It’s that time of year again; the holiday break is a distant memory and our focus shifts to hustling hard and chasing sales targets. But there’s no point focusing on your goals if the things surrounding you in your business are holding you back.
Having your tech audited and analysed early in the year can not only save you a huge amount of time and money, but increase productivity and ultimately aid to increase sales and listings. Here are the three key areas you should be focusing on for maximum reward.
Managed print (printers and photocopiers)
This is an area that is so often overlooked but can really make a big difference in your business.
We see time and time again agencies who are stuck in managed print plans that do not allow them to be flexible or shift in times of change. Interestingly, we also see during a slowing market that our print volumes do the opposite and increase. This usually occurs as agents become more active with their marketing.
It’s important to ensure your print management plan is set up for these peaks and troughs and that your spend matches the volumes you’re doing.
Another aspect of managed print is document automation. In slower markets it’s good for a business to find new and innovative ways to reduce manual data entry, resulting in money saved both in time but also in resources.
Look at the options for your business and make sure time isn’t being wasted on tasks which could easily be automated.
Office equipment (laptops, computers, IT infrastructure)
This is another key area to spend some time auditing early in the new year and will become increasingly important as we see more businesses move to the cloud.
We’re finding that many agencies don’t know when some of the equipment they are using was purchased or whether it is compatible with a hosted environment. Our suggestion is to do a device audit, build an asset register and understand where the business currently sits.
This will not only help you keep track of what you have but also help you properly plan for the future scale of the business. It will also help create a standard operating environment for all staff, making life easier – especially when sharing roles or assisting other departments.
Data/storage and security
The truth is, when it comes to data and storage the best time to analyse this is now.
Today, with so many different threats in the marketplace, it is imperative that you have a solution in place that allows you to properly store your data and ensure that it is managed and can be accessed by the business quickly and easily.
More often we are seeing varying hybrid solutions that have just evolved within the agency over time, with no set rules in place as to where data should be stored and then ultimately backed up. This is not only an operational nightmare when trying to find a piece of information quickly, but also very dangerous with data breaches of confidential or sensitive information.
This also leads into another piece that we are seeing this year, which is identity management and security.
The good news is there hasn’t been a better time in the real estate world to analyse and audit your technology.
For some time we have been running at a furious pace; it’s time to have a good hard look under the hood and identify some key areas to save time, money and find efficiencies to ultimately sell more property.