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Whenever a new client request comes in, estate agents should put their best foot forward and help them find a property that exactly meets their criteria. The process requires regular and transparent communication, however, all too often it is filled with oversights, errors, and confusion.
There have been many occasions when estate agents sent listings to their clients only to find they replied asking why you missed a certain property. It is not only embarrassing for the realtor, but it also risks the agency’s reputation. The relevant data is most likely available somewhere, but with multiple versions of files saved in different locations on the server, it is very easy to miss it.
Building a database of leads and listings is one thing. Managing it and keeping it updated is yet another hurdle to an agent’s success. For many smaller agencies and brokers, it is considered a time-consuming, admin-heavy housekeeping task. It has to be done but often at the cost of more business-critical jobs, such as strengthening client relationships, understanding their requirements, and expanding the property portfolio to increase revenue.
Navigating through disconnected systems makes estate agents and brokers less efficient and unproductive, leading to mediocre customer service and slow growth. Therefore, questions arise as to why this is still the case and how agents can unify their database to realise its tangible benefits.
The reasons behind current inefficiencies
It might come as a surprise, but the vast majority of small estate agencies still rely on Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides to keep client and property records updated and create listing templates and reports. This is a very inefficient and time-consuming solution, but often the only affordable one.
Small agencies simply do not have big budgets to spend so when it comes to choosing their technology and tools, money is indeed an object. For those who are not tech-savvy, the Microsoft Office package will do the trick as it is intuitive, and most likely, agents have used it before. Unfortunately, with this simplicity comes a lot of strenuous data inputting and time-wasting. Agents also have to rely on their colleagues to keep the right files updated on a regular basis, which only works in theory.
Across the real estate market, there is a lack of industry-specific solutions that would suit small estate agencies’ budgets. Currently available solutions have been developed for larger enterprises and broader sales management, therefore contain a lot of unnecessary features. The tools are often too complex and difficult to navigate, stopping agents from realising their full benefits. The complexity of these solutions comes with a big price tag too, leading to continuous inefficiencies and drops in productivity amongst smaller agencies that cannot implement fit-for-purpose software.
Poor client and team communication
Relying on a fragmented database leads to agents being misinformed, which in turn makes them miss out on presenting relevant opportunities or correct property details to clients. Agents often create a new file on their local computer and forget to share it or update the wrong one. Keeping the database regularly updated is crucial in real estate, but especially for smaller estate agencies trying to stand out amongst bigger, more established competitors and in the current remote working climate. Disconnected data leads to disconnected team members, who when struggling to effectively communicate with each other are less likely to succeed at their jobs and satisfy a client.
Having multiple listing files in different server locations has a significant impact on how well team members communicate and share information with each other. The lack of a centralised database leads to team inefficiencies, miscommunication, and wastes a lot of time. If agents spend a large chunk of their day trying to find the right documents, chasing colleagues, or generating reports, they will inevitably have less time for more critical business tasks. Tedious, admin-heavy jobs can also lower agent’s overall satisfaction and engagement, taking time away from revenue making activities.
How estate agents can benefit from a centralised database
Consolidated property and client-related data will help agents streamline their processes and reduce the need and time it takes to chase their colleagues for the latest listings version. Having a centralised database will also help cut down on duplicated and incorrect data entries and organise all information so that agents, even while on the go, can easily access the correct files.
Listings that live in silos can have a negative effect on the agency’s ability to grow and take on more clients as they become unmanageable. With a unified system, agents and brokers can achieve greater operational efficiency, allowing growth to happen. Clients will no longer miss out on properties and receive quick, personalised, and consistent information from their agents. They are more likely to be satisfied with the service and recommend the agency.
The possibilities ahead
To address the shortage of real estate specific solutions, there are new web-based productivity tools entering the market now that will finally help small agencies and brokers realise the tangible benefits of a centralised database. Connecting data and having it in one place will not only facilitate greater team collaboration but also make agents more efficient in pursuing leads and creating professional, consistent and error-free reports.
With streamlined processes and happier clients, smaller agencies will be better positioned to compete with much larger rivals, improving their profitability and reputational status.
El-Brokers is a leading web-based services provider specifically focused on the real-estate sector. The affordable listing management solution helps level the playing field for small estate agencies and brokers, enabling them to achieve the efficiency and access to greater resources required to compete with much larger rivals. El-Brokers is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt. For more information, visit https://elbrokers.com/
Youssef Abdelwahab is the founder of elBrokers.com. As a broker himself, Youssef has over a decade of experience in corporate real estate advisory. Youssef successfully served clientele from the Forbes 200, optimising their real estate portfolio in Egypt. He founded el-Brokers with the aim to ease and improve workflow for fellow agents and has a long term vision to provide professional realtors with productivity tools and a network that boosts transparency by securely exchanging leads and listings.