Where is your focus?

During BlueSky Tokyo, Australia’s number one EA coach, Josh Phegan, said: “you can either focus on your customer or your competition, but not both.” And I agree, although I’d go further and be more direct and say, “you should be focussing on your customer and not your competition.”

Currently too many EAs are spending too much time looking over their shoulders to see what their competitors are doing. Sure you need to be aware of their new developments but for some it appears to have become an obsession and I wonder what might ensue if this same energy and effort was directed towards their own businesses and even more their customers?

At BlueSky we discussed a number of ways to become more customer focussed – you might like to consider these suggestions too:

1. Hold customer focus groups. Invite different types of customers such as first time landlords, portfolio landlords, first time sellers, experienced sellers, buyers and tenants to attend different sessions to help design an improved service.

2. Carry out mystery shops. We’re currently undertaking 50,000, nearly every single branch in the country will be shopped 2-4 times, and the lessons are many and varied. And quite serious for many EAs; more on that in future issues.

3. Hold your own BlueSky event. You don’t need to go to Tokyo, (although I highly recommend it as a place to fire your imagination and creativity), but go ‘off-site’ and reimagine how your business could be.

4. To make your BlueSky event even better, hire a professional facilitator, (the Property Academy’s trusted advisors for example), and maybe include some external input from your marketing agencies or other resources.

5. Visit other industries to learn from them. In Tokyo we visited Transit, a brilliant company that’s opened 90 restaurants with a dozen different brands and is truly market aware, (they pick the brand to suit each location or they find exactly the right location for each brand).

6. Go to art galleries, museums, exhibitions and lectures with the specific intent to seek ideas for customer improvement. For example, I learned some new ways of presentation at the Kyoto Museum of Modern Art.

7. Become your own customer. Register as a buyer/tenant and monitor every communication – every text, phone message, email and just see and feel what it’s like to do business with you.

What you pay attention to becomes important. Make sure you’re focussing on the important things – your team and your customers – and let your competitors obsess about you.

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