This guest blog is brought to you by Mal McCallion of Growtion.
Things have changed rapidly for letting agents recently and I think it's fair to say, not for the better.
You're facing threats from:
- Increased regulation
- More aggressive competition
- Downward pressure on fee rates
- Disappearance of administration fees (but not the administration)
- Landlords exiting the industry
That’s before you even look at those
Add it all up and it's difficult to see another time when being a letting agent has been so hard. Yet, it's in times like these that the best companies get growing.
I've been fortunate enough to be part of some great growth businesses in our industry over the last 17 years. Start-ups, relaunches and rewires and every one of them have faced moments of jeopardy, some existential.
What Are The Five Fundamentals?
What I've learned is that a hard focus on these five fundamentals is crucial to navigating through such a storm.
Take it right back to the beginning to when you started out on this journey. Your company’s Concept is the answer to the question that every agent must know; "What problem am I solving?"
If there is no problem to solve, no one is going to pay you money for your service. You need to get right back to basics and crystallise the real issues that you are in business to fix. Crucially, focus on your unique selling point and how it best places you to deal with these issues.
For all human beings’ complexities, some behaviours are incredibly predictable.
The “Power of Three” maxim means that people will have a significant preference for the middle choice of any given three options. So, think about your service; what is the middle product, the thing that you want most people to buy? What level of service do you want to deliver for that, with your own unique “Concept”?
Price at the high-end of what you think the market will bear, so that you have somewhere to go if you absolutely need to.
Look at what the most basic element of that service is and call that your “Basic” product. Then think about what a truly premium service would look like and price that in as “Premium”. Some will be drawn to these two – but the vast majority will be guided to your “Standard” middle package, framed as it is by the others.
I’ve done it in several different businesses and its impact always amazes me. It will for you too.
There’s a reason why brands have a tagline. After all, it's the ‘essence’ of what the business is going to deliver to you, their customer.
Whether it’s “Every Little Helps”, “Just Do It” or “Find
If you’ve got your Concept, Pricing and Brand right then you need to get them out there. Google states that it takes an average of 11 ‘touches’ – 11 separate sightings of a consistent Brand – for a client to buy.
Use all the tools at your disposal, particularly ones that you can get for free or at a minimal cost such as social media, PR and your own blog posts. This will help make sure that all 11 are achieved as quickly as possible.
The sales process by which you make a client buy your product sounds boring – but it’s one of the most critical elements in your business.
You need to isolate the steps that you go through all the way from prospecting to receiving payment and understand what happens at each stage. It's especially important to focus on how many people fall away and what makes them stay. Iterate until more get through each step. Few businesses spend enough time here, yet it’s one area over which you have total control and where you can make a strong, top-line difference.
The coming storm will claim many victims. Make sure you’re not one of them by focusing on these five fundamentals. Time to get growing!