Keep Your SaaS Spending in Check


Logan Paton | March 16, 2018

It’s tempting to subscribe to every new, great Software-as-a-Service idea launching on the market. There are countless innovative ideas reshaping how real estate professionals conduct business. SaaS truly is one of the most exciting tech developments in the last decade, and the overall market is predicted to grow from $58.6 billion in 2017 to $99.7 billion in 2020.

While SaaS solutions save real estate professionals money, investing in too many platforms can actually escalate costs. How can you continue gaining the financial benefits of utilizing SaaS without breaking the budget?

1. Technology Audit

The process begins with an audit of the SaaS platforms your company uses. Do you know all the tools you’re using, in-house and SaaS, and for what purpose? You might be surprised to find out how many subscriptions you have to various services. Zylo is a startup that helps with SaaS auditing. “Our average customer has over 400 Cloud subscriptions in their business that they renew every year,” said Eric Christopher, co-founder and CEO of Zylo, to Forbes. “We generally find that’s two to three times what a company expects.”

2. Survey Employees

During the audit, let’s say your individual agents use 20 different technological tools to complete their work. Doesn’t that seem like overkill? Ask your employees what software they actually use and how often? Ask employees to rank the technology by predetermined factors: ease of use, reliability, importance to the business. This can reveal underutilized services ripe for cutting.

On the flip side, the survey results will show a need for further training if a key platform is underutilized. Remember to ask employees during the survey if there are any technological gaps in tools they need to get the job done.

3. Can One Product Cover Multiple Uses?

SaaS providers upgrade available services all the time. New advances in artificial intelligence and natural language processing (NLP) help SaaS platforms automate more and more daily processes. Investigate new offerings from service providers. One SaaS service may now offer a new tool, like additional database search features. Others might have expanded functionalities, like running a database and CRM program. New integrations could streamline data processing between existing services.

4. Rank Tech Priorities

If it’s imperative to slice the technology budget, rank your SaaS tools by priority. What tools are most essential to running your real estate business in the most efficient manner? Which tools will allow you to continue meeting your operational goals? The employee survey results are informative when ranking platforms. Once you have a ranked list, start slicing from the bottom up.

5. Keep Audit in Mind When Looking at SaaS Providers

Avoiding a SaaS overflow starts with the sourcing process. Match technology platforms to business priorities and have a clear goal for what the SaaS platform will add to your operations. Will it provide better data to help clients? Will it save money and money while increasing accounting accuracy?

Additionally, include employees in selecting the tools to help with adoption. These individuals become adoption advocates for your agency. For more advice, see these tips on choosing the best tools for your brokerage.

After adoption, regularly check-in with employees to ensure they are using the purchased subscription. Overcome any adoption challenges early to maximize the financial investment you’ve made in the service. For adoption advice, see our blog Integrating New CRE Tech Into Your Existing Processes.

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