By David Boughtflower
Business Analyst at Reapit, 14 years in Residential Sales and Lettings
I entered estate agency in the eye of the 2008 economic storm, so I’m aware that, for some agencies, 2023 will see reduced overheads and working lean for (quite) a few months. Back then it meant maximising each opportunity, while trying to keep up with customer expectations.
But I know first-hand that when everything in the business becomes a priority – nothing is.
As a manager, the first thing to understand was our strengths and weaknesses; which areas of services we were on top of, and where we would regularly fall short.
But pulling this insight from scratch was a huge, manual overhead, and any data we would collect would be out of date after a week. It was time and resource we didn’t have. This is why I’m delighted to help bring to market four new, ready-to-go dashboards that help to answer those problems.
Evaluate agency processes with the Lettings MI Suite
Understanding what your agency does better than competitors means you can position services as a key selling point. On the flip side, knowing your weaknesses enables you to prioritise for improvement, whether your team struggle to keep up with compliance, manage property void periods and conduct renewals on time, or they’re simply maxed out and at capacity.
We’ve just launched the first phase of our suite of Lettings MI reports, which provides a clear, visual overview of agency operations, so you can see exactly where your business falls short and where you’re excelling, so you can manage your team proactively and apply focus where it matters.
View all your metrics in one place
It can be painful spending countless hours digging out data to build a full view of your lettings and property management performance. That’s why I’m delighted to present a Property Management Dashboard that does the job for you, pulling the data from property and customer records in real-time, for an always updated, holistic view of your operations. Here’s what the dashboard shows you:
- Your works order volume, and time taken to complete works by type, and by supplier
- Which suppliers need to provide updated accreditations to ensure your services remain compliant
- Certificates due to expire, and those which have been renewed
- Total inspections booked, completed, and followed up
- A detailed overview of total arrears
- Insight into your voids and renewals – but more on that shortly…
Interrogate the data
As an agent, collating data into a static report offered me limited insight, as any further investigation required stepping out of the report and navigating my way to individual records. That problem ceases to exist across the Lettings MI suite. All four dashboards are completely interactive, so you can click all the way through to individual data sources whenever you want to investigate further or begin actioning tasks.
For management teams, reports can be viewed by office, or at the company level, for a fuller picture of your operations and so you can compare metrics to see how different branches benchmark.
Are you leaking revenue?
Losing revenue hurts, particularly during the current market conditions – but especially when it’s avoidable. Not all agencies have the time to keep on track of their vacant properties but it can be dangerous not identifying gaps which need to be plugged.
That brings me to two more Lettings MI reports, the Void Analysis and Renewal Analysis dashboards, which enable agencies to understand where processes might need fine-tuning to ensure revenue is being maximised.
You can see current vacant properties, as well as average void periods to see whether there’s room for improvement. You can also be more proactive when renewing tenancies; seeing what’s upcoming, what’s ongoing, and lost renewals.
Large amounts of vacant property, longer-than-average void periods, and a low renewal percentage may indicate that property managers need more training or support to meet customer needs, whether that’s more time or resource allocated to arranging tenancies or setting up task plans to help automate processes.
See droughts before they materialise
Analysing my business pipeline was key to understanding what new business we could expect each month, recognising any potential droughts so we could ramp up marketing with a solid runway. However, maintaining the report proved to be another big overhead.
With the final dashboard, the Lettings Pipeline Report, agencies can see all the tenancies, associated yields, and management fees currently being arranged, so you can prioritise bringing in more instructions further down the line if the pipeline’s starting to look light.
Four ready-to-go dashboards
Having access to data is one thing; having the tools to draw operational insight is a game-changer. These dashboards would have offered incredible support to me as an agent, and even more so in a volatile market like the one we’re in today, so I’m happy to have been involved in building them.
We spoke to customers to understand what challenges they faced in accessing all the above metrics. We identified gaps in our current reporting suite, and where obtaining information from users and management was taking longer than necessary. Once developed the reports were released to a small set of customers, as part of a beta program. Their feedback steered further refinement, until we felt the reports would be of real value to our customers.
Now, here we are, with all four reports ready and available for all customers, and for the wider market in early 2023. We hope you find them useful.