Updated: Nov 16, 2020
In 2017, The Economist magazine claimed that data was more valuable than oil. And the world does seem to be obsessed with the stuff – from ‘big data’ and ‘data-driven business’ to the constant data related scandals in the media.
But is data really worth the bother for estate and lettings agencies, who have always got by just fine without needless number crunching and complicated analytics systems?
Well, the short answer is yes.
But to explore why that is, we need to consider what the alternative to data is.
Why is data so important?
Decision-making is the heart of any organisation – from how to prospect and sell to to managing and operating your business. Data’s value comes from its ability to augment that decision making in order to increase the effectiveness of virtually every aspect of your business.
Historically, agencies have based their sales and marketing strategy on pure intuition and ‘talent’. But data promises a more empirical approach, where theories and hunches are replaced by evidence and analytics.
Data is far less susceptible to bias and human-error than ‘thinking with your gut’. But perhaps most crucially, you can now collect data on things we couldn’t dream of before: everything customers do, from opening emails to lingering on your site can be recorded and reported, allowing you to develop a far more detailed view of your customer base and understand exactly what they are responding best to.
Data therefore helps estate and letting agencies make better use of their resources, develop more persuasive messaging and ultimately increase their conversion immensely.
And this is not theoretical: according to research from Google, data-driven organisations are three times more likely to report a significant improvement in decision-making.
So why isn’t everyone making use of it?
There are two basic challenges businesses face trying to make proper use of data: a) generating enough of it, b) understanding it well enough to gain real, actionable insights.
The first is purely technical, and with the right tools can easily be sorted. It takes time, of course: to generate the kind of granular, detailed data you need often requires months of investment. But fundamentally, most businesses manage to generate data – though not always very high quality data.
Making real use of that data is where things get tough: data is often unstructured, brought in from multiple sources and difficult to analyse in any practical sense because it lacks context and life.
For most people who aren’t data scientists, data is alienating and unwieldy, making it very difficult to pay attention to or parse. And knowing what to look for in a data set and how is a whole specialised set of skills.
Three ways to make better use of your data
1. Integrate all data into a single source
By bringing all of your data sources together, you not only reduce the burden of organising and compiling it – you make it all more inherently valuable. Data in isolation is meaningless – it’s in the contrasts, patterns and anomalies that it becomes a vital tool for decision-making.
The challenge for most businesses is that they generate data through a variety of sources, so this task is a hefty one – particularly if they have numerous legacy systems in place that will need to be totally rewired.
Active Agent is specially built to pool all your data – as well as generating more – so that this is not an issue. From your digital marketing to in-house efforts, information is stored in a single space and made inherently more valuable and easy to access.
2. Visualise your data
For non-experts, data visualisation is the most useful tool for making data easier to digest and draw actionable insights from. From simple charts and graphics to complex data storytelling, the possibilities for making data come to life – both to inspire and to analyse – are endless.
Active Agent’s reporting and visualising features do exactly this, providing you with a top-level view of your customers’ behaviour as well as more granular analytics if you need to go into greater detail.
3. Strategically action it
Finally, data is nothing without an actual plan as to how you’ll use it. For estate and lettings agencies, the ability to alter the content and timing of your messaging based on data-driven insights is a game changer, allowing you to make more compelling arguments and send the exact right messages at the right moments.
Active Agent provides you with this ability, connecting your data directly to your Customer Experience Automation system, allowing you to personalise customer interactions based on robust data – ensuring maximum accuracy and effectiveness.
Conclusion | Active Agent allows you to do all of this and more
Data is one of our big obsessions at Active Agent - we believe it is among the most powerful tools at modern agencies’ disposal. And we built our CXM platform with exactly that in mind.
The platform not only helps you generate more, and better quality, data - it features marketing-leading data reports and visualisation, so that non-experts can easily understand and make use of complex data. And, of course, it allows you to automate your communications to act on those insights without lifting a finger.
If that sounds too good to be true, allow us to prove you wrong by clicking here to book your free demo today.