How to streamline your processes and equip your team for success with the right suppliers
The estate and letting agencies that carefully select the right technology suppliers for their business can help their staff reach their full potential, with streamlined processes, cost savings - and a better customer experience, as this extract from our e-book, How to maximise your agency's potential, demonstrates.
"We ensure that we invest heavily in using the most current, up-to-date and efficient proptech that's out there. You can provide a great service with really good staff, but if you haven't got the systems to back that up, then you're falling short," says Beth Perry, Operations Director at Zest Sales and Lettings. "I think it's a combination of things coming together, having great staff, and using intuitive technology. That's really the forefront of the property industry."
The most effective and agile businesses supply their staff with the right technology suppliers, to help them reach their full potential. A recent Gartner study says that "people are still at the center of all business - and they need digitised processes to function in today’s environment." Integrating the right technology solutions at the core of your business can often create the most productive and efficient teams, streamlining processes and helping staff to perform at their best.
Technology took a front seat in the move to working from home in particular, as businesses recognised its importance for non-office based work. "That will be a focus for landlords going forward - the efficiency and ability of an agency to continue to run and work from anywhere," says Christopher Toynbee at Redmayne, Arnold & Harris. "If I'm a landlord with an agency that didn't have cloud-based software, I might be thinking: am I with the right agency right now?"
Tips for choosing the right tech suppliers for your agency
Cloud-based software means that you can access services through the internet. When choosing this type of online solution, efficiencies kick in from day one. The core function and automatic updates of the solution you choose will smooth out your processes for short and long-term time saving - and you'll avoid the initial, timely installation of complex systems and hardware.
From CRMs to communication, digital-first agencies who were already set up on cloud-based systems saw little disruption to their activities. "We already had cloud-based property management software, so we can all access that from wherever we are, pick up our emails, we've got VoIP phones so we can answer them remotely," says Sara Grey, Lettings Manager at the Ripley and Horsley-based Wills & Smerdon. "It was quite an easy transition."
Be selective and review your existing suppliers
For some businesses, the pandemic offered a chance to see where their current processes fell down. Since the start of the pandemic, 48 percent of UK businesses have phased out software that they found was no longer fit for purpose.
"We're narrowing down our process with technology solutions," says Lucy Woodall, Lettings Negotiator at College & County. "Our whole process has just been much, much quicker this year from start to finish, from tenants applying or enquiring, to actually sending the draft agreements and signing."
Follow the money for cost savings
Using the right technology can create a streamlined and fast-moving business. Your staff will save time. Your agency can then save money, as Christopher Toynbee has seen at Redmayne Arnold & Harris. “From a business perspective, we can take on much more work [with cloud-based systems], so it saves us a huge amount of money and makes us far more efficient."
These cost benefits drawn from using the right technology can then be passed onto your landlords. "We wanted to streamline and to reduce our overheads in manual processing," says Greg Tsuman, Lettings Director at Martyn Gerrard. "We work with Reapit, which allows us to increase volume at very little additional cost per customer. It's all automated. And as a result, we're able to pass on those cost savings to our clients and continue offering services like rent protection and property management services at a very competitive rate."
Focus on customer experience
Overall, as well as improving your agency's efficiency and saving money by choosing the right tech for your business, you should also consider how it will improve your customers' experience - the ultimate end-goal being to ensure their loyalty.
"Our goal is a concise, automated process for landlords and tenants, and to balance this while not returning to those comfortable old habits," says Ricky Purdy, Director of Residential Lettings at Dawsons. “We plan to continue our agenda of moving forward with technology by choice rather than necessity, having sped things up with virtual viewings and efficiencies in online applications."
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