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#420453 - 02/19/13 05:43 PM If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow…
Pascal Wagner Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 1
Loc: Boulder, Colorado
If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow…

1) What is the problem?:

2) What would the software do?:

3) How much time or money would this save you?:

4) What would this software be worth to you?:

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#420791 - 02/27/13 02:10 AM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: Pascal Wagner]
Rookie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/19/13
Posts: 8
Loc: TX
LOL, ok Dane Maxwell. :)

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#421651 - 03/15/13 02:04 AM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: Pascal Wagner]
Joe Hayden Offline
Member

Registered: 03/10/13
Posts: 52
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
1. Politicians
2. Fix politicians
3. A dollar figure equal to all of the grains of sand found on the beaches of this planet
4. Double that amount

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#423454 - 05/07/13 04:35 PM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: Pascal Wagner]
Pluschap Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Vista, California, USA
The Problems: -

- Almost all the CRM software out there now requires a monthly subscription fee.

- Most CRM software stores your data on their server, in their proprietary format. Changing software suppliers is intentionally made difficult.

- We all already have multiple databases - our e-mail list, our clients on our MLS autosearch list, our Zipform list, our lead generation software client list - it goes on and on.

- We all already have e-mail software, word processing capability, scheduling and calendaring tools, etc. - we don't need a CRM that reduplicates all these tools.

So- what do I want? A CRM that does everything Agent Office or Top Producer does by simply putting a wrapper round the Mozilla e-mail, calendar and internet access products (Firefox, Thunderbird & Lightning) and linking them with Open Office for database management, mail merge and word processing.

Impossible to measure how much a tool like this would save me. In raw cash terms, no more than the $125 a month to upgrade to the latest & greatest cloud based CRM, but in time, frustration, productivity and direct control over my database, potentially tens of thousands a year.

To get a program like this, I'd happily pay a one-time purchase price of $500, as long as I'm guaranteed free updates to maintain compatibility with all upgrades to the underlying open source programs for at least 3 years.

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#423458 - 05/07/13 05:58 PM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: Pluschap]
GaryDavidHall Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Bucks County PA
The Problems: -

- Almost all the CRM software out there now requires a monthly subscription fee.

And Adobe is joining the crowd as well as many other types of software. There are many good reasons for it. It reduces glitches to none or almost none. It enables support to all be on the same page and better at what they do rather than having to deal with different versions. It enables improvements to be available immediately rather than waiting for an upgrade. The only truly major criticism in my mind is that you never stop paying for it. That said, most industries would jump at the chance to be able to pay only $25 to $35/mo. to run most of their business.

- Most CRM software stores your data on their server, in their proprietary format. Changing software suppliers is intentionally made difficult.

This is an often repeated fallacy. All of the major Real Estate CRMs provide the ability to export their data in a CSV format which is the most common database format out there. Most allow for at least the majority of the contact data to be exported. Top Producer has always been maligned for “keeping your data hostage” when in fact they allow export of 253 fields. The bigger issue is never understood which is the fact that the vast majority of the time the CRM you’re moving too will only import contact data – far less than what many CRMs will export.

- We all already have multiple databases - our e-mail list, our clients on our MLS autosearch list, our Zipform list, our lead generation software client list - it goes on and on.

Top Producer, AdvantageXi, WiseAgent Realty Juggler and ReaFutureCRM to name a few all eliminate the need for duplication of e-mail and CRM databases. Top Producer adds ZipForms as well. Propertybase eliminates e-mail and MLS search duplication.

- We all already have e-mail software, word processing capability, scheduling and calendaring tools, etc. - we don't need a CRM that reduplicates all these tools.

I agree. One that replaces them is better. One that allows you to key in a name once and not have to key it again is what is needed and available for the most part.

- So- what do I want? A CRM that does everything Agent Office or Top Producer does by simply putting a wrapper round the Mozilla e-mail, calendar and internet access products (Firefox, Thunderbird & Lightning) and linking them with Open Office for database management, mail merge and word processing.

Therein lies the rub. You have the ones that you want tied together, while others have their favorites.

Impossible to measure how much a tool like this would save me. In raw cash terms, no more than the $125 a month to upgrade to the latest & greatest cloud based CRM, but in time, frustration, productivity and direct control over my database, potentially tens of thousands a year.

There is no reason to spend more than $35/mo. There are several good choices out there for that or less. If you want to be able to do anything you want and customize it to your needs, look at Propertybase (minimum 4 licenses).

-To get a program like this, I'd happily pay a one-time purchase price of $500, as long as I'm guaranteed free updates to maintain compatibility with all upgrades to the underlying open source programs for at least 3 years.

