Skip to content

Guest Blog: Why Listings Can No Longer Live in Silos

By Youssef Abdelwahab, founder of el-Brokers

Each time an estate agent is faced with a new client request, there is potential for oversights and errors. All too often agents have felt the embarrassment of sending listings to a client only to find they reply asking why you have missed a certain property. The relevant data is most likely available somewhere, but with multiple files saved in different locations on the server, it is very easy to miss it.

For many smaller estate agencies and brokers managing a database is considered a house-keeping task. Whilst it has to be done, it brings no joy and takes away the all-important time that should be spent strengthening client relationships and understanding their requirements to find a dream match and earn revenue.

The problem with navigating through disconnected systems is that estate agents become inefficient and less productive, risking their reputation and slowing the client-base growth. So, why do they still rely on fragmented data sources and how can they realise the tangible benefits of a unified property listing database?

Lack of knowledge and solutions

In a world of digital advancements the majority of agents still use Excel spreadsheets and PowerPoint slides to create listing templates, to keep track of their current properties and clients, and generate reports. This very basic and time consuming solution is often the only one they have come across that suits their small budgets. While it does not require much technical knowledge to manage, it involves a lot of laborious data inputting and heavily relies on colleagues to keep it regularly updated.

The truth is, across the real estate market, there is a shortage of reasonably-priced and industry-specific solutions. Out of the software available, most have been designed for bigger businesses and broader sales management, therefore contain a lot of purposeless and hard-to-navigate features for smaller agents. Whilst realtors are great communicators, they might lack the technical skills needed to fully benefit from the existing solutions. The unnecessary complexity also comes with a price tag most cannot afford. Expensive and not fit-for-purpose tools are, therefore, largely to blame for the current inefficiencies amongst smaller estate agencies.


With various versions of property listings, it is unavoidable that some agents will be ill-informed and miss out on presenting relevant opportunities to clients. Agents often update the wrong file, create a new one on their local computer and forget to share it. Keeping the database updated is incredibly important in real estate, but especially for smaller agencies trying to stand out in the competitive market and in the current remote working climate. Disconnected data leads to disconnected team members, who when struggling to effectively communicate between each other are less likely to be productive and efficient in their jobs.

Having no centralised database not only impacts team communication but also wastes a lot of time. If agents spend a large chunk of their day trying to find the right documents, chasing colleagues, or generating reports, they will inevitably have less time for more critical business tasks. Tedious, admin-heavy jobs can also lower agent’s overall satisfaction and engagement, taking time away from revenue making activities.

Benefitting from a unified database

Consolidating all property and client-related data into a centralised database will help agents streamline their processes and reduce the need and time it takes to chase their colleagues for the latest listings version. I will also help cut down on duplicated and incorrect data entry and organise all information so that agents, even while on the go, can easily access the correct files.

As the agencies grow, siloed listings can become unmanageable and negatively impact agents’ productivity and ability to serve their clients well. With a centralised system agents and brokers can become faster and more efficient in their operations, allowing the growth to happen. Clients will no longer miss out on properties and receive quick, personalised, and consistent information from their agents. They are more likely to be satisfied with the service and recommend the agency, driving its growth.

Realising the possibilities

With specialised web-based productivity solutions now entering the market to counteract the shortage, small estate agencies can finally realise the tangible benefits that a centralised property listing database can bring. Connected data allows greater collaboration between team members, making them more efficient in pursuing leads and creating professional reports. It also helps gain access to a multitude of resources required to compete with much larger rivals. With streamlined processes and a single version of the truth, agents and brokers can focus their efforts on closing more deals, improving profitability and reputational status.