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Welcome to the August edition of the dezrez newsletter! We have got all the usual including our top ten agents as well as the website of the month.

We have been working hard to replace the ageing wishlist submission and we think we have found the perfect solution, to find out what we've come up with carry on reading.

To top it all, our MD, Wilf Lewis, talks about the crazy goings on over the last few weeks and Laura Liddell wants you to know dezrez legal is not a panel! read on....


MD talks about some positive signs

It’s been a strange few weeks out there.  The usual summer holiday slowdown is well upon us.  Armageddon style scenes have been witnessed in London, Manchester and Birmingham and the S&P downgrading of the US credit rating causing a stock market crash!  Lots of negative property stuff in the press, “prices at 19 month low”, “pessimism stalks housing market”, “mortgage lending subdued” enough, enough!!  

Agents are still reporting “steady as she goes”! It’s tough out there but people are rolling with the punches and getting on with it.  Believe it or not we have seen some positive signs.  We are talking to lots of start-up agents here at Dezrez – Individuals with a vision, who want to get stuck in and give it a go! Many of our group agents have been re-opening branches that closed at the start of the credit crunch.  New agencies have been opening up second offices and flourishing.  This is fantastic – we love to see agents succeed.  These start-up businesses have been conceived in difficult times and only understand operating with purse strings drawn tight! A great platform to build from!  So it’s not all bad out there.

We are doing what we can to assist agents.  Roll out of “mydezrez” is gathering pace – you really must see it – it will make your life easier.  We are just testing our Uservoice functionality – a platform to allow agents to see system modifications and make suggestions.  Expect a notification on our login screen soon or have a look now  www.dezrez.com/wishlist.asp (you will need your dezrez username and password). We have made some changes to speed up the property section of our software and are very pleased with the results.  In addition we are doing some final testing to help open cards, diary schedules and wizards more quickly.  We are releasing this imminently.

Happy with the service we give you, and would like a link, and some coverage on our website, why not send us some pictures of your office, cars, boards, staff party – anything interesting.  Fill in our testimonial form; we are launching our new site soon.  We’d love to have you on there.

Wilf



The wishlist is no more! Welcome to Uservoice

Welcome to Uservoice - This gives you the chance to suggest how we should modify dezrez and report any bugs that you find.



LOG IN TO USERVOICE HERE

What will happen to your suggestions?
 
Both staff and other users of dezrez will be able to comment on your suggestions. We hope that together the community will be able to identify those ideas that would be useful to the majority of people. Some suggestions may be small changes, some may be large projects and some may not be possible. We will try and give thorough explanations on the work involved for all suggestions made and in those instances where we cannot embark on a project, explain why. Suggestions that are chosen will then be scoped and fitted into our development cycles. It is very unlikely that we will be able to start work immediately as work is determined by the area in which it sits as well as the other projects being worked on. We will keep our users up to date with expected start dates, details on progress and estimated completion times via the Uservoice pages and emails.

How does the Voting work?

You are given 10 votes for each forum. Allocate them to those suggestions you would find useful. Allocate multiple votes if you really like the suggestion. Don’t worry if a new idea appears that you like more, swap your votes from one idea to another. And when a suggestion is completed the votes are returned to you.

Get Involved

Please get involved... comment on other suggestions and use your votes. Only by contributing will your voice be heard. Please be patient in the initial period as obviously we are expecting a rush of requests at the inception of this system. All good suggestions will be stored and we will work our way through those over time. Feel free to contact us should you wish to find out a little about our development process.

Thanks for your involvement - You can log into Uservoice HERE



It’s tight out there breathe in everybody

Dezrezlegal are looking at our pricing structure at the moment. We’re not a factory/panel conveyancing firm, we employ all our staff directly and have all the associated overheads that go with it. We have built the business at a time when a persistently tough economic climate has caused a lot of legal firms to close their conveyancing departments all together. The ones that are left are fighting for business in an environment where clients want to save every penny and estate agents want as much of a kick back as they can possibly get to help with staff costs, office rents, and electricity bills. We’ve done rather well despite these obstacles and I see no reason why we won’t continue to do so.

We’re finding that competition has pushed conveyancing revenue down to as little as &200 a case while factory or panel options are attracting more and more internet savvy clients onto their books. By offering fees for as little as &89 + Vat directly to the client or pushing their fees down to very low levels in order to pay agents high commissions, these firms operate conveyancing departments as loss leaders for other areas of the business or make a profit by cutting corners and piling work high and in some cases by off shoring sections of the process to individuals untrained to deal with any legal queries they may face.

I often wonder what a client expects when they say to us over the phone that they have received a cheaper quote elsewhere. You can always get a cheaper quote but I firmly believe ‘cheap’ and ‘value for money’ are two completely different things. I’d love to follow these clients up with a phone call 8 weeks down the line to ask if they feel the &199 + VAT fee  they paid for their conveyancing represented value for money when purchasing their &250,000 + property.

Similar how many agents out there continue to put up with sub standard conveyancers purely because they get promised probate work a few times a year or the referral commission on offer is above the &200 we find tips dezrezlegal fees into being uncompetitive in most areas. Surely it can’t be worth the extra work involved having to constantly chase them up, or explain to the client why they are closed for lunch, or why they persistently fail to return your calls or emails.

