Fast talking, serpent tongued misnomer
Following last month’s foray into analytics heaven, we tipped ourselves back in with a view to unveil the murky workings of an estate agents mind. You can’t imagine the disappointment. Far from playing the fast talking, serpent tongued, stereo-type portrayed by the media; your average estate agent is well-read, well-travelled, and some are even politically driven.
So when your customers have mentally prepared themselves to battle with the devil it must be very disconcerting to be confronted by such normality. Can it be trusted or is it simply a clever ruse, one might ask? We don’t want to comment either way, but we did notice 666 estate agents worked through the May 4th bank holiday. Fair enough; 659 worked on the 25th but we’re assuming you’re onto our statistical study and trying to muddy the waters.
Of course, stats are open to interpretation. That’s why they’re so much fun. But what can’t be argued with is that Google casts its beady eyes on all of us. And, this month, it found that estate agents using Dezrez are rather intellectual. Their top hobbies in order of preference read: news, travel, films and TV, technology, sport, home décor, and politics. Who knew?
It strikes us that the stereotypical estate agent of the past is, well just that; past. And, with competition from online agencies growing, now is the time to highlight the peace of mind and value an intelligent and experienced estate agent brings to one of the most stressful things in life; buying or selling a home. Far from being a shark, estate agents are better represented as a life buoy… or is that taking it a bit too far?
Female agents go rogue
Warming to the theme, we thought if online agencies are personality-less we’d construct a profile of the average estate agent; after they’ve clocked off work. The Google algorithms show men outflank women in droves when it comes to actively spending time online researching, purchasing or partaking in a hobby. Whether that means our female Dezrez customers are busy in work *and* busy at home or, they simply enjoy a more active social life than their male counterparts, remains to be seen. We don’t want to start a gender war, but we’d love to get to the bottom of this and uncover the rogue activities of female agents.
When we extrapolating data to fill in the blanks we did wonder if the agent’s innate need to out-wit mere mortals was the reason a huge 31% of Dezrez users avidly digest the news. Not all, but a significant number were male and aged between 45-55 years old. Maybe men of this generation use topical conversation prompts and women use emotional intelligence to connect, or perhaps they are simply the most intellectually stimulated. We can’t know but it might be fun to start a debate…
The ‘thinking classes’
Interestingly, both male and female estate agents under 35 are more likely to consume political news than any other audience segment. Our guess is that they are part of the ‘thinking class’ who are well-read and well-travelled. They certainly use the internet more than other Dezrez estate agents to research and book top destination holidays. We’re curious to know if this is part of the greater trend to enjoy the early years of marriage and start a family later, or if the stats merely indicate younger agents are tech savvy.
Lastly, we noted the estate agents never seem to fully turn-off, even when they have downtime. So the 22% of our customers who relax by watching a film or TV or researching and playing with technology, we think may be catching up on work too. 64% of this group were men, which does leave the question; what do our rogue female estate agents do of an evening exactly? They are barely represented in the 9% of sports fanatics, and since men and women evenly share the 8.5% interest in home décor; that’s a lot of time unaccounted for…
If you’d like to know more fun random facts, drop us a line or post a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
For software to fit around these habits why not visit our latest cloud based software www.dezrez.com/rezi
DezrezOne Top 10 Estate Agents June 2015
All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 90% or more of the entire DezrezOne system during June 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!
June’s site of the month is one of Dezrez’s first ever customers, Peter Morgan, with a fresh website from Technicweb featuring styling steeped in welsh heritage. When visiting the site you are greeted with a slideshow of stunning images, showcasing some of the views that can be found in abundance throughout the South Wales coastal and valley areas covered by Peter Morgan.
With a very simplistic and easy to use top navigation, this website compartmentalises the content into very easy to find categories, allowing users to quickly search content for their desired property, providing a quick and efficient user experience. When the site is viewed on a tablet or mobile device the navigation remains decidedly user friendly and the colour scheme allows all content, key features and links to be highly visible at all times so users can navigate the site no matter what screen size is used.
Peter Morgan have concentrated on showcasing their customer experience by providing users of their site with social media feeds such as latest tweets and latest customer reviews to enhance their online presence and instil confidence to users of the site. The site seems to be optimised thoroughly, with pages and property searches loading very quickly on any device to provide all-round usability whether customers are at home or on the move.
What is your name?
How long have you worked in estate agency?
What is the name of your agency?
How long have you worked for your current employer?
What is your job title?
Group Sales Manager.
What does a typical day in the life of you look like?..
As we offer a variety of services; every day is different. As a company we deal with residential sales and lettings as well as commercial and new homes.
What do you love about your job?
The variety of dealing with everyone and everything.
What do you dislike about your job?
