Goadsby is a 27 branch agent with 270 staff in the South of England that provides both sales and lettings services. It has been a Qube SLM user since 2002. Prior to implementing Qube SLM, some of their branches were using Solex with the remainder operating manual systems.
John Tofield, Senior Director for Goadsby at the time, was the driver behind the change. His main concern in the early days was the migration of offices from Vebra to Qube SLM – but the anticipated hurdles never appeared. “We assumed there would be problems because Vebra is very user friendly, but Qube SLM was very well received. In fact, the problems came due to the fact we did a phased roll out and those offices that were later in the schedule felt isolated and were keen to get on board.”
Goadsby were uncommon in that it had its own IT department, which provided additional resources during the rollout. The company also managed the training itself, which allowed it to support the different rates at which people learned. A user group was set up to review progress and address issues both internally and with our team when programming enhancements were required.
In terms of performance, the main difference the company experienced initially was the improvement in their ability to deliver customer service. “We soon stopped receiving calls from people saying that they had not received particulars or asking if they were on the mailing list,” recalls John. “The software gave us confidence in the fact that people are being mailed regularly as it is a fully automated process.”One office saw a two-fold increase in viewings following the launch.
As with all new systems though, there was a learning curve to go through as one branch manager commented: “Initially, there were some complaints regarding text messaging but our negotiators were quickly asking permission to use SMS and many customers responded that no other competitors could provide such a service.” They also noticed that anyone giving a home e-mail address was less responsive as they tend to log on less frequently compared to a work-based address.
At branch level, the increase in viewings could also partly be attributed to the fact that Qube SLM provided a common database across the business. Some of Goadsby’s branches are in locations which people tend to relocate to. For such people, the ability to look at properties registered with other offices meant that they could easily consider a wider geographical spread of houses. This again led to an increase in viewings.
In addition, Qube SLM helps branch staff when talking to prospects during valuations. The fact the systems allows them to market a property the same day that they are instructed impresses customers. “We can be assured that our site is always up to date,” remarks one branch manager.
And on those instances where a valuation does not lead to an instruction, the branches can now track activity and have implemented a monthly newsletter to such properties.
From a business management perspective, the company has praise for the accessibility of Qube SLM: “I can be at any branch, or indeed working from home, and be able to discuss with a customer exactly how many people have been sent details, had viewings and what they said,” remarks one senior director. “We have never been able to do that before and it is very powerful.” This is due to Qube SLM being a browser based system. Wherever you are, if you have a machine with a browser on it and a phone line, you can access the solution.
Similarly for the branch managers, the wide visibility that the system gives them, means that they can view activity levels and enquiries at other branches and match against their own performance. Any diversity can then be questioned and addressed promptly.
Overall, Goadsby is extremely satisfied with Qube SLM: “It is superb and everyone wins,” was the overall feedback we received.