In the last two blogs I’ve written about how training impacts our customers. This time it’s a short article detailing some of the techniques that our trainers use during a session to identify the needs of the trainees and assess if our training is having the desired effect!
As you may already know, all the trainers have experience of working in estate agency, and also hold formal training qualifications. We believe it is essential to have that mix of real life experience and well-versed training techniques to make our training as enjoyable and effective as possible.
In a typical training day we will speak to all the participants to understand not only their job roles but their understanding of IT and software systems. We believe that our products are as user friendly as possible, but we are well aware that not all of our users are “techies” and adopting new software can be a daunting thought. As well as top notch training we also have account manager and support teams to help following on from a training day.
During the course of the training we will always aim for active participation; so no hiding at the back of the office! This helps to familiarize our users with the software in a test environment
And at the end of a training session, we give our users the option to provide us with feedback on the training. Not that we are bragging but have a read of some feedback from training sessions carried out this month…
“Very informative – my first day using the system was two days prior, and now having had this training I am feeling a lot more confident and knowledgeable.”
Holly Ferguson – Sure move St. Helens
“Hi Simeon, hope you are well…..
Your training has worked a complete treat ….I now feel so on top of things”
Lisa Walton – States of Jersey Development Company
If you would like to book training call or email us
The leaves are falling off the trees and it’s one last flurry of agency fees…
Following the busy summer that most of you reported, we now head into the slower and darker days (where photos are just that little bit more difficult to get right!) and the market inevitably has one last burst of activity before the winter months settle in. Looking at the Dezrez figures; lettings has had a very successful period and sales have beaten records set over the last few years. So what do you plan to do to celebrate?
Those of you that have read my previous posts, Rezi (the new software from Dezrez) has been rolling out to customers far and wide. Early adoption meant that the summer months were jam packed so I’ve been hard at work continuing to speak with customers about how they can come on board during Autumn and beyond. After several more visits during September many estate agents in Newcastle, Milton Keynes, London, Walton-on-Thames and Birmingham have found a solution to warm up their Winter by giving their staff and early Christmas P-Rezi.
If you’ve been considering what effects a new software can bring, let me shed some light…
Firstly, the hassle – we’ve formulated a process that eliminates disruption to your business by setting everything up in the background.
- It takes about an hour to see a demo of Rezi. This can be done any time, and any place that suits you.
- When you make the commitment to Rezi (£250 + VAT deposit) we organise for your brochures, window cards, letters, users and data* to be migrated over.
- You can continue to use your existing software as normal whilst this is happening right up until Rezi is made live.
- On the day Rezi goes live you have one day of training (10am – 4pm) any time, and any place that suits, allowing you to catch up before and after.
- You’re good to go…
- (data*) – another way we make the process as pain free as possible is by ensuring that we migrate all your existing data, so you don’t have to worry about laboriously re-entering anything.
So now you’re live; what effects do you begin to see?
- Enthusiasm – Rezi has been designed to be easy to use, interactive, and helpful to both you and your customers. Existing users have seen staff much keener to pick up the phone when they have confidence in what they’re doing.
- Clarity – Not only are the reports crystal clear, but the day to day information you collect and communicate is more accessible than ever before. Your customers will see a visible improvement on your insights.
- Efficiency – Time is money. Rezi is so fast that it can save hours every week. Each piece of functionality has been crafted in a way that responds just as quickly as you do.
- Profitability – Notwithstanding the efficiency mentioned above, Rezi also genuinely helps valuers provide a more detailed and accurate valuation with presentation tools on the move that demonstrate your expertise in the market. Not only this but when it comes to selling and letting, Rezi is equipped with notifications and tools to decrease your fall through rate.
Hopefully you can see just some of the benefits… All it takes to explore them further is a conversation. You can contact me at email@example.com
World Cup captures our attention
As a number of our estate agents are sports fans, we were going to compare our analytics with the viewing figures of the Rugby World Cup. It started well. Just 14 people accessed the Dezrez system during the most watched match in eight years, Wales vs England. It drew more than 10 million viewers and of course, being Welsh we wanted to take this chance to gloat about our spectacular win. Then we realized a significant number of our customers are English. So that put a stop to that.
Career estate agents start later in life
Following a quick rethink, we decided to delve into the habits of our youngest users, the 18-25 year olds. What’s particularly interesting is that this group accesses our system less than any other age range with the exception of the over 65s. Could there be something in this? Does the relative lack of young blood suggest that estate agency is a career people fall into rather than being attractive in its own right? Or does it simply require a level of skill and confidence that the majority of us only achieve by our mid twenties?