That there are not enough hours in the day!
Best thing about the area you work in?
It’s just outside London, very vibrant, very busy and a very good place for people looking to find a home to settle who can’t afford to buy in central London. The area serves the east London A13 corridor and is seen as the ‘new London’.
What would you love to be doing in a different life?
A charity worker – to work for an overseas children’s charity.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
Looking after my eight year-old son James and watching my team of many years, Chelsea F.C, of which I am a season ticket holder.
Curry – probably the heat level of a Madras or above.
Favourite holiday destination?
Before my son I had been to every European Championships and World Cup since Italia 90 up until Germany 2006, so these were my holidays! Since my son, I would have to say Disneyland!
Your dream car?
BMW Hybrid Electric.
What is your favorite part of Dezrez?
The sales marketing side and the property edit page.
Flexible and has the ability to load multiple images
In the last 15 years we have exponentially grown our loyal customer base of estate agents by releasing technical innovations that keep them ahead of the game. It is a matter of earning trust. As a privately owned company we are able swiftly react to market needs rather than please multiple stakeholders. So, we haven’t had to achieve fast growth through acquisition, and we don’t juggle competing sub-brands and cost centres.
Instead we have maintained our leading position by delivering well-funded Cloud technologies for estate agents, and have underpinned them with a robust partnership programme to add value. Subsequently, we are the most widely used independent software provider in the UK with more than 1500 estate agency branches benefitting from our customer centric approach and proven technologies.
It is not news that the property market has accelerated in the last ten years as customers have adapted to the housing boom and countered its inevitable fall. But perhaps it is surprising that the majority of technology available for estate agents simply hasn’t kept pace with the 24/7 service and use of consumer technologies expected by house hunters.
Most vendors have responded to this by offering Cloud-based versions of their existing software. Though they don’t offer instant technical updates and other benefits of true Cloud, these hosted solutions do suit some estate agents’ need for a hybrid product. Some are simply comfortable with the tried, tested and proven Dezrezone or similar, and will happily wait until Cloud moves on from being a buzzword and into mainstream estate agencies.
Yet, perhaps we attract a number of early adopters due to our reputation for technical innovation. We’ve been inundated with interest in our Cloud offering, or to be precise our Software as a Service (SaaS) web application, Rezi. It is a completely new technology for the property market and we had to start from scratch, reinvesting £2.7 million this year alone. But our customers gave us a challenge. Shake up vendor lethargy and transform how we use software to save time and maintain competitive edge.
We listened and we had to deliver. What exactly? A product that wraps an elegant interface around a powerful core, Rezi is feature rich and provides all the benefits of true Cloud. But it is the open API that makes it spectacular. Imagine a beautiful product that easily and seamlessly connects to existing technology and offers the ability to tailor how it works around business processes. Then customise it to suit a unique set of needs through an ecosystem of third party apps and national or regional services diligently chosen for their proven value.
This is what Rezi allows estate agents to do. It is a product that grows as they do, from one branch to twenty to one-hundred or more. A product that flexes around an unpredictable market and changing needs, whilst reducing the total cost of ownership over time. Yet, what makes Rezi formidable is the control an open API gives agencies to release the power already contained within their business and to accelerate it with complementary technologies and services.
It is our ability to help estate agencies accelerate that has allowed us to maintain a leading position in the market. A technically inspiring product is important, but it needs to be combined with high-end customer service, and it is this that sets us apart from those after a quick sale. This customer centric approach has allowed us to build trust in the property market, and estate agents not only stay with us but grow with us.
New customers are on-boarded with precision by our dedicated data migration team before receiving as little or as much help as they need from our specialist team of trainers. Then, as a valued partner, customers benefit from dedicated account managers, a tailored approach, reporting features and lots of intuitive online support features so they rapidly maximise the power of our technologies.
We pride ourselves on being technical experts. So if you are unsure whether a hybrid or full Cloud product best suits your needs, please call us for a non-committal chat on 0845 465 22 22. Or if your appetite has been wet, you can enquire about Rezi on the same number, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.dezrez.com/rezi
Q: Tell us about Kristina Grimes.
I am the Sales Director of Dezrez, one of the leading providers of estate agency software. Some people may also remember me for being a finalist on the BBC hit show, The Apprentice.
Q: Tell us about Dezrez
Dezrez launched into the estate agency market 15 years ago and has led it ever since. It’s best known for pioneering market leading products and its high level of personal customer service. Currently, over 1,500 estate agency branches currently use our products and services, and we’re expecting this figure to accelerate with the launch of Rezi this year.
Q: Why did you choose to work for Dezrez?
