When it comes to foundation of high performing Australian estate agencies, one thing is clear: data is king. A decade from now, the real estate industry will be peopled by agencies and agents who understand the value of their data, and have active strategies in place to leverage it and improve their bottom line.
The ‘bad old days’ of real estate meant data was squirrelled away and hard to access across the team: it could be found in diaries, on Rolodexes, in boxes of old open for inspection reports and across various CRM systems that required endless manual updating. Remember those CD-ROMS? A lack of centralized data made agents and agencies inefficient, with property management and sales departments rarely ever sharing knowledge.
Today, estate agencies have the opposite issue to contend with: there’s a wealth of data, but much of it is poor quality. Their agents may no longer be bound to paper and excel spreadsheets, but each agent’s data could be spread across various databases they’ve trialled with success. Data may be hard to utilise, as it’s sequestered deep within a CRM surrounded by business rules and permissions even the hardiest prospector can’t negotiate. The modern Principal is instead concerned with the leverage, hygiene and appropriate sharing of data within their businesses.
In their consultations with Agentbox, Principals are often befuddled by categorising their data. How should they award client ownership within their business to maximise transparency, whilst minimizing haggling over commission splits? Who should be able to see what data? Will client ownership be the best way to shape their CRM and data management? Principals want to amplify their results with a powerful database, but their business rules are incoherent, leaving precious data inaccessible or rendered useless. My recommendation to Principals is this: be strategic about your business rules, because once consensus is reached, they will define the way you use your database.
When implementing a new database – and alongside it, new business rules around data and client ownership – it’s important to be collaborative. Engage with your team, and come to accord around classes and categories. Some questions to ask when you’re brainstorming business rules include:
- When people enquire on property, are they prospective buyers or buyers?
- When people intimate wanting to sell, are they prospective vendors or vendors?
- How long should an inactive buyer stay within your database?
- Are buyers a shared pool or data, or individual agent resources?
- Will property management make notes in the sales CRM?
- Will prospective vendors be visible to all team members?
- How will you resolve conflict over vendors who have relationships with multiple members of your sales team?
Following what is likely to be quite a robust conversation, you will come to a mutual understanding of the business rules governing your database. Ensure you get the very most from your CRM by requesting a post-installation checklist to work through. This will help you understand each element of your new database, and how it applies to each role in the agency. You are also welcome to call upon your Agentbox consultant to fast-track your database experience. The sooner your team understand business rules and database functionality, the faster you’ll improve your data collection and use. The days of hidden ‘dark data’ are over!
To learn more about business rules and your new database, contact the Agentbox team.