How Mark and Melissa at Sentry Commercial use CommissionTrac to Increase Brokerage Productivity and Profitability
About Sentry Commercial
Sentry Commercial is a Southern New England based real estate services firm solely dedicated to serving the needs of clients, partners and associates. Founded 1991, Sentry Commercial offers local, regional, national and international commercial brokerage, construction management and property management services to its clients. With a personal, long-term, service-based approach supported by an experienced staff they use extensive data to provide their clients the information and analysis to meet their needs.
“Out of the gates, we are happy with CommissionTrac! Melissa, who is the first one that counts, is a fan. I think I can speak for her; when we first got this she thought it was overkill, that we didn’t really need it. When she started using and then understanding it, she thinks it’s a great tool. And I would be the same. When I bought it, when we committed to it I wasn’t sure if it was overlap but now that we’re into it, it clearly is not. It’s an important tool for us to run the company.”
— Mark Duclos, SIOR, President
“I love the reports - everybody’s report is different based on what they need. So Mark is going to want a Future Revenue Receivables report. And it’s a click of a button, it’s all right there, I don’t have to do any extra work.
Maybe one of the agents will ask, ‘where am I in my splits?’ and with just a click, it’s all right here at my fingertips. I can’t say that enough, that it’s all right there. It’s a huge deal. Even the home screen (dashboard), it’s just perfect, it’s exactly what Mark wants as well (with all of the graphs). We didn’t have anything like this, we spreadsheets that I put together over the years.
It’s a world of difference.”
— Melissa Fernance, Office Manager
(over 6 months)
About Mark Duclos
Mark is the President and co-founder of Sentry Commercial. Since 1986 Mark has represented local, regional and national companies providing experienced, unbiased, expert advice on their real estate and facility needs. He holds the prestigious SIOR (The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors),CRE (The Counselors of Real Estate) and FRICS (Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) designations. Mark is President of SIOR and chair of its Board of Directors.
About Melissa Fernance
Melissa has been with Sentry Commercial since 2000. As Office Manager, Melissa is responsible for the operations of Sentry Commercial’s Hartford office and provides support and assistance for its Brokerage/Advisory and Construction Management teams. She is a licensed real estate agent in both Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Sentry Commercial was tracking deals and commissions in multiple spreadsheets and “our CRM and our data was detached substantially from our accounting side of the business.” “Everything was in 5 different places.” This meant duplicate data entry, which was time consuming and left too many opportunities for human error. And then, everybody wanted something different from the data “depending on who was asking and why they were asking, so [Melissa] could never figure out a way to get everything in one place” and generate all of those data points.
From a business owner’s perspective, Mark had been increasingly frustrated with his inability “to wake up and get a picture of where we were: [regarding] revenue per month, what our receivables were, what the age of those receivables were, what our projections for the agents were, what our agent YTD grosses were, and all those kinds of things. We weren’t even close to being able to get that information easily.” It would often take Melissa several hours, if not days, of analyzing disparate spreadsheets to pull data for Mark, and she was not able to create the visual reports, or graphs, that she knew he would best appreciate.
Mark was ready to “get better insight to the financial side, to our back office.” He knew that better understanding all the financial aspects, from the source of the receivables to the payables, and everything in between, would better allow him to make forecasts, budget, and generally plan for Sentry Commercial’s future.
Melissa wanted to have one place for all the data, that both she and Mark could access, and where he could pull reports directly without having to ask her and wait for the results. She was eager to find a solution that would give Mark an at-a-glance view of “where we were as a company,” while also allowing her to pull data that was of interest to her and the brokers.
They both wanted a solution that would integrate with their new CRM, Rethink, and allow for a seamless process from the deal pipeline all the way through to the financial management and operations for Sentry Commercial.
Now that CommissionTrac is in place, Mark and Melissa can both log in to one place to see and work on the company’s data. Melissa only has one place to go to input a deposit, and then the Commission Credits are posted without any calculations or manual work on her part. And she can pull different reports for everybody’s different needs. When asked what the number one result was since implementing CommissionTrac, Melissa had just six words, “The time saved by having this.”
Mark appreciates all the data-points being right at his fingertips - he can now better analyze and understand his business, from what receivables might need attention to what source of income is strongest for Sentry Commercial and which agents are the most productive. Mark is able to wake up and at a glance see the financial health of his brokerage. When needed he can drill into reports for more in depth budgeting and forecasting for his business. This allows him, Melissa and their team a more profitable and productive approach to managing their brokerage business.