- Friday, 30 May 2014 00:00
Cloud technology is changing the way all types of companies are doing business. Empowering employees to be more productive through sharing documents in real time and putting speed and flexibility behind processes. An increasing number of real estate firms have been taking their business to the cloud. Let's take a closer look at why that may be.
Escaping the desktop
Probably the best part about using cloud technology is the power it gives users with the ability to access their documents from anywhere on any device. This could not be more important for real estate professionals that need to be spending as much time as possible in the field - not stuck at a desk filing paperwork. Agents can easily connect their mobile device to the firm's system and stay up to date on the information they need to share with clients and process documents instantly.
Depending on the platform you choose, moving to the cloud could give you the freedom to pick and choose the system that best works for your firm. From CRM to trasanction management, there are various platforms to choose from that have strengths in specific areas that best suit your firm's workflow, style and company culture.
It's business sense
Running a real estate firm is data and media intensive. With cloud technology, firms can increase efficiencies through sharing and collaboration among employees and reduce IT costs from maintaining old and outdated servers. According to a survey of over 1000 small and medium sized businesses done by accounting software company MYOB, business operators in the Cloud were more likely to see an increase in revenue in the past year and expect the same for the following year. Is your brokerage's infrastructure outdated and expensive? This could be the time to move to the cloud to increase efficiency and cut costs.
Insights and visibility
See your firm like never before. Using cloud technology enables firms to use analytics to evaluate their processes. Improve marketing, generate more leads and improve financials are just some of the things brokerages are now able to do after employing cloud technology.
Staying ahead of the curve
So much of the industry is now online, mobile and tech-driven - and with new apps coming out everyday for things like home searching to finding a real estate agent, its where your customers are. Moving to the cloud now will help position your firm for the future, allowing you to take advantage of all the emerging ways you can connect with and serve your clients.
Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
So maybe you're ready to take the firm into the cloud. Before making the change, here are some common mistakes that have been found during the transition and how to best avoid them for an ideal cloud operation.
Not backing up data. Better safe than sorry is the motto here. The recommendation is to back up your data at least 3 times, think services like Carbonite and Mozy and then also have everything backed up to local drives as well.
Not setting up the right security. It seems like every day there is another news story about a technology security breach, but don't let this deter you. Security goes hand in hand with data backup. Security for your cloud will help prevent data loss or breaches and support. Here is a great resource for how to protect your business in the cloud.
Not providing training. Switching to a new system or platform can be painful, especially for the busy real estate professional. Providing training and resources for a smooth transition can go a long way when implementing a new system and will keep your agents on board by not slowing them down too much.
The Future of the Cloud in Real Estate
More than likely there will never be complete abandonment of local servers for the cloud. Many small businesses still have a hard time justifying the time and costs to move to the cloud if they're already established with exisiting applications. The benefits of cloud technology will depend where your firm falls in the spectrum. However, the migration can be done gradually, in a way that won't disrupt the brokerage's day-to-day while still bringing the best of benefits listed above.
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