Simon Whale, CEO of Kerfuffle has been discussing the motivation behind his recently published white paper around KPIs and management, as well as his views on introducing gamification back into the industry.
Whale took part in the latest podcast with Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, to explain that he and his firm and looking to better understand what it is that agents and thinking and understanding their pain points.
He told McKenzie: “We have been sending out a lot of surveys because we want to understand what issues agents are experiencing within the day to day of their business, such as their frustrations with CRM software or how the whole tech stack fits together. One aspect that has been close to my heart is management and information reporting, which on the face of it sounds really dull and grey, but businesses need access to actionable information that will help them make informed decisions and drive their business forward.
“It is the old maxim – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. While there are several suppliers looking to specialise in information management, most agents still heavily rely on excel for business management, which is why wanted reach out to agents to get their opinions.”
He continued: “I have often asked the question – why is it that so few owners know the stats they need to off the top of their heads? Classically, at the moment you would be hoping to turn over your pipeline three or four times, but some agents are struggling to turn it over twice at the moment. Businesses might be selling everything they list, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are in a good position in terms of cash flow.
“It is important to know that and understand what the data is telling you. While information is vital, again it is crucial to focus on the right information and not be overloaded with data. I believe that there shouldn’t be any more than three KPIs that are being focused on, otherwise, can they truly be called key indicators.
“Too many KPIs means that the focus is lost and could result in the gaming of stats, which isn’t good for the business.”
McKenzie says that in his career, which includes 15 years as a corporate and 20 years as an independent agent, his experience has been that it is important to make decisions on the appropriate data rather than too much data.
He commented: “It can be surprising how little knowledge some agents have about their own business, their own performance and what their needs are to run the business successfully. Agents need to know their appropriate data and understand what they need to be doing to ensure the longevity of their business.”
McKenzie notes that when he was the MD of a large corporate brand, he asked the top-performing agents how they like to be managed. “One of the things they hated was when management ignored underperformance, as it was demotivating to them as agents who put in the extra work. They also loved reward and recognition, they wanted to be top of the league tables. Give an estate agent a league table and they win try and win it.”
He added: “If individuals want to know the comparisons throughout their areas, then as a business owner I would certainly want to know what my competitors are doing.
“Our sister company BriefYourMarket has a product called KnowYourMarket, which provides a mystery shopping service both in-house and externally to competitors. This provides a wealth of information and helps agents to be better. Talking about evolution and gamification of the sector, I wonder if we have done enough of it over the past ten years.”
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