Thursday, August 18th, 2016
Estate agency is changing. It has to because the communities we live in are mutable, and so are our needs and how we meet them. For its part, technology has played the role of enabler to a tee and we no longer question who uses and who doesn’t but to what extent. It makes life easier, and even though we can never replace the human touch, Pandora is definitely out of her technical box. This time she’s mischievously focusing our game plan on the merits of traditional agency versus online. But are we missing the point?
Some people will want to manage the whole house buying/selling process themselves in order to save some money. Others will not want the responsibility of managing the largest transaction and one of the most stressful points in their life. Being drawn into an argument about which is right or wrong wastes valuable time and lessons. The common denominators are quick access to information, a bit of magic to smooth the way from decision to completion, and someone or something to guide us through the tricky bits.
Ok. That’s an over-simplification but the essence is there. We need to focus on modernising to keep up with customer expectations so we survive and thrive in the current climate. The question is what elements do we need to be aware of? For example, having invested years in building a high street brand, how do we combine its power with a fluid online customer experience? What is this? Do we need to account for an acquisition strategy, or other internal drivers? In the future will we be creating business and even other revenue streams that meet home related needs, etc.?
These are challenges the ‘API Economy’ can resolve if you put the business thinking in behind it. So there are compelling reasons for estate agency to bring it to the boardroom table. But what is ‘it’? In brief, API economy (application programming interface economy) is a general term that describes the way application programming interfaces (APIs) can positively affect an organisation’s profitability. An API is a customer interface for technology products that allows software to communicate with other software. Meaning, in real life, you can map out your business needs and, with a flexible software platform, gain access to third party products or functionality that benefit your staff and your customers.
It’s the same premise, but on a much grander scale, of personalising your iPhone or Android by downloading apps and allowing them share data and interact so you have everything you need in one place. Its beauty is that you are no longer confined by the limitations of old school software (and thinking) and it’s fairly easy to open up your business to a world of opportunities. If you want to make the most of the API economy and future-proof your agency, our team of business transformation specialists can help you to interpret strategy and defining business goals and objectives.