My apologies for not posting in some time. Today, I do have some news to share.
Rather than make business2 readers wait until this seeps out publicly, I’m going to give you a heads up on two things that are happening at realestate.com.au today.
I’m sorry that I probably won’t be able to participate in the comment stream today. But, I didn’t want that to keep me from telling you about this.
In the first change, the company’s Agent Solutions Group (which provides the HubOnline Software) is making some changes that will be of interest to anyone using HubOnline. Here’s the email they sent to HubOnline 1 customers today:
Over the past three months, REA have had a number of projects to investigate and understand what HubOnline customers (as well as customers of competing real estate Customer Relationship Management packages) need, use and value in their solutions.
As a result, we are announcing a roadmap for making some important and meaningful improvements to the version of HubOnline that you are currently using.
We intend to release improvements to HubOnline over the coming half-year. These will include:
- Simplifying the application to improve the user experience and reduce training requirement
- Improved performance speed of the CRM application
- Improved speed for vendors and buyers viewing your website
- Improved system stability and availability
- Improved disaster recovery and protection of your data
Some of you know that we have had an R&D project underway that would have eventually resulted in a newer version of HubOnline on a different platform. Based on the user research we have done, we have determined that this is simply not the best way forward for the majority of our customers who want a simpler CRM solution, rather than a more complex one with advanced features. The research tells us that most agents want easy-to-use and reliable software that provides an agent website, export to multiple portals and services, good (but basic) contact management and reporting. Therefore, our intention is to focus on making these improvements to the current product.
We believe that this will get you more improvement in a shorter time-frame, and will ultimately meet your needs better, than the more complex solution we were building. Again, this is not just our opinion, but is based on the feedback we have received from our customers and the customers of other Australian real estate CRM applications.
What do you need to do? Nothing. Because HubOnline is offered as a “Software As a Service” over the internet, you will receive the benefits of these improvements as they become available. We will communicate improvements beforehand, and as is our normal practice, will design and release them to minimise disruption.
Thank you for being our customer, and we hope that you will see these improvements as a net benefit to your business.
The HubOnline team made another announcement, too. Here are some excerpts from the letter mailed yesterday to customers of the Trust Accounting product lines–including Clarke Computers SalesTrust and RentTrust.
REA has agreed to sell its Trust Accounting product line to Rockend Technology Pty Ltd (Rockend). This means that from December 12th, 2008, your contract for the Clark Computers products will be assigned to Rockend. Rockend will also provide future services and customer support. You can reach Rockend on 1 300 657 700.
We have selected Rockend to take over your customer relationship in respect of trust accounting services because of its experience in trust accounting. Rockend has been recognized by the Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) with both state and national awards for its excellence in supporting customers.
We believe that this change is in the best interest of our Trust Accounting customers as Rockend has proven its commitment to the excellent customer service and support.
Rockend have informed us that it is their intention to continue supporting these products for the foreseeable future, and over time to help customers make an easy transition to the core Rockend products. You do not need to take any action for this change to occur and there should not be any disruption to your support services, although the team will be physically moving to the Rockend office on December 12, so responses may be delayed on that day.
I would like to thank you for being a trust accounting customer of the REA Group. We look forward to continuing to provide you with our range of other services.