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Xmas newsletter 2012

Welcome to the first edition of our newly styled newsletter, we hope you like it.

Can we fix it? Yes we can…

Whilst doing our research for dezrezPM we realised that many of the Property Mangers we visited struggled to stay on top of all the maintenance requests they received. Many simply didn’t have the tools available to them to make this job easier. We designed dezrezPM to help!

We’ve put our thinking caps on and developed a suite of maintenance tools designed to ease the burden of the overworked Property Manager. We’ve built an easy to use “log a maintenance issue” utility that integrates all notes and comments. It quickly builds a full audit history around each maintenance request, making light of tracking progress and making it easy to report your activity to the landlord. Attached to each maintenance item are details of any work orders (and quotes) for contractors, keeping all activity in one place.

Speaking of contractors, we’ve added the facility for you and your landlords to have preferential contractors. With the ability to track feedback on their performance and star ratings you’ll be confident that you instruct contractors that you trust. We also allow you to link their invoices to specific work orders giving you the assurance that you pay invoices after the work has been completed and approved. Additionally we know how difficult it can be to keep your contractors, landlords and tenants up to date with appointment times and progress which is why we have an inbuilt text message and email facility from within the software to make the daily running of your maintenance department that little bit easier.

We would love to hear how you manage your maintenance?

Year 1 of the dezrez user voice…

When our new user voice system was first discussed as replacement to the old email wish list at the beginning of 2011 there were many questions like will the tail end up wagging the dog, how do we make it fair and stop our bigger customers setting the agenda and chief amongst them will anyone actually use it?

Well to paraphrase the film “build it and they’ll come” and you did - over 540 unique requests not counting the duplicates that have been merged together by our team. Our limit of 10 votes per user and active management of the forums has stopped our bigger customers setting the agenda and we wanted to take this opportunity to share some of your success stories from this year and give you a hint at some of the functionality you have helped us to plan in.

As you may have seen from our recent blog post, we have completed 56 of your ideas from this year and have a further 37 in various stages of development.

One of our biggest successes from user voice was proving to the development team that the “security” feature of Dezrez logging out after an hour was a pain in the neck 82 individual users giving 152 votes to the request to keep me logged in, gave you a tick box on the login screen allowing you to choose whether you wanted to stay logged in permanently or not. Not all of our completed requests have had huge numbers of votes but they have linked into a project we already had planned which has enhanced the development in such a way that we would have been foolish to ignore, for example giving you the ability to delete all the photos on a property in one go.

One of the perks of putting in a user voice request is getting to test it before everyone else. Currently our beta testers are trying out our new property edit page which allows you to see more information about a property such as the number of viewing requests or the number of times the property has been emailed.

Currently our planned projects, if they are at all feasible in the current or any future architecture of Dezrez, will offer you the agent the ability to automatically send mail merges, sync with outlook, write your own confirmation emails, add multiple address’ for vendors, use the contact cards in a variety of different ways and add more information to the cards, have client accept appointments electronically, separate sales and lettings in more areas of the software.

User voice has also been used 112 times to request changes that Dezrez can already support, ranging from multiple email addresses on an applicant card to checking keys out to the new owners. Its fair to say that all of these requests are for areas that are not obvious in the software or have required a slight change in procedure for the agents, but in each case our support team are more than happy to call and guide you through the process, and some of the really encouraging things from our point of view was other agent commenting on requests telling people how achieve their request often in different ways to our ideas.

All in all its fair to say that the first full year of Dezrez voice has in our opinion been a success so thank you to everyone who has voted and contributed, apologies to anyone who’s idea has been declined due to a lack of support why not resubmit it and see if it gains more support this time?

And for anyone who hasn’t used uservoice yet, what are you waiting for?

Top 10 For December

All of these estate agents have achieved this status by consistently using 90% or more of the entire dezrez system. We can monitor your usage of dezrez from our specially designed software, making it possible for us to tailor training specifically for your estate agency. We can also offer you advice on how to improve efficiency in your estate agency.

A big congratulations to these 10 and to all other clients who use our software consistently. 

Will you be in next months top 10? 

Guild of Letting Management predicts 2013

Not so long ago the lettings industry was considered the "poor relative" of estate agency, however, with the impact of the economic climate, lettings and property management are now a force to be reckoned with. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security because one would be a fool in thinking that lettings is the easy option - yes, its dynamic, yes, its challenging, but to provide exceptional service requires a sound knowledge of a range of Statute, excellent customer skills and the ability to manage not only the landlord & tenant relationship, but crisis as and when it occurs - consider the recent floods & the inclement weather. The skill set of exceptional letting agents and property managers is vast.

In recent years we have seen an increase in the demand for rental properties, we have seen agents popping up on high streets all over the country, however, we have also witnessed the agent who wants to differentiate themselves from their competitors and this comes in the guise of affiliation to professional bodies and organisations such as ARLA, RICS, TPOS and NALS,of WANTING to invest in continuous professional development and training, of providing a service above and beyond their clients' expectations. The press criticises the industry on so many levels, yet the good and great should be applauded - agents who make it their business to raise standards- voluntarily.

There are many agents who have considered themselves specialists and professionals from the moment they opened their doors to the public, they are the elite who understood where lettings and property management was headed and if regulation ever comes in (the rumour mill is hard at work with the Welsh Assembly focusing on the Private Rented Sector & the setting up of a Select Committee by Parliament to conduct an inquiry into private rented housing sector as well as Boris Johnson announcing plans for a ‘London Rental Standard’ next year) they will most definitely be well prepared and ahead of the game.

