The Toyota Production System, commonly known as “lean manufacturing,” has elevated Toyota to the pinnacle of corporate efficiency. Its core objective is to eliminate muda, or waste, by optimizing processes, managing expenses, driving synergy, and spurring innovation. In a real estate market that is not only saturated with competition but also increasingly interconnected and disrupted by innovation, lean manufacturing has valuable lessons every real estate business operator should implement.
Here are a few tips for operational governance, lead generation, consumer experience, and platform integration to ensure you maximize your return on every hour invested in your business.
Facts don’t care about your feelings
Running a real estate business without a quantitative understanding of its operations is a lot like a mechanic swapping out parts without first determining the cause of the engine issue. Your business is a machine composed of parts, which combine to form systems that consume inputs and produce outputs. These parts should be regularly inspected, these systems consistently evaluated, and the relationship between inputs and outputs managed to maximize efficiency.
Operate based on facts and figures. Adopting the latest technology helps empowered industry professionals to make informed decisions rooted in high-quality, real-time data. Whether a broker is recruiting a partner, managing expenses, or architecting a lead generation strategy, it all begins with a quantitative model of prevailing conditions and potential output scenarios.
Consider the existing models and how they can be updated or changed. Take a look at your current data systems and consider ways they can be adjusted for today’s business needs. Keep up to date with the latest market reports, trends and statistics through online and industry publications.
Knowledge is potential power; having reliable data in real-time enables us to respond quickly and effectively to seize opportunity.
Lever Up Lead Generation
There are five primary pistons driving your lead generation machine. Let’s focus on the first one, lead capture, specifically seller leads. Listings will bring the buyers to you. A listing lead has a higher propensity to produce multiple transactions.
Listings also provide a reliable revenue stream and a dependable forecast, especially in today’s market. Listings build market presence. In short, if you own the listings, you own the market.
One way we recommend improving lead generation is by evaluating if your CRM system is up to date and advanced enough for your business. Today, there are plenty of comprehensive real estate solutions that offer CRM, IDX, team management, lead generation and more bundled in a seamless package. Evaluating and migrating to the latest platforms on the market can dramatically increase traffic, appointments, and listing activity. At our brokerage, we use Chime.
Beyond checking a box
A top-tier real estate company in 2021 needs an integrated technology stack. Outdated technology is a going-out-of-business strategy. And let’s be honest, by offering non-integrated technologies, you’re merely checking a box.
Separate platforms means separate databases. It necessitates redundant data entry and data quality issues. It diminishes adoption, reduces engagement, and limits interdepartmental collaboration. It creates operational bottlenecks and communication breakdowns. It limits the tasks you can automate and the power of those automations. It means you are less productive, and your time has a lower ROI.
As brokers consider technological partners, integrations should be at the forefront of the decision. Does the technology offer an open API with necessary resources to effectuate integrations? Integrated technology can help brokers deploy multiple innovative strategies that likely wouldn’t have been possible without technology. The first step is being open to advancement and integrations.
About 60 years ago, Silicon Valley was an apple orchard. About 25 years ago, it was illegal for most consumers to access the internet. About 20 years ago, you weren’t able to use the internet and the phone at the same time. Less than 15 years ago, most people began their home search in the warehouse section of their local newspaper. Now, we can talk on the phone while performing a home search on the same device while on the go.
Market incumbents often fail because they underestimate or consciously ignore the speed at which innovation now supplants legacy methodologies. Often incumbents are risk-averse and heavily biased towards maintaining the status quo.
In this next wave of innovation and market correction, these incumbents will likely join the ranks of the once robust, now dwindling businesses that sat on the sidelines as bold newcomers captured market share.