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Embrace the power of spreadsheets with Chris Watson

By Crystal McFadyen

Featured in REB:

Monday, 29 February 2016
Francesca Krakue

A Victoria-based real estate agent explains how he’s using spreadsheets as a tool to improve his agency’s key performance indicators.

After working in the real estate industry for six years, Ferntree Gully agent Chris Watson has developed a theory that “what gets measured gets managed and what gets managed gets grown”.

“I’m a spreadsheet fanatic. I measure everything. I measure from every campaign, for every property that we have listed; I measure what we get from that.”

Mr Watson says he uses spreadsheets to track what he considers to be the key performance indicators of a real estate business.

“We set targets around them, which we push hard to try and get,” he says.

The Ray White office also uses spreadsheets to monitor agent calls on a weekly basis, gathering information on the amount of prospecting an agent is doing, how many appraisals they conduct, and how many listings they do.

“It helps us identify what we need to work on,” Mr Watson says.

When someone calls to enquire about a property, rather than merely saying “Okay, we’ll see you at the open house”, Mr Watson says agents should be finding out more about the buyer and not just thinking of them as “one dimensional”.

“Can we refer them to our broker? Can we refer them to our property management department? Are they looking to sell a property? Will we be a potential agent to sell that property for them if they were agreeable?”

Mr Watson says that using spreadsheets to track phone calls “forces us to ask more questions to find out who we’re dealing with”, and also helps to inform the training of new staff.

He also uses spreadsheets to track “just listed” and “just solds”.

“Whenever we list a property we text and email everyone on the street, because we have them on our database, and same with when it sells,” he explains.

“We monitor what we get from campaigns – appraisals, how many people we add to our pipelines, finance leads and rental leads.”

By doing this, these aspects of the agency’s performance become “top of mind” and help to identify what agents need to work on.

Mr Watson recommends that other agents track their statistics in a similar way.

“Some agents can be reluctant to track their statistics – [because of] laziness, we get caught up in the everyday – but you can’t grow, you can’t get better if you don’t know what’s going on.”

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