Happy new year to you all,
With reviews now live on the website, you can for the first time see what your peers are saying about the suppliers in the marketplace today. Some of these fantastic agents will be giving you an idea of which partners help drive their businesses and get 5 star reviews. Then of course there's those companies that may seem the real deal but actually flatter to deceive, sometimes it just as helpful to be given a heads up about avoiding these types of company as it is the other.
After all we all have only so many hours in the day, who wants to spend it dealing with suppliers. Well I do but I'm a bit weird like that as its kind of my business.
So today fittingly we're looking at one of the best performing companies on the kerfuffle website, that of Acaboom. Now before anyone accuses me of just being a lazy bastard and going for the first company in the phone book there was an Aardvark Printers so I can absolutely refute that. No Acaboom deserve top billing as they currently have a 5* set of reviews from industry legends like Simon Bradbury who comments "Two things - The ability to ensure a consistent presentation to prospective clients across the company and the ability to be aware of when prospective clients are reviewing that presentation subsequent to the valuation appointment."
When you look at what they do its not hard to see why. On the face of it Acaboom aren't the easiest company to pigeon hole, as there aspects of email marketing in there, there's digital presentation tools, there's proposal templates. But when you cut through all this you realise that because Acaboom focusses almost solely around the market appraisal process that this is arguably the most critical area of the business to get right.
As such any tool that can help improve that is going to be popular if it gets it right and it certainly seems to. To put into context why there's need of a tool like Acaboom '84% of agents send an appointment confirmation with no images or intro to the valuer.' Ok so why in itself is that a problem, its a problem because most human minds don't retain raw text particularly well, in fact given my ability to waffle I'll have a lost a few of you by this stage with you wondering if Trump really is that mental, or will Derek Acorah be able to make it work from the other side. Anyway I digress and this is kind of my point, the mind copes far better with imagery from a memory point of view. Acaboom gets this which is why their remit is to bring to life your business, your team and your strong points in a visual fashion as well as textual.
And it works! By including imagery and strong content in the appointment confirmation emails Acaboom testify that you can achieve up to 20% less cancellations. Nice, but I didn't get where I am today by eulogising about the sizzle of the opportunity cost of a cancelled appointments, that's for the bean counters not Simon 'Put that coffee down' Whale. Come on Acaboom I need more!?
At the risk of losing myself in the third person Acaboom continue with their annoyingly persuasive evidence based approach: 78% agents use no evidence and or images in a market appraisal, OK you have my attention. Its clear that just showing the odd trophy and stating that you're the best just doesn't cut it, whether they're better informed or over informed is a separate issue but to a large degree is irrelevant because both of those status's demand that you explain it better. If being the best to you as a business means that you sell homes in a shorter time period that get that days on market data and convert it visually to give the vendor a fighting chance of believing your claims.
Acaboom understands that being hyper local, and therefore relevant is critical in earning and retaining the trust of the public to stay subscribed to their market update reports. These are brilliant by the way, not in an overly clever way, but just the right balance of data delivered in a catchment area that works to keep the prospective vendor interested. It keeps them updated through a clever use of Land Registry and portal data to ensure that price or status changes of comparables are nurtured and delivered into their inbox so that they are continually getting a service from you that proves your claims to be the expert in the area. With the valuer having the control to set the frequency of the newsletter it really empowers them to best serve the requirements of their prospective client finding the right contact rate. Clearly some people want to know the minute anything changes on their street, where others may be far more sanguine with monthly contact or less, the point is many systems don't allow this flexibility.
Back to the stats, at the moment in their research Acaboom found that 91% of valuation letters were being sent digitally without any form of tracking, which to be honest in this day and age is insane. Most people produce a letter within their CRM system, then convert into a PDF and then email it, but this is normally done using Outlook which natively has no tracking capability that the likes of a Brief Your Market or Mailchimp would have.
I know that Acaboom is being used very successfully by the likes of Pygott & Crone, Thomas Morris, Balgores, Ryder & Dutton and Farrell Heyworth. I've got to say I'm slightly surprised that there's not more mid sized companies using this, I suspect we'll see a big change on that front this year as awareness builds of what it can do. Outside of getting my CRM software and website sorted it would be the first thing on my list for an out of the box solution that works from day 1, it is reasonably priced and can demonstrably have a clear effect on your market appraisal conversion rate. Who out there wouldn't mind that?
I think for me though the most impressive stat that shows Acaboom are on the right lines is that across their entire client base the unsubscribe rate over the entire year to those newsletters is less than 1%. I can volunteer myself a willing convert as I got signed up when they demonstrated the product to me 18 months ago and each month I look with sticky beak interest at what's going on locally. In an age where people are getting increasingly militant in protecting their inbox that is mightily impressive.
And if you are interested then the wonderful people at Acaboom have delivered two wonderful gifts.
The first is we're launching the Kerfuffle Kick Start! Acaboom will send a full market update to your database of previous market appraisals along with a refreshed proposal of why they should choose to instruct you. Past experience has shown us that this instantly wins new business, kick-starting your Acaboom journey with instant return on investment.
If you mention Kerfuffle to the Acaboom team between now and the end of January they're going to donate £100 to the Agents for Aus, a campaign by the UK estate agency industry to raise awareness and support for the horrific firestorms that have been devastating Australia these last few months.
Go to the Acaboom page here and click on the 'I'm Interested' button and their team will get in contact to help with any questions.
You can get to the 'What's the Kerfuffle' podcast by searching for it on Apple or Spotify or pretty much any of the main podcast tools.
From everyone here have a fantastic 2020 and merry kerfuffling.