Strategic Planning – More Critical Than Ever Now!

by Marilyn Wilson on November 17, 2016

Strat PlanningNever before has our industry been moving more quickly.  Industry initiatives like UpstreamRE, Broker Public Portal and AMP are coming are way.  Consumers are looking for more and more transparency.   Agents must learn how to use technologies effectively if they are going to survive working with Millenials.

What is YOUR organization doing to adapt and adjust to the fundamental changes that are upon us?

WAV Group conducts strategic planning sessions regularly for MLSs, Associations, Brokerages and Technology companies. There are five fundamental questions that every organization needs to ask itself today.

  1. What’s our organization’s TRUE value? 

If your organization was going to market today, would it be viable?  Would it have unique value to its customers?  Would it have what it takes to attract customers of all shapes and sizes?   Would you be able to secure funding?   How would you quantify that it has value?

If the answer is no, then its time to do some thinking about what your customers really need and how you are going to provide vital solutions for them.

  1. How good are we at telling our story?  Getting Adoption?

While most organizations that we work with offer an amazing collection of services and support, I have never worked with ANY organization that is satisfied with the level of engagement, adoption and usage they have achieved.  Organizations sometimes fall into the trap of “checking it off the list”.  They say to themselves, “yes, I offer a really powerful suite of technologies” or “my customer support is available 24/7” or “my training programs are diverse and helpful”. While all of these statements are probably true, it’s not enough just to offer great programs.  It takes a commitment to on-going promotion of all of the services that you offer and a vigilant monitoring or adoption, usage and satisfaction.

We hear stories all the time about how an agent switched from one brokerage to the other because they were offered free Zillow advertising or some other “shiny object”.   We also talk to agents and brokers who spend money unnecessarily on programs that are ALREADY offered by their MLS or brokerage because they’re not aware its available to them as part of their regular MLS subscription.

If you don’t effectively promote your services, there’s no way you’re going to get credit for them.  If you don’t effectively promote your services, you’re wasting money and you’re not building your value proposition. It’s time to get creative about the best ways to excite your customers about the tools you offer.   It’s also time to review the tools you offer to be sure they really are relevant and valuable too.

  1. Are you Creating Trust and Connectedness?

While these words might sound a little “squishy” for some, it’s been proven that brand loyalty is formed when customers create an emotional connection with the brand or service. If your organization is not focused on better ways to build meaningful trust relationships you are putting your organization at risk.

  1. Are you centered on what your customers need?  REALLY?

No organization will ever admit they are not squarely focused on the needs of their customers, but the truth is every organization has blind spots.  Are you TRULY focused on serving the best interests of your customers and not focused solely on protecting your job or the jobs of your staff?   Do you even thing of your MLS members or agents in your brokerage as customers?  Do you focus on earning their trust and loyalty every day?

It’s easy to do what’s easiest for the brokerage or for the MLS and ignore the needs of real estate agents. It’s even easier to ignore the needs of the ultimate customer – the home buyer and seller.  When’s the last time you connected with real estate consumers to see what kind of a job your members/agents are doing for them?   If you’re not attuned to the needs of those that support your business model, then you’re already failing.  It’s just a matter of time before someone that IS connected to your customer is going to take market share from you or worse yet, your entire business.

  1. Are you making the tough decisions and staying on top of things?

There are a TON of new ideas/companies/programs coming our way in real estate today.  Are you at the forefront of these initiatives, learning about what they are and how they might impact your business and your customers?   Are you getting involved and volunteering to be test cases for new ideas that could help re-invent real estate over time? If not there could be something coming that could wipe out your value proposition and you’re not even aware of it.

Reflect on these five topics.  If you can honestly say that you are not truly committed to achieving all of the ideas outlined above, then it’s probably time for some organizational reflection via a strategic plan, or even a few candid conversations.

If you need help finding the best ways to create positive waves of change in your business, call us and we’ll be happy to help!

 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kevin McQueen November 18, 2016 at 5:35 am

Marilyn, this is really good stuff here. Thank you for helping all of us think about what’s most important. – Kevin

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: