John Duncan MBA BCA Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (REAA 2008)
SalesPartner is a software package that is successful in helping real estate salespeople realise the goals of their database contacts, whether vendors or purchasers. For years we have worked on the premise that when salespeople see that it works for their colleagues they will believe it and take steps to incorporate SalesPartner into their own businesses.
Now we understand that people don’t believe things when they see them so much as see things when they believe them. The evidence from history is all around us. For centuries people believed the world was flat and could not see the abundant evidence that it wasn’t. Indeed even sailors who could see a ship climbing the horizon with its masts and sails showing first, which was a pretty good indication that the world was round, feared sailing off the edge in uncharted waters. For those who studied the stars elaborate schemes were constructed to confirm that the sun moved around the earth, despite eclipses and other evidence to the contrary. The idea that the earth moved around the sun was a hard sell. We discovered that the idea SalesPartner worked could also be a hard sell despite abundant evidence and endorsements from existing users.
So how do you get people to reconsider their beliefs? Again we find the evidence is all about us – you should write a book. So here we go.
We sold our first Real Estate software system in March 1985 (to Andrew Harcourt at Butlers) and have been designing systems for real estate firms and salespeople ever since. One of the fascinating aspects of this for us is that over the years we have been able to learn from many of the top professionals in the business. We have had extensive access to a variety of firms and marketing approaches. We have had more open access to different firms than most salespeople and business owners.
We have also taken advantage of the internet for research and visited with many firms in New Zealand and overseas.
One of the first of these visits was with David Pilling in Adelaide who wrote “The Systems Revolution in Real Estate” among many other achievements and marketing innovations. He suggested I visit a number of local firms doing pioneering work in computer systems and I was able to take advantage of the introductions. Most of the work that was going on was directed at the accounting side and processing sales and advertising expenses for firms, not the marketing side which most interested me. This preoccupation with back office systems and features to suit both office administrators and system suppliers still characterises many of the systems available today.
However in those days David Pilling worked with another top thinker and trainer for real estate, Gregg Toyama and it was at a seminar Gregg gave in Palmerston North around 1990 that inspiration struck. Talking about databases Gregg said; “What salespeople want is a system or machine where you put names in one end and out of the machine would come invitations to appraisals”.
From its inception SalesPartner has been designed to be that machine. Some of our most successful clients have been running that machine since the 1990s.
It soon became clear to us however that getting the invitation to the appraisal was just the start. We needed a couple more machines in the production line; one to convert the appraisals to listings and another to achieve effective sales. So we added activity tracking and databasing properties to the mix. The fuel or power source that got the system turning was clearly provided by the salespeople and the work they did to discover and utilise the changing motivations of buyers and vendors.
From the very earliest times it was clear to us that systems or computer software alone can’t sell real estate. Real estate sales are handmade. The salesperson with enough contacts and the stomach to share twelve cups of tea or coffee a day will still do well but it is also clear that those people who believe computer database systems have no place are being proven to be completely wrong in today’s market.
Good software will not replace salespeople but it will help salespeople become more effective, more efficient and earn a lot more commissions by helping more clients achieve their real estate goals.
How much more? Over the years we have had feedback like “In my first year it was worth over twenty five thousand dollars to me and in my second year it was embarrassing” - Ron. “After eight years in the industry, I started with SalesPartner and in the following year doubled my income and the year after that added another fifty percent”- Bev. “If I could choose between a free billboard right in the middle of town or my weekly email database - I'd choose the database every single time. It simply gets results.” - Andrew
It became clear that the processes we had identified that were being used by experienced salespeople and we had incorporated into SalesPartner were the key to the success our clients were having.
As systems designers and suppliers we have an on-going mission to overcome technical issues. But the primary effort we invest is to understand and capture the concepts and processes used by the best salespeople and make them easier and more readily achieved in a timely fashion by all our SalesPartner users.
For new subscribers you can take advantage of all the pioneering work sponsored by our earlier users and gain access, for a low monthly rental, to all the features and benefits built in to the package over the years. Our earlier subscribers have had the advantage of guiding the design of the system to meet their needs at very low cost and gaining the benefits from applying these processes when few others had been equipped to compete with them.
SalesPartner is a form of knowledge-system with processes and techniques embedded into it which have stood the test of the market place. Not only does it give you and your sales team access to the best processes that we can find for achieving successful listings and sales but it also provides for these processes to be done more quickly.
It is worth noting, and we will repeat this later, we don’t expect any one salesperson or office to use all features of SalesPartner. We also recommend that you as a salesperson do not spend more than an hour a day on SalesPartner. If you encounter an issue or process that looks like it is going to take much longer than that give us a call for advice and support. However if ignorant salespeople tease you for spending too much time on your computer, check out how many successful salespeople use SalesPartner and persevere.
In the next chapters we will discuss how to find the primary keys to success in Real Estate with SalesPartner.
Continue Reading: Part II