I chose to work for Dezrez because it is a really exciting and innovative company. It’s maintained its leading position as a software provider because it is technically forward thinking; but I love the fact that it gets under the skin of what estate agents need. To save time, to save money and STILL deliver the best service possible to their clients.
Dezrez puts a lot of weight on listening to customers. Ours’ said they wanted change; so we reinvested £2.7 million into the development of Rezi: – a product that will not only make things as easy as possible for estate agents to maintain competitive edge, but will shake up the current market.
Q: What are your goals for the company now?
Believe it or not, the market has accelerated in the last ten years. Estate agents have adapted to their customers’ needs but the technology available simply hasn’t advanced with market expectations.
It’s not a quick fix and current technology can’t be tweaked to deliver a seamless experience. We went back to the drawing board, started from scratch and developed a product to reflect what our customer’s want; and technically it will see them through the next 15 years and beyond.
So, what are my goals? To let estate agents know there are options out there that can make their life much easier. If they want to retain competitive edge they should be aware of the most up to date innovative solutions, and it is the job of vendors to provide uncomplicated education to allow that.
Q: Tell us more about Rezi
Rezi is Cloud-based estate agency software, which means you can always access up to the minute information from any device at any time.
The Rezi difference is that it is an API. I don’t want to blind you with science but the thing to take away is that there will be no more technology problems trying to get your estate agency software to talk to your existing systems and processes.
It’s a little like an iPhone in that you have an existing product that allows you to download Apps so you can customise it to suit your needs, all at a click of a button. No more compromises; total control and a product that grows with your business.
Q: How do you create value for your clients?
Over the last five years there have been lots of me too technologies launched. We’ve held our number one position because we elevate the need to deliver good quality customer service. Our outstanding support will always be guaranteed. We offer onsite training, a proactive personal account manager and lots of intuitive online Support features for customers to rapidly maximise the power of Rezi.
Q: How should potential clients contact you?
0845 465 email@example.com
Whilst the estate agency market has accelerated over the last ten years, it’s fair to say that technical innovation in the sector has not kept pace with the changing needs of estate agents. Even so, many vendors have made improvements and now offer Cloud-based versions of their existing software to meet the need for instant information from any device, anywhere.
With so many ‘me too’ technologies available, Dezrez decided it didn’t want to just update a product. Instead, it would deliver a new and better product that, unrestricted by aging technology, would be future proof and capable of delivering a fluent, harmonious and elegant user experience.
With 15 years’ experience behind it and a trusted reputation for delivering innovations and services that allow estate agents to remain competitive, Dezrez was not scared to start again. It went back to the drawing board and did what all customer centric businesses do; it asked the estate agents what they really wanted. Here is the collective reply:
“We want cloud based software that is incredibly fast, a tool that we can use on the move, a tool that allows staff to write up property details and upload photos on the move, a tool that gives ‘Valuers’ comparable information at the click of a button, a tool that organises our calendar and notifies us of appointments, who we are meeting, where, and provides directions whilst we’re on the road…
A tool that works on a multitude of devices, different browsers and mobile tablets, a product that is secure, a tool that is customisable, and allows me to set up workflows that mirror business processes, a tool that looks good, is simple to use but has all the functionality we could wish for. A product that is social, that helps us manage our staff, the sales branch, the lettings branch, the entire agency – that is our dream.”
To deliver on this requires a completely different type of technology to the existing systems on the market. So, this year alone Dezrez reinvested £2.7 million into the development of a brand new technology that would meet estate agencies’ needs, now and in the long-term. It is called Rezi.
Proving one size can fit all, Rezi is expected to transform how estate agents use software to save time and maintain competitive edge, regardless of size. The product is not only feature-rich; it wraps an elegant interface around a powerful core. Similar to an iPhone, it can be customised with a range of third party Apps so businesses can tailor the software to suit their changing needs. As an API, it seamlessly integrates into new or existing systems and, crucially workflows can be easily reconfigured so agencies no longer need to fit their business processes around disparate technologies.
Does this prove the key to Dezrez’ success is that it listens to its customers and has never stood still? It has grown phenomenally since it was formed in 1999. Estate agents trust its expertise and unique ability to both technically innovate and deliver the services and support they need to be competitive. So as well as providing technologies that are ahead of their time so estate agents can stay ahead of the game, it is Dezrez’ focus on good quality customer service that has allowed the company to hold its leading position. And unlike those who talk about it, Dezrez delivers. Not only onsite training and a proactive personal account manager but, a tailored approach, reporting, and lots of intuitive online support features for customers to rapidly maximise the power of Rezi.
Get your Rezi Demo today, www.dezrez.com/rezi
Why develop with Agile?
Agile development philosophy supports the concept of early and regular software releases. Working in short sharp sprints, Agile teams can change direction quickly in response to their customers feedback and feature requirements. At Dezrez HQ the Rezi team work in 2 week sprints ensuring we can deliver new features regularly and in response to our customer wants.
