The problem: Limitations with conventional CRM systems
Founder and CEO, Adam Horton, faced an uphill battle when looking for the perfect CRM solution. Hortons’ distinctive business model, which mirrored an international-style brokerage more than a traditional UK-based estate agency, posed a challenge. Having tried most off-the-shelf CRM solutions in the UK, Adam discovered they weren’t up to the task. Outdated, unintuitive interfaces were more of a hindrance than a help, causing frustration among the team. The team at Hortons were also finding that key operational processes like uploading listings to property portals were tedious and unreliable with their existing provider, leading to a lack of trust in their system.
The solution: Finding the right CRM partner in Rex
Adam and the Hortons team were initially drawn to Rex CRM as one of our earliest UK clients, citing the modern technology, intuitive interface, and user-friendly experience as key factors. The Australian-designed CRM also aligned well with Hortons’ business model.
“Everything seemed a lot more intuitive, and easier to use than a lot of other UK-based software. But also, we have a more international business model, in terms of a brokerage over a traditional grassroots estate agency. [Rex] translated to what we were doing a lot easier than the off-the-shelf software in the UK.” — Adam Horton, CEO at Hortons
However, the early version of Rex CRM didn’t fully cater to the specific nuances of the UK market or their need to integrate more with other software as their business grew. This shortfall led Hortons to transition to a competitor that didn’t have these issues.
Despite leaving Rex, Hortons had a deep appreciation for the company's culture and business approach. After eighteen months with the competitor, they reevaluated Rex, discovering that their initial concerns had been addressed. Rex had integrated Zapier, solving the problem of being able to connect with their other software, and had tailored its offering to account for the specific needs of the UK market. Adam Horton emphasised, “It was a no-brainer really for us to come back because everything else was so good. Particularly, the support.”
“When we relaunched Rex CRM the second time around the changes were just phenomenally different. It was actually quite exciting to see the change in such a short amount of time.” — Maisie Green, Operations Manager at Hortons
Implementation: A supported migration journey
Transitioning to Rex CRM was not without its challenges, primarily due to their previous CRM's data export limitations. However, a significant influence in their decision to return to Rex was the exceptional support and the onboarding and support teams at Rex played a crucial role in making the migration process as smooth as possible. As Adam Horton put it, "Brilliant support from Rex. It was a challenging process to switch everything over, but you can just tell [the Rex team] care a lot…You always get straight answers and always a willingness to help, and that's really, really fresh". They have since found Rex's support invaluable as they navigate their agency operations and growth goals.
“We feel like when we reach out to support, we're the only company that you're supporting. It's like an extension of our own team.” — Maisie Green, Operations Manager at Hortons
The result: A foundation for growth
The impact of implementing Rex CRM has been transformative for Hortons, instilling a sense of readiness and optimism for the future. Adam confidently remarked, "we're going into 2023 feeling like we've got a really strong foundation” This foundational shift can be attributed to the following improvements:
Fluidity of operations
Rex CRM's intuitive and user-friendly design enables Hortons’ agents to adapt quickly and maximise productivity. Moreover, the easy-to-understand nature of the platform makes for a smooth learning curve which has led to a significant drop in reported issues and an overall happier team.
“It’s been great to see how quickly our team pick things up and how happy they are using the software. The amount of problems that get reported have dropped significantly.” — Adam Horton, CEO at Hortons
The automation and integration capabilities of Rex have led to considerable time savings for Hortons. Agents now spend less time on manual tasks and more on core responsibilities such as client relationship management. Adam describes the benefit, “to be able to export data from Rex CRM automatically into our own reporting really helps a lot of processes. Simple things like that combined over hundreds of properties a year add up and save a lot of time. Previously we would have to be doing stuff like that manually, which also leaves the risk open to human error. It saves us time and gives us real confidence in the data that we're using.”
Having data that they can trust, easily understand and customise has lead to a big improvement in their prospecting efforts. Maisie describes Rex CRM as a crucial tool for new business generation.
“I would say about 80% of evaluations that we get booked in actually do confirm Rex and our own data. So it does show you how much data you've got sitting there that's underutilised.” — Maisie Green, Operations Manager at Hortons
The customisability of Rex CRM is one of its standout features for Hortons. The ability to tailor the CRM to match their way of operating has empowered the entire team at Hortons to serve their clients more effectively and operate more efficiently. Operations Manager, Maisie Green, describes “a massive benefit for the agents is if they've got an idea and we go, yeah, that will work really well, there are a lot of custom fields in Rex that we can actually add in… I think it's so important because it's the estate agent that are using a system that can help build it.”
With plans to expand the number of agents under the Hortons brand, Adam sees Rex as an indispensable facilitator in this journey.
“When it comes to growth, the ability to add on new agent accounts quickly and easily using the Rex training facilities, videos and resources, it's really, really helpful. There’s no long-winded onboarding process, and we can just get them up and running, which is great.” — Adam Horton, CEO at Hortons
A partnership for the future
For Hortons, the return to Rex CRM has not only resolved their previous challenges but also laid a strong foundation for their future growth plans. The combination of user-friendliness, reliability, customisable features, integrations and outstanding support has positioned Rex CRM as a crucial asset in their journey. Adam Horton summarises this experience, stating “at Hortons we want a culture where everyone feels like they're on the journey with us and progressing together. I think using Rex CRM will help us with that.”