I’ve always tried to offer genuine ‘value for money’ to clients who use dezrezlegal. I never tell them we are the cheapest as I don’t feel it’s the right image we or our agents want to portray. We are not a factory firm, we staff appropriately for the amount of case work we have on our books. We aren’t faceless, all our clients have direct dials and email address for their conveyancer and their assistants. We use modern technology to help our clients and agents complete as quickly as possible. We reward loyalty from our agents with reasonable referral commissions. Most importantly we are part of dezrez so have a vested interest in keeping you happy and maintaining the good name of your business.

These challenges keep the job interesting. I wonder when the bottom line will be reached, will we all be led down the path of pile them high, sell them cheap, rely on the insurance conveyancing or will clients realise that in order to do a good job a conveyancer must be trained in their field and they must be paid accordingly for the knowledge they provide. I hear these points made quite frequently by estate agents wishing to maintain a healthy percentage fee for their services and expertise.



Integrated Tenant Referencing

Welcome to our new dezrez integrated tenant referencing powered by Van Mildert. Read on to find out how you can get a one week free trial.
Click here to read Integrated Tenant Referencing.



Is there a multimap alternative?

There must be a fair few Estate Agents out there that were shocked to find that the maps to their properties suddenly stopped working the other day. Instead of a map on a brochure there was this message from Multimap saying:

Estate Agents To Find New Maps For Brochues

Multimap.com has discontinued it’s mapping service and moved over to Bing maps. This is explained on their website multimap is moving.

So what does this mean for Estate Agents?

Multimap was the most convenient service to automatically place a map on a brochure and print it out, it was also free for Estate Agents. After dealing with the initial flurry of calls from you wondering what has happened to Multimap, we have come up with some alternative services you could use. OpenStreetMap provides all the functionality needed for displaying and printing maps on property particulars, and we are able to switch our agents over to this new service now. Goview is another service that Estate Agents can take advantage of with a range of map options available too.

Does anyone use any other mapping services on their property brochures?



Top 10 Agents

Our Top 10 Estate Agents For July

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.



Website Of The Month

letzmove estate agents website

I am pleased to announce www.letzmove.net as our website of the month for August. The site was designed and built by The Property Jungle, who have implemented our XML feed, creating a well built and attractive site.

Letzmoves distinctive colour scheme has been used to good effect, drawing attention to important information.  The layout is also uncluttered, making good use of the page area.

A priority is also placed on providing ways for the customer to contact the agent, with the phone number readily visible on every page, along with links to register for a valuation/callback.

Congratulations to The Property Jungle and Letzmove!



New training courses for Estate Agents

We know our agents want to be dezrez experts and embrace our new technologies but taking a day out of the office needs to be justified. To make this decision easier we have created a new suite of affordable courses with great deals. We want to show you how to improve your usage of dezrez,  improve business, win instructions,  market your business successfully and use the latest  technology to stay ahead of the competition.

Training courses

  • Lettings start to finish
  • Marketing – stay ahead of your competitors
  • Valuers day – winning instructions
  • Social media course
  • Managers day – reporting on your business

Find out more about our new training courses, or pop our training team a call on 0845 465 2222 or email training@dezrez.com

Keep an eye out for two new training venues coming soon in Birmingham and Bristol



New Property Portals

Our Latest Property Portals Available

Get the edge on the competition and show the world your properties with over 60 portals onboard already. In addition to these, dezrez is continuously looking to increase your reach and response by building relationships with more and more portals. The following latest portals are available:

 

London2let

London2let.com - London's very own dedicated property portal!

Our aim is to provide the most comprehensive source of rental property in London, thus giving both potential tenants and letting agents a significant advantage in the rental market.

We display thousands of studios, houses and flats to rent in London! Recruiting more and more letting agents and estate agents every month, London2let is growing rapidly and aims to become London's premier property rental website.

London2let.com is owned and operated by Compass Digital Media Ltd (7389506) who have recognised the need for a London-Specific property rental website.

Our company directors have, between them, over 40 years of working within the media and this stronghold position has allowed us to create an innovative, easy-to-use and functional online property search tool.

www.london2let.com

 

Kent Homes

First launched in summer 2005, as a complement to KM Group's weekly property supplements, Kent Homes is focused 100% on buyers and tenants looking for property in Kent and Medway. Featuring an extensive property database, with properties for sale or to rent through all the main agents across the county, you can browse quickly and easily through thousands of homes available, and set up alerts, save searches and properties of interest.

In our Find Agents section, you can find a complete list of all estate and letting agents featured on the site. Our site is promoted across all KM Group multimedia channels (14 newspapers, 7 radio stations, 13 websites).

www.kenthomes.co.uk

 

UK Land & Farms

UK Land & Farms is the new online marketplace for land, farms and rural property in the UK. It is a website operated by the Agricultural Mortgage Corporation Plc (‘AMC’), who launched the site in May 2008 having identified a market need for a website which brings together rural Agents, both big and small.

About AMC

AMC is a market leader in the provision of medium and long term secured loans to the farming industry in the UK. The company is a member of the Lloyds Banking Group, one of the largest financial services groups in Europe, having been purchased by Lloyds TSB Bank Plc in 1993.

 AMC has been lending exclusively to the agricultural industry since 1928, and today has a 40% share of the medium to long-term market in the UK. AMC lend for a wide range of business purposes, including:

·         Land purchase

·         Repayment of existing bank borrowing

·         Building improvements

·         Purchase partner’s share

·         Working capital

 www.uklandandfarms.co.uk

 

Property Penguin

Property Penguin is the region's newest and fastest growing property portal. Tens of thousands of properties are listed by the North East's leading estate agent's everyday!

 www.propertypenguin.com

 




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