Upskilling in a digital age
As businesses re-build themselves post-pandemic, New York Times bestselling author Dan Schawbel has this week published an article about the growing demand for workers with both digital and tech skills.
Although the content of his article centred on life in the USA, we found everything he said also relates to the situations we’re seeing with our customers here in the UK.
Estate agents up and down the country are talking to us in increasing numbers because they want to be providing timely, valuable content to their local audiences. They need design, copywriting, print and digital marketing expertise, along with the tech to track their return on investment. The tricky part for many agents is finding the right person, or people, to do it all.
Skills available vs skills required
Dan’s article highlights how, while an estimated 305,000,000 full-time jobs have been lost across the globe as a result of Covid-19, a significant number of positions remain unfilled and, to an extent, unfillable. One of the reasons he describes is the widening gap between the skills required by employers and the skill-sets employees can offer.
Valuable combination of digital and tech
One key issue is the demand for workers who have both digital and tech skills. Ranked as two of the most important competencies by organisations across the globe, it’s exactly the skill-set we recruit into our organisation here at BriefYourMarket. And it’s those skills which have been most in demand from our customers in the past six to twelve months.
From systems to solutions
When we started out in 2008, customers came to us for our technology. Our core offer was a high-tech email marketing platform which could be fully integrated with the industry’s leading CRM systems.
Way before ‘GDPR’ entered our vernacular, BriefYourMarket was based around individuals being able to select which content they wanted to receive. Estate agents loved us and we quickly grew from being a preference-based e-marketing platform, to a comprehensive marketing system.
BriefYourMarket now incorporates email marketing, printed direct mail and SMS, linking not only with CRM data but also with localised on- and off-market data, with multiple time-saving options like web-to-print and automation.
A shift in what agents want
Where we’ve seen rapid changes recently is in what our customers now want from an organisation like ours.
Going back to the pre-digital era, the estate agency was built on personal relationships. Sales staff were called ‘negotiators’, marketing meant leafleting the local area and vendors chose an agency by their high street location. Then came along Rightmove, followed swiftly by Zoopla and we all began to accept that digital platforms would reign supreme for home-movers.
Now, much of the chase for vendors and landlords has also gone digital. But the skill-set required to do that successfully isn’t always easily found in an estate agency setting. Increasingly we’re speaking to agents who want to outsource the job of retaining previous customers and attracting new ones. But when it comes to options for outsourcing, marketing agencies often come with a high price tag and freelancers may need more hand-holding than is beneficial.
This is where BriefYourMarket becomes the perfect choice. And it’s why our fastest growing service is our ‘done-for-you’ package, which we call ‘Communications Managed’. This is an offering where digital marketing content is written, designed and sent on an agent’s behalf by our team of Personal Content Executives.
Our customers work with us because they know they can confidently hand over the task of keeping their contacts warm. They can get on with managing active leads and running their business without worrying about communicating with their audience on a consistent basis. They don’t feel the pressure to come up with ideas and content for marketing. They can see at a glance what kind of return on investment we’re making for them. Above all, our customers know they’ll get a steady flow of valuation requests without having to lift a finger.
A bright future
As the digital and tech skills gap widens, estate agents are finding new ways to plug that gap. Whether agents choose to invest in in-house teams or source the right external providers, for many it’s a race to ensure they don’t get left behind. For us, there’s never been a more exciting time to be in business.
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