It is possible to manage a successful expansion into sales

19th November 2014

Eurolink was the obvious choice when PWR Lettings owner, Simon Perkins, went in search of a software provider to give him the confidence to forge ahead with the one business decision he never expected to take: to expand his business into sales.

“When we first started, it was our intention to just do lettings and definitely not do sales at all because it can be quite a volatile business,” he explains. “Coming from a corporate background where I’ve seen massive turnovers of staff, I wanted to steer clear of the market. Also, the cash flow’s not guaranteed like lettings where the cash flow’s good every month, once you’ve got a managed portfolio in place.”

Perkins expanded into sales in January as a result of demand from clients who had become accidental landlords as a result of the recent property market downturn. “They’d then obviously seen the market starting to pick up on the sales side, and a lot them came asking if we did sales,” he says. “We got fed up with referring them to other agents, so we thought we’d do sales ourselves.”

Eurolink specialises in helping agencies to expand their business, and the unrivalled combination of its user-friendly, flexible and fully integrated software system, Veco™, together with its consultative-based client support team make it perfectly geared to do so.

Further, Eurolink’s comprehensive proposition makes it perfectly placed to respond to current property market trends, such as the current trend for lettings agents to expand into sales.

Eurolink director, Richard Murray, says: “We’ve worked on a countless number of these expansion projects, and we’ve migrated agents from a wide variety of systems to help them to grow and diversify their business.

“We approach every project on an individual basis and look at agents’ individual requirements, which we then use to help build an implementation programme tailored to their specific business and staff needs, and which combines comprehensive, bespoke training and support pre and post-system implementation.”

Due diligence

Perkins is the owner of Nottingham-based PWR Lettings, which Eurolink has helped to grow from just 10 to over 1,300 managed properties since the business launched in 2004.

But like any savvy businessman, Perkins undertook a stringent due diligence process to ensure that he appointed the right software provider to support his expansion project.

It did not take long for Perkins to realise that no-one could match the combined software flexibility, faultless client service support and competitive pricing that Eurolink offers.

Perkins particularly values Eurolink’s pricing model, which charges per office, rather than per employee, and the flexibility of Veco™.

“It’s just more flexible in terms of being able to add and take away fields that you don’t necessarily need. Plus, we wanted something flexible enough for us to put our own twist on, based on how we wanted to use it.”

Comprehensiveness

But the comprehensiveness of Veco™ negated the need for Perkins’ bespoking ‘twists’.

“We’ve used templates that Eurolink’s set up for us and not added anything else in,” he says. He attributes this to the fact that Veco™ features the in-built workflows required to ensure that PWR remains fully compliant with property legislation. This fits perfectly with Perkins’ approach to business. “We’re very procedural conscious,” he explains.

The desire to move his whole business onto one integrated software system also made Eurolink the perfect choice for Perkins. He is currently in the throes of migrating his lettings business from the old Eurolink software system onto Veco™.

“We’re just going through the process of looking at what migrates over to the new system and how, so we can hit ground running on day one,” he says.

Training

This was very much the methodical approach that Perkins took to the implementation of Veco™ for his sales business, which he says was helped by the user-friendly nature of the system.

“Eurolink came in, put the system in and spent a day going through it with us and what’s required, in terms of where the data fields are and how it all works,” he says. “Since then, we’ve pretty much taken it on from them. The system’s not difficult to use at all.”

Eurolink’s client services team excellence was also instrumental to the successful implementation of Veco™. “Since 2004, when we started, the support has always been fantastic,” says Perkins. “If you’ve got any issues, they come back to you very quickly and talk you through them, or dial in and show you how to do something.”

Benefits

Eurolink has been relentless in helping to drive efficiencies in Perkins’ business, hence the longevity of his working relationship with the firm.

The efficiencies that the software firm has helped him achieve within his accounting function, even with the old Eurolink software, are a case in point.

He explains: “When I was working in lettings and property management for a corporate, we had 10 to 12 people doing our accounts, whereas here, even when we were managing just 300 to 400 properties, it was only taking three hours a week to do our client accounting.

“I used to wonder why it took so long with the corporate, but now realise it was because they couldn’t get their IT right.”

Efficiencies

Perkins is excited about further efficiencies that Eurolink will help him achieve with the implementation of Veco™ for his lettings business, having seen the success it has helped him achieve on sales.

“Veco™ is particularly brilliant on the front end,” he explains. “On the marketing side, it manages all our automatic property uploads and applicants very easily, and it can do a lot of cross matching, which is great.”

Perkins also values the ease with which his new staff can learn to use Veco™, which has been invaluable when managing the launch of his new sales business.

“It’s very easy to navigate,” he says. “We’ve got two new people on the sales side, and they picked it up straight away. They’d used other systems and feel that Veco™’s more flexible and provides everything we need.”

This explains why Eurolink remains Perkins’ agency software provider of choice after 10 years.

“We appointed Eurolink in 2004,” he says. “We looked at various packages, but this did everything that we wanted it to do, and it still does.”