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Training to maximise software benefits

publication date: May 25, 2006
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There is always a great deal going on in estate agency software. Competition is fairly intense, there is a constant requirement for something new and the software companies just keep coming up with extra services and useful improvements. Most of us take it all for granted it is just there on the screen isn’t it, but thinking out of the box over and over again is a tall order and some companies are better at this than others.

C.A.R.L. supply residential lettings software and they are not waiting for clients to ask for help – they are taking it to them. The C.A.R.L. V4 roadshows are now well underway and have met with a great response from both current and prospective clients. There are a further 18 roadshows to take place at different regional venues.

Road Shows popular with clients

For current clients the Road Shows are a vital ingredient for the transaction from version 3 to version 4.

During day one, of the two day roadshows the experienced C.A.R.L. trainers will demonstrate, in detail, the new functions throughout the software package, and how they benefit the business.

Day two training focuses specifically on the new features developed to enhance C.A.R.L.’s client accounting, looking in depth at transaction, statement and miscellaneous client account reconciliation. C.A.R.L say their clients have been astounded at the development of the analysis and accounting functions.

“We are so impressed with the system and training we are going to send all our staff on C.A.R.L. V4 training courses a.s.a.p.” Rhys and Tracey, RTF Lettings.

Attending one of the roadshows also gives current clients the exclusive opportunity to take with them the V4 installation and licensing CD, giving a competitive edge over other letting agents in the area.

Innovative strategies

C.A.R.L. say they are always thinking outside the box - with the 200 plus system enhancements there are also a number of additional services on offer. Successfully trialled with version 3, Installation + gives agents the ability to hit the ground running. With Installation+ service a dedicated C.A.R.L technician will configure your system, ensuring firewalls and antivirus applications are configured to allow optimum performance, and configures web-exporter and SMS.

The innovative FireSafe Online service has proven a hit with many C.A.R.L. customers. The external back up ensures your crucial data is secured off site away from any potential hazards such as break in, fire or media failure, and is fully automated.

“Like C.A.R.L. itself, FireSafe-Online for C.A.R.L. is now an indispensable part of our business. We highly recommend it”. Residential Lettings Manager, Liverpool.

Integration to help with HIPs

Meanwhile over at Aspasia they have been concentrating their energies on HIPs. Many agents are unsure about how Home Information Packs (HIPs) will affect their business, but one thing is certain – they need to act now to ensure they can deliver HIPs to customers when the legislation comes into force next year.

Aware of the need to streamline the home selling process, this software provider has integrated online conveyancing services and the new HIPs provision into its software, making the whole process quick, simple and straight forward for agents and their customers.

Integrated online conveyancing

Stewart Anderson, managing director of Aspasia says; “We are working with leading organisations such as Live and LMS to integrate online conveyancing services into the Aspasia system. As a result, customers’ details only need to be entered into one system and estate agents can provide an immediate conveyancing quote, saving time and effort for the agent, the conveyance supplier and the customer.

“The new HIPs legislation will cause a massive shake up in the increasingly complex estate agency industry. With survey responsibility set to be transferred the seller and the inherent potential delays to marketing a property, having the right software in place has never been so important.

“Using Aspasia, all agents need to do is click on the logo of the HIPs provider and a pre-populated email containing all the customer details will appear and can be sent directly to the HIPs provider. Armed with complete customer details, the HIPs provider can set to work immediately on the home condition report and legal aspects of the packs, whilst both the agent and the customer can track the progress through Aspasia.”

Marketing management through software

The other area of development in software has been in the facilitation of marketing processes. Communication with and promotion to current and potential clients is ever important and Savills – with 112 offices and 14,500 staff worldwide have as great a need as anyone to understand what their clients need.

To enhance their services, Savills has recently extended the use of the Pivotal CRM suite across its business group. The system expansion will compliment its existing investment in Pivotal CRM making Savills one of the largest users of Pivotal CRM globally.

Savills now use the entire Pivotal CRM suite which includes Pivotal MarketFirstTM - a marketing automation application designed for multi-channel campaigns and marketing processes. Pivotal eService and ePartner portals will allow Savills’ customers and partners to gain access to critical business information online at any time of the day or night.

Solving complex problems

The Pivotal solution has become the engine for our entire front office. Not only are we able to better understand complex customer relationships, but more importantly we are in a stronger position to respond to our customers needs and wants, driving our sales pipeline and boosting our revenue stream across the group,” commented Richard Coleman, Group IT Director, Savills. ‘We have been using the Pivotal Platform for the past eight years and it has undoubtedly proven its worth, we are a much larger entity now and the Pivotal system has grown with us. We are now a more customer focused company and we owe most of that to the Pivotal system.’