Estate agency attracts ambitious 26 – 54 year olds
Before we delve further, it’s worth noting that 85% of our users sit between the ages of 26 and 54. They’re fairly evenly split across the genders and age, with just a slight dip in usage for people over the age of 45. As we’ve previously discovered, these groups tend to be well read, well travelled and highly ambitious. They also beat the national average with 7.5% staying on to work in their twilight years, with slighter more women than men in this age group.
Early start in admin
When we look at the 7.5% of our estate agency users who are in the flushes of youth, there is a different story. Nearly two thirds are women compared with all other groups which show an even split. They are most likely admin staff, as they score highly for house listing searches; and as an aside, there is a bias for sport for the men and celebrity entertainment for the women. Does this suggest that women are more likely to start from the bottom and work their way up whilst more male estate agents start in a mid-role at a later age? Or is admin an entity of its own?
We don’t have all the answers but our previous research has shown that estate agents need to be highly organised, astute business people, with high levels of emotional intelligence. Women do tend to mature more quickly than men, are better at multi-tasking and have more stamina. Maybe that’s why the better gender start earlier and finish later. Ahem. We’re being irreverent of course.
DezrezOne Top 10 Estate Agents September 2015
All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 90% or more of the entire DezrezOne system during September 2015.
We can monitor your usage of DezrezOne from our specially designed software, making it possible for us to tailor training specifically for your estate agency.
We can also offer you advice on how to improve efficiency in your estate agency, so contact us today if you’d like to find out more!
This month’s site of the month goes to Kingsley Hamilton.
Kingsley Hamilton are a prime example of how you can use your brand to drive your website.
They start with an elegant logo with just the right colour balance and expand this vision into the rest of the website.
The site overall has a clean and elegant feel with accents of colour used to support the various calls of action that are essential to the usability of modern websites.
The design of the site is clearly in-line with and helps promote the upmarket services they provide such as corporate services including employee relocation, serviced accommodation and short lets.
The website is fully responsive and contains a great deal of information for buyers, sellers and landlords without feeling cluttered.
The property search has pride of place on the home page with everything else just a click away via the main menu for those looking for additional information.
There is also a focus on social media with a Twitter feed included on the majority of pages which includes useful links to available properties and local events. There are also permanent links to other social media avenues including via a side menu.
Overall the site is easy to navigate, informative and clearly reflects the upmarket brand of Kingsley Hamilton.
What is your name?
How long have you worked in estate agency?
This is my 11th year.
What is the name of your agency?
Independent Mortgage Solutions/ IMS Property Solutions / IMS Lettings Solutions.
How long have you worked for your current employer?
Two months. Prior to this I worked at some of the largest agencies in the UK.
What is your job title?
What does a typical day in the life of you look like?..
As we also offer mortgages, I have found that the customers already using IMS understand our ethos is great customer service and see us as a ‘one-stop property shop’. This presents a great opportunity to offer them our property solutions, whether it be sales or lettings. From here I tailor their needs to their situation depending on whether that is purchasing, rental or buy-to-let.
What do you love about your job?
The variation of dealing with different people every day of every week. And of course, getting the purchaser into their new home, there’s no better feeling and then seeing them on the street and seeing how happy they are.
What do you dislike about your job?
Competitors not setting realistic expectations for their customers. Also, I have to say, old fashioned estate agency where they don’t move with the times of the modern, innovative, estate agency.
Best thing about the area you work in?
I would have to say the announcement of Bicester Garden City! It is going to be the 2nd or 3rd garden city in the country and will bring over 15,000 new homes to the area in the next 15 years. Bicester also has a great variation of people living here ranging from the London, Oxford and Milton Keynes commuters, to the people who love the central location of the town to get anywhere in the country within reasonable travel time. It’s been said that Bicester is the fastest growing town outside of London!
What would you love to be doing in a different life?
A professional footballer – I’m trying to get back into playing now but have to settle for managing at the moment!
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I would say spending time with my family, managing the local village football team and catching up with old friends over a coffee or a beer!
I’m definitely a steak man so it would have to be a good steak!
Favorite holiday destination?
We have an old town-house in the family which is located in Rapino, Italy so I would have to say there! Cold enough for skiing in the winter and nice hot 35C days in the summer months.
Your dream car?
What is your favorite part of Dezrez?
The ability to record all contact with customer.
It gives us better efficiency. Not only are we following up with the customer when we send out an SMS or email, but we are also logging and documenting every record the customer is sent. Being able to go back into the card and see what you’ve sent them is very useful.
Last month I promised you that following the tips for a newsletter, I would explain how to measure the success of your newsletter….
