Our recent roundtable on the government’s proposed ban on letting agent fees charged to tenants generated ten tips for growing your business.
Since then, we’ve been exploring each tip in detail. This week, we’re sharing five things you should know about data mining.
The concept is easy to understand
Data mining simply involves analysing your client and property data in a bid to spot patterns of behaviour that you can use to inform your business strategy.
Retail businesses, particularly supermarkets, spend millions of pounds every year slicing and dicing their data to help them predict consumer spending behaviour, so that they can stock their stores and tailor their marketing campaigns accordingly.
Ever wondered how you receive discount vouchers for your favourite groceries? This is data mining at its best (and scariest); supermarkets have endless data on your shopping preferences, and the frequency with which you buy certain items, plus your personal contact details if you’ve got a loyalty card, so all they need to do is match the information and, hey presto, you receive tailored marketing material.
The same principle can work for agents and property businesses, but you need to know where your data is stored and how to access it.
Don’t forget, you don’t hold client and property data just in your database(s); your Twitter and Facebook feeds contain wonderfully rich data that can inform your business decisions - they can give you a good indication of what clients and prospective clients are searching for.
Clean data is essential
We all know that age-old problem of multiple databases, duplicate data and, worst case scenario, inaccurate data.
An effective data mining campaign requires clean data, so start by sitting down and, as aforementioned, work out exactly where your data is, the most time efficient way to clean it and, subsequently, how to go about consolidating it.
Your software provider is an invaluable partner
Your software provider will have access to most, if not all, of your data, so arrange a time to sit down with your relationship manager and discuss exactly how they can support you in your efforts.
Your provider should also be able to explain the most time and cost-efficient way to undertake the exercise.
There’s no time like the present to start
Data mining takes time, irrespective of whether you manage it in house or outsource the exercise, so what are you waiting for?
Educate yourself about the subject, talk to your software provider about your goals and find out exactly how they can support you.
You can boost your professionalism
You may be wondering why you should bother mining your data. It’s simple: the benefits of data mining are endless. At the very least, the exercise will enable you to position yourself as an informed and relevant agency or property business that understands your clients’ needs.
The greater your data intelligence, the better informed you’ll be for client meetings, which will enable you to be one step ahead from the outset.
*Nigel Poole is Founder and Managing Director at Eurolink Veco™