Viewing by month: July 2010

Understanding your marketplace

It is essential for any business to understand the market that it is operating in.  As a real estate franchise, having a comprehensive knowledge of both the needs of clients as well as the activities of your competition could place you in much better stead to provide a superior service and improve the success of your agency. 

The first place to start in understanding your market is to conduct research.  This purpose of this research will largely be to determine how best the needs of your clients can be met.  You should be looking to answer questions such as whether or not potential clients exist, how such clients could be reached effectively, and what types of service touches they are looking for.    

The research should also consider the competitors that exist in your marketplace.  By understanding who these real estate agencies are and how they operate, you could be able to determine what changes can be made internally to set your agency apart. 

There are a number of ways to conduct research.  The best place for a real estate franchise to start will often be to actually get out into the community and talk directly to your target market.  This can be done by hosting a focus group where open discussion about real estate agencies is encouraged, and also by sending out a survey to people in the community, perhaps with some kind of incentive to respond. 

By asking questions such as, “What services do you expect from your real estate agency?” and “If you were to decide to sell your house right now, how would you go about choosing an agent?” in both an open forum and survey context, you could discover some quality insights about how to better satisfy your clients. 

There are also a number of methods to analyse your competitors.  Have a look around different agency websites and try to get an understanding about their specialties and points of difference.    It can also be helpful to look at the different types of advertising that other agencies use, and the varying promotions that are undertaken. 

There are a number of market research companies that exist who can be employed to conduct the necessary research for you.    However, given that conducting interviews and talking to your community could actually lead to new business for you, this option may not be the best one to go with.     

Once you have all of your research, you are then ready to analyse the market and your position within it.  You may find that speaking to people in your target market can open your eyes to new ways of doing business that you had not previously considered.  You could also see that you have some distinct advantages over competitors that your market needs to be made aware of.  Either way, the information gained from doing some market research can definitely allow your real estate franchise to prosper. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 22/07/2010 at 9:26 AM | Categories:

How to hire the best staff for your real estate franchise

Human capital is an essential element of any business.  As a real estate franchise, the agents and office staff that you choose to invite to work in your company could have a significant impact on your success at every level, whether it be selling houses or making sure that an advertisement makes a local publication’s deadline.
A lot of effort can go into ensuring that the person you hire is the right person for the job.  You will often find that hiring the wrong person has considerable ramifications; high staff turnover for incorrectly filled roles sometimes results in unnecessarily high training costs, staff unrest or even client confusion.   It is usually best to make sure you get it right the first time.    

When interviewing for a job opening, the best place to start is usually to put together a description of what the job entails, the roles and responsibilities, the salary package, and the qualifications required of the position.  This will help to save you time when filtering potential candidates, and you will have a much better feeling for the type of person you’re looking for. 

The job description should be explained to the candidate clearly, so that he or she has a clear understanding and expectation of what their potential role will involve.  You could be forced to start the whole process again if a new employee leaves soon after starting, because the job was different to what they had thought.  

Make sure that the people you hire possess the qualifications for the job openings that you have.  There is obviously room for training and further learning in any role, however a cohesive work unit is often hard to achieve if the people employed in certain roles are not able to fulfil them.  If you do decide to hire somebody who doesn’t have adequate experience for the position, make sure there is somebody more senior who will be able to provide them with the appropriate training. 

You could very well come across people in the hiring process who look the part, sound the part, and who have the personality and work characteristics that you feel would suit your franchise perfectly, however are not qualified for the position.  These cases can be tricky and the candidate hard to pass up.  Your golden rule should always remain that a new employee is not usually hired unless they possess the appropriate experience, qualifications and training required of a specific position.    

Remember that your employees manage all levels of your business, from paying salaries to dealing with customer complaints and crises.  Every role has the potential to impact upon the success of your franchise; you therefore need to try to make sure that the appropriate people are roles suited to their skills.  Hiring is important to get right, and your real estate agency should see the benefits when this results. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 05/07/2010 at 9:53 AM | Categories: