Director of Forefront Real Estate Group
We sat down with Michael Paredes, Director of Forefront Real Estate Group, to talk about how he is innovating to stand out from his competition and how Re–Leased is helping him achieve his business goals.
My office is my home and my car, so I'm trying to change real estate a little bit in terms of image, service, etc. My image is really more personalised – I don't wear a suit. I meet clients at their homes and at cafes. I just wanted to change the way real estate is sort of dealt with, and change the way we are perceived as agents. Currently, I’m into my 3rd year going out on my own and a lot of my business comes from word of mouth and referrals. I want to do things differently – that’s my approach.
Technology is a massive change – there are still companies out there that haven't caught up, but technology is definitely something that the industry needs and companies need to look at now. Times have really changed, and you have younger generations using mobile devices now, and I think the way you look at other companies coming in with fixed fees, they're changing the way the industry operates, too. People will start to realise they can sell their home for much less. I think the industry itself will continue to change over the coming years. And with marketing you have to really be clever with your approach. A lot of people are time poor these days and you have to be utilising all sorts of technology to speed processes up. It's just about making life easier for clients, rather than having to take up all of their time.
When I started my business I was looking at cloud-based systems for the property management side of the business, and I wanted a system that made my job easier, seamless and simple. I started with PropertyMe and one of the big things I wanted was service and I didn’t quite get the service from them. So I changed to Re-Leased. And for me service was a massive thing and to this day I get that. The big things in terms of product for is the automatic nature of Re-Leased: automatic upload and download. It saves my time. On the other hand, I know people that use Console and have to spend too much time on their accounting tasks.
Time saving is the biggest thing – especially the process to input data for key fields like tenants and owners. The accounting roadblocks were too many steps in previous software platforms I used, whereby you want to shorten that to 2 steps, and that was my biggest thing in switching to a cloud-based system like Re-Leased. With the server-based systems in the office, a lot of things can go wrong: servers can go down, for example. But I have no issues with Re-Leased. I can log in from a cafe, I can be away in Bali and still log-in. However, with server-based systems you can only login at your office. You're restricted.
Service is the biggest positive from Re-Leased. I have no issues at all, but if there have been hiccups at all I have been able to solve it within the hour or at worst within that day. What I would say to other real estate professionals looking for software is don't get sucked in by the enterprise software companies. Boutique is better – as in the new, innovative companies. And I can't speak highly enough of Jo...the service she provides is unbelievable, I mean, I talk about word of mouth often and I like to pump Re-Leased up because of its awesome support system.