Element Properties & Co: There is no other CRM that offers what Reapit does for sales and lettings

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George Papanastasiou, Director at Element Properties & Co explains why they chose Reapit for their new agency, and how it is helping to support the growth of their business. We also discuss how Reapit gives them a complete overview of all agency activities, enabling them to easily identify areas of improvement and consistently deliver a 10/10 customer service.

Tell us about your agency 

Element Properties & Co was opened by myself and my brother Cos. We opened the office in July 2020, so just after Covid. We are an independent, family-run business that we’ve built off the back of our grandfather who taught us to open a business based on honesty, communication and trust, and that’s what seems to be faring well at the moment.

We are a little bit different to your traditional estate agency in that we do sales and lettings, but we also have an in-house finance team, and so that also assists us with our portfolio landlords and looking at wider refinances as well. We cover the North and East London areas, so I’m fortunate enough to see different markets through these challenging times.

What was the most important thing for you in choosing a CRM?

I think it was just finding something that really held the balance between sales and lettings. So, I’ve done both in my time as an estate agent and you tend to find that there are specific CRMs which may be better at sales and then have huge pitfalls in lettings and vice-versa.

So, finding something which held a balance that provided a great service on both sides of the business was pretty much the most vital thing that we were looking for, because we wanted something that provided an overview and effectively a skeleton for the business, and that’s what we felt Reapit did.

Why did you choose Reapit?

When we were looking at different CRMs – and we had a range – it really boiled down to what software is going to let us have an oversight of the whole business front end, and we always looked at it and thought, as we scale up, the plan is for us to have multiple offices, a second one on the way hopefully at the back end of next year, that’s in motion.

With that in mind, we needed something that was scalable and also gave us as directors of the business the potential to say right where do we need to improve? Who or what section of the business isn’t performing as it should be? What’s missing? What isn’t missing? What do the figures look like? The power reporting system, for example, was vital to us, being able to look and say, right let’s focus on this or let’s push this, is the data that we’re getting into the system clean? That’s something that I think is super underrated for a lot of people, that they may just say, register applicants, register applicants, register applicants, it’s a volume thing. But actually, the quality and how that’s being dealt with, I think is of the utmost importance.

"...we needed something that was scalable and also gave us as directors of the business the potential to say right where do we need to improve?"

How was the onboarding process?

We’re in quite a unique position given that we opened in July 2020. I think we onboarded at the back end of that year. In terms of new data for the office, there wasn’t a huge amount. So, what we decided to do – Cos with his previous experience of data handling, which was one of his specialities – and he said look, why don’t we look at moving any data that we have across ourselves? It gives us the ability to really understand the back end of the system, which now, as we’ve used it more, has really helped us.

Obviously, on a larger scale data migration, that probably wouldn’t be possible, given the amount that needs to be transferred over, but for us, we found it pretty plain sailing and we had help whenever we needed it really, through those stages of creating a tenancy, what happens with this? Or we’ve mistakenly put some information in, how do we correct this? etc. We always had the support teams to lean on and help us out with things. At the time we also had an account manager – there was a period of about a month or so – where if anything was required, we could just ask them questions and they would come back to us. So that was super helpful. Overall, very fluid, no complaints. Which isn’t always the case, when transferring CRM data.

What are some of the benefits of using an all-in-one system?

The main thing for us, at a director level, is that oversight of the business. We can generate a report in a matter of seconds to say right, what do we need to look at? Where are we at? What does the pipeline look like? What does the lettings system look like? What open tenancies are there? Even to the point of property management, what are the open issues? Are these being responded to in a timely manner?

We pride ourselves on getting contractors instructed within a 3-hour time window. A lot of agencies don’t even do 24 hours, so for us maintaining that standard is 100% assisted by the fact that we have Reapit at our fingertips.

"We can generate a report in a matter of seconds to say right, what do we need to look at? Where are we at? What does the pipeline look like?..."

What business challenges does Reapit help you solve?

I think the key thing that Reapit helps us to solve is maintaining a 10/10 service. It’s very easy, just to have a generic CRM that allows you to just register your applicants, get in touch, etc. But when you want to go that extra mile for your clients, to make sure that you know no stone is left unturned, all communication and correspondence is documented. Everything on that front, the level of detail that you can go into on Reapit, that’s what we’re all about.

"I think the key thing that Reapit helps us to solve is maintaining a 10/10 service..."

