foxAdvantage to upload straight to realestate1.net.au portal

After great demand from users and agents, realestate1.net.au upgraded to a national search function capability in late 2010.

Along with this improved search function, new site features include improved property short-listing and bigger maps and images in property listings.

As one of Australia’s fastest growing real estate advertising websites, realestate1.net.au provide a user-friendly website with tools and information for buyers, sellers and renters. With the new features, realestate1 aims to provide an alternative real estate website for browsers designed to be simple, quick and easy to use.

As part of a recent update, users are now able to upload listings automatically to realestate1 from foxAdvantage. This improved functionality will support our many clients’ diverse marketing requirements and help them to remain market leaders.

Start Uploading your listings to REIQ Property Search

With the launch of their new look website the Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ) is proud to announce the exciting addition of the REIQ Property Search. A Queensland-based listing portal featuring properties from REIQ accredited agencies.

Available at no extra charge, REIQ members need only subscribe to Property Search to begin taking advantage of this wide reaching internet presence.

After being up and running for only two months, already over 19,000 properties are advertised for sale and over 2,000 for rent.  At this rate of uptake, it looks as though the property industry has already given this particular portal a big thumbs up.

Understanding that our clients need to be able to send both wide reaching and diverse marketing, Brightfox is proud to announce that as of June 17th, 2011 our clients will have the ability to simultaneously upload their listing details to sixteen different real estate portals including REIQ Property Search at the click of a button.

Best of all for foxAdvantage users, uploading to the REIQ Portal is 100% free. There are no extra charges for uploading to additional portals.

How to Choose CRM Software for the Property Industry

When it comes to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, there is
a multitude of products that you can choose from. There is the ‘off the
shelf’ CRM software, such as Goldmine and ACT, that you can purchase at
most computer stores and install yourself, the large CRM vendors such as
Salesforce and Microsoft CRM that you will need a dedicated IT consultant
to install and configure for you, and then you have the many software
packages written specifically for the property industry (such as we provide), all of which are
designed to meet the needs of a property business ‘out of the box’.

So with all of these choices, how do you choose the right CRM system for
you?

In this article we will look at how to ask the right questions, identify
your key requirements and, ultimately, how to choose the right CRM software
for you.

Step 1: Get a core team of people together

Implementing a CRM system is a company wide initiative. It will impact
everyone from senior management down to your receptionist, so it is
essential that you get a team of people together to not only run the
project, but also so that you have involvement in the decision making
process from each area of your business. This team will be responsible for
creating the original brief, reviewing all products and, ultimately,
selecting and implementing the CRM system.

By ensuring you have a team involved in this process, you also ensure that
you immediately have several key people in your business who have ‘buy in’
on the whole process. Change management is an issue whenever new software
is implemented in any business, and the implementation of a CRM system is
no different. These team members should represent your core agents for
change within the business and will assist with driving implementation from
the inside out.

Step 2: Identify and write down your CRM objectives

Generally the search for a CRM system starts due to an actual or perceived
failing in the business. It is essential that you clearly identify what
that failing(s) is and document it. You then need to look a little broader
within your own business to try and identify other opportunities for
improvement that can derive from the implementation of a CRM system. You
are, in effect, trying to derive the core objectives of this project. Here
are a few of the key objectives from CRM projects we have been involved
with in the past:

(a)   Improve customer service by tracking all interaction with our
customers

(b)   Capture all customer data into a central company owned database so
that it can be managed and protected (from staff change over).

(c)   Ensure every lead is captured (never lose another customer!)

(d)   Improve sales through implementing better sales management
processes.

(e)   Improve business decisions through capturing sales and marketing data
and being able to analyse this.

Step 3: Shortlist your preferred CRM vendors

The project team will probably already have a few CRM products in mind. It
is important to ensure that you genuinely consider at least 3 options. This
will ensure you are exposed to a range of features and also pricing and
support plans.

