How to make your letting agency's values a Unique Selling Point (USP)
Handling different audiences across different branches is a challenge that many letting and estate agencies face. While your agency should tailor its approach to deliver the right service, aligned staff values will keep all branches heading in the right direction and could become a Unique Selling Point (USP), says estate agency James Laurence.
"Our city centre branch deals with 90% apartments, but the Edgbaston area is an eclectic range of properties, including larger houses," says Andy McHugo, Associate Director at Birmingham-based estate and letting agency, James Laurence. "The professionals want to be close to work, while those on the outskirts want to be closer to the QE Hospital and other facilities."
Diverse landlord and tenant profiles, same brand values
These varied tenant profiles are reflected in how landlord demographics change across the agency's different locations, requiring different types and levels of service in each area. "In the suburbs, investors want to be hands on; city centre investors will leave you to it," says Andy.
"Some investors never even see the property in the city. We'll do the hard work for them, and simply discuss over the phone, while they can be on the other side of the world.
"It's just a different dynamic completely in our two branches. Some agencies would pick up their one branch, and then replicate it in other towns. Ours are very different from each other."
When your audiences are this different and need different approaches to meet customer demands, keeping hold of your company and staff values becomes more significant.
This is what will keep your agency's branches aligned and create a sense of consistency, something which can often become a Unique Selling Point (USP) for your brand.
"Old-school values with a new-school way of working and thinking is what James Laurence brings," says Andy. "Probably a bit cliche to say that, but we do have a dynamic approach, and I'd like to think we are all genuine people who love doing what they're doing in the property industry."
Recruit the right lettings staff
Setting up a strong, thorough recruitment process is essential to find those people with the same intrinsic values to maintain that USP. Even if it takes time, you want to pick the right people so they'll stay motivated and be there for the long haul. "I generally go through quite a few interviews to find out they're the right people that we want," says Andy.
"We need our staff to reflect our beliefs, dedication, and passion - the three things that I would say should be everywhere, but often are harder to find in the frantic city centre. The centre is a niche audience and market. It can be fast moving, and it's important that we keep that professionalism and that genuine, dedicated approach."
The agency ensures that levels of expertise and a willingness to learn are reflected everywhere too - although Andy finds that a local level of knowledge can of course be an asset, especially with such stark differences across branches.
"It's that blend of finding people that have local knowledge, are in the industry already and people that are new to it - but making sure that they're all willing to get stuck in and learn."
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