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Extracting the most out of your databases for maximum value

publication date: Aug 6, 2009
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At PROPERTYdrum we regularly hear from readers wanting advice on buying property software. It’s difficult to give; all sorts of factors need to be taken into account and many systems, inevitably, appear to offer the same functionality. So we tend not to recommend anything – comparisons are odious, Grandma said.

Occasionally though, we hear about something special. In this case it is a system that allows agents to mine their database for referrals, matching information on previous ‘non active’ applicants and vendors. From the minute the software is set up, agents can also easily access all the data from their previous software – which seems like a good thing.

Reapit’s residential sales software is the first choice for many agents including large firms such as Hamptons, Strutt and Parker Knight Frank, Jackson Stops and Staff, Carter Jonas and Chesterton Humberts, as well as some independents.

One of these independents is Manning Stainton, the largest residential agents in Leeds and Wakefield with 14 offices, handling around 2,000 property sales at any one time. The agency has used Reapit Software for three years. Russell Manning, MD, told PROPERTYdrum, “Reapit software gives us a great deal of flexibility in respect of websites and portals, as well as the ability to mine our database effectively for referrals. One of the main reasons we selected Reapit was its ability to convert our archive data from our old Solex system. I was concerned about losing years of valuable data gathered from applicants and vendors, such as email and postal addresses, but Reapit converted this so that we had all the data from day one.”

Manning Stainton is very proud of its high levels of customer satisfaction - 97 per cent of clients willing to recommend them, “We believe in retaining a client for life and a big part of that is useful communication, which is now far more time-efficient thanks to our comprehensive, easy-to-access database.

“Another advantage of Reapit is that it allows the offices to link together and share information more efficiently. We now link up branches over the web in real time, with the major advantage that if there is a loss of communications then the local offices can stand alone without any downtime of the system. Before we started using Reapit’s RPS software, we received emails from the portals into just one email address per branch. We then had to take this data and key it into our database, before it could be accessed by all branches and staff.

“Reapit provided the Portal Import Tool and now each branch receives portal leads straight into the software. We just import all the portal data and the software filter checks the data, creates a record if one does not exist and produces a property match if details have been requested.

“Reapit has also customised the Portal Import Tool to handle data from our own website. This saves us time on data entry, but it also shows us which portals are delivering and ultimately how effective our own website is at delivering quality leads through the reporting tools.”

Simon Whale, Director at Reapit, comments, “A good software solution is key to running a thriving agency. It will save time, money and resource, organising each of the agency’s functions, allowing the whole company to work as one team. Our software is ideal for any size of agency, with no up-front cost (there is a monthly subscription service), backed by our support team.

“Our dedicated, on-site initial and six-monthly training is also included; we are totally transparent in our charging – we know that onsite training directly benefits an agency so we include it. We are the only software providers that specialise in such a comprehensive data conversion service, which leads to improved instruction generation, by allowing agents to contact past vendors and applicants. As Manning Stainton is witnessing, this genuinely improves lead generation from past vendors and applicants.”