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That thing you do so well…

Benchmarking: so you know where you stand.

Business is going well. Your people are happy, you’re winning business and, more importantly, keeping it when you win it, and you’re happy with your strategy and future prospects. So, all seems well, but how do you know? How do you really know you’re up there in the premier league and you’re doing the best possible job?

Will Durant’s summation of Aristotle’s quote from Nicomachean Ethics arrives at ‘quality, then, is not an act, it is a habit’. How do you know you have the right habits if you only have yourself as a benchmark? Clearly, you will have excellent people working for you who have experience in the sector. But things move on: technology improves in leaps and bounds, customer service is eon’s away from where it was even 5 years ago and expectations are higher. Have you really kept pace? Are you really in touch?

At SLC, benchmarking is not optional, it’s mandatory. Not that we are required to benchmark by any regulatory body, but our business philosophy demands that we do because we strive to be at least one step ahead in everything we do.

This is why we chose to sponsor the ARMA benchmarking survey. It’s the first of it’s kind for the industry and has been implemented by Dr Nigel Glen the CEO of ARMA. Dr Glen is an example of the new ideaology that is sweeping through the property management industry. New ideas and a fresh look at what we do and how we do it.

Essentially, benchmarking has three catagories: internal, competitive and strategic. At SLC we embrace each of these. We do not have a fixed timeline on our benchmarking, it is constantly under review. To use an Olympian endeavour: we are always looking to beat our ‘personal best’

The ARMA benchmarking survey is a confidential, comprehensive look at the managing agent sector.   In the words of Dr Glen The survey will track the performance of many facets of members’ business. This will provide member firms with a confidential analysis of their business dynamics compared with their peers. We recognise that benchmarking will improve understanding of the sector and reduce reliance of anecdotal information. It will also shine a light on areas where efficiencies can be gained. Government has recognised there is often a lack of reliable industry data. Sectors that benchmark are viewed positively by government and key stakeholders, and will improve the sector’s reputation for professionalism and commitment to raising standards for leaseholders”.

Our own Jo Green, Head of Commercial Operations agrees with Dr Glen “For us at SLC, the three basics of benchmarking are our daily mantra. In each of our departments we strive not just to be good at what we do, but to be always looking at what we can do better. This we achieve by a combination of internal review and the use of external resources, which has been brilliant in highlighting where we can improve, and essential in providing the training. This is not a world where we can rest on our laurels. It’s competitive. Where we can make a real difference to our customers is by providing them with the best possible business to business experience anywhere in the sector”.

So unless you benchmark, how will you know if you do actually ‘do that thing you do so well?’ For ARMA members only, the survey deadline has been extended to 14th September 2016 and we would urge you to participate.

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