AgentBrokerage

Despite small flaws, Zapelo is smart real estate workflow software

Platform will shine if you use it the right way

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Takeaways:

  • Zapelo is enterprise real estate office management software with a misplaced drip marketing solution.
  • It allows brokerages to offer or manage in-software advertising of preferred vendors.
  • The company will white-label solution for brokerages.

The pitch

Zapelo helps brokerages and agents manage all facets of their business, from drip marketing to transactions.

  • Type of software: Brokerage workflow management.
  • Platform(s): All primary browsers, mobile-responsive.
  • Ideal for: Larger brokerages seeking an end-to-end office management solution that includes marketing tools.

Top selling points

  • Easy on the eyes: Zapelo is expertly designed software and consolidates lots of data in a sleek UI.
  • Integrated email: Integrates in-system email, business and personal, into a clean, Gmail-like inbox.
  • Just the facts: Busy brokers can get quick, thorough insight via Activity Feed.

Things to consider

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The Task tool, as it relates to steps in a transaction, allows brokerages to embed branded reminders from preferred vendors, like inspectors, appraisers and so on. Asking for payment is optional. However, this feature seems like an added bit of oversight required by brokers or system admins. Why not a separate list of regional vendors? Or just an uploaded document?

The close

Zapelo put a lot of energy into its user interface. It’s visually compelling software that supports its functionality from start to finish.

Your lineup of activity is presented neatly through individual “cards.” