It was a one-for-the-books kind of year. You know all that stuff about making you stronger? That was our year. 2017 was a year of “just keeping up.” 2018, however, was a year where we really started executing on our strategy and vision for Coldwell Banker NRT. Among the highlights:
- We (almost) nailed our product consolidation goal. As of Dec. 31, we eliminated 88 products for a total of an 89% product reduction (just 1% shy of our lofty 90% goal) and landed on our final 12 core marketing products.
- Desk beta, the foundation of the open architecture strategy, which provides an integrated product solution uniting all of our tools in one simple interface
- Rolled Listing Concierge out to eight markets and executed on more than 7,300 total orders
- Prospect Square, the product that will replace 18 different prospecting tools once used
- Pilots with HomeSpotter, AdWerx and Tiger Pistol
- NRT Metrics to provide better tracking and insights into product usage/data
- New awards app
- A new marketing coordinator training series focused on products
Plus, we kept the digital ship running:
- In conjunction with IT, we built a team completely dedicated to user experience, research and visual design to ensure continued improvement of user experience within our product line
- Transitioned several products onto agile development processes, allowing for a more timely and collaborative way of building better products
- Built a product synergies team to encourage collaboration between product teams across Realogy and within NRT
- Held our first-ever Agent Experience Summit to improve product development and field collaboration
- Introduced This Month at Product to improve transparency and communication with our stakeholders and partners
- Introduced Chat support into Listing Concierge, Desk, Prospect Square and Do Not Contact with it soon rolling out to ePay, Design Concierge and others.
- Supported some 14,300+ support tasks, handled some 5,600 chat sessions, conducted more than 650 hours of user research, built some 800+ custom HTML eblasts for the local markets, created nearly 70 standalone websites for local market awards events and so much more.
So what’s next for 2019? I’ve never really been a big resolution person, but I do set goals every single year and, much like many of you, our team spends most of Q4 building out our goals/roadmap for the coming year. To me, it’s the best way to hit the ground running come January 1 and ensure the entire team is aligned with the north star.
I wanted to share a few from my top 10 list with you. I won’t bore you with the ones about scaling efficiencies, work/life balance, healthier eating and exercise habits, but I did want to share a few of the broader ones that should be welcome news and relatable to many of you. So here goes:
- Data & Product Integration – Whether this is contact syncing, profile and agent data syncing and management or integration of products across Desk, a huge focus for our team this year will be to solve the holy grail of software – integration. We often hear agents say, “I wish our systems would just talk to each other.” We have established a team within Product and IT who will be dedicated this year to ensuring agents can:
- Manage their contacts in one place and have it sync across multiple platforms
- Manage their own bio, contact information and more and have it sync to internal and external solutions
- Have one ring (Desk) to rule them all so they can turn apps on and off, manage which apps sync with their databases and see the entire product integration vision come to life across our various apps (complete with a cohesive UX/UI)
- Voice of Teams – We’ve established a team that will be focused on researching the needs of teams to improve our functionality and ensure our systems and apps are more accessible and collaborative. I can’t promise we’ll solve all of this this year but know it will be a huge part of our focus.
- Agent Assistant & Delegation – In a similar vein, we will also be focused on improving systems access for unlicensed agent assistants and OAs and MCs to better support agent needs.
- Establishing KPIs & OKRs – A big area of improvement for our team this year will be to focus on establishing KPIs (key performance indicators) and OKRs (objectives and key results) for our core applications and then working to deliver to them.
- Voice of Customer – In order to build great products, we have to know our customers well. We’ve begun collecting varying data points (NPS, product usage, chat, feedback and more) and will be uniting all of that data to make better, more informed decisions about our product roadmaps. Each month we will analyze the KPI and OKR results as well as the voice of customer data to find trends and find the story from that data all in an effort to guide us on future product roadmap enhancements and features.
- Improve Communication – We introduced TMAP in 2018 and by the kind and inspiring feedback so many of you have given us, we’ve decided to build upon this program and launch a new TMAP for Agents. This monthly meeting will continue as is, but starting this month, we will also introduce TMAP for Agents which will provide a more macro look at our product strategy, vision and latest product enhancements.
- Grow Concierge – We’ve had such great success with Listing Concierge, we’ll be working with The Creative and Strategy Studios to build on the “Concierge” experience via new additions, Design Concierge (in pilot) and Social Concierge (in discovery).
- Focus – In order to reach these goals, we have to focus our efforts and that means remaining laser focused on these core items and the products you’re about to see. It also may mean sometimes we have to say no. But in order to achieve the above and really improve the agent and employee experience across our products, we have to focus on these core areas. Between that, focusing on the 12 core products that will remain and further consolidating our products by another dozen or so, we will make huge strides in the coming year.
We will be doing everything in our power to make 2019 an amazing year for Coldwell Banker NRT’s agents and staff and to check all of these goals (and more) off our list.