One word. Integrations.
Integrations should form an essential part of your business’s operational strategy. Why? Because, with integrations, you can leverage elements of best-in-class features from various tech suppliers that can push your agency forward with no additional development or work required.
API-based integrations allow the automated transfer of data from one piece of software to another, allowing multiple systems to ‘communicate’ and work together seamlessly. By utilising the integrations available to you, your team will have all the information they need in the exact place they need it - removing double entry or manual intervention, and enhancing the way your agency operates.
Integrations are more powerful than you may think…
There are so many tangible benefits to having an integrated techstack, and the impact can touch every area of your business. Today, I’ll be focusing on just three of the main advantages of utilising integrations in estate agency.
1. Enhanced customer experience.
A huge 72% of customer interactions are now digital, and this has now become a consumer expectation across all industries. What’s more frightening is that 80% of customers even stated that it’s easier than ever to take their custom elsewhere - making it clear that digital experiences should be a key business priority.
The rise in Fintech companies is a prevalent example of this. Where the traditional banking sector failed to evolve its own processes, Fintech companies prioritised a convenient and digital client experience, resulting in huge consumer popularity and sector growth.
Remember that, within the highly competitive landscape of estate agency, it’s crucial to look at ‘disrupting’ your own processes, and integrations could present the perfect solution.
From our own research of 1,000 homemovers, Street.co.uk discovered that 94% of respondents would have a preference for instructing an agent if they were to offer an app or similar experience to manage the process. Integrations that can enable experiences like this and provide the perfect opportunity to not only improve the customer experience for customers, but to optimise an agent's processes as their tech stack becomes closely aligned.
Similarly, integrations that speed up the pace of processes like E-signatures on digital documents or electronic compliance checks will not only help to move the process along quicker, but provide greater convenience - which both link to higher customer satisfaction.
2. Increased team productivity.
Just by connecting your techstack through integrations alone, productivity is shown to increase by a massive 52%.
In such a time-constrained and demanding industry, integrations allow you to regain precious time - without sacrificing on service quality. In fact, the automatic transfer of data from one software to another eliminates unnecessary busywork, making a job much quicker and easier to complete, or even has the power to completely tick off a job from an agent’s list.
There are so many examples of integrations which contribute to time savings and team productivity, but one in particular is automated social media marketing of any new listings added to your CRM. This brilliant integration allows agents to effortlessly expand their marketing and promote properties to wider audiences across their preferred social channels - which might otherwise typically get pushed down the priority list and forgotten.
3. Increased profits.
Recent research revealed that businesses using API-based integrations are 24% more likely to be profitable than those who don’t. Now, this likely is a result of many different factors, such as time savings and as a result cost reductions, but I have also seen first-hand our own product integrations deliver a significant uplift in ROI for clients.
The integration between Street.co.uk and Spectre, for example, transfers known homeowner and landlord names from within your CRM and matches them to the right addresses in Spectre.
That means instead of beginning your prospecting letters with ‘Dear Homeowner’, you can personalise your marketing without any effort - and this simple change is proven to increase return on investment from direct mail by 3 times.
What if my supplier doesn’t provide the integration I’m looking for?
Integrations aren’t reserved for connecting supplier to supplier, you can integrate tools to your own website through Open APIs. Previously, this was reserved for large tech companies, and was not possible for even the biggest agents in the country but, recently, the power of OpenAPI technology democratises access to a treasure trove of functionality.
With an Open API, you have the freedom to build custom integrations that implement your data in whatever way you need or want. Street.co.uk is the only CRM to offer a true OpenAPI to both agents and suppliers, and since its release earlier this year, I have already seen some incredibly innovative and creative custom implementations and I can't wait to see how agents continue to use it.
But what if you want to access data beyond that of your own database? Street Data, for example, broadens possibilities by allowing access to information from our database via OpenAPI - imagine what you could do with instant access to over 150 data points on every single property in your area.
I’ve personally spoken to many in the industry about the opportunities that OpenAPIs unlock for agents. For instance, you may want to create interactive features on your website, perhaps to build resources on your site for clients to check local schools, EPC information, or even see transport links.
Integrations can help your agency become more agile and resilient in this highly competitive industry, using your data in new ways to innovate, save time and drive success. By partnering with forward-thinking suppliers, your techstack will be able to evolve right alongside your agency - making it strong and secure, now and into the future.
Ultimately, with the power of both API-based integrations, your business suddenly becomes more than just an agency, and instead, becomes a trusted source of knowledge in your local area.