The Top 10 Ways The Product Studio Conquered Summer Vacation
Who has time for summer vacation when there are products to conquer, users to delight and problems to solve. Here’s how the team spent our summer vacations as we gear up for one of the most exciting Fall markets of our careers:
10. We were wowed at the Zappos School of Wow. In July, Ken Demmons (Director of Success), Kim Powell (Director of Listing Concierge) and I flew to Las Vegas (yes, we braved the 115+ degree Vegas summer heat) for the Zappos School of Wow. The goal was to learn about Zappos’ legendary “Wow” customer service philosophy as a means of continuing to improve our service to our agents, both through our Success Team and via our Listing Concierge team. Zappos believes strongly in the concept of “PEC” or Personal Emotional Connections. Whether its customers or employees, PEC helps to drive happier customers and happier employees. One of our biggest takeaways was how the company’s core values (in our case, Core Four) are so engrained in the company culture. Every employee, upon being hired, is required to memorize the company’s 10 core values. As they described it, “It’s a pretty nice way to approach life and when you get the values of an organization right, you are a long way toward getting the culture right, too.” We learned so many great nuggets during the training and we are constantly looking for ways to Wow each other and our customers, now, too. You’ll be seeing more of our learnings in upcoming TMAPs and TMAP for Agents. Stay tuned.
9. We’re telling our story. Someone recently posted on Yammer this amazing compliment to the work being done across Realogy in the product space: “Since joining Coldwell Banker 1.5 years ago, I’ve witnessed a 180-degree shift in the company’s vision and how swiftly it became progressive, relevant and highly competitive. Congrats to all teams involved! I’m super excited to see what the future holds!” To see this type of reaction from our people just shows that we are making amazing strides in product and innovation and we need to tell our story better. Here are two new items that will help us all do just that:
- We recently completed a new Product Suite brochure to help Managers tell that story. The brochure is currently in production at Xpressdocs and will likely be available to order in late August/early September. As soon as we have details on its availability, we will let you know.
- A series of new screensavers and/or images for the office large screen TVs promoting our product suite. We are currently working with the Realogy IT and Communications teams to push these out to the shared and employee computers.
8. Exclusive Look launched in its first pilot market. Exclusive Look is an in-network marketing tool for coming soon listings that empowers Coldwell Banker NRT agents to share and search for listings in network before they are placed in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) or other public sites. When launched nationally, the agent-to-agent tool will allow an agent to share an upcoming listing with ease to the company’s 45,000 affiliated agents to help them pre-market listings and identify properties for buyers and sellers across the country. We’ve always had a powerful network and now this is one huge way that agents will be able to leverage it. Since the end of June, Exclusive Look has been in a beta test with ten Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage offices in the Greater Boston market. Three more offices joined the pilot testing in August 2019, with plans for the company to launch the product nationally in Q4.
7. Listing Concierge and Design Concierge continued their national takeover. With the addition of Utah (in June) and Atlanta (in July), Listing Concierge officially hit the 60% mark for roll-outs. Design Concierge continued its accelerated path, too, expanding to Colorado and Texas just this week. Design Concierge is now available in 1/3 of our markets nationally and is building momentum to go live nationally by October.
6. Prospect Square, a virtual town square where all of an agents’ contacts gather, officially hit the 100% mark and is now available to all Coldwell Banker NRT companies. We had a vision of this product in our early days as The Product Studio and it is so exciting to see it being embraced in such a big way across our company. More than 3M contacts have been added to the platform in the last two months and an estimated 5.7M market reports have been sent YTD. Imagine the market impact we are making with consistency in messaging, real estate knowledge and agent and brand awareness. Add to that, the very popular Clients for Life program has now migrated to Prospect Square, allowing us to retire yet another tool, New Panda. Next on our radar is The Update which will allow us to retire a longtime product in the west known as Inkswitch.
5. Future CRM strategy defined. You heard me right. After months of research, we have landed on our future CRM strategy. Here’s what I can share right now:
- Market Leader:
- Our contract is up as of December 31, 2019 and we have notified them of our intent to extend our contract in 2020
- In the meantime, we’ve solidified a very attentive group of agents to serve on our Market Leader steering committee to help us guide their roadmap and make improvements to the existing product. We’ve seen some awesome progress already including improvements made to contacts and contact importing as well as work being done on the agent websites.
- Realogy CRM:
- While I can’t share all of the details quite yet, know that Realogy has determined its long-term CRM strategy. We will be making a move to that CRM though timing has not yet been determined. I’ll share more details as they unfold.
- An open ecosystem that supports other CRMs:
- I previously shared that in addition to (eventually) making the move to the Realogy CRM, we’ve been actively researching partners who can integrate within our product ecosystem and leverage our APIs, with the goal of negotiating discounts on behalf of our agents. Knowing that in the CRM space in particular, one size never fits all, our goal is for us to provide our agents with options. We’ve spent the summer examining a list that started as 25 CRMs and was narrowed down to six and we’re continuing to whittle that down even further. In our future state, agents will have the ability to leverage the power of our Realogy CRM, continue on with Market Leader at a discounted rate or take advantage of one of the negotiated discounts with one of our other robust CRM partners.
- Market Leader:
4. “It was an honor just being nominated.” Alas we weren’t the big winners but to be nominated for Coldwell Banker NRT’s first ever Inman Innovation nomination for Most Innovative Tech in Real Estate for our work on Desk was an incredible nod to the work of that amazing product team. We were in good company with pretty huge product powerhouses like Redfin and Zillow so to have our product recognized in this space is an impressive honor. Of course, now our competitive juices are flowing and we can’t wait to take the stage next year with what we have in our roadmap. They ain’t seen nothing yet!
3. Desk is dazzling us with its growth. I was on a Desk sprint demo call this morning and found myself beaming with pride. I honestly can’t wait for you to see what is coming from this product. In addition to Exclusive Look, the team is actively working on a fall release of intranet content, a robust search, company directory (imagine having access to the entire CB NRT network), one place to manage your profile across apps, agent financial overview, agent performance overview and work on contact syncing. If you thought Desk was awesome today – just wait until what the next 3-4 months bring.
2. We are hosting our first ever Product Summit in the Bay next week. With “Innovation is our super power” as the theme, we’re bringing together Realogy’s top product and strategy thinkers, doers and visionaries into one place for a spirited meeting filled with planning, dreaming and, if all goes well, a healthy level of debate. We’ll begin work on flushing out our vision of the 2020 roadmap and how we can take the momentum we’ve created over the last two years to drive innovation and change well into the coming year. I told you Inman, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
1. We are gearing up for a very busy fall. In just a few short weeks, we will be rolling out Listing Concierge and Design Concierge nationally across the remainder of our markets. The teams are buzzing right now. It’s a good, healthy combination of excitement, passion and a little bit of “OMG is this really happening!?” as we join forces across The Studio to bring the Listing Concierge and Design Concierge experience to life for all CB NRT agents. Ryan Gorman stood on stage early this year and promised to deliver on Listing and Design Concierge and we are all proud to be part of delivering on that promise to all of you. By mid October, the entire country will have both of these amazing products and we couldn’t be more excited to bring them to our agents as we help them win more business and work more efficiently. It takes a village to pull off a project of this magnitude and the entire Studio is busy gearing up for this roll-out. It makes our hearts happy to see our teams working together in such a harmonious way with the same common goal – to bring delight to our agents via the Concierge Suite.