Why estate and letting agents need to futureproof their businesses
31 October 2018 4791 Views
A recent 'red flag alert' report from an insolvency firm warned that the number of real estate businesses defined as being in 'significant financial distress' has soared.
The findings from Begbies Traynor's report, which analysed all sectors of the UK economy, revealed that in the third quarter of 2018 there was a 2% increase in the number of property firms experiencing financial distress.
In absolute terms this meant a rise from 42,748 in the second quarter to 43,505 in the third quarter. Year on year, there has also been alarming rise, with a 16% increase in the number of real estate firms registering distress – up from 37,519 in the third quarter of 2017 to 43,505 in the same period this year. What's more, this was the highest increase of any sector of the economy examined by the report.
Why evolution and innovation can futureproof your businesses
Fortunately, it's also the case that many agencies are still thriving and the property industry, more than most, has dealt with recent political and economic turmoil with a business as normal approach. It's also one part of the economy that has really boomed since the global financial crisis a decade ago.
However, while the sector is resilient and adaptable, it's not bulletproof – and there are steps you can take to ensure you don't experience any financial difficulties. Evolving and innovating to keep up to speed with an increasingly mobile, tech-savvy population is vital, while good customer service is as timeless as ever.
In this day and age, a slick, glossy, well-oiled website is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. People will want a smooth user journey, cutting-edge features, pleasing aesthetics and easy integration with social media and the portals.
The ability to carry out a property search with Google Maps integration, customisable search criteria and even virtual tours is now an expectation, while it's crucial that any website is fully optimised for mobile viewing thanks to the huge boom in smartphone use in recent years.
People also want to be kept up to date on a regular basis, which is where powerful customer log-in areas come in very handy. It helps to keep that line of communication open at all times between you and your clients. It enables people to track sales, view tenancy contracts, report maintenance problems, and request and track work orders.
An all-in-one approach
To give your business the best chance of warding off financial distress and growing over time, it helps if all aspects of your business are working in complete harmony. This lessens the chances of confusion, issues or complications.
An all-in-one, cloud-based software system enables you to keep track of your staff, customers, workload and diary. You can keep on top of call-backs, valuations and instructions, ensuring you don't miss out on vital new business. It also enables you to keep customers informed at all times – and customers that feel valued and content are what will help your business to thrive.
A web-based, access from anywhere software system, like the ones we provide at Gnomen, also provides integrated office accounting to ensure you always know the bottom line.
As we can see from the above report, sound fiscal management is more important than ever – and our integrated accounting system takes care of both you and your clients' books, giving you that much-needed peace of mind.
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