The pandemic forced many businesses to adapt to remote working and estate agents are no exception. But as an estate agency manager, how do you keep everyone motivated and keep the business running like clockwork?
The key to success is good communication with your team (whether they are still working remotely or some employees have returned to the office) and with your customers.
Good communication skills on your part will help keep your employees engaged, keep your customers in the loop, and minimise disruption to your service and processes.
Here’s why communication is the key to managing your estate agency remotely.
Communicating well with your team
Staying on top of things
You’ll know that in estate agency, things move fast and there’s a need to keep on top of developments constantly. Sending an email out to your team is okay for the odd thing, but it’s not the ideal medium if you need a timely response or you or your team need to know something in detail. What you need is a platform like Microsoft Teams which not only allows you to conduct meetings with employees whether they are at home or in the office, but it also allows you to ask questions and talk about a particular topic in the chat channel, without clogging up your email inbox. It’s great for collaborating on something and sending out information or reminders, and it also integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft apps.
If you don’t have access to Teams then there is other chat software that you can use.
Having effective team meetings
Having effective remote meetings can be a challenge, but again, you need the right platform that allows you to seamlessly speak to certain groups of people at the same time. This will be relevant if you’re managing team members across a number of different branches. Microsoft Teams and Zoom are both great platforms for this.
If you find it difficult to keep your remote meetings productive, have a look at my top 7 tips for more effective remote meetings.
Keeping everyone productive
When teams are working remotely, or even if they are in the office during this time, staying productive can be tough. Having regular team meetings and check-ins can help people feel like they’re not out of sight and out of mind, and you can help everyone stay on track even when they aren’t physically together by using a task management system like Trello.
A system like Trello can provide an at-a-glance overview of task, projects, and processes that are ongoing and people can collaborate with each other on there instead of having to send countless emails or spend time on the phone.
Cloud-based document sharing software like Google Drive and Dropbox are also excellent for sharing files and documents within your team.
Don’t forget the human side of managing your estate agency too
Keeping that sense of being a team can be lost when you aren’t physically in one place, and many people will be struggling to adapt to this new way of working, not to mention struggling with personal issues that the pandemic may have caused.
This is the time for you to communicate with your team members as a human being who’s also trying to find their way in all of this. Have regular 1:1s with people where you don’t just talk about work and you offer support, and encourage everyone to get together for virtual after work drinks or a virtual cup of tea. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this can make to morale.
Putting in a daily catch up with your team also creates a support mechanism for all sides. It doesn’t need to be long but gives time to cover problems and issues.
Staying in touch with customers
Keep them in the loop
Buying a house is stressful at the best of times, and buying one in such uncertain times is even more so. This is why making a point of staying in touch with your customers is essential. Send out regular emails and newsletters to let them know how their sale or purchase is going, and what your estate agency is doing to minimise any inconvenience or disruption.
But remember, many customers will still want the personal touch when they are making a big emotional decision like buying or selling a home, so don’t forget to make contact regularly on the phone as well.
Let them know it’s business as usual, even if things feel unusual
Even if it sometimes feels like the world has stopped turning, there are plenty of creative ways that you can continue with your usual activities like property viewings.
Many estate agents have embraced virtual viewings, and why not?
One of your agents can do a live virtual viewing on Facebook or YouTube. Not only will potential buyers be able to see the property from the comfort of their own home, they’ll be able to ask the agent questions directly in the comments section too.
Another option is to ask the sellers to do a video tour of the property if they are still living in it and you can give them some advice on how to show it off in its best light.
Bringing it all together
So communication is key when it comes to managing your estate agency remotely/part-remotely. But you also need some other foundations in place; effective planning, the right tools and technology, and the people management skills to help make running the business as seamless as it can possibly get in these times.
Need help taking your estate agency from good to great?
Have these times shown you that while things are ticking along nicely, you could be thriving?
Maybe you have some great ideas about how to take the business forward but you don’t know how to start against the backdrop of all this chaos?
I can help.
I can help you identify what’s needed for you, your team, and the business to truly flourish.
My bespoke packages of reviews, training, workshops, and support will help you learn how to build and develop the well supported, engaged, and energised teams that will take your estate agency to the next level, as well as empowering you as a manager to make the changes that are needed.
I know you might feel nervous at the thought of investing in anything when things feel uncertain, but think of my help, guidance, and support as being a way to reduce your expenses, save money, and supercharge your profitability in the slightly longer term.
You’ll be amazed at what’s possible.
Get in touch for a chat.