Enterprise resource planning: you’ve likely heard of it, especially if you’re in the real estate profession. ERP, as it’s called by those in the know, is an incredibly powerful tool that many different types of businesses use to leverage productivity and bring new life to existing work processes.
There are dozens of different types of ERP approaches and software platforms out there from which to choose if you want to incorporate enterprise resource planning into your own real estate business. Yet because the field is so wide, it’s necessary to identify which types of real estate ERP software suites are going to be the best suited for the needs of the real estate industry. That’s why we’ve gathered some important information for you on choosing the one that will fit your needs.
ERP software can be transformative when used to restructure your business practices. Real estate ERP software is especially helpful, as you or your employees can finally put to rest all the time and effort spent on manual data entry or report generation. Instead, the software handles the bulk of the busy work. By collecting all relevant data into one system that can be accessed with anyone, anywhere, with the proper access.
Other benefits that come from using ERP software include CRM and automation tools that can help you streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks that you would have to do manually, such as generating invoices and automating email marketing campaign scheduling. In fact, all of the features of a good ERP software platform are designed to reduce the amount of time you or your employees focus on managing the minutiae of paperwork so that more effort can be spent in doing the kind of work that can make a difference to your real estate business.
There are two main schools of thought when it comes to finding the right ERP software for the real estate industry. You can go with a ready-made commercially available solution, or you can choose a custom-built ERP platform. Each approach has its own benefits and drawbacks:
You can find a ready-made ERP software platform very quickly and easily, as there are many different companies, from companies both large and small, to choose from. The number of platforms to choose from can be a drawback, however, as finding the platform that has the right mix of functionalities can be hit-or-miss. Additionally, you’ll have to integrate a ready-made platform into your existing data infrastructure before you can begin using if effectively.
Conversely, a custom-built ERP platform doesn’t have any of the drawbacks that a ready-made one does. Custom platforms have the features that you specify and are purpose-built to make integration quick and easy. The flip side of this is that it takes time and resources to develop a custom-built platform. With most realtors not being experts in software development, this means outsourcing the project to a third party that you will have to work with closely, not to mention pay a premium to for their services.
It’s all a question of what your goals are as a real estate agent. If you’re just working independently on your own, your best bet is to go with whatever ready-made platform that has the closest approximation to the features you need. In the case of larger firms that are interested in operating as efficiently in the long term as possible, a custom-built solution may be more appropriate (especially if you have the budget to accommodate). In the end, however, just about any ERP software platform is better than not having one at all!