Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Survive and Thrive

I have just read through a 20 page supplement called survive and thrive produced by the negotiator magazine.

This follows on from a conference held recently, which I didn't attend for two reasons: one, price, the other was the lack of speakers discussing online marketing and the like.

As the name would suggest, survive and thrive is all about guiding agents through the current market downturn. The strap line reads 'A comprehensive guide to help estate agents navigate their way through the current market downturn'. Having read through 20 odd pages of advice from different players in the industry I can find only four sentences about online marketing, search, websites and the online space. They call it new media and merely say buyers habits have changed. It makes you want to scream!!! Buyers habits have changed... of course they have, the whole world has changed. They would have got more from this conference if they had called it 'buyers habits have changed' and then analysed that.

Maybe I have missed a page or two, but I am shocked, saddened, angry, confused as I fail to understand how there can be no discussion whatsoever about the online space. People, there is no other space! Is it not as plain as a pikestaff? I am at a loss to understand how, for example, the commercial director of rightmove has nothing to say about online marketing (he may have done at the conference, but it is not in the supplement). Well, maybe I am not surprised given their ever spiralling share price and general treatment of agents.

Anyway, sorry for the rant, but I meet good agents on a daily basis who recognise where the future of the industry is heading and are looking to absorb advicea nd information like sponges. They are keen and someone needs to head up a conference that is affordable and on message for the agents of the future.

Incidentally, the online space only gets a mention in the a-z survival guide under 'N' for New Media and then four sentences. So here is my start of more useful a-z survival guide. Starting with 'A'

A is for analytics. Without analysis of your entire process you will never know what is going on. You need to measure performance and manage your cost per lead effectively. Understanding where customers are coming from, where they are going, what they are clicking on is fundamental to your future success in this market.

B to follow.


Anonymous said...

I wouldn't get too upset if I was you - it looks like the new editor of The Neg is somewhat from the 'old' school. Ros Renshaw was very fair and often ran pieces about online agencies like Brightsale etc. but so far the new incumbant seems keener to try to prop up the status quo (will of course will not work). Even the Estate Agency News published Paul Smith's prediction that in 5 years online agencies will have 10% market share. Quelle horreur!

Property Owl said...

Thanks for the comment. Ros Renshaw's new online outfit, Estate Agenct today, is at least a step in the right direction. Interesting that none of trade press is not yet really online.

Unknown said...


It was good to read your comments on the "Survive and Thrive" guide. I am researching on what Estate Agents need to do well on today's market.

It used to be very easy to sell property, but now Estate Agents need better selling and negotiating skills, as well as market forecast, and that's what we are putting together.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did the Survive and Thrive conference cost, that put you off?

Do you agree that Estate Agents need to improve their selling skills?

I appreciate your help,

Fabio Marcolini

Property Owl said...

Hi Fabio

Thanks for the comment. See our recent blog about google knol, where we have placed an article about the online revolution in the estate agency industry.

With reference to selling, I think the more important point is that agents need to be more customer focused. Agents need to be professional and prepared to adapt to customer needs. If anything, they need to be less 'sales' orientated, at least with the verbals.

i don't recall the precise cost of the conference, but could have been around £500.

Let us know if you need help with you research. Who is the research for?