Also, the fact that anyone in the office – if vendor calls, applicant calls, even a contractor – someone can log in, and have oversight on what’s going on. It doesn’t necessarily have to go direct to the person that was dealing with it for them to get the relevant information.

That sort of fluidity within the business is very, very helpful and that I think is a big challenge that we saw opening the business. How are we going to create something that if I’m not in the office and someone calls and they require an answer, can it be responded to there and then? Or are we going to be constantly chasing our tail and having to go back and use up valuable time to go back when the answer is there.

What’s your favourite thing about Reapit?

I think the fact that it’s so customisable, and the open API side of things. We use quite a bit of PropTech, so having integrations into it really allows us to just own and have that oversight of the entire business at all times. So, I think that is for me the most important, and I’d say the favourite thing. Just to be able to say right, you’ve got the property management stuff there, you’ve got the sales side, you’ve got the lettings side, all into one; and any PropTech that we’ve got, it’s all feeding off one system, so it’s a pretty holistic service in that in that regard.

"We use quite a bit of PropTech, so having integrations into it really allows us to just own and have that oversight of the entire business at all times."

What’s your favourite app?

So, hands down, our favourite app is Fixflo. The property management side of the business absolutely loves it. It provides an overview of all open issues, closed issues, a log of events, and correspondence, which is super important. Should we need to send contractors back? If there’s an issue that’s been closed that hasn’t fully been remedied, etc. Whatever it may be, you have a clear oversight at the click of a button as to where things lie, and that integration is vital to providing the best service for our clients and our tenants.

As a business, we pride ourselves on getting back to people within a 3-hour time window, and that’s from them reporting an issue, to us responding, to us having a contractor instructed, and liaising with the tenant to attend to remedy the issue. A lot of agencies don’t even turn things around in 24 hours and Fixflo alongside Reapit allows us to have that integration and that response time. It’s where and how we can manage a large portfolio of managed properties. So, definitely our favourite.

“It provides an overview of all open issues, closed issues, a log of events, and correspondence, which is super important… It’s where and how we can manage a large portfolio of managed properties.”

George Papanastasiou, Director | Element Properties & Co

How useful do you find the AppMarket?

I think it’s great. The key point is that it’s a bit of a shopping market for software and providers. I think if something’s managed to integrate with Reapit and it’s got that seal of approval, then it eases our minds as business owners, making that investment into it, knowing that it’s got that integration already, and it works, otherwise, it wouldn’t be on there. So that Balancing act of, do you go for something? do you not? trial and error; that is alleviated by the fact that you’ve got something there that you can just download and crack on with.

How would you describe the value that Reapit brings your agency?

I think the real value is the people behind Reapit. The support systems, Michael as our Customer Success Manager, I’ve been able to lean on him whenever required. That’s super important for us and I think I would look at Reapit as the skeleton of the business, or the foundation of us as an estate agency. As anyone in the industry knows, there’s more to it than just the CRM. But that really does allow us to build upon and have an oversight of where we are as a business, and I think that is the real value of the system, just being able to work, front end and back end and sing from the same hymn sheet throughout the office.

How does Reapit help support the growth of your business?

I think fundamentally having an oversight of where the business is, allows us to see the pain points, and only when you can see your weaknesses can you turn them into strengths. And that’s what Reapit really allows us to do. So, having it as the skeleton of the business is vital in understanding where we need to progress or focus more time and energy.

The scalability and OpenAPI approach that Reapit has to offer, has allowed us to double up year-on-year on rental and sales stock, with the notion of us opening another office or at the back end of next year. I don’t think that would fully be possible without Reapit assisting us as our CRM.

"The scalability and OpenAPI approach that Reapit has to offer, has allowed us to double up year-on-year on rental and sales stock..."

What advice would you give to anyone considering Reapit?

Having worked in the industry for a long time, I can wholeheartedly say there’s not really another CRM out there that offers what Reapit has to offer on both sales and lettings. There is no perfect software, however, Reapit isn’t far off.

I think what Reapit has with regards to its features and constant updates, they will listen to agents and with that it allows them to really tailor the service and software to what you need and the modern agency. So even if something isn’t quite there now, it can be done. And I think that’s really a key point with where Reapit is.

So, I would say to someone, even if it doesn’t tick 10/10 boxes, it will do in the next month or six or year. They are constantly evolving. So, in terms of where you end up, it really is a whole service for both sales and lettings.

"...I can wholeheartedly say there's not really another CRM out there that offers what Reapit has to offer on both sales and lettings."

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