Editors Note: Please be advised that this review is now quite old and many features have been added or improved. We recommend contacting Jupix directly for more info.
If you want to be more efficient, read on…
In an era of so much change and constant innovation for Estate Agents, what are the leading software developers doing to keep there clients ahead of the game? Unfortunately it seems that for some of the more established brands the answer is not much. Or if they are then you will probably have to pay more for the privilege.
EAanalytics.co.uk decided to see if any of the latest contenders really have got what it takes to show the ‘old guard’ a trick or two. We really would like to see a complete ‘out of the box’ solution which treats both sales and letting as a whole business and not two separate entities.
Step forward JUPIX…
JUPIX is one of the new breed of web based solutions designed to manage both sales and lettings from a single application. It can also handle commercial and agricultural however due to time constraints and lack of expertise in these sectors we did not review them.
Our initial reaction to a web based solution was one of trepidation with a multitude of question being raised in relation to reliability and ownership of data amongst other things. However once we started to use the system our doubts were quickly quashed and outweighed by the benefits on offer.
Designed to increase productivity
When using JUPIX it becomes quite clear that it has been designed to increase productivity and has been done so with the Estate Agent in mind. Every task flows onto the next in such a way that even an inexperienced user would find it difficult to go wrong. New options become available once previous tasks have been completed and you find yourself being guided in a logical way to the next step. For example booking a viewing will then open up the option to note the feedback and then give you the option to book a 2nd viewing or make an offer. The whole process feels very logical and well thought out.
Under the hood
Once you log in to your own personalised JUPIX account you are welcomed by an informative and customisable home screen with dashboard facility. It is from this screen that you may quickly identify any outstanding tasks and be notified of all the latest activity. You will wonder what you ever did without it. From outstanding maintenance jobs to the latest hot applicant this screen tells you everything you need to know to keep your business running at peak efficiency and more effectively. We particularly liked the Newsreel feature which gives the user a ‘play by play’ run down of all the latest activity.
To the left hand side of the screen there is a static menu bar with handy shortcuts to the most used features, but the real star here is the to-do list. This simple addition will prove to be invaluable as you quickly note tasks against properties or people which are then added to the list and stay there until completed. That’s right you can throw your plan of the day book and your scrap bit of note paper away!
The user interface is clean and crisp with a very modern and logical layout. Our only gripe would be that the property/person records read like essays with lines and lines of text. JUPIX have tried to solve this by adding static ‘Quick Link’ bars at the top and bottom of the screen but it still feels a bit unusual. However we should stress that this is something that we could easily get used to. The tabbed design allows the user to have more than one record or task open simultaneously which saves time not having to close one record to open another, perfect for all the multi-taskers out there. The whole thing fits together seamlessly with a series of clicks and links and you never seem far from the info or task that you require.
As a database JUPIX handles the day to day basic functions with ease. Entering applicants, matching properties and booking viewings are a doddle. Valuation booking, diary management and entering property details are also very easy to do. The system also handles sales progression very easily although we found the layout of this feature a little confusing at first. We are certain a future update could easily fix this. At time of writing we were unable to access the letter database or see how the system handles marketing so are unable to comment on JUPIX effectiveness in terms of communication with clients. We are however advised that this functionality is fully operational with the relevant letters being produced at key milestones.
It was pleasing to see JUPIX come to the table with a package that also handles lettings at no extra cost. This in itself could represent a saving of thousands when compared to buying two separate systems to handle one business! In fact those who have already invested heavily in to a sales system and now find themselves having to do the same again for lettings should take extra note. In this day and age it’s simply a waste of time and money, paying for two systems with two separate support contracts should be avoided no matter how good those individual systems claim to be.
Unfortunately, due to the complex nature of lettings management and the time needed to simulate the whole management process, we were unable to give this function a thorough road test. We did scratch the surface and can tell you that everything you need seems to be present. However with the varying needs of different agents when it comes to management invoicing and paying rents, we would suggest that you contact JUPIX directly if you have any specific requirements.
Whilst JUPIX handles all the regular stuff really well and is quite future proof, we would have liked to see a new system come up with something……new. With so many agents using social media as a way to communicate it would have been nice to see some sort of integration. Maybe a live twitter feed or some way to update your profiles from the software itself.
We also couldn’t find a way to easily handle canvassing and mail merging through the system which is an integral part of today’s business. The reporting functions were rather limited and if JUPIX are to position themselves as a ‘complete’ solution then we would expect better handling of figures with the ability to forecast business into future months. Maybe some sort of feature to let negotiators see how they are doing against each other would be nice. The wish list goes on…but we must remember that these omissions and our wishes have no effect on the value or effectiveness of this product.
For a relatively new system the software works as though it’s an integral part of the business with years of thought behind it. Having mystery shopped the support team we can also tell you that you wont be let down by them either. We would have like to have seen some extra features, like social media integration built in, or maybe some sort of canvassing functions too. To Be honest we are just probably nit picking.
The fact that there is no major initial outlay is in itself a reason to give JUPIX a go, you have nothing to lose, they can even import your data from another system!