The summary: why audit?
- avoid tool overlap or redundancy
- stop wasting time looking for log-ins
- get the specific tools to keep your databases accurate and clean.
- leverage marketing and sales alignment.
- save money and control your budget
Whenever a new tool or software is released that can make an agent’s life easier, we often jump on it—especially if that tool can increase productivity and decrease time spent staring at spreadsheets.
Tech is great when it works the way it needs to work, but that, unfortunately, isn’t always the case. If your team uses too many programs that don’t communicate with each other properly, it can take up unnecessary time. Alternatively, if you invest in too little, your competitors may leave you in the dust.
Here are four telltale signs it’s time to evaluate your current agency software platforms and commit time to performing a tech stack audit.
“Your tech stack refers to the list of tools or platforms that your agencies uses to achieve different marketing, sales, and operational goals.”
1. Data Silos—Your tech doesn’t integrate
Sometimes the tech you’re using work great within their systems but they don’t communicate with other vital systems. This can cause inefficiencies in an agents’ already-busy schedule, and drive your admin team to pulling out their hair. How often does someone in your agency have to create or update a report and have to look in 10 different platforms for the data you need.
Data silos also hinder collaboration between teams. Frequent communication and collaboration between agents, property managers and office administrators are vitally important when you’re scaling the agency and driving to reach business goals. If your teams aren’t pulling data from the same place, this will impact what overall success looks like—you will have a hard time distinguishing between what is working and what’s not.
If there isn’t an easy integration, you should probably consider a different technology that fits your processes better. Even if the better-integrating technology is more expensive, consider the time saved as an important ROI when weighing the overall cost of implementation.
2. You don’t trust the data
Are the integrations between your proptech systems firing the way they should? When the technologies you use to automate processes are creating errors instead of efficiencies for your team, it may be time to find a better solution. Even the small issues can turn into big issues over a longer period of time or when looking at the big picture and the amount of time it takes your team to check for accuracy.
Don’t leave data issues unsolved; it will come back to bite you in the butt later. Fix the kinks or find a platform that works for you the way you need it to.
3. You are spending money on tools your team doesn’t use
This may seem like an obvious sign that it’s time to do a tech stack audit. But I can’t tell you how many times we’ve helped agencies conduct a tech stack audit and find great software that they aren’t using—often because they don’t know how to use it properly or they aren’t aware they have access to it.
Pro tip: As more and more people are working from home, you will want to consider training around your tech stack as an onboarding process. This will ensure that new team members know what tools are available and how to use them properly.
Also, be sure to evaluate tools for duplicate functions. Consider consolidating any tools/programs whose abilities overlap. In the SaaS world, companies are frequently expanding and acquiring more service options that may help consolidate your agency tech stack.
4. You’re working on an annual budget
When it comes time to finalise your annual operating budget, you want to ensure that every line item is justified and that your team is getting the biggest bang for its buck. The budgeting process is the perfect time to execute a tech stack audit. Be sure to ask the following questions when evaluating your tech stack:
- Does the number of users you are paying for match the number of people actually using the software?
- Are you seeing ROI from the technology? What efficiencies is it creating?
- Are there tools/apps doing similar things? Can you eliminate one of them?
- Do the tools fit in with your long-term goals, or were they purchased as ad-hoc solutions in the moment?
- Do they play together nicely … ie does the integration actually enhance the tools that it connects?
A tech stack audit does more than just save on the cost of an unused tool—it evaluates the overall ROI of the tool within your agency. At a minimum, your business should conduct a tech stack audit on a yearly basis to keep teams communicating and integrations running smoothly.
And most important to any audit: Keep an up-to-date spreadsheet that lists your tech stack and its capabilities. Make sure you have a process to record when accounts are set up, who the admins are, what the billing cycle , what plan you're on and how many users are included.
Thinking about rebuilding your tech stack?
We’ve pulled together this really useful ebook that explores the tools real estate agencies are using to build a competitive edge.