Business energy - The way to the future 

September, 2021 | Thought Provoker

Thrive or die, that’s the choice.

In a bold new era of change, organisations lead with the purpose (why we exist in the world), missions (what we’re setting out to do, in measurable numbers), and values (the way we play the game) don’t just win by a little bit, they win by a lot.

Legacy, learned history, and politics kills the culture of any business. Remove them. From our research, observation and deep work inside of the thriving real estate practices we work with, here are the common elements:

Have A Formula 

If there’s no recipe for success, how can you replicate it? The benefit new businesses have is that fresh new type of energy. As an organisation grows, it battles learned history, geographic extension and hiring practices that let the wrong people in.

Shift now to making data-driven decisions. If you reviewed every listing, your business has won: How did you meet the seller? And for all the property management you’ve won, how did you meet the landlord? And if you look at your best hires, where did they come from?

Take great ideas, amplify the ones that work and turn up the volume. To nail it in business, you need a precise one-pager that articulates the DNA of how you perform your essential functions. 

How do you generate your leads?

Time, energy, money and careers are wasted in misaligned prospecting approaches. 90% of the people in any agency database are a buyer first. Buyer led lead generation always wins. Have you bought locally before? And what are your plans with the existing? Two great dialogues that need to run deep into the DNA of your organisation.

Beware the business that always focuses on the new. There’s more to be had in increasing the spend of your existing customers. Fix your follow-up failure. Think, "Then what?". Your team goes to a market appraisal, then what? A landlord enquires on your property management services, then what? A past client buys from you? Then what?

The ability for the people in your organisation to describe with crystal clear clarity what happens next tells me how deep your formula runs in the culture of your business. Instincts tell me there are millions of dollars lost every year in any business, with a failure to use digital technologies and call centre teams to fix the leakage in how we serve past clients, market appraisals, existing landlords, and the existing personal network of the agents already in our businesses.

Imagine a place where over just a few keynote slides, you clearly articulated with data what works and had laser-like execution to stay the course, rather than getting distracted in all the new things you could do. 

How you win your business

It’s crazy that two agents from the same business can go to a listing presentation and not know how to tell the ultimate story of what they do for the client. Some fumble through their presentations, others are too caught up in their own story of being number one. The customer wants someone who can make it easy, get them sold, maximise price, and reduce risk. An illness of proposals has swept across sales agents, with little regard to great sales skills like finding out what the customer wants, understanding their fears, and developing their needs. Those skills let you assign the right features and benefits to reduce customer fears and build their confidence, right to the moment of need where they sign and engage your services.

Imagine a place where, using just a few keynote slides, you clearly articulated the reasons why sellers and landlords decide to use your firm simply from customer lead research sessions. These compelling visuals demonstrate experience and showcase how you solve that very customer’s problems with effortless glide.


How you process your stock to maximise asset value 

Sale method is a choice. So too is having a sales approach to reduce days on market, remove risk, and maximise the sale price. Progressives move ahead with pest and building reports on all properties to remove consumer friction, speed up decision making, and reduce the margin for error in negotiation. Sales approaches may include a forthcoming off-market auction, auction, or for sale, built to present unconditional offers, promote competitive environments, and provide vendors with real choices on which offer to move ahead with.

Clearly define what an offer is in your business. Is it a signed contract with a 10% deposit cheque, delivered through a digital offer platform with all the required elements? Automate, formulate and systemise your approach. The faster you do this, the quicker you reduce variance and friction in the business.


Solve customer problems - The Jobs Roadmap

How you price your services depends on your success. Designer labels like Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton use pricing as a way to separate. If you can’t separate you become a commodity and you’ll always be shopped on price.

Build value in what you do. The jobs roadmap is about understanding what you do for your customers. Think about, what does the customer need to do before, during and post the transaction? How much of that can you do for them? Can you articulate that so the customer sees real value in your proposition? The most incredible luxury of all is time; How do you reduce the time commitment for your clients to get to their desired outcome? Brands like Apple and Porsche flip the script. The explainer sales videos on their products have the customer ready to purchase before they even meet the salesperson. They craft an incredible story of customer problems and solutions that makes you want to buy. Real Estate brands of the future will do the same.


