Last week, our Chief Technology Officer George Steven, presented a webinar on how the Real Estate sector could save time and money creating high quality content for property brochures or valuation reports without the need for expensive publishing tools. It was a great success and the feedback from attendees was extremely positive.
As we were putting together the webinar presentation, (I say ‘we’, but it was mostly George!), it occurred to us that the functionality in the software we were demonstrating on the webinar, would be applicable, and also beneficial, not only for the real estate sector.
The webinar’s focus was around creating property brochures or valuation reports more cost effectively and efficiently. George demonstrated a Document Automation platform that supports images and charts, allowing users to easily import these into a Word document. The result is professional looking content, at a fraction of the cost of expensive publishing tools.
Real estate law firms, as well as legal organisations who have an in-house real estate or commercial property team or person, could certainly benefit from this type of software platform to help them create a more streamlined approach to producing high quality content, at significantly less cost.
As part of the webinar, there was a live Q&A session at the end, and attendees asked a number of interesting questions. I’ve outlined a couple of these questions below and their answers.
Q. How much would a solution such as this cost?
A. Pricing is very much dependent upon the needs and use case. The key variables to think about are – how many users you have, how many templates you need to author, and who will be doing that, and how many pages or times each template will be assembled. Assuming you have the database and don’t need any help with that, then pricing should be a pleasant surprise given the Return on Investment (ROI) you will see.
Q. How long will it take me to get onboarded, up to speed and self-sufficient in using it?
A. No more than a couple of hours. So, let me caveat that; you might not be an expert in a couple of hours, but you will be heading in the right direction. The template shown on the webinar did not take long, 2 hours approximately, from starting the template, to having all the variables set. The ROI is enormous at that point. If you can spend a couple of hours creating a template that will reuse content from a database you already have, then you don’t need to do any adjustments, edits or photography work each time you need to produce a document. Once you have built the template, and each time you use it, you should hear the ‘Cha-ching’ of a cash register in your head, and that’s how Document Automation should be.
Q. Can I do this myself?
A. Yes! The key benefits you should look for in Document Automation relate to you being as self-sufficient as possible. You don’t need to be a software developer to author templates for a Document Automation project. If you are comfortable with Microsoft Word and Excel, then this shouldn’t challenge you too much.
There are a couple of key things to remember; when looking at solutions, you shouldn’t just look at the product, you should also look at the company and how they deliver the service; training, pre-delivered templates, help guides, error handling, documentation, ‘wizards’ to help you through common tasks – DocGovern can help you evaluate all these key elements. It’s clear some Document Automation Products are ‘technical’, and some are solutions – most people want solutions to their problems to help with their Return on Investment (ROI).
Q. Are there other solutions that support Images and Charts in this way?
A. Yes, there are a few. In our experience as a Document Automation consultancy company, we run a series of processes (our ‘Continuous Assessment Map’), to appraise ourselves of the marketplace. We are vendor agnostic, and act as an aggregator of Document Automation solutions to ensure we service our Clients’ needs both today and in the future.
There are many solutions in the Document Automation marketplace, many with overlapping functionality – some will have unique benefits that will make them a clear choice for your business. It is all about your individual use case, to ensure you get the best possible solution, or solutions, for your needs.
View the on-demand recording of the webinar in full, and get in touch with DocGovern today to find out more about how to save time and money creating high quality property brochures and content using a Document Automation solution such as this.