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3 questions every property professional must answer to truly thrive in ‘The New Normal’

Mid-way through 2022, Joe Pepper, CEO of tmgroup reflects on the findings of ‘The New Normal’ report and asks if the industry is doing enough to adapt. Not sure if you’re surviving or thriving? Why not answer these 3 questions (honestly) and double-check you’re on course for success…

  1. Are you doing enough to retain your talent?

“Are your people happy?” – the million dollar question that stands to make or break the success of your firm.  We need to live the Be Kind agenda rather than simply pay lip service to it, and that means looking after our industry colleagues and partners.

Sadly, ‘The New Normal’ report revealed that many property professionals have just been paying lip service to wellbeing initiatives – with conveyancers shown to be worse off – including one Residential Conveyancer who claimed; “The firm I work for never even thanked us for all the extra hours we did.”

This is disappointing to say the least, as wellbeing initiatives (including training Mental Health First Aiders), flexible working, and progression opportunities can all go a long way to keep your teams happy and productive. Beyond the personal benefit to the individual, looking after people makes good business sense and can have a positive impact on staff turnover, sickness rates, and longer term recruitment costs too.

If you want some fresh inspiration for improving your staff retention strategy, you can see some of the initiatives forward-thinking firms have been adopting here in ‘The New Normal’ report or take a look at our recent tm:tv session recording – Top 5: Ways To Improve Staff Retention In Property Roles.

  1. Are you the slowest party in the transaction?

Because of the way the industry operates, we are regularly challenged by the pace of the slowest party. We all have to take some responsibility for this and understand if we’re part of the problem or the solution.

If in doubt, ask yourself:

  • When did you last review your processes?
  • Are you making short-term or long-term technology investments?
  • Are you finger-pointing and partaking in ‘the blame game’?
  • Are you doing everything possible to collaborate with other property professionals?

There’s definitely room for improvement here. For starters, we need to use technology to reduce the burden on people, not make life more difficult. We also need to look at information which can be digitally shared with all parties simultaneously without the need for a person to even make a phone call or send an email.

If you want to find out what industry experts are saying about collaboration and futureproofing the property industry to help drive positive change in the industry, download ‘The New Normal’ report or take a look at our recent tm:tv sessions:

  1. Are you holding your fees high? Or driving the race to the bottom?

A colleague at a major Lender once told me about the time they re-entered the Buy To Let arena and asked their surveying partners to quote for the volume, fully anticipating that each would quote a higher price due to the more complex nature of the work. Every single partner offered a reduced rate. We need to avoid that type of ‘race to the bottom’ behaviour and focus on selling the value of our businesses.

It was therefore promising in ‘The New Normal’ report to see several firms recognising their worth and raising their prices on the cusp of 2022 – with 17% citing increased fees vs. just 3% citing reduced fees. We still have some way to go, but hopefully this will become increasingly prominent in strategy planning.

Afterall, if we can build strong and reliable partnerships, then it shouldn’t just be about the fee, it should be about the way in which we share data and work together, and that should make the process easier for our people. Thus maintaining our competitive advantage and improving the experience for all concerned.

About ‘The New Normal’ report

Bringing together the voices of nearly 800 property professionals, including Residential Conveyancers, Commercial Real Estate Professionals, Estate Agents, Lenders, Surveyors, Developers, and more, ‘The New Normal’ research set out to capture how those working on the frontline of the property transaction really feel the industry is adapting. Download your FREE copy of ‘The New Normal’ here. A ‘first look’ at the report was also discussed at a tm:tv special back in January 2022. Watch the recording here.

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