Creating your shortlist is one of the most important steps in the entire
process. So how do you know you are short listing the right products? Here
are a few questions you should consider that will take you in the right
direction:

(a) Do we have the resources to configure and extensively customise our own
CRM system?

If you elect to purchase one of the off the shelf or large US CRM vendors
products, you will need to heavily customise it to ensure it includes
property centric features. Generally this requires either having your own
IT staff inhouse or bringing together a team of external consultants to
manage this for you.

If the answer is yes, then shortlist the systems that have the ability to
be extensively customised. This will preclude many but not all ‘property
specific’ systems that generally do not have the ability to be customised
in any significant way.

If the answer is no, shortlist software systems that have been built
specifically for the property industry. They should ideally meet your needs
‘out of the box’ without any customisation.

(b) Does the software have the features to meet your identified
objectives?

You need to do a short initial review to bring down the number of systems
you will shortlist. This can be a simple analysis of the features promoted
on the CRM Vendors website or brochure and comparing this against your
objectives. Eliminate any products that clearly fall short.

Step 4: Product Reviews

In reviewing each of the shortlisted products, it is essential that you go
through the following process:

(a) Product Demonstration

Obviously you will want to get a demonstration of the software. Be careful
however that you drive at least some of the demonstration itself. Some of
the most successful CRM companies don’t necessarily provide the best CRM
software — but they certainly can sell it the best. The demonstration you
will get is probably the same as all of the preceeding demonstrations the
sales consultant will have supplied, so it should look slick and
professional. 

To ensure that you get a very good review of the product however, you need
to ensure that you are specifically shown how the software will address the
issues you have identified that are important for your business. For
example, if you run a commercial real estate business, ask to be shown how
you will manage lease reviews or perhaps how to generate reports that show
rate per sqm/sq ft returns, or if you are involved in project marketing,
ask to be shown reports that would be supplied to Developers or perhaps how
your would track project specific KPI’s.

When reviewing your shortlisted systems, try and rank each on a scale of 1
to 5 in being able to meet your identified objectives.

(b) Consider how user friendly the software is

The number 1 reason that your CRM project will fail will be because your
staff do not use it, and the number 1 reason they will not use it is
because it is not user friendly. It is essential therefore that you choose
a CRM system that is easy to use.

(c) Consider implementation time

The less upfront customisation your system requires the more quickly the
implementation process can be completed. Ask your CRM vendor how long the
implementation will take and what factors may increase or decrease the
amount of time needed.

(d) Consider product development

You need to analyse and understand the CRM vendors vision for their own
product. How will they be developing it over time? Is it going to be
enhanced into the future or are they going to replace it with another
system? Can you have input into feature enhancements in the future?

When you purchase a CRM system you are not just purchasing a product you
implement today, but you are also selecting a CRM vendor that you hope to
do business with over the coming 3 to 5 years. Your investment needs to
grow over time, and the only way this is possible is if the CRM vendor
continues to improve the product. It is essential therefore that you select
a product with a clear upgrade path for the future.
 

(e) Evaluate technical support

You need to know that you will receive support for the ongoing use of your
CRM system. Here are a few questions to ask regarding support:

* Do you have a SLA (service level agreement) with customers?

* What hours does your support desk operate?

* Do you have user manuals, answers to frequently asked questions, online
training video’s and other self-help resources?

* What charges or service plans are involved?

(f) Cost Analysis

Last, but not least, you need to consider costs. Obviously you want the
very best CRM system for your business but costs are always an issue. Look
at the total cost of ownership for each CRM system. This should cover all
upfront and ongoing costs over the timeframe that you believe you will keep
your CRM system. Generally this would be a 3 to 5 year period.

Step 5: References

You should ask your preferred CRM vendor for some references. If they are
as good as they tell you they are, they should be able to point you towards
a number of similar businesses that are using their product that you can
talk to.

