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Building a House of Trust Part 2

What does Good Customer Service Look Like? Part 5

Reading time: 4 mins read

For a long time, the lettings sector was slow to embrace digital transformation. There was a considerable amount of fear and a lack of understanding, with a misperception that digital transformation was pushing customers away, rather than bringing them closer to agents.

 And then along came COVID! An unexpected pandemic threw Business as Usual out of the window, especially in a traditionally heavily customer-facing profession. Lettings agencies were forced to adopt tech fast, out of necessity, with remote working and social distancing becoming standard for a couple of years and creating permanent changes in the working environment.

But if you still think that digital transformation is just about tech, we beg to differ! Our definition of digital transformation is about solving human business problems and enabling our clients to offer outstanding customer service. We understand that ultimately, it’s all about the people and we leverage our expertise in Tech alongside our people to deliver outstanding value to our customers.

The trouble is that customers – and their expectations – are changing. In an era where many customers are now digital natives, every business needs to take a long hard look at how they interact with their customers – for today and tomorrow.

We like to talk about “building a house of trust” with your customers. It’s about having a strong foundational layer of communication and trust that underpins your entire business relationship, enabling it to expand and extend in the long term.

Outsourcing can help agencies to become more efficient, streamline operational costs and offer better customer service, building that house of trust and nurturing it!

Not just specific functions

Traditionally, outsourcing has often been applied to a specific function, like IT or Accounting. But at Technology Blueprint (TBL) our service enables property businesses to automate and outsource a vast swathe of processes across the organisation. This means that lettings agencies can effectively outsource the customer experience, a vital piece of the puzzle that impacts many different departments in the business.

It may sound counter-intuitive to outsource something as critical to your business as your customer experience, but there are compelling reasons for doing so.

Competitive Edge

It’s no secret that the lettings sector is incredibly competitive. And that’s why keeping your customers happy is of the utmost importance. When you embrace digital transformation, you free your talented staff up to focus on core activities like relationship building and scaling up, because most of the admin heavy lifting is taken care of elsewhere.

There are so many touch points in the lettings lifecycle, with multiple stakeholders, including landlords, tenants and contractors. The need for constant communication, updates and a smooth flow of information is critical. Outsourcing to a skilled team of lettings industry experts is a no-brainer to become more efficient and facilitate growth.

In-house vs Outsourcing

COVID definitely brought challenges to most businesses, but there have also been a number of positives for the longer term. For TBL, one of the opportunities the pandemic gave us was the ability to tap into talent from all over the world, expanding our capabilities and expertise for our clients.

Working with experts in outsourcing and automation enables lettings businesses to offer consistently excellent service. With TBL’s team being global, we’re able to support our clients continuously.

A key part of outsourcing is keeping clients safe from compliance breaches. When your data is consistently well-managed by experts, there’s far less risk of things being lost or missed. Data is properly managed and timelines are correct, meaning no more late licensing applications or missing gas safety certificates.

There are clear cost benefits in working with a partner who understands outsourcing and automation. Our ultimate is to leverage tech to do the heavy lifting while our people focus on the customer journey and experience.


Choosing the right outsourcing partner

First and foremost, you need to be confident that your outsourcing partner is an industry expert. Lettings is a complicated sector and you need to know for sure that your outsourcing partner knows it inside and out.

Here are our top three questions to ask:

  1. Does the provider support any major agency in the lettings industry?
  2. Is the provider well-known and respected within their own industry?
  3. Does the provider offer their own tech solutions as well?

This last question is crucial. The only way that lettings agencies can stay on top of the ever-increasing compliance burden and offer truly excellent customer service is by making sure that tech takes the admin strain. This is particularly the case for larger agencies and ambitious firms looking to scale.

Efficiencies across the board

At TBL, our Kaypio outsourcing team is tech-enabled and fully integrated into our business, with the support of a senior leadership team which has decades of experience in the lettings industry. The aim is to design intelligent process flows that streamline your business, reduce admin effort and slash training costs. These are some of the more common business problems and tasks that our team takes on:

  • Front Office Management

Call handling, arranging viewings and onboarding landlords and tenants. Contract generation and compliance audits are also key tasks that can be taken care of.

  • Property Management Services

Tenancy Deposit auditing and updating, advert prep, rent collection, arrears management, handling maintenance queries and managing safety certificates are all jobs that a skilled outsourcing team can handle.

  • Client Account Management Services

Daily posting of funds, invoice postings, payouts, bank reconciliation, accounts auditing and year-end processing are all admin-heavy tasks that can easily be outsourced.

  • Lettings Outsourcing – Consultancy and Digital Transformation

This is the one that makes the biggest difference to our clients. It brings together all of our expertise and 25+ years of functional and technological experience in the lettings industry. Our consultancy service enables lettings agencies to digitally transform, by understanding and designing efficient bespoke workflows for them and improving efficiency every step of the way.


How do we work?

This is what working with TBL on an outsourcing project would typically look like:

In Phase 1, we document and take on a new client’s existing processes, using the existing technology and toolset just as their own staff would do.

In Phase 2, after onboarding is completed and the client is satisfied with the service transition, our Business Analysts perform a review of processes and make technical and procedural ‘best practice’ recommendations. They work on an “outcome” basis, which means recommendations to deliver the same outcomes from an improved process. The objective is to reduce the overall cost of delivery of those processes through an improved toolset and automation.

Phase 3 sees the implementation of improved processes and bedding in, with Phases 2 and 3 becoming a rolling initiative within the client’s business, assessing, proposing, and measuring the value of change and improvement.

For us, digital transformation starts and ends with helping people. Helping agents to have more enjoyable, less tedious jobs, helping agency firms to scale with ease and helping their customers to have a great experience through outstanding service.

Great tech underpins our work, but it’s the talented human beings that are at its heart.

For more details or to enquire, visit Residential Lettings Outsourcing