What if your newsletter was boring people and you kept on sending it? Talk about a lot of wasted time and effort! To make sure you are equipped with the right information to guide your decisions you should keep your eye on the following metrics, they should give you a pretty comprehensive picture of how well your newsletter is performing.
Your email client will be able to quickly identify the following metrics to gauge how well your newsletter is performing, software such as Brief your market, Campaign monitor or Mail chimp have these metrics available in the reports section of the newsletter.
The main reason you are sending an email newsletter in the first place is to get people to click on something (or multiple items), so by tracking the number of clicks you get on a newsletter over time is a great way to judge if your newsletter is useful. If the figures are slowly going down newsletter after newsletter you need to rethink your strategy.
Bearing in mind newsletters have many different elements people can click on you should see which links get the most clicks within the email. This information can help you adjust your strategy for choosing and arranging content within the newsletter based on what its goal is.
Besides measuring what people are clicking on in your emails, you should be looking at their behavior after the click. Do they convert on the landing page? Or maybe sign up for an event your promoting? Or maybe just click on a CTA in a blog post?
Regardless of what you want people to do after the click on your email you should be tracking those actions. The reason you send emails isn’t to just get clicks you want people to do something after they click, whether it be consuming a piece of content or becoming a customer. Check your email client is set up to track your campaign behaviour or you can check this through free analytical software such as Google Analytics
Over time you’ll want to get more and more people clicking and converting on your email newsletters because the more they do those things, the more likely you’ll hit your monthly goals. More people in your list generally means more people will click on your email, and more people will convert on the content.
Sure list growth isn’t everything, but you need to have enough people getting your newsletters in the first place to make the rest of your numbers follow suit. If you are not growing your subscriber list, you’ve got a problem. No matter what your goals are – generating leads, closing customers or developing a vibrant happy customer community – your list should be bigger from month to month.
If you want to improve figures then take a look at how people sign up to get your newsletter in the first place. Consider new, friction less ways for people to sign up to your blog make it easy and straight forward with no long winded sign up forms. It is important to track sign ups as this can leverage new customers and greater brand awareness.
Generally, we’re talking about all of those emails that aren’t hard and soft bounces – bounced emails that cant be sent to an inbox because the inbox is full or the address isn’t valid among other reasons. So your delivery rate is the total number of emails sent.
Your delivery rate should be above 90% – if you notice it slipping below that in general, try to clean up your list. If you notice one newsletter in particular has a low delivery rate, see it there are any spammy red flags that would make an ISP block your email from being received.
Most email clients like Brief your market score your email for spam however there is a free spam checker here
If you’re going to use email newsletters to grow your business, you should be able to tie their efforts to your bottom line. With closed-loop analytics you can figure how many visitors, leads and customers your email newsletter content generates, and how much revenue they all bring in. This is definitely the most difficult of the metrics to track but if you combine this with things such as Google Analytics to find these numbers, your boss will be very very happy.
All in all, there are really three main takeaways here:
- Always make sure you’re keeping an eye of for your email newsletter performance.
- If any of your figures are constantly decreasing run tests to see if metrics can improve
- Run a few tests and nothing is improving look to revamp your newsletter
If you have any questions please let me know at by email and be sure to check out our brand new cloud based estate agency software Rezi
In estate agency there are common phrases rising to the fact that staff holidays don’t exist… “Holiday, What’s a holiday, ha ha ha”? I’m pleased to share with you that this is in fact a myth! On my travels throughout August, staff of all positions have been visiting wonderful parts of the world to take a break from the housing market. My view on this is positive…
After a good break we come back feeling refreshed, and ready to look at our work with a sun kissed perspective. In all corners of the country I’ve been hearing mixed opinions on activity levels in sales and lettings. Whilst some are rushed of their feet, others are twiddling their thumbs, hoping to return to better instructions and more deals… I might be able to help (when I get back from my very own holiday at the end of next week!)
Rezi isn’t just a new software doing things faster, more clearly, and more accessibly, it is a software equipped with richer tools to intelligently match people to the right property, even those that could be considered as the ‘wild card’. Not only this, Rezi allows you to compare properties to establish a fair marketing price, demonstrate your marketing prowess with brochure creation on the move, and manage lets and sales with in-depth tracking to keep that fall through rate down!
It’s becoming the norm for software suppliers to claim a host of features that will improve various aspects of your business, however as an ex-user of both Reapit and Vebra solutions I can give you my word, this is different. If you won’t take my word for it, Rezi can speak for itself. All you need to do is allow me to visit you (with no obligation) and give me an hour or so of your time to demonstrate.