Systems for workflow 

Then what? It’s a great question. When you go to a restaurant, they set the expectations from the beginning. Would you like still water or sparkling? As soon as that happens, you know the level of expenditure you’ve just committed to. It’s a great lesson on workflow. Like the Formula 1 car arriving at the pits, everyone knows what happens next. Reduce overwork, wastage and frustration by defining a clear path.

You meet a buyer, then what? They are entreated into the CRM, then what? They receive the weekly email on listings and sales for their area, then what? We watch their clicking activity to identify digital intent so we know who to call next. Why is it that if you look at a book on Amazon, you see that book re-marketed to you on email, then on social if you don’t purchase it? Yet you can call a real estate office, enquire about their property management service, and never hear from them again. It’s crazy, and it’s a great example of where the then/next philosophy can rapidly reshape your business. It starts with business systems, like a form to capture landlord information including where they live, the address of their investment property, mobile and email address, so then the systems click into gear to do the heavy lifting. In a digital world, we deal with 10X the volume of customers.


The evolution of your digital headquarters

With the move to the hybrid workplace, you need digital headquarters at home and office work environments. We built ours on Slack 5 years ago. Think of one digital location where the work happens, from executive summaries of what’s happening in all of your systems through API notifications, direct messaging, supplier and project communication, all in one place. It’s where company announcements happen, resources are found, and great communication happens. Whether mobile or desktop, it’s the easiest way to rapidly scale messaging across your business.

Digital experience for both internal and external stakeholders: The rise of digital workflow

There’s an app for that, but how well do those apps work together? When we go digital, we leave behind former manual processes. A great example is Vendor Paid marketing. If you move to buy now pay later models, that system needs to facilitate your payment gateway for payment processing, whether EFT, credit card or finance facility.

The digital workflow requires retraining your workforce for how they’ll sign documents from agency agreements to contracts of sale. New advances in digital auctions force new workflow in how you register and prepare bidders, how bidders participate, and what happens post-auction. Have a list of all the apps in your business, what each app does, and how the app interacts within your ecosystem.


The war of talent

What’s the expected life of a salesperson or property manager in your business? That determines the speed and velocity of your talent development squad. You can recruit existing talent in the industry, and mergers and acquisitions will often be your fastest way to achieve your business mission. Then you must develop new talent in the industry, working a firm pipeline of talent. Your training programs need to be exceptional to teach, train and test your team. Their ability to work the formulas for success determine customer experience, which determines the speed of growth. How quickly can you take a new hire into being your highest performer?


Maximise customer relationships 

There are so many data sets to work on. One client has 21,000 properties under management. That’s 21,000 residential addresses, plus another 21,000 addresses of where the landlords live. Other clients have over 10,000 past clients. How many of those are being worked for future lead generation? The opportunity is so great - it’s worth the pain of change.

Whenever I’m reinvigorating any business, my first go-to is discovering the data sets I can play with. Sometimes it’s the enquiry log for property management services; other times it’s the past clients who’ve bought through the firm or the personal network of an individual. If you don’t start working with your existing customers you’ll forever be fighting for new ones with everyone else. Turn past clients, market appraisals and landlords into a strength, and leverage it. 

Develop simple slide decks: This is how we...

Imagine a master slide deck that had your business formulas. This is how we generate leads in sales and pm, this is what we say at the presentation to win business, and this is what we do to facilitate the sale/management of the property. When you’re clear on what you do, you have alignment. Too many organisations are know it alls, not learn it alls, failing to play to their strengths, and leaving their growth to chance rather than choice.

Imagine a place where everyone rowed in the right direction, where systems were used, where your people excelled on delivering the client experience, where workflow was clear and digitally enabled. It’s up to you to create that. 

We live in the attention economy - stressed, anxious and distracted. It’s time to cut a new path. Your organisation needs laser discipline, energetic cadence, systematic approaches to everything you do, and a future-focused vision that excites the hell out of everyone involved. It’s time to make the future happen.


Josh Phegan is the internationally renowned go-to speaker, trainer and coach for high-performance real estate agents and agencies. He is the number one preferred trainer for Australia’s top 100 agents and top 50 women in real estate.

In 2022 he’s the drawcard speaker at over 200 events in the UAE, UK, New Zealand and Australia.

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