Why Brokers Should Stop Using Excel: A CRM Story by Cory LaDuke

Cory LaDuke, Associate Real Estate Broker at Cushman & Wakefield / Pyramid Brokerage stopped using Excel to stack data and drastically improved his efficiency thanks to AscendixRE CRM.

Background

Cory LaDuke is an Associate Real Estate Broker at Pyramid Brokerage Cushman & Wakefield, Upstate New York’s largest commercial real estate services firm with over 100 agents in 10 offices across the state.

Cory helps office and industrial property users and owners to find new tenants using well-thought marketing campaigns and AscendixRE Enterprise plan.

Cory: I am privileged to work with some of the best companies in Central New York on a daily basis.

Outside of the office, I enjoy volunteering with the CenterState CEO Ambassadors Committee, the First Tee of Syracuse and the Central Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired.

The Central New York area is close to my heart as it’s where I was born and raised.

My passion for working with real estate users and investors along with the knowledge I have gained over the past few years in the real estate business assure that I can regularly add value to my client.

I pride myself on integrity and conduct business in a manner in which I view my client’s needs and my needs as one.

Cory LaDuke
Associate Broker
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Location
New York, New York
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Industry
Commercial real estate, property management, real estate investment
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Services & Products

Game-Changing Software. AscendixRE has drastically improved efficiency in my day-to-day brokerage operations. One of the most important factors that helped me decide that this database is right for me is the level of service that the AscendixRE Team offers. They do a great job of helping brokers get acclimated to the platform. They also respond promptly to any questions you have. AscendixRE is the way to go!

Cory LaDuke, Associate Real Estate Broker, Pyramid Brokerage Cushman & Wakefield
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Challenges

Ascendix: What tools did you use to track your data before AscendixRE?

Cory: Prior to joining AscendixRE users, I used Microsoft Excel, OneNote, and Outlook to stack data. I had a separate spreadsheet for Contacts, Companies and Deals.

While the Microsoft Office Suite has many great features, it doesn’t work effectively as CRM software.

The Ascendix interface allowed me to integrate all of my data into one platform, which has drastically improved efficiency in my day-to-day brokerage operations.

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Results

Ascendix: Why did you choose AscendixRE CRM?

Cory: One of the main reasons I elected to move forward with Ascendix instead of a competitor is because of their level of customer service.

The Ascendix team is very responsive to questions, and the Concierge works quickly and does a great job of accurately importing data.

Furthermore, I respect that Ascendix works with individual brokers and small teams.  They treat all of their clients with a high level of care, while other CRM platforms only target and service large teams looking for enterprise-level solutions.

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Onboarding

Working with the Ascendix team during the onboarding process is imperative to success in your first year using the software.

I had thousands of contacts and records to import to the system which seemed to be a big mountain to climb when beginning the onboarding process.

Ascendix worked with me to get my Excel spreadsheets organized in a manner that would allow the data to be imported to Ascendix easily and accurately.

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Ascendix: What are some of the other Ascendix features, in product or service, have led you to success?

Cory: Most of my business focuses on Office Tenant Representation.  The task management and lease tracking mechanisms in Ascendix are useful because it’s impossible to remember every lease expiration date you are tracking.

Additionally, the stacking plan feature is extremely beneficial to brokers who want to see a visual representation of tenancy in office buildings.  Early on in my tenure with Ascendix, I was asked by a client to produce a stacking plan of their building.

I was able to produce this plan within 24 hours because of the simplicity with importing lease information into Ascendix.  My client was happy with the quick turnaround time and producing the stacking plan would have been a much more difficult task if I wasn’t using Ascendix.

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The Payoff

Ascendix: What are the main benefits of using AscendixRE?

Cory: AscendixRE keeps me organized because it allows me to track calls, letters and emails with ease.  I can easily relate various activities to listings, accounts and/or deals.

The software helps my business flow efficiently.  I use the Broker Dashboard to hold myself accountable to the calls I make and the contacts I reach out to on a weekly basis.  Among others, I keep charts for tracking both calls to prospective clients and lease expiration dates on my Broker Dashboard.

These widgets are great visuals and two of the first items I look at when I begin work every day.

As with any CRM, implementing Ascendix is a process. I’ve been using the software for roughly one year. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made and look forward to diving even deeper into the software in the years to come!

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Key Takeaway

Small businesses and individual specialists such as commercial real estate brokers quite often are reluctant to move their data from spreadsheets, notepads, whiteboards to a CRM software (customer relationship management software), because they think:

  • It is complicated
  • It might take lots of time
  • It is expensive
  • It is simply unnecessary with their volumes
  • They don’t see value in it

But the truth is:

CRM software today is easy-to-use and offers lots of productivity features that might help you save lots of hours each week.

It is much more than a fancy version of Excel with fields.

Also, competition on a CRM market is severe so companies try to offer additional perks.

E.g., in Ascendix, we offer Concierge service at no cost for all AscendixRE Enterprise users. It means you’ll get a virtual assistant that can help you with data imports, report creation, task tracking and that will be included to your $79/mo bill! Don’t need this? We have a $49 plan that includes all-you-need functionality and our exceptional support. Learn more about our pricing plans here.

Besides, we don’t know any person who switched from Excel to CRM and then decided to move back. It won’t happen.

You simply can’t store your data in Excel the way you can do it in CRM.

It is very easy to create duplicated information, delete valuable data if you keep using Excel. There is a moment when Excel might become unresponsive because of the amount of data you store.

There is no way to automatically track all email correspondence, connections, and last activities.

You can’t set up automatic notifications about lease expirations, perform map search of your properties within multiple Zip Codes or generate a stacking plan with a few clicks.