One of the first steps when working ‘on’ our business is by examining our business strategy and process efficiency and a great way to effectively do these is by using our current data.
Many estate and particularly letting agencies have a wealth of current data from previous contacts with landlords and vendors whether they are existing customers or lost leads.
Due to the nature of the business many agencies are too busy chasing new clients to see the wealth of data and opportunities they already have.
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, when we 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 managing and operating your business. Historically, agencies have based their sales and marketing strategy on pure intuition and ‘talent’. But data can be a better 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:
1. generating enough of it and
2. understanding it well enough to gain real, actionable insights.
The first is purely technical, but Making real use of that data is where things get tough: data is often unstructured, brought in from multiple sources and difficult to analyse.
Let's put it this way. If you just enter a tracking code or pixel on your website how do you know who to retarget too?
Capturing and then using your data correctly will also save you time and money. Do you want to send just Landlords your landlord ads and blog or do you want to pay to send this to thousands of tenants who also entered your website?
By structuring your website or landing pages correctly you can then easily analyze your data and use it to the best of your advantage.
So here are 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 valuable. Data in isolation is meaningless –
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. Or even use a system that can also automate it?
And most importantly
3. Strategically action it
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.
DON'T use this data to just send unwanted emails and ads when you are free. You run the risk of your potential customer switching off or unsubscribing and will now never see the message when you need them too.
We talk about this in more detail in another video but in today's market when customers are bombarded with emails and so easy for them to unsubscribe, sending the right message at the right time has never been so important..
So in Conclusion | Don’t let data go to waste
Find a platform that helps you breakdown and analyse the data produced by your office. It’s clear that data carries a lot of power so why let all the potential information you could gather from your own office slip away.
Find a system that not only helps you generate more, and better quality, data - but features marketing-leading data reports and visualisation, one that non-experts can easily understand and make use of the complex data.
And, of course, allows you to automate your communications to act on those insights without lifting a finger.