So it all comes down to money. I hear it every day. People pay $3-4-500/mo. and more for their car, but can’t see their way clear to paying $35/mo. to run a significant percentage of their entire business. I just watched a video the other day of an agent using Top Producer for a team that does 50 – 60 closings each month. He seems to make that evil program work. It’s all about attitude. A can-do attitude. You find a CRM that suits most of your needs, and make it work. Thousands of agents do it every day.
_________________________
Gary David Hall
http://GaryDavidHall.com
http://Realvolve.com

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#423461 - 05/07/13 06:26 PM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: GaryDavidHall]
Pluschap Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/22/11
Posts: 5
Loc: Vista, California, USA
[quote]This is an often repeated fallacy. All of the major Real Estate CRMs provide the ability to export their data in a CSV format which is the most common database format out there. Most allow for at least the majority of the contact data to be exported[/quote]

No, the "often repeated fallacy" is that CSV is a "common database format". It isn't. It is a way of converting the database content to ASCII so another program could, potentially, read it, but there it stops. The user, who generally is totally lacking in computer skills, still has a vast amount of work to do massaging the data structure so that it can be correctly imported into another program.
You are quite right that the CRM you are moving to will import only the contact data, so what value is there in the CSV file?

I really like Agent Office 10 - the last version put out by Fidelity. But it is built on the old Windows 4.0 C libraries, and it is no longer supportable. A package built on Open Source code will be maintainable for the foreseeable future.

My objection to monthly fees is the same objection I have to leasing office space - I lose control over my overhead. Adobe Acrobat used to be $29.99. I just paid $500 for their latest upgrade, which I have to have. The last time I worked in a leased office, the rent tripled when the lease came up for renewal. I refuse to live with that kind of profiteering when it comes to my business. I buy my cars cash. I want to do the same with my business tools.

I also don't want my data out there on someone else's server. (A) it's vulnerable to hacking and data theft, and (B) if I lose my internet connection for any reason, I lose my ability to do business. No thanks.

As a recovering software engineer, I know pretty closely what it would take to build the package I want, and $500 would be a very fair price to sell it at. But price isn't my main consideration, it is knowing that the underlying Open Source code will be maintained and updated constantly without calling for any action on my part or the part of my employees. That's the magic bullet in this for me.

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#423464 - 05/07/13 07:02 PM Re: If you could wave a magic wand and have any software created tomorrow… [Re: Pluschap]
GaryDavidHall Offline
Member

Registered: 02/01/06
Posts: 46
Loc: Bucks County PA

Quote:
This is an often repeated fallacy. All of the major Real Estate CRMs provide the ability to export their data in a CSV format which is the most common database format out there. Most allow for at least the majority of the contact data to be exported


No, the "often repeated fallacy" is that CSV is a "common database format". It isn't. It is a way of converting the database content to ASCII so another program could, potentially, read it, but there it stops. The user, who generally is totally lacking in computer skills, still has a vast amount of work to do massaging the data structure so that it can be correctly imported into another program.

You are quite right that the CRM you are moving to will import only the contact data, so what value is there in the CSV file?

--I’ve been using real estate specific CRMs since the DOS days, and have imported and exported dozens of databases for agents since the mid 90’s. I wrote a book on Real Estate CRM. You’re over complicating the issue. It has become far less complicated in the last few years than you are making it out to be. And several of the CRMs will do the importing for you if you email them a csv export.

I really like Agent Office 10 - the last version put out by Fidelity. But it is built on the old Windows 4.0 C libraries, and it is no longer supportable. A package built on Open Source code will be maintainable for the foreseeable future.

My objection to monthly fees is the same objection I have to leasing office space - I lose control over my overhead. Adobe Acrobat used to be $29.99. I just paid $500 for their latest upgrade, which I have to have. The last time I worked in a leased office, the rent tripled when the lease came up for renewal. I refuse to live with that kind of profiteering when it comes to my business. I buy my cars cash. I want to do the same with my business tools.

--I am a reseller for about 30 CRMs. Not once have any of them raised their price above the initial rate for an existing user.

I also don't want my data out there on someone else's server. (A) it's vulnerable to hacking and data theft, and (B) if I lose my internet connection for any reason, I lose my ability to do business. No thanks.

--A) Not once has a web based real estate CRM had their user’s data compromised.
--B) Agreed. But very few people lose their Internet Connection at all let alone often enough and long enough to be an issue. And when they do, their address book and calendar is still available on their phone for most CRMs. For the few agents for whom internet integrity is an issue I agree they need a desktop CRM.

As a recovering software engineer, I know pretty closely what it would take to build the package I want, and $500 would be a very fair price to sell it at. But price isn't my main consideration, it is knowing that the underlying Open Source code will be maintained and updated constantly without calling for any action on my part or the part of my employees. That's the magic bullet in this for me.

--As an ex computer technician, computer operations manager and real estate agent selling about 50 homes/yr. I would like a perfect solution too. But it will never exist simply because perfect is different for everyone.

After using technology and counseling agents in technology since the early 90’s I have worked with everyone from “Outlook is good enough” to “nothing is good enough” – the latter often being ex software programmers and engineers. Most of the real estate CRM products available were developed by ex software types who became agents who hated what was available and created their own.

Eventually one must come to the conclusion that there are some pretty darn good CRM solutions out there now. There did not used to be. But there are now. You pick the one that best suits your needs. Stop the endless looking for one that’s a little better and get back to listing and selling real estate.
_________________________
Gary David Hall
http://GaryDavidHall.com
http://Realvolve.com

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