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By Richard Price

Managing Director, Dezrez


OTHER FEATURES

What should agents look for in a software provider in 2021?

If this year has taught us anything, it's that estate agents need their software provider and specifically their CRM, to help them adapt quickly in a rapidly changing world.

The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged estate agent CRM suppliers to provide innovative solutions that enable their customers to adapt and thrive in a challenging environment.

The new wave of cloud-based; fully-mobile, customisable CRM solutions have delivered, whilst those that have not embraced new technology have struggled to keep up. The result is broken promises and frustrated customers.

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This year has faced nothing less than multiple rule changes to the property market, restrictions with viewings and offices forced to remain closed for long periods. Flexible and adaptable estate agent CRMs, that we’ll call EACRMs from here on, have become the new ‘must-have’, with companies putting it top of their list for investment in 2021.

It’s been no shock that estate agents have taken the opportunity to invest in EACRMs that provide access to integration platforms such as Zapier for automating workflows and Zoom, to handle customer and company meetings alike. The pandemic certainly separated the complacent, passive providers from the digital trailblazers.

How has PropTech adapted during the global pandemic?

The new wave of EACRMs haven’t changed overnight during the pandemic. The features and functionality that are now needed, have been available with these EACRMs for a while. However, as a result of Covid-19, customer requirements and expectations have changed massively.

As an example, mobility is now absolutely essential. Traditional on-premise systems just can't provide the flexibility needed to enable remote working. If you can't get your team working from home quickly, you’re instantly at a disadvantage to your competitors who can offer this when offices are forced to close.

This year has certainly been one of boom or bust, or should that be bust then boom? With the challenges of Covid followed by the busiest period in the housing market for 10 years, this has forced agents to do more with less staff.

The best EACRMs deliver efficiency gains and then some by ensuring that daily tasks are automated. For example, we created an automation via Zapier that pushes property images and a branded watermark to Facebook as soon as they are marked as ‘on the market’, reduced or sold in Rezi, all without the user leaving the CRM. Our customers told us that this saves them on average 30 mins per property per status change!

EACRMs are making new digital waves

With the year shaping up the way it has, estate agents may need to keep costs low whilst continuing to provide excellent customer service to an increasingly tech savvy market of buyers.

Customers now expect to be able to book, chat and transact online in every aspect of their lives and selling, buying or renting a home is no exception!

New wave EACRMs can help here too by utilising the built-in technology to create online tools that are a portal into the customer’s transaction with their estate agent.

The Dezrez Rezi Anytime solution provides exactly this function too as an agency-branded customer portal that also handles tenant and landlord information.

Camera shy? You’ll need to work on that

Pre-Covid, a video conference with a customer was rare. Today, it is commonplace and expected! This is unlikely to change in the new normal, post-Covid world.

Customers have become used to the benefits of communicating in this way and will continue to do so. Whether it’s Zoom or a fully-featured built-in conferencing facility like Rezi Meet, estate agents should utilise their CRM to provide this communication channel seamlessly for their customers.

Don’t just survive – Connect and thrive

Connectivity through integration will be the key to success for estate agents in 2021. Why? New PropTech is coming online at an incredible rate.

There are now multiple solutions for common property market challenges. Take sales progression, for example, where mio, View My Chain and Coadjute are all vying to streamline the process.

It’s essential that estate agents can provide real-time updates for the vendor or purchaser on the progress of their sale.

Never has this been more important than now, with the end to the current stamp duty holiday looming. Dezrez customers now have View My Chain data directly in Rezi on the property record. This gives real-time data on the sales chain right where the negotiator or sales progressor needs it. This data also feeds to the Rezi Anytime customer portal, so this information is available for the vendor or purchaser 24/7.

Restrictions and elevations – The battle of PropTech

If an EACRM can’t integrate with new PropTech quickly and cheaply, the estate agent stands to lose out when a new solution comes online.

The government holds all EPC data by property on an open platform and recently made this available via an API. Now, any EACRM can connect to that data and pull it into the property record at a touch of a button.

More and more common challenges faced by estate agents are being solved by our integrations with other software providers every day.

For example, we’ve been really excited to see how What3Words provides a very easy to understand mapping solution, so that you can pinpoint a location down to a metre square anywhere on the planet.

With this partner integration, Rezi now gives the agent the ability to pinpoint the exact location for things like the sale board. This avoids the cost of getting a board company to relocate a board and ensures the agent’s brand is as prominent as possible whilst delivering consistent customer service to vendors.

The only constant is change – Futureproof your business

One thing we can be sure of is that 2021 will bring more change. Agents can enhance their chances of success by ensuring that they have a one-stop-shop for property management, sales and lettings. Tying these elements together ensures that agency staff can be cross-skilled within one system and that reporting is held in a common location.

Phase 1 of our property management solution is available now for clients with phases 2 and 3 coming in Q1 and 2 2021 respectively. As you’d expect from us, we’re building a solution with a difference. The latest technology has been used to develop a software that is heavily tasked based giving you the ability to do more with less.

We’re also working on providing unparalleled support for NRL returns to HMRC, rapid compiling of end of tenancy disputes and an auto banking solution that will drastically reduce the man hours needed to ensure your client funds always remain protected and compliant.

Get in touch to learn about how you can get early access to our solution and get a head start on your competitors.

Agents need to define themselves on the digital services they offer

In summary, agents need advanced software and specifically a cloud-based mobile EACRM to connect all their apps together in one place.

Estate agent software needs to be viewed as a powerful enabler of enhanced customer service, brand consistency and the way to deliver more with less. 24/7 access to property transaction data is not a luxury but a necessity to keep pace in a new consumer landscape.

These enhanced capabilities are not reserved for the online or enterprise agency. EACRM companies are offering affordable, customisable, extendable and mobile software like our Rezi Premium package that gives agents everything they need to thrive in the new normal.

*Richard Price is managing director of Dezrez

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