RE/MAX Eastside Brokers, Inc. and RE/MAX Metro Realty, Inc. (RE/MAX Metro | Eastside) are two real estate brokerages operated as a single Organization which provide tools, servicesand support to Real Estate Agents. These award-winning brokerages have done business in the Pacific Northwest region of America for over 20 years and have approximately 280 Agents combined. RE/MAX Eastside Brokers and RE/MAX Metro together consistently rank high in total sales volume for the Pacific Northwest Region, with RE/MAX Eastside Brokers ranking #1 the last 4 years.
A far-reaching company needs a dynamic telephony system and RE/MAX Metro | Eastside found that their previous Avaya and Toshiba phone systems were completely outdated. RE/MAX Metro | Eastside needed to deliver mobility to its agents, allowing them to answer their business phone extensions and respond to digital communications from anywhere. The old systems had also become very expensive to manage, as few technicians were familiar with the PBX’s and consultants were expensive. They needed a new modern phone system that could handle 50 simultaneous calls and around 400 extensions/DID’s – and one that would deliver significant on going cost savings as well.
Software Based PBX
IT manager Dustin T. Adam sought specifically for a software based PBX. And one that runs on Windows: “As IT Manager for my company I don’t believe in hardware solutions for a simple reason: when a piece of hardware is engineered, it is engineered to perform a specific function for its operational lifetime. Software on the other hand can expand, can adapt and change as needs arise over time. The 3CX phone system fell perfectly into my vision of standardizing company infrastructure on software as much as possible to give the company maximum flexibility, giving us the ability to respond and adapt.”
Because 3CX was Windows based, it could be easily monitored and integrated with Microsoft Windows server applications such as Exchange Server. Running on Windows Server, it also gave RE/MAX Metro | Eastside additional piece of mind, as it complimented their investment on Microsoft Standards.
$80,000 Up Front Investment Saved
Of course RE/MAX Metro | Eastside requested quotes from all major PBX vendors. Dustin found the average price for a replacement infrastructure for both offices, including the desk phones, to be $100,000 or more. With 3CX, Dustin could do a lot of the design and implementation himself, and together with Summit Services, a 3CX Premium partner, the whole PBX implementation could be done for approximately $20,000. A substantial $80,000 in project costs was saved up front. Further savings are likely as RE/MAX Metro | Eastside expands the system in future: Adding lines or phones with 3CX is easy and inexpensive, unlike with a traditional or proprietary PBX.
$20,000 Per Year Of Ongoing Cost Savings
An additional estimated $20,000 is being saved annually by unifying the RE/MAX Metro | Eastside Seattle office’s independent telephone system together with the Bellevue phone system. The nearly $1,700 per month telephony costs for the RE/MAX Metro Realty office will drop to around $200. Furthermore, considerable administration time is saved because only one system needs to be administered.
Additional time and cost savings are also realized through the flexibility of the 3CX software package. Previously, if changes to the phone system were required, a third party would have to come out to program the system. The ability of an internal resource to create new extensions, set up queues and ring groups and manage call forwarding saves significant time and money.
Furthermore 3CX has increased agent and staff productivity in the following ways:
- The Integration between 3CX and Microsoft Exchange 2007 allowed RE/MAX Metro | Eastside to re-direct the main business number to the Microsoft Exchange Auto Attendant. Instead of staff answering and manually routing all incoming calls, now they only answer and handle calls which need special attention. By having 3CX and Exchange route calls, the number of calls staff had to answer was reduced by around 70% and there was an improved quality of call transfer.
- 3CX Assistant allows RE/MAX Metro | Eastside to improve productivity with presence, desktop based call control and extension management.
One of the biggest advantages for RE/MAX Metro | Eastside was that 3CX gave its agents and staff increased mobility. RE/MAX Metro | Eastside estate agents need to be able to work 24 /7, with an infrastructure in place to support their needs regardless of business hours. RE/MAX Metro | Eastside also wanted to provide significantly better service to its agents that are based from a home office. With 3CX they can work while they are out in the field or even at home thanks to the easy remote extension facility. This functionality is especially valuable for RE/MAX Metro | Eastside, whose agents operate in a wide geographic region that encompasses not only Seattle, Bellevue and Puget Sound but also the significant number of agents travel throughout the US and Internationally. The investment in 3CX and Microsoft Technology allows RE/MAX Metro | Eastside to provide an infrastructure to agents, wherever they are doing business at home or around the globe.
Unified Communications and Increased Competitiveness
RE/MAX Metro | Eastside is undergoing a 3-year technology refresh to provide its Agents with the best Tools, Services and Support. RE/MAX began by standardizing its core infrastructure on Microsoft Technologies; replacing its telecommunications infrastructure was the next step after building that foundation. 3CX gives RE/MAX Metro | Eastside the ability to craft unique Unified Communications solutions that no other Real Estate Brokerage in the Pacific Northwest offers, giving RE/MAX Metro | Eastside a competitive advantage. And the significant cost savings provide revenue that can be directed towards other infrastructure improvement goals.
Ease of installation and use
“3CX was remarkably flexible and easy to install,” Mr Adam explained. “It was also extremely simple to manage, and being able to run 3CX on Windows Server offers great peace of mind. Meanwhile 3CX and our 3CX Premium Partner Summit Services have provided excellent support.”
RE/MAX Metro | Eastside also suggested a number of improvements to 3CX software: Dustin cited instant messaging, dynamic presence and presence awareness rules as features that would further enhance the software. Instant messaging is being delivered in version 8 of 3CX Phone System, and because 3CX is entirely software based it will be easy for 3CX to work on the other requested features and deliver these as software updates.
Mr Adam is already very happy with the results. “I’d give 3CX 10 out of 10. It is the perfect solution for any business.” he said.
Summit Services, a 3CX premium partner helped to implement 3CX for RE/MAX. Established in 1998, Summit is a full service IT solution provider and builds custom 3CX solutions for secure environments such as medical facilities, banking industry and a diverse portfolio of business clients. Apart from planning, deployment and maintenance of IT and IP Phone networks, Summit Services also develops secure and efficient software for electronic payment processing, tracking and accountability.
- 3CX Enterprise Edition 64SC software IPPBX for Windows
- 18 Snom 320 phones
- 5 Snom 370 phones
- 100 Unicorn 410 phones
Results and Benefits
- $80,000 project cost savings
- $20,000 + yearly ongoing cost savings
- Improved productivity for staff
- Reduced administration and eliminated need for 3rd party to manage phone system extensions
- Ability to allow agents to work from anywhere
- Allows IT to manage the entire phone system infrastructure from anywhere