In the latest episode of The Home Stretch podcast, Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals, is joined by Annabel Goulden, Head of KnowYourMarket, to dive into the world of mystery shopping and its transformative impact on the property sector.
KnowYourMarket, a leading mystery shopping and market research company operating within the homeowner and home mover sector, takes centre stage in this engaging discussion. Goulden sheds light on the crucial role KnowYourMarket plays as the reputation management component of the digital marketing sphere, focusing on monitoring lead management, sales processes, and identifying missed sales opportunities.
The podcast episode unveils the behind-the-scenes operations of KnowYourMarket, touching upon its consultative approach in working with clients to enhance various areas of their business. Goulden highlights the importance of using mystery shopping results not just for assessment but as a catalyst for implementing positive change and, ultimately, fostering growth within companies.
McKenzie, drawing from his extensive industry experience, reminisces about the evolution of mystery shopping over the past 30 years. The conversation delves into the misconceptions surrounding mystery shopping and how it has transitioned from a tool to catch individuals out to a valuable training resource that aids in refining sales processes.
“Mystery shopping is not about micromanaging staff, but rather a training tool designed to help businesses improve processes and grow. It is identifying areas that require improvement and investing in targeted training that will help staff members,” Goulden adds. “If you’re not investing in your staff members, your growth is going to be limited, because if you can’t help them handle inquiries in the right way, then how are they going to maximise sales opportunities?
Goulden shares the intricate details of KnowYourMarket’s methodology, explaining how they measure and assess various aspects of an estate agent’s performance, from email responses and phone calls to physical visits and property viewings. The podcast uncovers the significance of understanding customer needs and utilising mystery shopping as a tool for ongoing improvement.
Amongst other topics, the episode also touches upon regional variations in mystery shopping scores, revealing a surprising North-South divide. Goulden discloses findings from negotiator mystery shops, indicating a significant difference in scores between the Midlands and the South, challenging preconceived notions about the correlation between fees and customer experience.
Listeners gain valuable insights into the post-mystery shop process, where KnowYourMarket adopts a consultative approach to offer training and improvement suggestions. Goulden explains how they collaborate with well-known industry trainer Tony Morris to ensure that the feedback leads to tangible improvements in estate agents’ performance. “After we have the result of the mystery shop and assessed the data, Tony will go into the branch or agents can have access to his estate agency university online. We would mystery shop again the following quarter and measure whether there’s been any improvements, or what areas still require attention,” she comments.
McKenzie emphasises the importance of reputational management in the property sector, pointing out that flooding a subpar estate agent with leads does not translate to success. The conversation touches on the vital role of training and development in creating a positive workplace culture, contributing to higher retention rates and improved business outcomes.
Speaking about the latest episode, McKenzie says, “Self-learning and development is crucial within the sector and tools such as mystery shopping provide valuable insight and data to help businesses understand how they can improve the customer experience.”
For more information and to listen to the full episode, visit The Home Stretch Podcast.