Anyone can open an agency, but it is not for the faint hearted - success lies in the longevity of the relationship with the landlord and the tenant, following processes & procedures, carrying out due diligence and fully understanding exactly what is expected of you as an agent and of your landlord. Watching the industry evolve into a place where people want to forge a career and progress is exciting and motivational. I am fortunate enough to be in that position and I am very much looking forward to witnessing what the next twelve months brings.

A short Biography on Susie and The Guild of Letting Management

Susie Crolla is the CEO of the Guild of Letting Management, an association that focuses on training and professional development in the residential and letting industry. She is also the CEO for the Letting Training Centre where her focus on training and education has lead to her developing the first BTEC diploma in Residential Lettings & Management. Their Advice Line for Property Professionals is a helping hand to their many clients offering legal and advisory support service for professionals working within lettings and property management.

What dezrez has to say about Susie

“Susie has helped bring dezrezPM together, offering advice, identifying best practice as well as ensuring that compliant procedures are easy for a user to implement.”

Website of the year goes to...

I am pleased to announce Ashtons as our dezrez website of the Year 2012!

They were also our website of the month back in June.

Created in house by Ashtons and integrated by Dezrez using our live XML feed, the site has only recently gone live. Ashtons have created an attractive and clean looking site, with a good range of functionality.

Ashtons have made good use of Dezrez functionality, including map location, metropix integration and customer login area/portfolio. They’ve also provided a number of options for search functionality, offering the basics such as price and number of bedrooms, with options for searching by location and property style, along with a separate search for New Homes.

Design wise, the site has a clear and distinct layout, with important information picked out in company colours. Good use of bullet points means that selling points are immediately clear, with a more detailed description then available.

Congratulations to Ashtons!

Employee Spotlight

What is your name?

Sabastian Dyer

What is your position within dezrez?
I’ve joined dezrez on an internship to help with their marketing and communications, both internally and externally.

Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
To get back in the gym, cut down on beer and chocolate and to also start working with another Sported. Project.

How long have you been with dezrez for?
Not long, just a couple of weeks and it’s been a big learning curve. Meeting loads of new people, learning the companies processes inside out, it has been a lot to take in!

Give us a short background about yourself?
I was born and bred in Somerset. I took a gap year before university where I worked two jobs, a builder and a barman to save money for university so that I could enjoy it more. Studied Accounting & Management at Univeristy, lucky enough to work in Phoenix, Arizona during my first summer at University doing door to door sales. Graduated in 2011 where I worked a few temp jobs and then did an internship in January based in Dublin with Special Olympics Ireland as a marketing assistant; my first real experience of marketing in a business environment. I then moved to Swansea in march 2012 where I began working for inngot based in technium 1 for 7 months to then move here. 

What is your funniest moment in dezrez?
Probably mistaking the brand bible for something completely different. I haven’t been here that long so I’m sure there’s more to come.

Favourite Film?
Most likely City of God or any of the Lord of the Rings.

What sports teams do you support?

England Obviously, but also Bath rugby as that’s my local. I also play for Dunvant RFC so I support them.

What CDs do you keep in your car, favourite musics/ bands/ artists ?
Don’t have a car but my favourite artist is Damien Rice, mostly into rock though, so Rise Against as well.

Favourite food?
Pizza!! Or Chocolate cake

Most embarrassing moment? 
I accidentally introduced myself as ‘Hi my names Somerset and I’m from Sabas…” during one of my first seminars at University. Needless to say I was then known as Somerset…

I’ve completed a half marathon. Organised and participated in a couple of 100 mile charity walks along the south-west coastal path for meningitis UK.

What dezrez product would you recommend and why? Including additional features and add ons
I really like the dezrez valuation tool, its free and has many benefits for both the agent and customer. You can view all previous valuations, useful for negotiations and carry out valuations on the move, useful for that individual who doesn’t like being a desk junky!

Wilf's Message

Welcome to our final newsletter for 2012. We hope you like the new style. The update is part of our drive to improve the way we communicate with our clients. The newsletter is now delivered to our entire user base, we hope to provide better exposure to our products, and staff giving you tips on their use, our suggestions and information on our partners as well as our regular features. We will be bringing you guest slots from industry experts and our customers. We would love to hear from you if you have something to contribute.
2012 has gone in a flash! Whilst continuously modifying Dezrez and investing in our infrastructure we have also employed a whole new team and developed our property management offering. We are really proud of it. The product is being used by some test agents and the response has been outstanding. We have almost filled up our first batch of take on slots and we will soon be releasing the second batch of slots for existing Dezrez customers. We would love to show you why its different! Give us a call and we can fix up a quick demo...

We have lots of great plans for 2013 and want to keep you up to date with our ideas and progress. Keep your eyes open for our regular newsletters and talk to your account managers and ask how they can help you in 2013?

Thank you for your continued support through 2012. Have a safe and happy Christmas and New Year, from all the team at dezrez.


Our Blog

We've been blogging loads recently. Have a look at our blog and see our most recent articles, they include:

Mirror, Mirror On The Wall, Who Has The Fairest Website Of Them All…You? - 17th December 2012

Dezrez User Voice, Your Voice… - 14th December 2012 

Landlords Love A Login - 10th December 2012

Have You Got A Christmas Turkey? - 6th December 2012 

Get It Right Whenever You Write- 29th November 2012 

Looking For The Next Big Property Star!- 28th November 2012

We have new blog articles out every week so be sure to check in and have a read. We'll be writing about product updates, opinions on property market news, product developments and much more!

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