Real Insights Article Series
This is an ongoing series of articles that cover the topics and insights shared during the three-day Real Conf 2021 hosted by Adfenix. The following article summarizes the keynote session with Stefan Bjärkefur on Day 2 of the conference. The topic of Stefan’s session is: The Value of Data in the Real Estate Industry
With over 15 years of real estate industry experience, Stefan Bjärkefur currently serves as CEO of Quedro, a market leader in CRM platform and solutions for real estate agencies, and he shares his experiences and vast insights on why understanding the value of data is so crucial in the property sector.
“One does not have to be a data scientist to tap into valuable data”, Stefan says, but he asserts that the most pressing issue regarding data today is that it is scattered. Divided over multiple data points and multiple services, it is difficult for many to know where to start and identify what type of data to aggregate, how to align it and understand it. And yet, the past few years have revealed that tech infrastructure is growing at a ferocious speed, with companies using an average of 20 different platforms and softwares for their business.
Are you extracting real valuable data?
For agents, their website is their single most strategic asset. It is where:
- Brand building takes place
- Inbounds are being converted to business opportunities
- Professional marketing programs are working alongside each other and across different channels
No matter the amount of traffic coming in, the question is whether you are getting the minimum amount of information back to you (source, contact info, query etc), or are you actually reaping the benefits of having access to a much wider information portfolio coming from the website? The majority answer is the former, most agents are only receiving the bare minimum, but there is a huge pool of data available that they can tap into to validate their business potential and increase conversion and performance.
Connecting a website to a CRM software or sales engine is a first step to extracting true data, but what about another layer? Some agents may add a property management software running the entire transaction selling a property but lose track over all the many key events and key points of data that occur throughout the process. Many agents have confessed that they are getting the minimum amount of data points to be able to connect it from the first physical or digital contact down to the actual transaction. The advantage is that yes, it’s possible to track ROI, but the downside is that they can’t navigate their sales marketing incentives.
The aim is to build a 360-Customer image which is filled with data from all these different services and transaction processes in order to maximize and build user experience. This includes:
- Automating sales processes
- Increasing user experiences
- Harvesting insights
- Learning how to train your agent
Because marketing and sales have consistently been the strongest drivers over the past 10-15 years, Stefan suggests piggybacking off 1 or 2 of your strongest strategic partners in marketing or sales, which will enable professionals to set the scenario, set goals, and lay out a plan for data management in order to really start creating that 360-Customer Image.
“Understanding your data is key to leveraging your data” - Asking the wrong questions means getting the wrong answers. Instead of being hellbent on identifying patterns in your data, try tweaking and enhancing the questions you’re asking so that you’re not working from an already flawed or incorrect system of questions based on wrong assumptions.
Two Case Studies:
- White space analysis - i.e. looking for gaps rather than patterns. We can ask what data is missing in order to field the questions we want answered, through interviews, surveys or simply reversing the questions traditionally asked. For example, a study was taken of one agency’s usage of an online meeting scheduler that enabled a quick and simple way for agents and clients to meet without having to go back-and-forth via email or phone. The records showed that the highest number of meetings were booked midway through the week, with Wednesday being a frontrunner, but the company wanted to figure out how to drive more meetings into the schedule week-round. Applying white space analysis meant not trying to shove more meetings into more weekday slots, but asking why weren’t more meetings being booked on weekends? Assessing a couple of additional factors (number of available time slots and ratio of scheduled meetings vs available time slots) revealed that while agents simply allocated more time slots during certain weekdays and very few on weekends, almost 100% of any time slots given would be accepted by clients, even on weekends. This led the company to release internal recommendations for agents to allocate more time slots not just on weekdays but weekends too.
- Everything has a context - In this case, in efforts to help one client improve their sales meetings and conversion rates, the number of meetings their agents were taking at different times of the day were taken into account and studied. This only revealed when and how these meetings were being held. To add context, the number of closings (hit-rates) were then added as a factor, revealing that the time of day a meeting was scheduled had a significant impact on hit-rate, with almost double the likelihood of closing a deal if a meeting was scheduled at 8 in the morning or 10 at night rather than at midday. When agents were asked why they scheduled meetings at these crucial times, the insight gleaned was that agents who took the time to schedule meetings at what would otherwise be considered strenuous times of the day, did so because they already knew the likelihood for that particular client to close that day was high. When customers, on the other hand, were asked why they closed with their agents at these times, they responded that they were appreciative of the obvious efforts exerted by agents who catered to their terms.
In both case studies, reversing or altering the questions asked resulted in tremendous insight in what was really happening underneath the data. Keep in mind that while these are simplified examples taking only one or two factors into account, much time and effort still have to be given to businesses that in reality employ upto 20 programs and softwares at one time, greatly amplifying the number of variables that come into play. That means concentrating efforts on one or two of the best performing software or partners is key when it comes to benchmarking data, identifying valuable patterns and harnessing true insight.
In this keynote summary, our takeaway points are:
- Are you extracting real valuable data? Most agents are only receiving the bare minimum, but there is a huge pool of data available to tap into for increased performance.
- 360-Customer Image - Building a profile which is filled with data from different services and transaction processes in order to maximize and build user experience.
- “Piggybacking” off of 1 or 2 of your strongest partners in marketing or sales will be one of the most strategic moves to plan for success
- “Understanding your data is key to leveraging your data” - White Space Analysis - don’t look for patterns, look for gaps.
- Everything has a context - Simply reversing or altering the way questions are asked can reveal never-before-seen insight in data that’s already there.
Real Conf 2021 is a three-day virtual event exploring ways that agencies and brokerages can leverage the power of digital to increase business opportunities, elevate the brand, and empower agents to deliver success. The conference features hundreds of invaluable insight from keynote speakers, panel discussions and case studies from experts in the field.
All 15 sessions with 25 speakers are now available to stream on-demand.
Gain full access to the stream and watch the sessions in their entirety by signing up here: https://www.adfenix.com/real-conf