With so many software packages currently out on the market, it can be difficult to make a decision when it comes to deciding what works best for your Estate agency. Not only is it simply a case of finding a CRM system that is specifically designed for estate agents (although some agents still find that more generic CRMs work best for them), but it’s important to assess what you value – are you looking for a full software solution, do you want something web-based to access outside of the office, or do you value a supportive team behind whatever software you decide to proceed with, regardless? With a lot of CRMs not actually offering any kind of free trial (Hystreet of course being an exception) We want to help guide you through the current marketplace, and make sure you make an informed decision when it’s time for you to purchase or sign up for new property software packages for your estate agency.
Should your website provider and software provider always be the same?
Put simply – no. Whilst it is common (especially in estate agency) for CRM providers to also provide an estate agent’s website, this isn’t necessarily as beneficial to the agent as it is to the tech provider. To dispel a common misconception: using different providers for your CRM, website, and any other software doesn’t make anything slower or less efficient. In fact, most tech systems use something called an API to communicate – an API is used to allow various different systems to pass information between each other. For example, when uploading properties to a portal e.g. Rightmove and Zoopla, your CRM will use their APIs to pass on information in ways each portal can understand. Passing properties to your website also uses an API – even if you use the same provider for both! To put it simply, using different providers for different tech services does not slow down every day processes as the same systems that providers use to pass data between products they control are the same as systems used to communicate with external products – using two different suppliers is no more efficient (tech-wise) than simply using one.
Is it more secure for an agent to use software they must download than software accessible on the web?
Agents handle a lot of extremely sensitive data, so it is only natural that for many agents, security and safety of their customers’ data is a high priority. We understand that by having a program that you must access on specific PCs that have the correct software downloaded may feel more secure – but does this feeling translate into actual security, and is it worth the trade-off of usability, flexibility, and more? Even when you download software locally (i.e. you can access it on your PC without using an internet browser), the information contained within and entered still gets uploaded to the web; this is how other people on your team, using other machines, are able to access this data. However, don’t panic! This information is stored in secure online, cloud-based databases – the same way that data is secured in web-based CRMs too. So, now we’ve established that the way data is stored and handled is essentially the same for both downloadable software and web-based property CRMs, what are users of downloadable software missing out on? Things such as being able to use their CRM on the go, on any device, whilst at home, out of hours, and other features that are boosting productivity for many agents.
Should I use software that allows my customers 24/7 access to manage their sale?
Look, it’s not going to be a surprise to any readers that Hystreet is going to support agents providing client accounts to their customers that they can use to log in and manage their sale or purchase – we are the leading property software suppliers of this kind of software after all. However, our customers often feed back to us to let us know just how much easier using Hystreet makes their sales process. Hystreet customers are able to spend more time on meaningful, face-to-face interactions with their customers, rather than simply chasing up on feedback, information or documentation as they know the Hystreet platform takes care of all of these aspects of the sales process on their behalf. Not only that, but by using Hystreet and proactively marketing a new, online-focused, fixed-fee service they are getting called out to more appointments than before, and even upselling these customers to a full-service, traditional option. All-in-all it provides their business with an easy way to future-proof their sales process and provides their staff with an additional tool in their belt to get called out to appointments, win instructions, and generate more revenue.
To put it simply, there are such an array of options currently available for agents, all estate agencies should reassess not only what they value in their current CRM, but what they may find value in elsewhere – at a time where the property market is proving less stable than ever before, it is crucial to ensure that your business is using the right tools to work efficiently and effectively in an ever-changing industry.