Step 6: Try and get a Fixed Price Quote

Unfortunately the IT industry doesn’t have a great reputation for being
able to deliver projects on time and on budget. Good CRM vendors have a lot
of experience in successfully delivering CRM projects, and the good ones
will have enough confidence in their product and skills to provide a fixed
price quote in most instances.

Summary

Choosing the right CRM system for your business is not an easy process. It
needs to be done methodically and with careful planning, as it is a
decision that will impact on your business for the next 3 to 5 years.

Brightfox Plug!

Did you know that Brightfox is one of the world's leading providers of CRM software and
online marketing solutions for the property industry. We have a suite of
software applications to suit individual agents, small, medium and large
agencies, multi-office agencies, property developers, investment networks
and retirement village developers and managers. We would welcome the
opportunity to show you how we can help your business, so please do not
hesitate to contact us.

In property networking is a fundamental key to success

Many real estate offices work in conjunction with the same businesses over and over again, so why not take advantage of this and use it as a way to market your business to new or different markets?

Everyone at some point is going to look at buying or renting a property so, rather than market to the same people over and over again, using joint ventures promotion with local businesses is a way to reach people who may not normally come knocking on your door.

A joint venture doesn’t have to be a big marketing agreement or event between businesses, it can be as simple as contacting the businesses who work in and around your area and agreeing to include details of their business in your weekly or monthly newsletter in exchange for them doing the same or similar. By doing this you are gaining access to an entirely new database of contacts and potential customers.

Some types of businesses you may consider entering into a joint venture promotional agreement with might be mortgage brokers, insurance agents, financial planners, accountants, solicitors, property inspectors, interior designers and other complimentary local businesses.

All of these people should be marketing to their database of clients and contacts on a regular basis in one way or another so it won’t be any extra effort for them to include some information about your business with this.

Some examples of ways you could promote yourself through other businesses might be:

  1. Agreeing to write an article each month to be included in their monthly newsletter.  You might include an interesting story on one of your current properties or a profile on a different agent each month.  Make it interesting and a little out of the ordinary so that it captures people’s interest; you could include a short interview with one of your agent’s where they answer questions about themselves and why they are in the real estate business.
  2. Getting them to reference your website on their site and include some information about your business and how you work with them.
  3. Putting signs and brochures in their office.
  4. An interview with you to be published in their newsletter or on their website on a topical market issue.

 These are just a few ideas of how you could use other businesses to help you market to new contacts.  In exchange for this you would do the same for them so it is a win-win situation for everyone and is also a low cost way for you both to market your businesses.

Building Smart Websites for Smart Phones (and Ipad’s!)

We blogged recently about the amazing growth of smart phones. Smart Phones and Tablets (think IPad and the upcoming Android and Windows Tablets you will see next year) are going to be the dominant platform for accessing the web in the short to medium term. More people will access the web using these devices than PC’s. Let me assure you it is going to happen.

So what does that mean for websites? Well pretty much every single one has been designed for viewing on a PC so this means a lot.

We have long been pushing the importance of building mobile friendly websites and have been doing so as far back as late 2007. As mobile phones and tablets simply become more and more powerful, and 3G and (coming 4G) internet speeds faster, it is simply more convenient to use them to access websites and web services. The huge growth of social networking is also a strong driver of this user adoption. People start using their mobile to access Twitter or Facebook, and as they become increasingly comfortable with the medium, start using their phone to access all manner of content.

The future for real estate on the web is to provide a true cross platform experience to the customer. Whether it is via a PC, a mobile phone or on the ‘about to explode’ tablet and touch screen devices, users simply expect a great experience. This means delivering an experience optimised for that specific environment.

To explain a little further, the experience of accessing the web via a mobile phone is very different to accessing it via a PC. The screen resolution and functionality is vastly different, not to mention the environment in which it is done. This results in large useability variation between the two, which in turn requires a different design to your website or services and often a modification to the service itself. One simple example is sending an enquiry on a listing. On a PC the most common action is to complete a register interest form and send an enquiry via email. Mobile phone users are far more likely however to want to send an SMS.

We have just launched a website that demonstrates the difference in design for a PC to a Smart Phone.

Visit www.precinctpropertygroup.com This is a standard website when viewed on a PC however if you visit this site from your phone you will be automatically taken to a mobile friendly website at the following URL: www.precinctpropertygroup.com/mobile

You will note significant differences with the design and if you are using a smart phone, integration with your GPS, call and email functions – all making the website user friendly and actually useable!

To effectively target this every growing market we now recommend that our clients build a website for these very different user platforms. The additional cost really is not that great and the benefits are significant.

Brightfox Launch New Mobile Website Service

Brightfox today announce the launch of a new service called R.E.Mobile to build websites compatable with and optimised for viewing over mobile phones. The new R.E.Mobile service makes it very easy and cost effective for any property firm to quickly create a full mobile compatable website within weeks. Brightfox will take the existing content, including dynamic listing data for real estate offices, and build a searchable mobile friendly site that will enable the millions of mobile phone users to visit and search for properties or projects.

For more information on this product, and an example of a R.E.Mobile website, go to http://www.brightfox.com.au/au/remobile.asp

How to successfully use technology in the Retirement Village Sector

Below is an interview I had recently with the Sales & Marketing Director of publically listed retirement village operator Aevum Ltd in which we discussed how to use technology in the retirement village sector.

Cameron: Much is made of the need to use technology in a modern company to improve sales & marketing. In your experience what effect has technology actually had?

Karen: Having grown from an owner/operator of 4 villages to 21 villages in just over 2 years, part of our growth strategy had to encompass significant improvements to our internal technology. To summarise, the investment in technology has resulted in huge improvements in the integration and streamlining our sales systems and processes, the creation of efficient and relevant reporting, the creation of great direct marketing opportunities and significant improvements in the communications process, both internally and externally with all stakeholders.

 

Cameron: Technology such as the internet and email marketing are usually associated with today’s youth, and not people of retirement age. Are these technologies relevant to your business and if so, how are you using them effectively?

Karen: It has been clearly researched and reported that Ageing Australians are driving Internet Growth. In mid 2008 we revolutionized our website to ensure that we were in a position to capture the growing number of ‘web generated’ enquiries. We also realized that our target market have a lot of time available  to research their retirement options on-line, hence a key objective was to ensure that our web was rich with relevant information. Marketers who assume that a large percentage of our primary target audience is not ‘web savvy’ are missing out on huge opportunities. We also know from experience that the influencer (family or friends of our primary market) play a large role in the decision making process and are definitely predisposed to doing their research on-line in the first instance.

 

Cameron: I know you recently implemented a new CRM system. How important is building this client and prospect database to Aevum?

Karen: This is marketing 101 for Aevum! Today’s prospects are tomorrow’s purchasers in this industry. Our broad marketing strategy is underpinned by a very strong direct marketing focus that is targeted at maintaining a consistent dialogue with all the prospects on our database. Building upon our database strategy, we also take this one step further by focusing on building quality ‘Priority Waiting Lists’ for our villages where a prospect registers their interest in a specific style of unit for a refundable fee of $200. This strategy significantly reduces our reliance upon expensive above-the-line marketing when dwellings become available for sale.

  

Cameron: One of the difficulties in implementing a CRM system is ensuring that your staff use it. Given that the average age of salespeople in the industry is high, has computer skills been an issue in getting your staff to use CRM?

Karen: No matter what the age, we are all generally reluctant to adopt change in the first instance unless we can see the ‘perceived benefit’. The vast majority of our sales staff is up-to-speed with a basic windows environment and have reacted positively to the introduction of a new CRM system. The key to success I believe lies not only in the initial training, but re-investing in regular on-going training to maximize the functionality of the system for all users.

  

Cameron: Late last year you also launched the new Aevum website. What has been the effect of this on your sales and marketing?

Karen: This has made a huge improvement to our lead generation and subsequent sales conversion rates, not to mention the marketing cost efficiency. As I noted earlier, an integral part of our re-design strategy was to ensure that our site was rich with relevant information. The integration of a dedicated ‘For Sale’ section that allows the user to search for specific retirement accommodation options by location, village name or price has generated extremely positive feedback and more importantly, great results!

  

Cameron: How common is it to find personal PC’s in your resident’s units now? Do you see this becoming a more common trend?

Karen: This is a huge emerging trend. We proactively survey our residents on a regular basis to obtain feedback in relation to their social interests, internet usage, resident satisfaction levels, suggestions for improvements, etc. Not surprisingly, internet usage continues to increase year-on-year. In support of this growing trend, we have also introduced computers and internet access into some of our village community facilities for the use and benefit of all residents.

 

Cameron: It is now pretty common place in many business sectors to communicate with clients via email and even customer service websites?

Karen: I think it is far to say that the Aged Care Sector has been slow to adopt using technology in this way. Do you see technologies such as these playing a role in the future? I think the industry as a whole is becoming a lot savvier when it comes to the options available in relation to communication technology and its subsequent benefits. The evolution of websites in this sector over the past 12-18 months and the increasing integration of customized systems is evidence that the industry is adopting new technology and I am sure you will see a lot more of this in the near future as operators look to improve their levels of communication and customer service.

————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Brightfox developed the Aevum Ltd websiteand also supplied to Aevum Ltd its leading software, foxEnterprise, that Aevum use as the company wide CRM, Sales Management and Property Management software.

Using QR codes in real estate

If you live outside of Japan and don’t know about QR code you are not alone. They are effectively a new form of the standard bar codes that we all see at supermarkets everyday. The essential difference is that a QR code can contain a lot more information than a standard barcode and it has evolved into main stream use.

In Japan you will see QR code on posters, magazines, bus timetables, busines cards and so on. So what do they look like and how are they used?

Here is our Brightfox QR code

QR Code for Brightfox
QR Code for Brightfox

If you had a QR code reader, this image would tell you one thing – namely our website address – www.brightfox.com.au

So if you have a QR code reader on your mobile phone you can simply take a picture of the above QR code and your phone will then popup our website address and a prompt as to whether you would like to visit the wesbite. Pretty cool I think you would agree.

So what possible uses does this technology have in the real estate sector?

Here are a few ideas that we are working on here at Brightfox:

– insert the QR code on signage so that a prospect can be taken direct to the property or project website. This is particularly useful if you have a mobile phone ready website. Prospects can be standing outside a home and be browsing images and descriptions immediately.

– place a QR code on your business card. This is particularly beneficial if you are doing business in Asia as it provides an easy means to grab your essential details.

– use a QR code in advertising, whether in newspapers or magazines. For example, why not insert a QR code into advertisements for First Home Buyers that takes them to a unique website that enables them to register for a special offer. You capture the prospects details and hit the target audience with a technical wow that really makes you stand out.

If you would like to learn more about QR code and how you can use them in promoting property, give us a call.

Top Agents say – “It’s Lonely at the top!”

We are already nearing the end of February 2009. So the question is :

“How’s the Real Estate market been treating you – so far?”

Most of the Top Performing Real Estate Agents (some of whom are our clients) we talk to on a regular basis are  saying that the market is great.

In fact they say it’s Fantastic.

This is exactly the opposite of what the press and the real estate industry as a whole are saying, so I have no doubt that many people find this surprising. So the question is why. Why are these leading agents doing so well when most agents are not? The immediate answer we received was – “because there is no competition”.

They (top real estate agents) said that most of their competition was wallowing in misery about the

  • recession
  • property market going down the drain
  • unemployment being high
  • vendors expectations unrealistic
  • etc

Whilst the average Agents are pulling back their spending, these Elite group of Agents are in fact spending more in:

  • investing in better technology,
  • upgrading their websites and expanding online marketing,
  • adopting new systems and procedures to manage their businesses even better.

