A real estate company in Maryland streamlined operations by moving email and other operations to the cloud, reports Greg Masters.
Like any small-business owner, Syreeta Saunders-Keys relies on speed and efficiency to sustain and grow the operation of her real estate business. Time spent doing anything other than prospecting for new business is time wasted, she says. That's why she went shopping for a solution that allows her to maintain files and company operations in a streamlined manner. She also wanted to be able to centralize all email traffic. Even more important, she desired the company's IT solution to be scalable so that it could grow without reinventing the wheel or take an inordinate amount of time to bring staff up to speed on processes.The business that Saunders-Keys owns, the Keys2Day Real Estate Team based in Columbia, Md., consists of three salespeople, one marketing manager and one assistant, with an IT staff of one. While the staff is small, the business encompasses several Maryland counties. So streamlining its various operations was essential.
“The goal was to develop a solution that solved all of our known issues and even some we were not aware of,” says Saunders-Keys (left), the recipient of a number of sales awards. She has also appeared on a few real estate TV shows.A search led by the team's marketing manager and CEO began, but they were unsatisfied with the options they were uncovering, which offered only pieces of a puzzle that would have involved several different vendors.
The costs were a big issue in the selection process, says Saunders-Keys. “In today's environment, you have to watch every penny. But you still want as much value as you can get.”Eventually, the team discovered InfoStreet, a software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. InfoStreet offers a cloud collaboration solution, which allows its users to log into their company intranet system from any web browser using a secure login and password, says Keyon Thomas, channel manager at InfoStreet. From there, depending on the tools that have been deployed for the company – such as email, email archiving, calendars, shared calendars, file sharing, portal/FTP, employee directory, knowledge base, CRM and/or task management, conference calling, mobile sync, and more – the user will have everything immediately accessible to them.
“InfoStreet centralized everything,” Saunders-Keys says. “The features, such as shared calendar and file sharing, are among the options that we really love. We also were big on support. Salespeople can reel you in with sizzle, but is there any steak? Without a doubt the solution we chose, InfoStreet, has all those things in abundance.”