Since the opening of its first office in 1990, the business has subsequently expanded to 14 premises in all. A working party was set up to identify one system common to all branches. Philip Jordan, Partner for the group says: “After having demonstrations of five products, we decided that cloud-based was the way forward. We were getting an increasing number of enquiries from the web and the ability to use live data and a high speed of transfer of information was key.” These criteria were strongly influenced by their experience of using its previous system, which was operational in seven of its branches. “We knew that the synchronisation of data with server-based systems often resulted in problems and the data was often out of date,” Philip comments.
He continues: “We knew that considerable thought had gone into the development of Qube SLM and it was the best developed cloud-based system on the market.” So, the decision was made. Since implementing the solution, Qube SLM has actually exceeded expectations. “We underestimated the level of sophistication,” says Phillip. “With its much greater functionality though, Qube SLM requires more training and the process of implementation takes longer,” says Philip. The route that the group decided to go down was to employ their own trainer and one of their own negotiators readily took on the role.
A common concern for estate agents considering changing systems is the impact of change to processes. But for Henry Adams, this fear never materialised. “Qube SLM provides a good structure when it comes to processes such as sales chasing, chain checking etc,” says Phillip. “It gets us away from cumbersome paper systems and the need to decipher bad handwriting! And it means that if other branches are involved in a chain, they can see what is going on from their desk.”
Having one of the largest new homes business in the South East, the Henry Adams Group were asked by SPA to be involved in the development of the new homes module, which they were keen to do. “This means that our new homes department can access the database for resale properties and then interrogate the data for marketing and for pricing decisions,” says Philip. We have always sought customer input into Qube SLM’s development and this has contributed greatly to continuous improvements in functionality. “The system we are now using is different from the one we started with and it’s good to know we have had an input into how it is developed,” comments Philip. “Beyond the development phase, we have had input into how the fields were set up, how particulars were presented, the content of standard letters and more.”
Of course, implementing a new system takes time and patience. Philip’s take on this initial phase in the process: “I went from the extreme of wanting to throw the computer out of the window to times of great joy. Any estate agent who gets a system which is successful immediately is either using a very simple system or is very lucky – and that is not the real world of estate agency.”