INDUSTRY INTERVIEW: MICHAEL DAY, INTEGRA PROPERTY SERVICES

As a whole, is the uk estate and letting agency keeping up to date with the latest in both marketing and technology or is there still vast room for improvement?

The property industry generally remains quite conservative (with a small c) but there are a number of exciting projects being developed around the sector and innovative new products and services being launched.

Many agents are still spending more on their desks and chairs than they do on their online and database marketing strategies. I know which is likely to produce the better return.

If you look at the portals, it is only sixteen years since Rightmove launched as a £10 million “start up” and it is now capitalised at around £3.7bn. But even Rightmove will need to evolve its business model from that of primarily being an online advertising medium if it is to retain its leadership position. Zoopla is taking a different approach to the sector and I can’t see On the Market surviving as anything other than a small niche player.

The growth of the internet and the portals has seen the number of people contacting agents diminish and the stage at which they contact agents become delayed and yet agents still, in the main, do little to capture the customer earlier and staff are often “order takers” rather than proactive business generators. Selling and buying, letting and renting is still a people business yet I feel that the quality of communication offered by many is well below what it could be and, if faced with an online execution only service at a fraction of the fee, agents should ask themselves whether they are really doing enough to justify to their clients a significant fee differential if the client cannot differentiate between the services being offered..

Of course, any comments I make here are generic and there are some examples of excellence across the business.

Lots of recent headlines in last couple of years hitting the industry including OnTheMarket, Brexit, emergence of hybrid/online agencies and now Trump – Is the industry still in a healthy state with great potential for growth?

The industry will remain healthy for those who embrace change and work hard at ensuring they differentiate themselves from their competition and deliver market leading services and service.

I unfortunately see many examples of lazy, complacent and lack lustre businesses and I do think there will be “blood on the carpet” for those who fail to innovate and invest the time in getting ahead, or even keeping up with, the curve of change.

I do not see huge growth in the unit numbers of transactions in either sales or lettings in the next year and there will certainly be challenges caused by Brexit and future Government legislation. The development of new business models and marketing channels will also impact further on the industry. For many this will mean reduced revenues and opportunities but for others it will herald new beginnings and an exciting new era. There are always opportunities for growth even if it is at the expense of the competition.

How does Integra Property Services help to improve the business of estate and letting agencies across the country?

I work with estate and letting agencies in three main areas:

As a business mentor, as a trainer and as a marketing adviser and copywriter.

My 41 years of experience in the property industry (I still maintain I was only three when I started) gives me an almost unprecedented wealth of experience in regards building businesses and developing high performing teams and people. For many of my clients I fulfil a quasi non exec director role and I am both a sounding board and sense checker as well as a challenger and driver of change and improvement. I am often called upon to work with teams on specific projects but a growing number of clients work with me on a regular monthly basis helping them keep focused on the achievement of the business plans we have developed.

As a business coach and trainer, I run bespoke mentoring and coaching sessions on sales, management and compliance as well as open courses on compliance and management. Over 1000 delegates have attended my courses on Consumer Protection and Money Laundering Regulations in the last two years.

Every year I produce punchy, SEO friendly, business generating copy for agents websites and also write articles, manage social media accounts  and help drive traffic to websites.

I also discreetly act and dispose of businesses, enabling owners to exit or merge with others.

I have over 300 clients in the property sector and many have been kind enough to write about their experiences of working with me and these can be found on my website www.integra-ps.com

 

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