful source of intel to drive your agency forward.
What's going well? What could be improved? Also, remember feedback loops can be positive as well as negative. If you make it easy for your customers and team members to open up to you, they will more likely to share their good experiences too.
From posting new listings, arranging viewings, and chasing progress updates, not to mention the endless paperwork, there is never enough time in the day for busy agents. That's why getting the most out of your morning team meeting is essential.
Some best practices for a successful daily meeting include;
If possible, stand up; it will help keep everyone focused (and healthier too!)
Create an agenda and stick to it as much as possible
Invest in a sizeable whiteboard and use it to showcase challenges, goals and new opportunities
Be inclusive; always make sure there's a video link for remote workers
Respect people's time - start the meeting early and wrap it up on time
Struggling with an agenda? Take inspiration from software giant Atlassian, who use three simple questions to keep things focused:
What did I work on yesterday?
What am I working on today?
What issues are blocking me?
There's a saying in the software world that technology is only as good as the people using it. That's why it's crucial to arm your team with the knowledge and skills to get the most out of the tools they use every day. Remember, technology is there to solve a problem, not create more. With this in mind, ask yourself the following:
How many tools are your team using? Too many?
What value are they getting from them—if any?
What could be improved to make your tools better? (invite your team's feedback)
Is adequate support and training in place to get the most out of them?
To be adaptable, you need to see change as an opportunity to grow and improve. Of course, it can be disruptive and daunting, especially in uncertain times. But it can also open the door to many new and exciting things for your business. There's a lot of positive change already afoot in the property market, so why not get ahead? Now is not the time to stand still.
Change starts with you. Think about what you want it to look like for your business, and drive it forward, leading by example.
When change doesn't go to plan, use it as a chance to grow, learn and improve—this is one of agile's most important principles.
Being an estate agent can be challenging, especially when the market throws a few extra curve balls for good measure. But, you will be better prepared to face any challenge by being more agile. Not only will you be able to remove roadblocks faster for customers, but you will also be able to support them better throughout the transaction journey, increasing your chances of success.
Remember, agile is an ongoing journey. There's no endpoint or magic moment when you will suddenly become agile. It will take time and commitment, but it will bring many rewards if you persevere. The most important thing is to look for small ways to improve every day, adapt as you go, and embrace change at every opportunity. That's got to be better for everyone.
Have you got what it takes to be an agile estate agency?
If you haven't already, check out our short quiz and find out how agile your agency already is.
With instant updates and real-time collaboration, Coadjute enables fast, informed decision-making at every stage of the transaction journey. By connecting with Coadjute, your agency will be able to adapt quickly to changing customer needs, identify and resolve transaction problems quickly, and open up new business opportunities.
See Coadjute in action for yourself, check out this video.