Covid Top 10.
We’re running a series of webinars for our members featuring the changes leading agents and suppliers have made during the last 4 months and the impact they’ve had.
No two are identical but there are ten themes that have developed which I’m pleased to share with you all this morning.
- It’s not one thing alone. Each business has changed lots of things, some big but more small. It’s the combination that’s causing the substantial improvement.
- Fees have increased. Typically, Property Academy members are charging 30% more than before lockdown. Few report any pushback, more report an increase in market share rather than a fall. Some are charging a non-refundable, upfront marketing fee and one member reports that 90% of clients now accept this.
- All have embraced tech to automate their systems. Additionally, outsourcing has become much more accepted and is integral to their business operations.
- The biggest challenge is recruiting talent. Despite reports of job cuts, higher unemployment, etc., really good people are hard to find and are in high demand. One agent has just raised basic salaries for consultants (some of you still use the title negotiator for the role) to £30,000 and switched from individual to team commission – since these changes every month has been a record breaker, not just in deals agreed but in customer satisfaction, reviews and referrals. As you can imagine, he’s receiving a stampede of people beating a path to his door.
- The best firms have all addressed their deadwood people and found ways for them to seek success elsewhere. The reality of how overstaffed some firms have been has been exposed by 3 people doing the work of 6 or more during the furlough period. To quote the culture deck webinar we put on recently: “One outstanding person does more work and costs less than two adequate ones. Only have outstanding people.” That’s how you can afford to pay £30,000 basics by having fewer but much better people.
- Cost reviews have revealed just how many unnecessary suppliers and unused products agents have accumulated over the years. Working with Kerfuffle, one of our members identified £60,000 in savings, the smallest amount found to date has been £8,700.
- Training has increased during the period. Now before you say, “oh you’re bound to say that as a training business….” I’m not referring to the leadership and business improvement work that we do, (although our membership has increased*), but frontline training and development (which we tend not to do so much of these days).
- Business leaders are much more decisive (yes or no) and implementation is far more rigorous than before. Sure some mistakes have been made but these are far offset by the benefits that swift action and full adoption are delivering.
- Leaders are much calmer. Let’s be blunt, some went a bit headless as the crisis emerged but all have settled down and I believe they will be much calmer when faced with challenges in the future. “Calmness is more appreciated when there is a tsunami than when the sea is calm.” Alain Bejjani (via Josh Phegan)
- Maybe the biggest trend of all is the change in mindset. So many of our business leaders have realised that the old ways, even those that generated a positive result, were far too often far too hard work. That’s not to say they’re coasting, as I often quote from the “Rules: The Way of the Cycling Disciple”, “Rule #10, It never gets easier, you just go faster.” Our members are working as hard as ever but on the right things, with the right people and the right partners and that’s delivering record breaking results in every aspect of agency.
*Right now, we have 1-2 vacancies in three of our Membership Groups (Lettings Leadership, EA Leadership, Supplier Leadership). If you’d like to experience membership then please get in touch, either email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me on 01372 372372.
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