Whenever you embark on a new project, it is likely to succeed or fail based on how well you planned it. The best idea in the world is worth nothing unless it’s executed properly. The same holds true for benchmarking which, if done properly, can transform your agent relationships and save you substantial costs.
Brandstock can partner with you to ensure that your benchmarking project is well-planned to create maximum value for you as a client, and to achieve the outcomes you need it to achieve. Once you’ve decided that you need to rationalise and save money on your external costs, you’ve made the first important step towards a plan for benchmarking.
The first thing to do at this point is to contact Brandstock. They’ll come and sit down with you to workshop what you’re looking for, establish what problems you’re trying to solve, and begin developing ideas to help you. You’ll need information on who your agents are, their fees, the IP assets you’re trying to protect and the scope of the project.
The first phase of a typical project will last approximately one month – this is the benchmarking phase, in which Brandstock sets up an online portal for the project and contacts your agents for information on their pricing structures – agents are able to input data directly into the online portal for Brandstock’s review.
Over the next few days, agents will be sent multiple reminders to complete the information, and within around 3 weeks, Brandstock will be able to produce a report detailing the response received and analysing the data provided. Brandstock will also be able to define target fees for the agents, before sitting down with you to look at the results and decide on the next steps.
The report Brandstock produces is not just an assessment of your agent network and how you relate to it. Usefully, it also provides context, benchmarking your agent fees against the average in the jurisdiction but also showing you how your business compares to your peers in terms of what you’re being charged. If similar companies to yours are paying much less for services, you are able to take steps to correct the issue, though all client data is kept strictly confidential.
This means that when establishing target fees for your agent network, you can have the confidence that you’re setting fees at a fair price in reference to the rest of the industry. After the information is available, you’ll have another workshop with Brandstock to set the next phases in motion.
Making a plan for benchmarking is not just about the benchmarking project itself, but about what happens afterwards. Following a successful benchmarking phase and definition of fee targets, Brandstock will set up another online platform for agents to submit fee proposals for negotiated fees. Following a similar timeline to the first phase, it will ask for initial proposals and then send a series of reminders, with the aim of having all the relevant information together within 30 days.
At this point Brandstock will generate a renegotiation report for discussion with you, and then a second phase of renegotiation will begin, repeating the process until the vast majority of agents have responded with new fee proposals. Of course, when agents don’t respond, that is extremely useful information for you too, and may help you to decide how you wish to proceed in that jurisdiction at the end of the process.
If Brandstock helps you plan for benchmarking, the whole process should take 3 months. Three months to gain clarity on your agent network, establish where costs are too high, renegotiate costs and prepare to sign new agreements lasting a minimum of two years with your agents.
The key to good work is good planning. When you’re planning for benchmarking, it makes sense to work with someone who has experience with many different types of organisations. Brandstock can help you make this plan.