Propertybase Drives Business Forward for Boutique New York Real Estate Brokerage
Coming from a background in the arts, having been an actress in New York, Teresa Stephenson decided to transition into real estate about a decade ago.
Her first job was as an agent for Platinum Properties in New York, and she’s been there ever since. Four years into the job, she began overseeing residential sales before adding residential leasing and commercial to the mix. Today, she serves as the firm’s president.
While the past year has been challenging, as a firm, Platinum Properties has made tremendous efforts to keep things as close to normal as possible.
“For us, there have been a lot of silver linings,” says Stephenson. “In addition to maintaining almost all of our agents and growing our team by 50% in the past year, we started shooting virtual tours of everything, and I was shocked at how many people were willing to transact without seeing the properties.”
While it wasn’t the year everyone would have wanted, Stephenson describes the past 12 months as being “solid.” The firm is beginning to see tremendous growth—especially among rentals, as people are seizing the opportunity to upgrade in order to take advantage of lower rental prices.
“Tons of people are moving,” says Stephenson. “The sales market in New York City during the pandemic was different than in the rest of the country. We didn’t have a cut and dry seller’s market with low inventory. It was a good opportunity for buyers. But as people move back into the city, and there is a new optimism among all buyers, we are starting to see a surge in signed contracts and less willingness to negotiate among sellers.”
One way the firm keeps itself at the head of the game is through its partnership with
Propertybase, which provides CRM software, web design, marketing, lead generation and back-office help.
“We had used Salesforce previously, so it wasn’t a completely foreign idea to us, as Propertybase is built on Salesforce, although they’ve taken it to a whole new level,” says Stephenson. “Not only was Salesforce too complicated for us, but we didn’t have a dedicated person on staff, and we weren’t sure what to do next. We just knew it wasn’t working the way we were using it.”
This prompted Stephenson to begin looking for a more practical CRM.
“I knew I wanted something simple, but after looking at all of the options on the market, I realized we weren’t willing to sacrifice customization and in-depth data. The more I looked at Propertybase, the more excited I got,” says Stephenson. “In real estate, data is king, and I didn’t think the other CRMs were anywhere close to providing the detail that Propertybase does. It’s really the sweet spot in terms of providing everything you need while still being something that you can get your team to adopt and understand.”
The firm also hired a CRM manager who Stephenson worked with for about six months to tailor Propertybase to exactly what she wanted it to be.
“We launched it at the end of March 2020, right when the lockdown started,” adds Stephenson. “Having a successful CRM launch virtually, while teaching people how to use Zoom and virtual tours, is a pretty good indicator that you have a good system and a good team. It was important that we hired an outstanding CRM manager to lead the charge and partnership with Propertybase.”
Over the last year, Platinum Properties has continued to improve and customize the platform, and Stephenson feels that the firm is getting everything they can out of the platform today.
Stephenson also points to the support that the team at Propertybase continues to provide and appreciates that they are always available to answer questions and help them fit the system to the firm’s needs.
“Having the system in place and getting the agents to adopt it not only gives everyone the data they need, but also helps create the culture where agents understand their business overall,” concludes Stephenson. “It makes our agents think much more like business owners, rather than just dealmakers, and I think that is key for reaching their potential.”
For more information, please visit www.propertybase.com.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.