Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sell Homes by Simply Listening

         As you know Instant-Replays is always concerned about helping you increase sales and aiding in the overall success of your business through our performance improvement services. The following excerpt is based on a true shopping scenario the names have been taken out to protect the innocent. Ask yourself: Could this happen in your business? Has this already happened in your business? Can you afford to miss a sale?

Dear Mr. /Ms. / Mrs.  _________
    As you know, I have been looking for a home for quite some time now, and I am definitely interested in purchasing. However, I have concerns before I can make any final decisions. Although you have been very helpful in showing me beautiful homes, not all of them have met the standards I expressed to you when I started this journey. I feel like there is a lack of communication between us that we can easily fix. It’s possible that I may not have expressed enough importance on some of my desires. I know there must be a home out there that meets all my needs, and I’m confident you can help me find it. 
Since the beginning, I have been very adamant about having a spacious two story home because I do a lot of entertaining.  Besides my husband and two kids, I also have a big family that will be visiting from out of state often. I want them to have accommodations when necessary. I need space to entertain on major holidays and birthdays among other occasions. I need at least three bedrooms to accommodate my children, my husband and I.  Many of the one story homes I’ve seen only offer two bedrooms, but I want my children to have their own space. My guests will need a comfortable place to sleep as well; this means I need about four bedrooms to accommodate everyone properly. I want my new home to be comfortable and not crowded. Thank you so much for all your help, and I hope to hear from you soon.

The Lesson…
 "You have to listen to improve!" It can be difficult to find the right home for a client when they have several needs that should be met, but if you take time to truly listen to your client the process can be facilitated.
    The potential homebuyer has a lifestyle set in their mind when they step into a new home; immediately they are trying to imagine their lifestyle taking place in the new setting. As the agent, it is your job to paint a picture for them when they enter the home; the construction of the home is less important than relating to their desires in a lifestyle. For example, if the family enjoys entertaining than they will probably need a larger kitchen area to prepare meals for them, and several bedrooms to accommodate the guests. Taking time to listen to the client is important because you will discover what the client enjoys doing and the type of home they need to support all their requirements

Monday, August 15, 2011

Survey Course of Action

Note: It’s often worthwhile to have a survey prepared and administered by a research organization. However, you will still need to work with them on the following steps so that the survey will be most useful.
  1. Decide what you want to learn from the survey and how you will use the results.
  2. Decide who should be surveyed. Identify population groups; if they are too large to permit surveying everyone, decide how to obtain a sample. Decide what demographic information is needed to analyze and understand the results.
  3. Decide on the most appropriate type of survey.
  4. Decide whether the survey’s answers will be numerical rating, numerical ranking, yes–no, multiple choice or open-ended—or a mixture.
  5. Brainstorm questions and, for multiple choice, the list of possible answers. Keep in mind what you want to learn, and how you will use the results. Narrow down the list of questions to the absolute minimum that you must have to learn what you need to learn.
  6. Print the questionnaire or interviewers’ question list.
  7. Test the survey with a small group. Collect feedback.
    • Which questions were confusing?
    • Were any questions redundant?
    • Were answer choices clear? Were they interpreted as you intended?
    • Did respondents want to give feedback about topics that were not included? (Open-ended questions can be an indicator of this.)
    • On the average, how long did it take for a respondent to complete the survey?
    • For a questionnaire, were there any typos or printing errors?
Also test the process of tabulating and analyzing the results. Is it easy? Do you have all the data you need?
  1. Revise the survey based on test results.
  2. Administer the survey.
  3. Tabulate and analyze the data. Decide how you will follow through. Report results and plans to everyone involved. If a sample was involved, also report and explain the margin of error and confidence level.
 ASQ: The Global Voice of Quality . 2004. 15 August 2011 <http://asq.org/learn-about-quality/data-collection-analysis-tools/overview/survey.html>.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Video Shops

       Many mystery shoppers are uncomfortable with the idea of doing video mystery shopping, but two major advantages are the pay (typical is $25-$50 per shop, and it can go as high as $100 for a very complex shop), and the fact that in most cases, the video you have shot is the shop report, so paperwork is minimal post-shop.

          Shoppers who have concerns about taking their "secret shopping" to a new level can be reassured by the fact that most employers who undertake these programs understand that they can be audio or video recorded by a mystery shopper under their employment agreement. The employers then use this tape to provide further training to their employees. It can also be included in their performance evaluation. Of course this makes both the shopper and the client highly accountable.

         This last part is something to think about. Not only is everything the employee does captured on video, it is also very obvious as to whether or not you conducted the shop according to guidelines (although your proof that you did it right is also on the tape in the event of a dispute). But suppose something happens to your "proof". I always say technology is great...when it works. The downside of audio or video mystery shopping is that technical difficulties can occur. If you forget to turn on your recorder, the battery dies, the focus is off, etc., you may not be paid for your shop.

      Overall, for experienced shoppers who are comfortable with the idea of using video equipment in their work, it looks like it could be a good way to earn higher shop fees than the norm with less paperwork. I advise newbies and beginners to wait until they have many shops under their belt before they attempt video mystery shopping. They first need to be very comfortable with "traditional" mystery shopping, and can pull off a scenario with ease, before they add the distraction and complexity of concealed equipment to the mix.

Jordan, Melanie R. 2002. <http://www.homebiztools.com/ideas/video-mystery-shopping.htm>.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What is the Point of Using a Survey for Business?

To evaluate the progress and growth of a particular business or company Surveys are normally carried out. Those companies which rarely carry out such activities find it very hard to judge whether their company is growing or deteriorating day by day.
The degree of customer surveys generally higher compared to that of employee surveys; this is because customers are what creates the soft running of the company. If a customer does not receive satisfactory services, they may as well decide to move to another company which serves them better, that is why there has to be a survey carried out once in a while to find out if customers are satisfied with the services they get.
Normally a Customer survey entails the response to the kind of services, whether the products they have been using from their company have been helpful in any way and if they are increasing in number or not. There is also a customer loyalty survey which is normally carried out to see to what degree the customers are connected to the company or indeed if they are not at all connected or have no interest in being furthermore.
The company also holds an employee engagement survey to note if they have reliable working personnel or if they are only temporary. The degree of employee engagement and commitment matters a lot in the development of a company.
Working staff surveys are a good way to find out if there is need in employing other staff before the company gets out of hand. A good staff survey will give a 360 degree feedback meaning that the company will always keep track of its services and chances of it collapsing are minimal.
The weak part of a company is employee survey services, giving it an opportunity to be more competent and perform better compared to how it did before the survey.

Poole, Robert. Project Business Management . 7 June 2011. <http://projetaves.org/business-management/the-importance-of-carrying-out-surveys.htm>.