My partner and I are currently considering moving house. We have a dog (gratuitous cute picture below) and we’ve outgrown our first floor flat and need some outdoor space. And so we’ve embarked on the time-consuming process of house hunting. Last weekend we were at a viewing and I got chatting to the agent about their approach to property marketing. He told me that their strategy (and that of many of the agencies he knows) is to put properties on listing platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla with an asking price “a good deal” below what the vendor will accept.
This pissed me off, especially as our budget is tight (this is London, after all) and already doesn’t go as far as I’d like. Viewing properties that we think we can afford, only to be told that the vendor expects 15-20% more as a minimum is infuriating. And so I asked the listing agent why this practice was so widespread.
“It’s all about marketing,” he told me “but not specifically of this property. We use platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla to drive traffic and get people on viewings. It’s rare that people end up buying the property they initially enquired about.”
"It's all about marketing...We use property platforms like Rightmove and Zoopla to drive traffic and get people on viewings. It's rare that people end up buying the property they initially enquired about."
Obviously, this is interesting to me as the co-founder of a business that’s designed to equip commercial property agents with the information they need to find the best tenants for their spaces.
We know, from talking to occupiers from across the commercial market that one of their biggest bug-bears when it comes to property listing sites is that, all too often, advertised spaces are either no longer available or have been selectively listed to improve the chances of the agent receiving an enquiry.
What’s more, one of the biggest issues facing commercial agents is how to engage with, process and evaluate all the leads they receive. One office agent that’s now using Qualifyr told us that on some properties they can receive up to 200 enquiries per week. Their small team simply doesn’t have the time (or, I’d imagine, the inclination) to engage with so much interest – especially since (before Qualifyr) they didn’t have a system in place that could help them manage and screen the leads they were receiving.
In a previous blog post I talked about how many agencies are receiving negative social media coverage from occupiers that are frustrated by slow (or non-existent) responses to their property enquiries. In this post, I want to talk about the three steps you, as an agent, can go through to make the most of every lead you receive, and how Qualifyr can help you do that.
The first step in any sales process is the accurate capturing and storing of leads. So many of the agencies we’ve spoken to in the last 18 months use decentralised systems (often Excel spreadsheets, Post-It notes or their email inboxes) to store the details of incoming enquiries.
Using systems like this can feel like it’s time saving: “enquiries come into my inbox, and that’s where they live” but, even with a sophisticated system of folders and tags, this approach soon becomes cumbersome and slows things down.
What’s more, enquiries that are received more than a week ago often get forgotten – we know that agents are required to spin multiple plates on multiple instructions at the same time and so leads often fall down the cracks.
Capturing your leads in a centralised place is the first step to making the most of every lead you receive. Qualifyr does this by connecting to all your marketing channels – both online and offline – and automatically storing leads in your agency’s personal database.
Once you’ve captured leads somewhere central, the real work begins. The first step in evaluating the leads you’ve received is, inevitably, information gathering. Leads that come through from online sources all-to-often comprise a name, email address and a message like “I need shop”. The back-and-forth to gather the required technical information can take, in the words of one of our users “bloody weeks” (she swore worse than that, but I don’t want to trigger any corporate content filters!)
Even when you get an occupier on the phone it can be torturous to find them at a time where they can give you their full attention. And it’s miraculous if they have the information you need.
My business partner, Leo, and I met while working for Make Shift, an innovative property company dedicated to helping independent entrepreneurs access commercial space. So we have experience in helping businesses that have little experience navigating the world of commercial real estate to articulate their needs.
We’ve built our screening form based on this knowledge, and refined it with over 600 independent businesses in the last 18 months. This means that we’re now experts in collecting all the vital technical information you need in order to make the right decisions for your landlord clients.
With all the information in hand, you can truly evaluate every application for space faster than ever before, and at scale.
The final step before deal making is to make that vital match. Cross-comparing occupier requirements with the specifications of the available space. This can be time consuming and, if you haven’t managed to gather full technical information from the occupier beforehand there are many ‘deal killer’ red lines that can be missed.
A Leasing Director we spoke to told us that they recently lost a deal because nobody in the team had
One of the biggest wastes of resource in the agency world is leads that are evaluated but don’t quite make the cut – they are often wasted and go nowhere.
Qualifyr solves both these problems with its unique matching algorithm. Not only do we give agents an instant interest schedule of the best-matching businesses for each property, we cross-match every incoming enquiry against all your available properties, meaning that you maximise the utility of every single lead you bring into the platform.
You can be up and running with Qualifyr in less than 30 minutes.
We’ve designed Qualifyr to help you gather information quickly and efficiently, and maximise every lead that comes in. We sit between your marketing activity and the deal – equipping you with everything you need to use your expertise to its fullest and provide the best outcomes for your clients.
If you’d like to hear more about Qualifyr and see the platform in action, get in touch and book a demo today!