76 suppliers including 9 CRMs attending BestAgent Marketplace Supplier Workshop in Bicester on 26 June
“Suppliers, please make your products talk to each other. We’re spending all day re-typing property and mover details into endless different dashboards, instead of talking to customers. It’s the biggest single obstacle to our progress, both individually and as an industry.”
The plea from agents is finally heard by suppliers.
Two weeks ago BestAgent announced that its Marketplace platform was now ready for suppliers to begin connection, and will now solve the long-running problem of agents not being able to integrate their CRMs with their other suppliers.
We invited suppliers to the first BestAgent Marketplace Supplier Workshop, initially with space for 50 suppliers to attend.
All 50 spaces were filled within a few days. We moved to a larger space and there are now 76 confirmed attendees, including 9 CRM providers, a very encouraging sign.
Suppliers need to stop building new products until their existing ones talk to each other.
Collectively, agents want a single point of data entry more than almost anything else. “One of the most frustrating things in any business is having multiple systems that don’t talk to each other.” said Katie Griffin, owner of Sawdye & Harris, former President and serving board member of Propertymark.
BestAgent Marketplace exists to solve this one problem. In doing so it opens up easier access for agents to more PropTech suppliers whose products are attractive, but currently, require re-entering of data to be able to use them.
A wave of new agency customers waiting for suppliers.
Several of the earliest supplier partners such as Feefo and The ValPal Network were very clear that for small agents, integrated access to their products was a minimum requirement and that there is a pent-up demand or backlog of literally thousands of small agency customers who want to use more new products. But they are so bogged down in daily data duplication that they can’t face the prospect of yet another product that has another login, dashboard and a mouth to feed data into.
When there is an open selection of suppliers whose products actually interact when needed, agents will flock to those suppliers in large numbers because this solves their biggest problem.
BestAgent Marketplace is not a CRM, nor another CRM integration.
Some suppliers who have registered with BestAgent have confused it with being another CRM integration where, if they connect their products, they will have access to a ready-and-waiting list of new agent clients. This is not the case.
Although already operational at a minimal level for testing purposes, BestAgent Marketplace will not be fully open for business until suppliers have connected their products and successfully tested them, for online sign-up and billing.
What’s in it for suppliers?
Becoming part of the first supplier community who can say to agents that their product will talk to any other (if in the Marketplace) will be enormously attractive to agents. They have been saying so for a long time.
Being a Marketplace Supplier also means that on-boarding new agents will be almost instant, as the agents won’t need to do a “data-entry” exercise to get set up. So customer onboarding will be easier for agents and suppliers, allowing more agents to trial products that would otherwise be too cumbersome to test.
Once the first phase of suppliers is successfully connected, the Marketplace will open its doors to agents on a large scale. Any agent, using any CRM, will be able to sign up to any product in the marketplace and use it in a fully integrated way (providing their CRM has chosen to connect).
CRMs are beginning to understand that BestAgent is not a competitor.
There are already more than enough CRMs to choose from and still more new ones appearing, and no agent wants to go through the pain of changing theirs if they don’t have to.
BestAgent’s goal is to allow any agent with any CRM to connect to any supplier. So we’re delighted to have 9 CRMs attending the Workshop. There is light at the end of the data-duplication tunnel for customers of these CRMs. We hope more will join soon.
Workshop objective: How to get your product live and catch the wave of new customers.
Connecting to BestAgent is not like a CRM integration. We have made it much easier. Modern PropTech products will be able to establish a basic product connection in a few hours.
But there is the additional challenge of automated billing, collections and set up.
At the workshop, we will be explaining the steps necessary to complete a successful connection. The first step is making sure that the products talk to each other as expected.
Once that is complete, we then have to test the billing function to make sure that every agent is billed correctly every time, and that the automated collection and remittance of revenues happen flawlessly, whatever the supplier product is.
Finally, it’s time to bring the residential property industry up to speed with the rest of the world, and allow agents to sign up online. There are many considerations on this subject and we’re looking forward to hearing suppliers thoughts on the best way forward.
Agents want this as much as anything.
BestAgent is receiving daily messages of support and excitement from agents.
Data-duplication is the one and possibly the only topic on which all agents agree: it’s their biggest nightmare and they want it solved. There is only one way to do this.
If you’re a supplier and have not yet registered with BestAgent, join the more than 100 suppliers who have already created their Marketplace accounts and stay in the loop about how to get your product into what will be the largest marketplace of new customers that has ever existed for suppliers.
Videos of agents addressing suppliers: