The industry is awash with Estate & Letting Agents that are fed up with the way their CRM or Estate Agency Software works, and rightly so, as most are at least 15 years out of date, meaning they arrived before Facebook was mainstream and before the iPhone even existed!
It is therefore, quite logical that these agents would be looking around for a solution and there are endless solutions out there for them that really do look the part and talk an incredibly good game with cool ideas like ‘open api’s’ allowing you to connect up to other tools and innovative functions like being able to book in for a viewing online etc.
However, despite these options being a major improvement on the Legacy Software’s that have been around for the past 20 years, unfortunately they will not prove to be anything better for your business other than some light relief and here is why…
When you decide to lose weight, is the most effective thing to buy some new scales or to change the way you eat? Some would argue that you need both and that may be the case, but you certainly need to change the way you eat, the new scales are optional. But, if you only buy the new scales, you will just have better ‘reporting’ about a weight that is not changing.
I use this analogy as I think it helps with the point, which is that solving some of the annoying things in your business like having to book viewings manually as opposed to letting people book them online, is a nice problem to solve and certainly could create a better customer experience but it is not going to help you move the dial of your business to a new level.
Equally, having some better reporting and nicer screens to look at, is not going to help you move the dial of your business either.
The problem is that Estate Agency Software as we know it, regardless of if built 15 years ago or 15 days ago, is not fit for purpose in today’s world. Perhaps a counter argument to that might be ‘but if the software can connect to other tools I can set it up how I want’. I would argue that is proof that the software itself is not going to make much of a difference if you already know that you need to go and connect it up to other tools in order to make it useful for you. And by the way, whilst ‘connecting up to other tools’ sounds easy enough, it is actually the beginning of a HUGE mess inside your business and one that will become like a ball of tangled wool (for more on that read The Estate Agency Revolution available on amazon).
The key point here is just like the multitude of new portals that are arriving and offering nothing significantly different to Rightmove or Zoopla, to fix the problems in your Estate & Letting Agency and significantly move the dial of your business you need to work a completely different way. It is not as scary as it sounds, as all of the fundamentals of your business will stay the same and yes you should get the flashy looking new functions in the new way of working too BUT the core of that new system you invest in will specifically show you how it is going to work around the new world. How it will help your business not get left behind by the data generation. How it will help you to create super targeted campaigns to an audience of 1 or 2. How by doing your everyday work it will make your business more and more powerful over time and ultimately how it will help your company move from just carrying out transactions for people to looking at the entire Lifecycle of a person’s journey from research, to investigation, through engagement and ultimately on to becoming a customer for life.
For many people it is simply easier to just continue to do things the way they have always done them for the past 10 years or more, regardless of if they are working or not. In many cases even if the owner knows that they do need to reinvent the way they work, the idea of changing everything is just too overwhelming and so unfortunately they will just never do it, but those that do have the drive to power through that change find a new, exciting and incredible business sitting on the other side.
Don’t get drawn into buying the new scales, as like anything in life, at some point you will have to do the real work of reinvention in order to really achieve your goals.