Avoiding double data entry

What exercise is unnecessarily time-consuming, increases costs and demotivates front and back office staff? We’re talking about the doubling up of data entry across its various platforms, software suites and apps.

Some agents may remember the days when customer records were kept in a filing cabinet containing hundreds of dog-eared cards, each one detailing a customer’s name, address and home moving activities.

How things have changed.

Today’s agents now use a range of software suites, proptech-based services and apps to manage their client and property data. It means a better service for clients, increased efficiencies and a way for agents to streamline processes and comply with regulations such as Anti-Money Laundering, and Right to Rent.

Digitalisation also presents an opportunity for agents to capture the details of buyers, vendors, tenants and landlords as well as properties. On the flipside however, it also presents a challenge; the chore of entering and re-entering these details into the different systems used by front and back-office staff.

“Much of our double-data entry takes place when a landlord who has used us to let a property then sells up and their details are transferred over to our sales side,” says Jon Werth of LiFE Residential. “I think that’s the case for many agents.” The other challenge faced by agents is the tech boom that has taken place over the last decade within the property industry.

Many of the proptech companies that have successfully emerged are based on standalone, cloud-based services that require a login and separate uploads of customer or property information. This is because some of these platforms cannot integrate with the legacy systems that agents use.

Separate systems

“We’ve tried to keep double-data entry to a minimum but, even so, we have standalone accounting and property management systems that have to be dealt with separately,” says Tim Hassell of London agency Draker Lettings. “I’d love to have the two systems integrated but Client Money Protection regulations are so tight that I prefer to keep it separate.”

He adds that good property software is vital in a business like Draker: “We employ the best talent and expect them to come to work every day with their ‘A-game’ to deal with clients who often have high expectations. So you can’t give them rubbish software to work with or expect them to spend time double-entering information.

“The biggest and most valuable thing in a company is its culture but this can be ruined by a poorly designed software system, because they are so integral to business life these days.”

Luckily, Alto property software can help combat these issues. With sales, lettings and client accounting all in one place, it’s a property software that can work with your agency and its existing processes, not against them.

Find out how your business can be more efficient and more effective with Alto.


Author: Nigel Lewis, property journalist