Switching your website to a new provider can be a risky business. One process often filled with stress. The pressure only multiplies what that same vendor is handing the CRM and email platform used by your sales associates to run their real estate businesses.
It is a very public change that impacts your firm's entire online presence and the day-to-day business of your sales associates. That's why it's so important that the switch goes smoothly. Done correctly, and your firm reaps long-term success. Done incorrectly, and failure looms on the horizon.
The same goes for rebranding your company. Your website and email marketing campaigns are no small part of the process. When your company selects a date to announce its rebranding, everything needs to fall seamlessly into place.
What I have learned from our clients as Delta Media Group's Tech Support Manager is that every client has different needs, and each company has specific nuances around how they manage their business. There is no "one size fits all" kind of solution when it comes to onboarding a client and their teams (staying on your toes is what makes it fun, right?).
Nevertheless, I remember one client where the onboarding (and later rebranding) process seemed to go particularly well. That was Coach Realtors in New York's Nassau and Suffolk counties. Looking back, even the issues we encountered along the way seemed to work out so well they were little more than slight bumps in the road as opposed to significant roadblocks.
When outlining my thoughts for this article, I decided to pinpoint those items during the Coach onboarding process that made the project come together so well. By giving you this information, I can help to keep other clients' blood pressure in check when working through their company onboarding, rebranding, or any large project where you work with another party to create something to present to the world.
First and foremost, there's nothing more important than everyone involved knowing the scope of the project. There's nothing worse than working on a project for months under the belief that everyone is on the same page only to find out that something was overlooked when you're just short of the finish line. At that point, it feels less like working on an organized project and more like putting out a forest fire. The best way to avoid this is to have everything defined, and everyone's expectations addressed and out in the open from the beginning. It can take some more time to get started, but the gray hair it saves, in the end, makes it more than worth it.
Next, communication is key. Regularly scheduled meetings can work for this, but I find that sometimes those involved in an onboarding (myself included) might hold off questions and answers for that meeting when they could be knocked out with a quick email right away. When working with Coach Realtors throughout the onboarding process, I worked primarily with LP Finn. If he had a question, he didn't hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. If I ran into an issue with any data or had any questions on how he'd like to proceed with a portion of the project, he was readily available. That allowed us to avoid any delays and power through anything we encountered. Just remaining responsive throughout the process and getting questions, answers, or data back and forth with minimal delay goes a long way toward keeping the project on track.
It also helps to stay flexible. No matter how well we do our job when working out the project scope, there's always a chance of something coming up after the project gets underway that just wouldn't have been apparent at the onset. Maybe we're setting up a data feed for a third party, and they don't store all of the same data that we do, or the lead routing system doesn't assign leads in a way that your old lead routing system did. When moving to a new platform, some things will not work in the same way. Look at this as a perfect time to reassess your workflow. Remember, there's a reason that you left your old vendor, and there's a reason you chose us as your new one.
By creating a plan that takes your needs and workflow into consideration, and if you're open to making some changes regarding how you handle some scenarios, we can both make some adjustments and come up with a solution that makes our platform better and makes your process more efficient than it's ever been. We don't want to be your web or CRM vendor. We want to be your business partner and firmly believe that that kind of relationship makes us both better.
That brings me to the last piece of the puzzle. To bring a project together, we need to trust each other. I'm not saying you should invite me over to babysit (I get enough of that at home anyway), but you should trust that we have your best interests in mind. Your successes are our successes and when you grow, we grow. When we grow, the platform you use to manage your business and digitally present yourself to the world gets better. We trust that you know how to run your business, so there's nothing more valuable to us than your feedback. No one knows better than you how our platform will be used day-to-day, so we're interested in anything we can add or automate that will help you elevate the quality of your business and your life.