This reminds me of the advice given by Warren Buffett – “Buy when others are selling and Sell when others buying”. This mantra has been obviously profitable to the World’s Richest Man.

After discussing with these top producers and the rest of the real estate world, we (Brightfox) have decided to launch an educational campaign – 50 Bright Ideas to Kick start your business in 2009..

This will be launching soon, so if you are interested in learning what these Top guns are doing, keep an eye out..

PS: If you want to join the Priority Mailing list so that you can be informed about this launch, send an email to 50brightideas@brightfox.com.au with your contact details.

Why does every property developer need to systemise their business?

Your project has just hit an important stage in its development.  Your organisation is frantically producing construction updates, contacting prospects, organising advertising campaigns and trying to find where all the pre-sales enquiries were filed.  At the end of the day, the job gets done.  But could it have been done better?

 Undoubtedly, the property development and project marketing industries are founded on sales.  Usually, the sales and marketing process differs little from project to project.  However, in our industry experience we have found that sales and marketing are the least systemized processes of the whole enterprise!

Many property development and project marketing companies rely on the methods of each of their sales people to produce results.  The result is usually mayhem.  The company no longer presents a uniform, professional image to their clients and increases the risk of breakdown in the sales and administrative chain.  If you want to produce consistent and ultimately more profitable results, a system is essential to close the gap between the varying skills of your people and the skills your business needs to be the very best. 

Those developers and marketers that employ a systemized sales and marketing process equip themselves with the tools to produce results in the most efficient and profitable manner.  By utilising systemization, developers are better able to manage their resources to accomplish a project within a given time and cost restraint.  Furthermore, they optimize the use of those resources such as time, capital and manpower over the course of a project.

With technology changing the way developments are sold, most companies now cannot function without some degree of technological systemization or risk being left behind.  However, this topic does cause some concern for some developers due to the early industry producing technology that hindered rather than improved business processes.  By working in conjunction with the property industry, there is now systemized software that is designed to better align technology with the property development methodology.  Ensure that whatever software you choose to help with your systemization strategy, it must be able to customize your particular organization’s business processes.

If you want to reduce human error and make business tasks simpler and easier, it is software that can automate certain business activities.  We shall look into some of the ways that technological systemization can be employed in your business:

 

Contact Management, Lead Generation, Client Service

Applying a centralized system to the care and management of clients can have a dramatic and measurable impact on the developers and project marketer’s ability to grow.  In our experience, we have found that many developers and project marketers use systems such as spreadsheets with the names of clients, their contact information and any particular notes and activities pertaining to them.  However, as they grow and demands increase, spreadsheets can end up limiting the organisation’s potential. Spreadsheets are a way to capture information but do not enable you to analyse the information in a meaningful way.  They also do not allow to you create diarized activities and tasks relating to that information.

It is beneficial to use a software system that can combine customer relationship management (CRM) software and sales automation for your client database.  The best way to manage a prospect is to create an activity plan that is automatically generated for a contact.  For example:

 

Prospect

Activities

Time
Hot Prospect Subscribe to monthly newsletterSend information pack

Follow up call

Send email

Follow up call

Default system settings

1 day

2 days from initial contact

5 days from initial contact

1 week from initial contact

Warm Prospect

Subscribe to monthly newsletter

Send information pack

Follow up call

Send email

Follow up call

Default system settings

1 week

1 week from initial contact

2 weeks from initial contact

1 month from initial contact

Cold Prospect

Subscribe to monthly newsletter

Follow up call

Send email

Follow up call

Default system settings

2 weeks from initial contact

1 month from initial contact

Every 6 months

The software should be able to prompt your salespeople through these processes, and in some cases conduct some of these tasks automatically on behalf of the salesperson, such as sending ‘thank you’ emails. 

