View from the Summit

Our 2017 Summit Group enters the final quarter of the most intense programme in estate agency business development. In total each of the ten members will have implemented a minimum of 36 actions using the “People, Systems, Brand” model I developed 20 years ago that still is the foundation of our advanced leadership work.

As we begin to set up for the 2018 programme I’ve applied our www.www.ebi model (what worked well, what went wrong, even better if) to our members’ businesses and note these key areas that every estate agency needs to address.

In simple terms there aren’t enough of the right people doing the right work in estate agency today. The average income of managers and negotiators is considerably lower than when I entered the industry and consequently the average team is, well, average at best. To compensate, many of the responsibilities have been centralised which has actually compounded the issue as the work is less varied and therefore less fulfilling and in turn less attractive. It’s time for a rethink and my prescription for most agencies is to have specialists in each role. The front line should only be focussed on business generation and conversion – Prospecting, Listing, Selling/Letting. That’s it, nothing else. They should be supported by two teams – one to handle all marketing and inbound enquiries and the other to deliver sales/letting progression and property management. A fourth team handling Finance, IT, HR, etc. (Operations) can be added as the business grows.

In order to support a team structure like this there needs to be systems and processes that are seamless. In particular the CRM database must be able to treat all customers as four dimensional rather than separate sales and lettings set ups. The frontline and backroom teams must be able to see what each is doing and the contact each is having with clients. On top of this it’s essential to employ the useful tech the consumer wants, (and not the shiny gizmos they don’t), such as viewings and appointment diaries.

There are four brands in total but most businesses only focus on the consumer facing one. Additionally the brand needs to appeal to talent and investors. There’s also the personal/leadership brand. This is a major area of work for many business owners to address. The last quarter of the year is a good time for a brand audit and review for the next year.

We’ve just started our recruitment for the 2018 Summit Group. It’s limited to just 10 members, is a full year commitment and is highly intensive. It’s most definitely not for everyone but if you’re serious about taking your business to the highest level and truly fulfilling your personal and business potential then it might be worth you giving me a call.

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