ACT has launched its first vertical-focused product. Called ACT by Sage Premium for Real Estate 2006, the application is aimed at the 6 percent or so of the overall ACT user base that works directly in the real estate industry. A higher proportion of users work in related fields, according to the company.
The vertical is built upon ACT’s contact and customer management functionality with tailored features for referrals, property marketing and sales activities. Other real estate-oriented features include customized layouts, sales letters, reports, and one-click access to local multiple listing service systems.
The application also links to Palm OS or Pocket PC handheld devices for mobile data access.
The real estate industry is underserved with such applications, notes Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone.
“It’s ripe for easy-to-use tools that can empower the agent for not only sales prospecting but also ongoing service and support,” she told CRM Buyer. “There are many independent agents that understand the benefits of technology and the impact on revenue-generating activities.”
Indeed, ACT cited industry studies that suggest real estate agents are ripe to buy. A 2005 Realtor Technology Study, for instance, indicated that 87 percent of the National Association of Real Estate members surveyed indicated that selling is easier with advancements in technology.
This version of ACT Real Estate also has its limitations, Kingstone noted. She said that she would like to see ACT for Real Estate leverage the business Web in future releases.
“There are many business services that empower collaboration on the Internet that could be integrated to power the success of the transaction,” she remarked.
Features included in this release:
- Custom data layout capabilities including fields for standard contact information as well as quick-glance buyer interests such as price range, square footage, number of rooms, residence type and location.
- Real Estate Custom Activities including manage call, meeting and to-do activities as well as prospecting, marketing, listing, open house and closing tasks.
- Real Estate Custom Activity Series includes tools that allow a user to track a series of events or a standard set of processes such as active/new prospect listing, active/new prospect buyer, open house, expired listings and for-sale-by-owner listings.
- Real Estate Custom Report Templates, which include more than 40 standard ACT reports and six report templates to help track, measure and analyze real estate-specific activities.
- MLS Access, which allows users to search for properties and attach relevant listings to the appropriate ACT contact to keep a history of house listings sent to clients.