The system should ensure consistency in the capture and storing of client information as well as your company’s response to them.  This is relevant both for sales optimization, business reporting, as well as tracking the activities of your sales team and their relative success or otherwise.  Through the information captured, you can further identify and respond to the evolving needs and wants of your clients by using the information to constantly review your processes, and thereby making your organization increasingly effective. 

Technological systemization can assist in creating a consistent brand image that you present to your clients.  Setup professional html email templates and mail merge templates for your staff to use.  Having high-quality email and mail merge templates enables you to automate your communication, for example your software can send out automatic ‘thank you emails’ on behalf of a salesperson.

Have diarised tasks with automated prompts to ensure you send out weekly or monthly email newsletters regarding your company and/or specific project.  Integrate a response tracking system to help you automatically measure the results of your campaign. 

 

Marketing and Advertising

At the beginning of each project, a property developer or project marketing organisation should set out clear goals and methods of analysis for their sales and marketing process.  Without these methods, they subject themselves to ‘reactive marketing’ – it’s like travelling without a map.  In our work with property developers and real estate agents, we tend to find the same major problems arise again and again. 

  • The first issue: is your marketing working successfully?

Many developers and agents tend to use the old adage “Half of my marketing works; I just don’t know which half!”

How do you confront this?  An effective CRM system can enable you to track the cost of your lead generation and cost of sale.  The systematic capture of contact data and tracking of marketing campaigns enable you to review the success or failure of your marketing.  For example: if you receive 20 enquiries from your newspaper advertisement but none result in a sale, and only 5 enquiries from the internet but 4 result in a purchase – where are you going to concentrate?

  • The second issue: mismanagement of the advertising placement process. 

Many organisations encounter difficulties when trying to keep to their media schedule.  Using software to systemize this process can be a valuable tool when keeping to your media schedule.  Some systems can prompt your staff through a step by step process for advertising strategies – such as approval requests and updates.  The more automatic your system is designed to produce a marketing result, the more effective your sales will be. 

 

Stock control

Having a centralized system for your stock control is essential when selling a project.  This enables you to track each property and gives your sales staff access to live stock availability.  We find that out of date systems or spreadsheets are flawed in this regard, resulting not only in reduced customer service but can also create legal ramifications. 

While systemizing your marketing processes ensures a consistent professional image, it can also reduce sales and administrative error.  Sending out the wrong brochure can be a nuisance but if a salesperson does not have the updated price list it can leave you open to litigation.  You should not only keep your important documents in a centralised system that your staff can access, but you can also systemize your communication with your staff such as sending out automated emails when a price changes on a property or a construction update occurs.

 

Contract Administration

In property development and real estate offices around Australia, there are thousands of people involved in the day to day activities related to contract administration.  Most of them manage the same process – what letters need to go out, which people to notify when finance is due or settlement due.  However while this is one of the most important areas of the business, it is also the one that is most fraught with error.  If you are looking into systemizing your business processes, contract administration should be a primary focus.

For example, we find that a common problem is when a property is on hold for seven days, and then forgotten to be released back into the stock list for sale and agents are not advised.  A software program that can systemize your contract administration can automatically prompt your staff through the specific processes, such as emailing the salesperson and contract administrator to remind them when finance is due.  This reduces the risk of mismanagement, contract fallovers and missed sales opportunities. 

 

The way of the future

Ideally, through technological systemization, you should integrate all these elements required to make your business work.  Not only will you create a more efficient and successful enterprise, but it will also change your organization from one that is reliant on key staff skills, to one that can run smoothly throughout the years and subsequent staff turnover.  I’d like to quote Michael Gerber, the author of ‘The E-Myth’ – a bestselling book that focuses on the importance of business systemization: “Most businesses fail to fully achieve their potential. That’s because the person who owns the business doesn’t truly know how to build a company that works without him or her—which is the key.”