RE/MAX Premier Realty Case Study
RE/MAX Premier Realty is sold on ShoreTel IP telephony
Needed to one up the competition
The company needed a more modern telephony system to attract new agents and give them the tools to better service clients.
Future-proof and flexible in a fast-paced environment
RE/MAX Premier Realty provides top-quality real estate services and support to its clients by creating an exceptional workplace for its associates that fosters outstanding achievement. The company’s success can be attributed to providing its agents with tools that give them a significant competitive advantage.
Says Larry Van Ness, founder and president/CEO of RE/MAX Premier Realty, “I wanted to ensure that our agents were able to maximize the power of technology to stay in touch with clients more efficiently and effectively. For us, our technology had to be the competitive advantage strategy from day one, entering into this marketplace.”
In the quest for a new telephony system, Van Ness came up with a list of three vendors: Avaya, Nortel, and ShoreTel. Van Ness placed priority on ease of use, ease of management, and cost of ownership in terms of how long the system would last. “ShoreTel is a technology that we feel we can use for years to come without becoming obsolete. By that, I mean the end user does not need to become expert on old technology in order to interact with the system, but rather the ShoreTel system is ‘smart’ enough to intuitively interact with you to work on your terms,” says Van Ness.
He also notes that the ShoreTel system is easy to make changes to as far as moves, adds, and changes (MACs), which is an absolute necessity in the real estate world.
ShoreTel raises the bar on client satisfaction
ShoreTel’s reseller designed the new phone system and rolled it out in a matter of two days. Realtors and other employees were trained on the system features in half-hour sessions, but most found the ShoreTel Phones intuitive enough to figure out on their own.
The IP telephony solution extends to the organization’s headquarters, and Van Ness has implemented a VPN connection to his home office on the system, which allows him to securely make changes to the system whenever necessary. Four-digit dialing is supported, caller-ID shows the headquarters number, and long-distance numbers are routed through headquarters, which makes Van Ness’ location transparent.
Premier Productivity for Premier Realty
With the ShoreTel system in place, all RE/MAX Premier Realty employees are now on the same phone and voicemail system. The ShoreTel system, which is integrated directly with Microsoft Outlook on users’ desktop computers, provides integrated messaging, such as directory dialing, contact screen pop, and calendar integration. With the email integration, employees have central management of their email and voicemail activity.
Built-in mobility makes realtors always accessible
ShoreTel’s powerful Find Me feature allows employees to configure the system so that callers reach them—for instance, on their cell phone or home phone. “It’s important for a realtor to always be in touch with their clients,” says Van Ness.
Conversely, realtors don’t always have to call into voicemail to see if they have a message—they can see if they have a message right on their phone, which is handy since most realtors are in the office only 10 percent of the time.
“I WANTED TO ENSURE THAT OUR AGENTS WERE ABLE TO MAXIMIZE THE POWER OF TECHNOLOGY TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH CLIENTS MORE EFFICIENTLY AND EFFECTIVELY. FOR US, OUR TECHNOLOGY HAD TO BE THE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE STRATEGY FROM DAY ONE, ENTERING INTO THIS MARKETPLACE.”
Larry Van Ness, Founder and President/CEO
RE/MAX Premier Realty
The quality of the speakerphone on the ShoreTel system has not gone unnoticed by RE/MAX Premier Realty agents. “The agents love the speakerphone quality,” explains Van Ness. “Speakerphones enable agents to review multiple listing directories on their computers at the same time they’re talking to a client on the phone. Everything ShoreTel gives us is beneficial in terms of productivity or customer satisfaction.”
ShoreTel’s workgroups also provide backup for RE/MAX Premier Realty receptionists so that callers are assured that someone answers their calls rather than being sent to voicemail during business hours.
Ease of Management
RE/MAX Premier Realty uses ShoreTel Director, a browser-based management interface that allows Van Ness to make changes or add news users. To add a new user, it is simply a matter of clicking “add new” and entering the user’s name, which automatically updates the centralized database and every voice switch.
“We just hired a couple of agents from a competing organization, and before they’d finished signing the papers, I had their phones up and running and I was able to take them back to their offices,” says Van Ness. “They were simply amazed—it’s just never been like that.”
Scalability is another key to the future for RE/MAX Premier Realty. “We are excited to leverage ShoreTel because our business plan calls for the addition of more offices very soon,” explains Van Ness. “I can simply add to our existing infrastructure, install a T1 between sites, purchase additional phones, and do all of the management and support from this location. What a breeze!”
Reliability is also improved for RE/MAX Premier Realty. “The ShoreTel system works just like it’s advertised to work, right out of the box,” says Van Ness. “It’s high quality and has a reliability factor that would make any company proud. In short, ShoreTel does what it says it can do and it doesn’t break down.”
ShoreTel Eliminates Complexity and Minimizes Costs
“Our recruiting and retention is made easier by our stellar technology platform, of which ShoreTel is a critical component,” concludes Van Ness. “Because the real estate business is so phone-and-client-intensive, we simply could not risk a technology platform that wasn’t capable of delivering exceptional quality and reliability. I have and will continue to highly recommend ShoreTel as the phone system of choice to others. Too often, small companies think they can’t have what the big Fortune 500 companies have because of complexity and high cost. ShoreTel eliminates both of those challenges.”
“TOO OFTEN, SMALL COMPANIES THINK THEY CAN’T HAVE WHAT THE BIG FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES HAVE BECAUSE OF COMPLEXITY AND HIGH COST. SHORETEL ELIMINATES BOTH OF THOSE CHALLENGES.”
RE/MAX Premier Realty needed to set itself apart in a competitive marketplace, and focused on providing advanced technology to surpass customer demands and keep talented agents.
ShoreTel provided the real estate agency with an IP telephony solution, including ShoreTel Voice Switches and ShoreTel IP Phones.
- Clients have remote access to agents
- Easy to manage in-house
- New agents can plug in and rapidly become productive