49% of brokers planned to adopt a real estate CRM in 2018 according to the survey by TheBrokerList and Buildout. And in 2021, even after economic slowdown, more than 50% brokers plan to invest in technologies more than in anything else. In this post. we list the top challenges you might face when migrating your data to a new system and how to overcome them.
Whenever real estate brokers decide to shift gears and move their information from one real estate software to another, there is always slight apprehension.
Data is valuable, especially if it has taken you years to accumulate and the thought of misplacing it or even losing it is enough to paralyze users into sticking with the older system, which may be faulty and inefficient, but at least reliable.
It’s akin to living in a house for 10 years. You may need more space, you may need something more updated, but ultimately you know where everything is because you’ve gotten used to just functioning day-to-day.
Now you’ve considered moving into a new home, with a fresh new start. The possibilities are endless and sometimes overwhelming.
◈ Access your data easily
There are opportunities to compartmentalize your stuff for easy access; no longer are you just throwing things in the attic or storing in a garage “just in case.”
◈ Clean and arrange your data
A move to a new home is a chance to get rid of the junk; the stuff that was just occupying space but not contributing anything of value.
If you don’t sort through your ‘stuff’ from the old home, and just bring it over to the new home, you’ve done nothing but cosmetically change the surroundings. Junk is still junk, even in an updated environment.
But cleaning and sorting is a pain. It requires thought.
You can’t hire someone to get rid of stuff in general because you carry the insight of what is important and what isn’t.
It requires time and sacrifice, but it allows you to move into this new home with a sense that everything there was meant to be there. And you can start your new beginning….
So what are the key issues you might face when migrating your data to a new system? With further ado, let’s take a look at it.
Data is very much like this. It represents years and years of accumulated Companies and Contacts and Leads and Dead Ends, Cold Calls and outdated Phone Numbers. A decision has to be made by your company of what moves to the new system and what doesn’t.
Some organizations use a cut off time, such as if a Contact hasn’t been touched in 3 years, it’s not moving over. There are plenty of ways to determine what makes the cut and what doesn’t. But mostly they will be subjective decisions based on your organization, its philosophy and the manpower it has dedicated to such a cause.
Below are some common issues facing many commercial real estate organizations when it comes to moving their info from one system to another. Those legacy systems could be ACT!, Goldmine, Xceligent, or any other CRM.
◈ 1. Duplicate data
Issue: Multiple records for the same Company/Contact exist in your old database.
Solution: Designate a team of individuals to sort through duplicates and determine what should be merged and what should be deleted. You only want “one version of the truth” in there. There is little reason to have multiple records for the same company. It adds clutter and confusion.
◈ 2. Incomplete Data
Issue: There is insufficient information from the old system to fill the gaps in the new system. An example would be, Tenant ABC has a lease that expires in March 2015, but there is no indication in which Property or which location.
Solution: Qualify the data in advance. Either attempt to fill in the gaps or eliminate the data point completely. Just dumping a lease expiration date in the notes field somewhere is not an efficient way of tracking Tenants and their lease details within a Property. Every user will put their notes in a different place; making seeking or reporting on data almost impossible.
◈ 3. Ownership Issues
Issue: Each organization defines how ownership is determined and how relationships are managed. Can brokers “own” companies and contacts? Should there be multiple owners or teams? What kind of security should be set up?
Solution: The more thorough those questions are asked during a discovery, the more seamless the data migration process becomes. They are theoretical questions, that when put into action, affect every user’s experience with the system.
◈ 4. Lost in Translation
Issue: Despite the fact that most commercial real estate firms do the same thing, on a large scale, there are still terminology differences that exist.
Solution: A new database, in this day and age, should be able to speak your language. If you call “Opportunities” “Deals,” that can easily be changed. If you refer to “Properties” as “Buildings,” that can also be changed. The goal is to understand what language already exists in the new system and see how it can be molded to fit your nomenclature. This ensures easier end-user adoption since there is not a need to learn yet another new thing.
Even with all of these points considered (back to the new home example), you will still have to research the neighborhood and drive around. You will still have to get used to the water pressure and the temperature.
Just by virtue of being in a different environment opens you up to the idea of adapting to something new, which can initially be frustrating, but ultimately will become a second-nature habit.
We want to leave you with a quick tip about free data migration or mapping often offered by CRM providers.
You need to be careful about what “free” will get you.
As discussed above, you want to make sure that the data is carefully prepped and reviewed prior to moving it into your new CRM system.
If left to another vendor or if you have only one internal admin map and upload the data, you could run into a myriad of issues.
This includes duplications, incorrect record assignment, and issues with user adoption.
Ascendix Technologies has been in CRM business since 1996. We’ve worked with multiple CRMs, have our CRM solutions for commercial real estate companies, productivity apps for Salesforce and offer CRM development, configuration, setup, customization, integration, and data migration services.
We are experts in CRM world and can help you move to a new CRM successfully. Get in touch with us to discuss your CRM needs.