Four ways to bring value to your agency through reinvestment

    18 November 2020

    Sussex-based estate and lettings agency, Michael Jones, is always looking at ways to reinvest in its own business, and others, to grow and boost its activities. Here are four areas where it’s seen success.

    “In this ever evolving marketplace, you need more and more investment into your business to stay ahead of the curve,” says Mark Howell, Group Lettings Manager at Michael Jones & Company - and he shares how investing in different ways can help you get the best results.

    Investing in people

    Investing in your staff can ensure higher levels of customer service, especially if you’re dealing with high volumes, such as those experienced when lockdown was first lifted.

    “We've got a really strong management team set up,” says Mark. “A lot of agents have one or two people in property management trying to deal with everything. We've really reinvested back into the business to create a strong property management team so we're able to give customers that extra layer of service to deal with a large portfolio.”

    Investing in technology

    Investing in people doesn’t mean neglecting the technology that can help that team become more efficient in busy periods, and help them stay safe with a hands-off approach. “Investing in Goodlord this year, was a big thing for us, which helped us to deal with extra volumes and exponentially grow without having to employ lots of extra people,” says Mark.

    This type of cloud-based technology, moving the admin side of the lettings process online, helped increase the time that Michael Jones’ team can spend with its customers. “We’ve introduced some automation to our processes, coupled with our good customer service, so we’ve been able to then focus more on our service elements and not have to spend too much time on administration.”

    Investing in marketing

    Technology can also support other business activities, as Michael Jones discovered. It invested in marketing to make its agency stand out from the crowd - with a solution which has become a unique selling point during lockdown.

    “In lettings, we're the only company in Sussex to offer virtual property tours on every property as part of our standard offering,” says Mark. “I believe most agents charge for that service, whereas we provide the 3D tours for free, as our focus is to offer a great customer experience, offering as much detail and help as possible.”

    Investing in letting portfolios

    The agency has recently acquired Symonds & Reading, to build its lettings portfolio. “We’re particularly interested in investing in lettings books,” says Mark. “We have an ambitious target to grow our portfolio and would be open to investing in various locations providing it fits within our existing business model”.

    Mark is also positive about the opportunities available in the current market. “The lettings market is currently buoyant with many books looking quite healthy,” says Mark. “We’re hearing from people who’ve previously experienced a downfall earlier in the year and don’t wish to experience it again, and some are simply looking to retire - there may be businesses who’d like to sell whilst they’re in a stronger position right now and, if there are, we’d certainly be open to discuss opportunities.”

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