Innovative Agent of the Month for June 2021 – JDG Sales & Lettings
JDG Sales and Lettings have been around since 1989 but are still pushing the boundaries of innovation in our industry and showing it is possible to do valuations online even outside of a pandemic...
It all began back in 1989, in a small office in Lancaster, when John Gallagher opened his first office with a team of just one other person. Fast forward to today and they have helped over 8000 families move home.
But it is their move to carrying out market appraisals online that caught our eye and has led to this award.
It was in March 2020 that the UK went into its first Lockdown, with agents told to cease their face-to-face activity but it did not take long for Michelle Gallagher, Co-owner of JDG to start valuing property via WhatsApp. She says: “I’ve been valuing online via WhatsApp video call since day 2 of the first lockdown.”
But by mid-May of 2020 Agents had been told that they could resume face-to-face valuations and viewings, so why have they continued?
Michelle continues: “Strangely it’s increased my conversion rate hence we have continued as it’s also saving time in the day, mainly through not travelling. Now, 95% of my valuations are virtual. Since May 13th - the first day agents were allowed to reopen we have listed and sold the exact same number of houses – 367.”
Mark Burgess CEO of Iceberg Digital says: “What Michelle is doing at JDG is an incredible example of innovation. Lots of agents HAD to make certain changes due to the pandemic but I would not class enforced changes as innovation, rather just survival. However, to then implement those changes permanently and completely flip they way they were working is a phenomenal achievement and one that we felt needed to be recognised.”
"I am most honoured to win the innovative agent of the month award for June 2021.
Many agents said during lockdown virtual valuations couldn't be done. I know many that simply cancelled their appointments and put their diaries on hold.
I had already worked with video marketing for many years so we switched to virtual video calls on day 2 of lockdown. It wasn't without trepidation!
What was really interesting was the client's response to all of this. From May onwards it became quite apparent we were one of the few agents to offer this service however clients started to say they preferred it and felt more comfortable. It allowed us to spend longer talking to them about their needs and their home. Plus with other digital technologies, we have embraced, we could also offer a truly thorough service.
We intend to keep offering valuations virtually. It is working well and has improved efficiency's along the way!"
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