Do’s and don’ts for comparing estate agency software

10th December 2014

by Richard Murray.

The majority of estate agents will be interested in replacing their software in time as their business moves forward and technology offers new opportunities to stay ahead of the competition.

Although I’ve written in the past about how to make sure you pick the right software, I wanted to put together a new “common sense” type of Do’s and Don’ts list for picking new estate agency software.

What follows are the do’s and don’ts of each step in the estate agency software buying process; these tips will guide you when comparing options so you select software best suited for your needs.

Requirements:

Do’s:

Get a functionality wish list from each department within your business.
Create a list of positive points from the incumbent software.
Create a list of limitations of the incumbent software and the provider.
Complete demonstration meetings with prospective software providers.

Don’ts:

Assume functionality will be standard from each software product.
Assume that a provider will be able to deliver non-core functionality.
Instruct bespoke reports or non-standard functionality without a specification.
Underestimate your data migration requirements.

Short Lists:

Do’s:

Get references based on your business’s size and requirements.
Complete second round demonstration meetings.
Involve department heads in the specification and decision making process.
Get quotations and analyse cost benefits and ROI.

Don’ts:

Fast track a provider onto a short list without a solid referral.
Go to short list stage without quotations.
Neglect to take advice about your short list candidates from your IT support department/provider.
Skip any important stages of the procurement process.

Demonstrations:

Do’s

Get a functionality wish list from each department within your business.
Create a list of limitations of the incumbent software and provider to compare against.
Involve department heads in the demonstration process.
Get recommendations from your peers.

Don’ts:

Have multiple demonstration meetings in one day.
Fall for the “bells and whistles”. Sometimes a salesperson can really dazzle you!
Exclude key personnel from demonstration meetings.
Limit the time available to complete the demonstration meetings.