Over the past few months I have been busy working on streamlining our operations and implementing many of the items identified as important in our strategic plan. These changes include items such as reviewing the services offered through Membership and, in conjunction with this, the streamlining of our billing and accounts processes. I have also made some changes to our internal structure to allow the delivery of better products and services in a more timely fashion.
One of the recent changes that I made is in relation to Web Services. Since its inception, web related services formed part of the Membership Services division. However, due to the growth we have been experiencing in Membership, and the importance of web and social media services in the future, our web related services have now been separated from Membership Services.
Web Services now operates as its own division and I am looking after the day to day running of the division. There have been some staff changes in the area and I have now put together a customer focused team with the skills to help you create and maintain your web and social media presence. As part of the change we have reviewed the services that we were offering and have now introduced several new services including new design templates and full email hosting services.
In May we achieved a record with twenty seven new members for the month and have had just over forty new members join in the last three months. The reasons for these new Members vary from office to office but I think it is testament to the benefits that come from being a Member of EAC and the cost effective services that we provide.
Early July also saw the release of Red Square Web to all of our customers and the feedback that we have obtained to date has been excellent. We have received a few suggestions that we have already implemented such as the ability to append to a search, increased the logout time and are looking at implementing some of the other suggestions in the coming months.
In addition to feedback that we have received from the industry, we have noted with some interest the effect Red Square Web has had on the tactics of some of our competitors. One in particular is out there making, what could be said to be, questionable claims and offering subscriptions substantially below their standard rate. I would even go so far as to suggest some rates offered are below those that others are paying for the same service. My advice, for what it is worth, is to check out for yourself some of the claims being made and think twice about the deals that are being offered. I suggest that the savings may only be short term.
In terms of what is in development, we are currently working on a totally new Add List and
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) Report for use with Current Market Information and Red Square Mobile which will provide a version of Red Square designed specifically for use on today’s smart phones and mobile devices.
In the Agency Practice Support area we have released some new supplementary forms, updated form user guides, practice notes and checklists and these can be found in the new resources section once you login with your details at eac.com.au.
One of the next challenges to face the industry will be the National Occupational Licensing
system that will see the introduction of a national real estate licence. EAC has been attending all the meetings in relation to this change and will start to provide information on the changes in the coming month. You can expect changes in relation to the different types of licences, the conducting of Auctions, the treatment of Holiday Leasing and Commercial Sales, Leasing and Management. You may also see some changes to CPD in its current form.
We are currently waiting on a paper that will outline all the changes and EAC will be preparing a submission that will respond to any changes that we feel are not in the best interests of the agent, industry or consumer.
I understand that there have been a few articles in the press and that some other industry bodies have been quite vocal in their opinion of the change. However, don’t believe everything you read and hear about what is coming as some of it is being uttered by those with vested interests. The national licensing changes will form the basis of our upcoming road shows in the coming months so look out for these invitations when they go out.
As always, we welcome any feedback you might have to help us make our products and services more beneficial to your office as, ultimately, we are about service and not profit at the expense of the industry.