A recent study conducted by the Technical University of Denmark reported that the attention span of people around the world is diminishing due to the amount of information we are presented with – which raises the question of how we can use tech to enhance engagement, better knowledge acquisition and optimise learning experiences in the property industry.
The report states that on account of the sheer volume of sources fighting for our attention at one time, it is a lot harder to get noticed, and people also tend to lose interest a lot more quickly. Data from Microsoft supports this claim, adding that on average we now have shorter attention spans than a goldfish – with goldfish having a nine second attention span, this means we now have eight.
For anyone tasked with implementing strategy and driving engagement within their estate agency, whether it be for consumers, employees or both, it is essential to understand what can be done to drown out the noise and ensure all eyes are on you.
In a Q&A for iamproperty’s Tech of a Life magazine, Dan Milne, Customer Success Manager at iamproperty, spoke to Edward Short, Head of Professional & Financial Services at Attensi, a global gamified learning specialist providing bespoke training.
The pair explore how new technology can best be utilised within the property sector as well as how training can be used to encourage optimum performance and the effective adoption of new technological tools.
We reproduce the Q&A in full below for EAT & LAT readers.
How does gamification combine technology with the currently rising trends of e-learning?
Edward commented: “Like many other industries, the property sector often has a fragmented workforce, where team members can be based in locations all over the country. It makes the implementation of new products and services difficult, especially when roll out is to a tight timescale or must be done simultaneously. That’s not a concept that’s new to Attensi - we create gamified simulations that help businesses all over the world to develop programmes for their global workforce. We create bespoke solutions that have just the right mix of psychology and technology to make learning a success.
If we play to the goldfish rule, content must have some core characteristics in order to win and keep people’s attention. It must be bite sized and targeted, it has to be available on all platforms to drive convenience, it needs to consider that we all have different ways of taking in information, and it has to support communication tools to grab attention and drive engagement. Content also needs to be fun and easy to follow, while playing to the individuals’ strengths. Businesses have to be able to measure its success – it’s not a tick box exercise. So, what does that mean in practice? You need to spend time understanding the people in your team, who they are, how they take in information best, and what motivates them.”
How is tech making learning more appealing to people?
Edward elaborated that: “The younger generations, like Gen Z and Millennials are digital natives and they’re very used to having multiple screens and apps open. This has an interesting influence on people’s expectations of content – they want to be able to pick it up and put it down wherever they want. We’ve talked about what that means for short, snappy and consistent training, but what is also means is that when it comes to learning about new products and services, they’ll likely want to have access to look around, want to experience it for themselves and access it on the device they respond to best. People want the whole journey to link up a cross their laptop, tablet and phone.”
What are the essential elements to creating a successful learning platform?
Edward continued: “When I think about how I take in any new information I never get anything spot on first time, I need to practice, repeat, make mistakes, ask questions, and test different scenarios. When you’re learning you will naturally make mistakes, and not everyone responds well to doing that publicly amongst their peers. What often works better is creating a digital environment in which it is safe to learn and to fail, because it feels like a video game. It’s fun and competitive but no one is looking over your shoulder if you do take a wrong turn through the training.
“What Estate Agents can learn from tried and tested gamified knowledge transfer is that by creating a ‘safe’ physical experience that replicates real life scenarios, people take in more information and are able to implement new products and services faster – we see this all of the time in retail and sales.”
Dan commented: “Having the space to make mistakes is important, particularly for our industry where agents are currently fishing in a very shallow pond for new opportunities. Agents don’t want to be making mistakes in front of clients because they can quickly lose instructions to another agent. Providing agents with the environment to practice is vital, especially for those newly joining a team.”
How does psychology influence the tech behind gamified e-learning?
Edward explained: “The psychology comes into play when we’re thinking about how individuals take in information. Creating common factors for people within an industry and looking at how we play to those strengths is where we see the magic happen.
“Estate Agents are known for their competitive nature, and it’s what makes the industry so savvy and fast paced. My advice to agents is to play to this strength and tap into that competitive nature. We all like to win, and the elements used in gamified knowledge transfer make the whole experience competitive. It’s playing to the psychology and the proven tactics that ensure we take in information, especially when it comes to new technology, products, or services.
“For example, scoring product information like a video game with levels and points for accuracy, or adding leader boards to product or service sessions brings the friendly competition that makes it compelling for people to ‘play’. It makes learners return to it again and again, which goes back to the psychology – the more we do something, the more we remember. We need to create situations which mimic real life, and which also encourage us to repeat something multiple times.”
How does gamification enhance the learning experience?
Edward added: “As Dan said, the property market is buoyant and agents already have a lot of challenges in play, including dealing with compliance and regulation changes. Agents are time poor and so product and service implementation must fit with what’s important, while also recognising that it’s essential to evolve alongside the changing market. The property sector needs to be continually prepared for what’s next, so training for that is essential, even if it doesn’t feel valuable right now. A big part of winning engagement with Estate Agents is to make learning convenient and immersive, as well as fun. If training is a big task that takes up huge blocks of time, it’s hard for businesses and employees to see how it fits into the working day, which makes it easier push it down to the bottom of the list, until the business realises how much the training is needed. If businesses make training a convenient ongoing task that team members can come back to whenever they have 10 minutes spare, it becomes much less like a chore and a lot more enjoyable.”
Explore how disruption can be an opportunity for progression alongside brand new property industry insights in the latest edition of iamproperty’s digital magazine Tech of a Life.