Upon my return I’ll be looking to visit our customers up and down the UK, but I have a feeling my compass may be biased towards the North after visiting a majority of people to date in the South.
If you’d like to see Rezi and what it can really offer, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get a date and time that suits you booked in. Alternatively you can always wait for me to contact you, but there is a big list to get through!
Learn more about Rezi
Last month I wrote about the real impact of training, and we looked at existing customers increasing their knowledge, productivity and efficiency following on from receiving training.
However, training isn’t always about brushing up a few months or years down the line; every new customer receives initial training and set up as part of the package, and it is really interesting to observe the impact our training has on a brand new customer as well.
Holroyds estate agency based in Keighley, Yorkshire, are a brand new estate agents, making strides in a competitive market. They had their initial training and set up early in August, and at the last check were using over 60% of the software – A notable figure to achieve in only three weeks.
MD Chris Holroyd had this to say about the training day, and his experience with Dezrez thus far; “after researching many software companies to use for our agency we felt that the response rate and detailed information from Dezrez, along with how easy the system looked to use won us over in the end. We made the right choice! The training and support was excellent with Simeon having a hands on approach meaning we got through the training of the whole system within a single day. We couldn’t believe how easy the system was and how supportive and enthusiastic Simeon was helping us through the training day.”
We know we have only scratched the surface with Dezrez and although I have used many software systems over the years I am struggling to think why any one wouldn’t use Dezrez for their business. A truly fantastic system with a brilliant team behind it “
As well as training new customers on our Dezrezone, and property management products; the training team are now in full swing training customers on REZI – our cloud based solution. This brings with it new challenges and excitement , and as always, we love getting feedback from our customers as to what went well, and how we can improve.
Time to end on a personal note, and give special thanks to a couple of our customers:
Phil would like to say a huge thank you to Town Corner Lettings in Downham Market whom he was training on our Property Management Software on his birthday, he was truly spoilt with a champagne breakfast and a birthday cake!
And Simeon owes thanks to Richard at Harvey Scott, Shaw heath, for posting him back his projector remote when he left it there after training!
The Covert Habits of Estate Agents
Over the last few months we have set out to challenge the public’s perception of estate agents. It’s been an intriguing journey into an industry that attracts pretty even numbers of men and women, who are not only well read and travelled, but passionate about people and houses.
The long hours, competitive marketplace, and unfailing nerve required to steady an emotionally charged customer, it seems, draws a particular type of person. Possibly someone with a low boredom threshold, given the fast pace of the role and our discovery that estate agents have a strong work ethic that lasts well into the twilight years.
Hold the front page; estate agents take a break!
Of course, these are just opinions based on our analysis of our own stats. They are just for fun but it is amazing what numbers can tell you if you’re prepared to do a little digging. It can be struggle sometimes if you don’t know what you’re looking for, but this month the story jumped out. Low and behold, estate agents, who have been known to work into the wee small hours, actually take a holiday!
One in five estate agents love August
These are the very estate agents that never seem to stop regardless of what camp they’re in, the morning larks or particularly Londoners who seem to be night owls. Yet, from the last week of July we found the numbers of users dropping consecutively until it reached a hiatus in the last week of August. One fifth of our customers took a week or two out from their hectic schedule, with nearly half of them choosing the last two weeks of August.
We don’t know if they stayed in the UK or travelled abroad. And we don’t know if they were our silver foxes or under 45’s who account for 77% of our travel buffs (see previous articles). We do know that this year, the most popular holiday destinations globally have been Russia, Germany, Italy, France, US, Spain, China, Turkey, Thailand and the UK, and we’d love to hear where you went. Our very own Chris James reports that you’ve all been far afield. Lucky beggars!
Bank holiday rush hour between 9am and 10am
More people took the last week of August off than any other during the summer holidays, probably because it incorporated the last UK bank holiday this year. It didn’t stop one in five people working on bank holiday Sunday and Monday. Though, we can report, it was only for an hour between 9am and 10am for the majority.
Given that the peak time to use our system during the average working week is at 9am and remains high until 6pm, with some very ungodly hours being worked either side, we wanted to see whether there was a traditionally bank holiday rush hour and then calm. Having cross checked our stats for the two May bank holidays, we can tell you that again, one in five people accessed our system between 9am and 10am. Could they be the same people; we’re literally talking of one or two people over or under each time?
Creatures of habit
The more, we look into the covert habits of estate agents, the more consistency we see. So whilst we have made an assumption that estate agents have a low boredom threshold and respond well to a fast paced environment; it begs the question why they are such creatures of habit…