Mark McLeod: Is your shop open for business?

Everyone in our industry is always looking for an edge.

Things to set them apart, ways to make them stand out in their community.

When people ask me, “What is the best way to do this?”.

I always answer “with consistency”.

Consistency around all the items that make a difference.

It is often not the answer they want to hear, but it is the one I always give.

In recent times, in my role with Ray White, we have been able, through our platform NurtureCloud, to receive data in a way that we have never done before.

We are able to delve deep into offices and individual businesses to identify areas where they are strong and areas where perhaps they need to improve.

This information has been invaluable and will continue to help us to improve our business. 

However, a picture has emerged for me in a way that seems to be simple and makes great sense.

I have never spoken about it, nor have I heard anyone in our industry mention it, and that is ‘CCH’ (Customer Contact Hours).

What does this mean? As I always like to do, let’s start with an analogy.

Two coffee shops sit side by side, one is open 20 per cent of the time and one is open 100 per cent of the time. You don’t have to be Einstein to work out which one is going to have the greatest turnover. 

With the insights I now have, I have started to ask different questions of our network and have started to look at what percentage of the available capacity that an individual agent or team has in actual customer contact hours.

For example: open for inspections are customer contact hours if you have a platform to convert or identify people inspecting the properties into future homeowners in your suburb.

Calling through a well organised and clean database and talking to people in your community are customer contact hours.

Conducting auctions on-site or in-rooms, where there are often huge crowds, gathering all that information and turning it back into data is of great value.

As I started to dive in deeper, I began to realise that many agents were spending less than 10 per cent of their available time in customer contact hours, making it nearly impossible for that business to have any significant growth or potential. 

On the flip side, when I started to look at some of our top performers, they were in fact using 50 to 60 per cent, and sometimes even higher, of the available time they had across all their teams in customer contact hours.

For so long we have hidden behind bulk emails, non-specific text messages, and more recently social media, thinking we are making meaningful contact with our customers.

Upon reading this article, sit down with yourself and your team and ask yourself how much of your most valuable currency, which is time, have you allocated to customer contact hours.

You may be surprised. 

Let’s go for a walk on the logical path.

If you find a way through systems and processes to increase your ‘CCH’, I guarantee you that ultimately your business will succeed.

In my career experience, most agents don’t fail because they can’t list or sell a home.

They fail because their shops are only open a very small number of hours per week.

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