One key principle of Agile development is quality. One measure of quality is testing the product throughout the development lifecycle and not just at the point of release. At Dezrez this enables us to continuously review Rezi as it is developed and allows the team to make adjustments if necessary and gives us early sight of any quality issues.
Agile encourages user involvement throughout. Whether UX testing of designs, UAT testing of freshly released features the importance of having engagement with real users is crucial. Agile is a collaborative approach, allowing stakeholders to have clear visibility of development progress and of the product itself.
By allowing the user to determine the priority of features, the development team understands what’s most important to the user’s business, and can deliver features in the most valuable order. This is why Agile helps us engage with our users.
Working towards small regular feature releases helps to eradicate risk. Problems can be identified early allowing for quick response to change. Having user feedback throughout the life cycle helps identify issues and allows for time to make a difference to the result.
Agile development accepts change. In fact it is pretty much a given. Time scale is fixed but the priority of feature requirements change as the product is developed. It is essential to have actively involved stakeholder who understands this concept and the product you are building!
Business Engagement/Customer Satisfaction
The active involvement of users or a representative for the users ensures high visibility of the progress of the product development. Having the flexibility to change when change is needed creates much better business engagement and customer satisfaction.
Book a demo today www.dezrez.com/rezi
May’s Website of the Month is Country-Properties.co.uk. Created by The Property Jungle, this fully responsive website uses a combination of well-balanced colours and intuitive page structure to deliver a website that is not only easy to navigate but very informative without feeling cluttered.
The use of colour helps attract the user to important aspects such as the Property Search and Free Evaluation features.
The property search feature is particularly useful with an option to search for properties within a certain travelling distance on top of the usual features you would expect.
The property details page has a very clean and simplistic look with good social media linking and once again incorporates a colour scheme to guide the user’s eye to the important aspects, much as they do on the home page.
As Country Properties have such a substantial presence in the areas in which they operate there tends to be a great deal of properties to search through. To help with this they have added a shortlist feature that allows you to save properties you like and view them later.
Country Properties also take their presence in these areas as an opportunity to support the communities by promoting the various activities and institutions that make these areas unique. This is achieved via the ‘News’ section and ‘Community Hub’ feature on their website.
The website has clearly been designed with the user’s journey in mind and has all the features and information required. Even with the large amount of information on the site it manages to deliver this in a way that is suitable whether you are just browsing the site or researching for your next move.
The curious anomaly of northern estate agents and Londoners who never sleep…
This month we thought we’d have some fun and share the results of a statistical analysis of Dezrez users. Most of our findings confirm that estate agents are fairly consistent. But what makes the north of England so very different to the rest of the UK, and why are Londoners working during the hours of mid-night and four in the morning?
8% increase in Dezrez activity post-election
Originally, we planned on dipping into some analytics to see if there was an increase in housing activity recorded on Dezrez following the election. There was. Post May 7th 2015 we saw a sustained 8% hike in activity. Given all the hype, perhaps there’s no surprise there… But when faced by a sea of numbers; we noticed an anomaly, and then another, and another…
Parity for male and female estate agents… unless your life is in a northern town
Across the UK there was no difference between the number of female and male users of Dezrez. This was very pleasing, though in the name of total transparency, men eclipsed women by 1%. It remained so across the south and up into the midlands, where 2% more men than women used Dezrez last month. Yet, as soon as we tip into the north of England, this figure jumps to a whopping 74% and holds, give or take a percentage or two across most cities and towns.
We dug deeper. If you are aged 35-44 and working in the north, you are likely to use Dezrez a third less than any other user. Yet, across the rest of the UK there was an even split across people aged 25-64 before Dezrez usage dips to just 6% for people 65 or older. Why is this? Do male estate agents really outflank females by three-quarters in the north and why the curious black-spot for those in their middle years? Is this a peculiarity of Dezrez users or northern estate agents in general? We’d love to hear your thoughts…
London has its oddities too
Traditionally ‘hump day’ for most workers, Wednesday was by far the most active for all Dezrez users, closely followed by Thursday. On average 32,000 estate agents were online daily midweek, compared to just 2000 users on a Sunday. Whilst it may come as no surprise that the busiest times for Dezrez were between the hours of 9am and 10am, we were quite shocked that 2069 estate agents were still active from nine o’clock at night until 5am. More worrying, 438 of Londoners work from midnight until four in the morning. Is it really the city that never sleeps, and why was it only men using Dezrez between the hours of 12-1am and 3am–4am…?
If you’d like to know more fun random facts, drop us a line or post a comment. We’d love to hear from you.