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What Is a Data Silo—and How Does It Hurt Your Real Estate Business?

Real Estate Software

Do you have a central place to store your data that’s easy to access for your entire team? Or, do you have fragmented data storage that only part of your team can use?

Data Integration on the Mechanism of Metal Gears.

If so, you likely have data silos – where information isn’t accessible throughout your company.

This can make it difficult for you and your team to find what you need when you need it. 

And, it can harm productivity, teamwork, and even cost you financially.

Want to learn more about data silos, how they hurt your business, and what you can do about it? Here’s what you need to know about data silos in real estate. 

What Is a Data Silo?

A data silo is when information is only accessible to part of your team. For example, CRM data that’s supposed to be shared with everyone on your team might only be available to some agents – and not others. This gives agents with access to the data an unfair advantage over agents without the data. 

Why Do Data Silos Happen?

One reason data silos happen is outdated technology. If you track client data on a local spreadsheet, you have to share the spreadsheet with every agent. Then, as agents add to the spreadsheet, they have to re-share it with everyone. It can be hard to remember to share it when you update it – leading to some agents with access to data and others without.

Another reason data silos happen is team culture. If your agents are competitive with each other, they may not share data with other agents. To have an advantage, some team members might purposely withhold data from others – which creates a data silo. 

What Problems Do Data Silos Cause?

Data silos can have a negative impact on your business. Here are some of the problems they cause:

Decreased Productivity

One problem data silos cause is a lack of productivity. When your team wants to do something – like find client info – they have to search multiple places for that data. They might look on their computer, ask team members for the info, or even look for paper copies. This takes up time your team could be spending on productive activities – like converting prospects to clients.

Impaired Teamwork

Two  colleages discussing ideas using a tablet computerAnother issue with data silos is they can hurt teamwork and morale. For your team to work together, everyone needs to access the same data. So, if only part of your team can access crucial info, it can be hard for other team members to work with them.

And, data silos can cause resentment between team members. If only part of your team has the data they need to do their jobs, they have an unfair advantage over the rest of your team. This can breed resentment from the team members who don’t have the data – making it hard for your team to work together. 

Lost Data

Data silos also make it easy to lose data. If important client info is stored on a spreadsheet on one team member’s computer, the data will be lost if the team member’s computer crashes. Or, if that person leaves. So, when you need that info to work with a client again, you can’t find it. Without this info, you could lose out on that client and any referral business.

No Business Overview

Another problem data silos can cause is an inability to see the big picture. When your data is fragmented and stored in so many different places, it can be hard to get an overview of your business, team productivity, accounting, and more. With no way to see how your business is doing, it can be challenging to make the right choices to grow your business.

Increased Costs

One final issue with data silos is they can cost you financially. Data silos can hamper team productivity, which means your team gets less done. They have to spend more time on administrative work than working with clients. So, you have increased administrative costs – while closing fewer transactions. 

How Can You Fix Data Silos?

Data silos can hurt almost every area of your business. So, it’s important to resolve any data silos you have.

One way to fix data silos is to use updated technology. Instead of having one solution to manage transactions, another for agent onboarding, yet another for calculating commissions, you could have a complete back office solution. Rather than having information localized to each solution, your entire back office can seamlessly share data.

And, having cloud-based technology can further eliminate data silos. Cloud technology makes your data available to every team member anywhere. And, cloud solutions automatically update, so everyone has the most recent data. That way, everyone can share data effortlessly – and reduce the time they spend looking for what they need.

Another way to fix data silos is to encourage teamwork. Instead of having a competitive environment where the only way to get ahead is to throw someone under the bus, you should foster cooperation. 

When team members don’t gain anything from withholding data, they won’t purposely create data silos anymore. So, your team can focus on making sure everyone is productive – helping your team close more transactions. And, helping your business be more profitable.

Wrapping It Up

Real estate is an information-based business. Having the right data can be the difference between successfully closing a record number of transactions and going out of business. As such, it’s important that your team has the info they need.

While your team might collectively have all necessary data, they might still be hampered by data silos. Caused by outdated tech or a hostile team culture, data silos restrict important info to only parts of your team. 

To avoid the productivity and monetary costs of data silos, you should make sure your culture is cooperative. And, you should use consolidated and cloud-based tech that allows your entire team to have the most recent data. That way, your team has everything they need to reach and exceed your goals.

Looking for a solution to help eliminate data silos? Brokermint® can help you get rid of silos in your back office. An easy-to-use, complete cloud-based solution for the residential back office, Brokermint has everything you need to run your back office. Integrate with your MLS and CRM and your entire system is a single data flow.

Learn more about how Brokermint can help you consolidate and modernize to eliminate data silos today.