Digitally Managing Your CRE Brokerage – From Pipeline to Payments (Part 2 of 2)

Digitally Managing Your CRE Brokerage (2)

Turner Levison | April 28, 2020

To conclude our series on running your CRE brokerage digitally we’ll pick right up where we left off in Part 1:

Automating Split Plan Calculations, Draw Plans, Expenses and Agent Payments

Our research concluded that the majority of CRE brokerages spend 4-5 hours processing each new transaction, from determining where each agent is in their split plan, to setting up and manually producing invoicing and making agent and referral payments. 

If this feels alarmingly high take the time to speak with your back-office personnel who perform this function to verify the difficulty and time it takes to process commission checks with multiple agents on the deal.

The most common platform for managing commission split plans is still Microsoft Excel which provides limited transparency and considerable room for human error when there is more than one agent per transaction.

Shelly Protus, Office Manager/CBRE Albany – “It felt time consuming and old fashioned. Even though we could use Excel formulas for some of the calculations there was always the possibility of human error. We knew a long time ago that we needed to find something better, but we never really took action. But my workload kept growing and got to the point where it didn’t matter what I did, I just felt like I was drowning. I felt like I was not making any progress.” 

As automation is successfully introduced into your back-office the tools needed to efficiently generate budgets, cash flow management and financial reporting can become instantly available to principles and business ownership.

Integrations with CRM, Accounting Systems & Other Platforms

As you consider new technologies determining if the applications will provide integration of legacy data between applications should be part of the decision making process. Some of the strategies should include whether the platform…

    Provides integration with commercial real estate CRM systems, such as ReThinkCRE and APTO, ClientLook, Realnex, Salesforce, Hubspot or ACT.

    Provides integration with accounting software, such as Quickbooks, Xero, or CommissionTrac

    Provides integration with other data companies such as property management software, like Yardi or MRI, or Avidxchange  

You may also find during your analysis that existing software solutions don’t integrate with new platforms because they were developed with older software applications and closed systems. In order to provide complete functionality and maximize productivity, you may determine the need to upgrade more than one application within the organization to achieve the operational efficiency you desire.

Agent’s Deal Pipeline and Revenue Forecasting

Transparency between managing principals and agents inherently creates better alignment giving agents and principals the ability to see the entire revenue picture of their business. Having the capability for managing brokers and agents to communicate digitally during unforeseen circumstances is important, especially for inexperienced younger agents who need additional support and guidance during unpredicted situations.

Having an organized approach for agents to track their future opportunities not only provides increased efficiency but a higher closing percentage. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that there was an 18% difference in revenue growth between companies that defined a formal and structured  sales process which included tracking future opportunities and companies that didn’t. 

Most of the CRE-centric CRM’s and back office solutions developed over the past several years all have included future opportunity tracking, some significantly more complicated than others. Determining what level of client information ownership desires, from agents, on future deals will help guide you to the appropriate CRM for your brokerage business.

Where To Look To Stay on Top of Technology Advancements

To stay abreast of the technological innovations in the world of commercial real estate trade associations like, CCIM, SIOR, NAIOP are great resources. Additionally CRETech and Duke Long blogs offer intelligent and comprehensive  access to all things technology happening in our industry. 

To find out how you can use CommissionTrac can assist your transition to a digital and automated back office and why Techstars Atlanta and Cox Enterprises are lead investors in CommissionTrac, request a demo today by visiting our website at www.commissiontrac.com 

Any brokerage business that signs a (12) month contract with CommissionTrac between now and the end of June 2020 will have the first three months deferred and rolled into the remaining nine months of their initial contract. 

Author: Daniel Levison – Chairman CRE Holdings (Atlanta Investment Properties, CommissionTrac, Sharedspace) and Turner Levison, CEO, CommissionTrac

 

 

 

  

 

 

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