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Friday, August 28, 2009

Are Real Estate Companies Starting to Embrace CRM?

Jim Young has written a nice article on the Realcomm Advisory asking whether a bad economy can positively impact Real Estate IT spending. It’s definitely worth a read and parallels my own thoughts and experiences in the world of CRM and commercial real estate, especially lately.

Having a few grey hairs ourselves - muddling through the “dot-bomb” of 01-03 and now “whatever-they-will-call-this” of 07-present, setting everything else aside, it has been interesting seeing how real estate companies have responded to these conditions. In early ’07 and before, as a CRM solution provider we came across two types of prospects: those who were doing so many deals they didn’t need nor want to slow down to address internal systems, and those who had to because of external factors (usually regulatory) and had big budgets to do it.  Neither made for an ideal environment for a new CRM system, as the change agent was usually external. Successful CRM must come from an internally driven mandate.

Now the rules have changed in a big way. Talent is walking out the door (for many reasons) and the organization’s corporate memory with it. Those still in place are finding they have to do more with less. Brokerage and service companies are being held to a higher standard by their customers as they have to actually deliver on the promises they made when landing the customer. Property owners are working hard to reduce tenant churn. We’ve even seen the end users (brokers/agents) jump on management and ask for better systems that address inefficiency and communication roadblocks.

When the change agent comes from within, as it seems to be trending, it is much easier for a CRM solution provider to do business. Our client is now more focused on the end user and their end customer in terms of system design and requirements. The end user is more open to the culture change of information sharing and the factors for success are much more measurable. The only thing missing from the equation in this new economy is, as I’m sure you can guess: money.

When recovery comes to commercial real estate, it will be just as interesting to see how they respond. Will companies finally address their customer relationship management systems, or will it return to being about the deal? I believe it will be the former.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

It’s Hotter’N Hell at Ascendix

Seven riders from “Team Ascendix” rode in the Hotter-n-Hell Hundred in Wichita Falls, TX on Saturday, August 29th.

Team JerseyClick Here to Read About the Hotter’N Hell

They worked and trained hard for the big race. We sent them all in style and comfort in a deluxe RV the night before for an early start to the big race.

All finished strong and unscathed and had a great time at the event. We'll see if we can't get 10 participants in next year's race!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SRS Real Estate Partners Select Ascendix Real Estate Advantage

Click Here To Read The Press Release

SRS Real Estate Partners has chosen Ascendix Technologies' Real Estate Advantage ™ as the foundation for their customized CRM and enterprise reporting platform.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) August 20, 2009 -- SRS Real Estate Partners, the nation's largest retail real estate firm, announced today that they have chosen Ascendix Technologies' Real Estate Advantage ™ as the foundation for their customized CRM and enterprise reporting platform. The new system will serve as the basis for a comprehensive solution that will support business processes, streamline workflow, and integrate with existing accounting and business intelligence applications.

Technology has always played an important role at SRS Real Estate Partners. Prior to partnering with Ascendix, SRS had been utilizing a combination of custom applications designed in-house and various Microsoft technologies. "Because we have always believed an industry-specific solution, uniquely curtailed to our business would yield the best results, we have always looked internally for our CRM and transaction management solutions," explained Dondi Markham, Senior Enterprise Architect of SRS Real Estate Partners. "By implementing Real Estate Advantage ™, we are now able to have that custom solution, specifically tailored to meet our business needs, without all of the overhead associated with maintaining a large IT staff."

In addition to the advantages associated with a customized application built specifically for the real estate industry, the firm determined it was of the utmost importance to find a solution that would take advantage of their existing investment in Microsoft technologies. "We wanted an application that would make the most of our past investments while taking us into the future," SRS Chief Operating Officer, Drew Kiesling said. "Real Estate Advantage ™ allowed us to do just that. By moving to a solution built on the Microsoft CRM platform and operating inside Microsoft Outlook, we anticipate greater user adoption, greater productivity, and ultimately, greater service to our clients."

"Our goal is to always go the extra mile to provide our clients with the best service possible. Our partnership with Ascendix provides us with the tools we need to reach that goal," affirmed Clay Smith, President and CEO of SRS Real Estate Partners.

About SRS Real Estate Partners
The evolution of Staubach Retail into SRS Real Estate Partners brings retail specialists in 20 offices nationwide to this new name with a strong heritage. Clients of SRS Real Estate Partners have a competitive edge with the full range of services which include tenant representation, landlord representation, land brokerage, disposition services, investment services, lease administration, and managed services. More information can be found at www.srsre.com.

About Real Estate Advantage™
Developed on the award-winning Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 platform, this solution allows real estate companies to benefit from a truly enterprise-capable, flexible and customizable business platform without having to spend a great deal of up-front time and money designing it for their industry. The solution leverages the tools organizations already use, including Microsoft Outlook, Excel, Word, Virtual Earth and SharePoint, improving the intuitiveness and adoption rates often plaguing CRM implementations or point applications.

About Ascendix Technologies, Inc.
Founded in 1996 in Dallas, TX, Ascendix Technologies, Inc., is a Microsoft® Certified Gold Partner and solution provider that focuses solely on the implementation of CRM systems for companies in both the mid and enterprise market space. In addition to commercial real estate, Ascendix has vertical solutions for capital markets, alternative investment products, and financial services. For more information on Real Estate Advantage, visit www.advantageworks.com. For more information on Ascendix, visit www.ascendix.com or contact them at 1-888-Find-CRM.

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