Digital transformation has changed the way real estate Stockdale and Leggo operates, COO Anna Thomas shares their story.
With a wave of new agencies entering the real estate market, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd. An increase in the number of agencies means an increase in competition, which makes customer service more important than ever. But with so much at stake, what can smaller agencies do to compete with the major players?
At Stockdale and Leggo, we recently underwent an organisation-wide technological overhaul, which saw the introduction of our new state-of-the-art digital platform. Rolling out the new technology was no easy feat, and the process required many months of careful consultation and collaboration. Yet we have already begun to experience some monumental improvements in how we operate as a business.
Originally our mission was to find a way to unify our franchises and offer them a higher level of independence and autonomy within their businesses. We sought to design a platform that would streamline our systems and digitise our processes, however what we ended up achieving has provided so much more. Ultimately, our new system supports agents in returning to what matters most – connecting with customers.
My experience in the industry has taught me that real estate, and any business really, is just as much about the people as it is about the product or service, and I believe that being able to build strong customer relationships is essential to business success. Here are my three examples of how technology can help you improve your connection with customers and stay one step ahead of the competition.
More time to spend with customers
When we rolled out our new system, our franchises were able to automate a series of processes which enabled them to cut back on manual tasks and paperwork. This, in turn, allowed agents far more free time to spend on connecting with clients and improving customer relationships. Rather than being tied to the office, our agents now have additional flexibility to get out into the field and focus on the overall customer experience. I would argue that building the right relationships is the single most important aspect of an agent’s career, and providing an exceptional service will always lead to repeat business further down the track.
Improve ongoing communication
Technology can also play a large part in how you communicate with your wider audience. When used correctly, technology can help you start an online conversation that shapes how your business is perceived, while also assisting in attracting new customers. Popular social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter can help you connect with your audience in an instant, with targeted posts allowing you to reach your ideal customer demographic. Automated email marketing is another excellent option for real estate agents, as it allows you to stay in regular contact with past customers on a regular basis, all with minimal effort.
Rapid response time
Real estate agents have a reputation for a lack of urgency when it comes to response times, and over the years it has become one of the most common customer complaints within the industry. Let’s face it, no one likes to be kept waiting, and it doesn’t leave a good impression. Technological improvements can help agents automate responses and keep abreast of all of their customer enquiries, enabling them to respond at a much more rapid pace which results in happy customers and a far less stressed and overwhelmed agent.
Fundamentally, real estate is a people business, and while market trends may ebb and flow, good customer service will never go out of style. By working out which technologies are best for your business, and making an actionable plan to incorporate it into your workplace, you encourage your agents to put their best foot forward and deliver a level of service that speaks volumes.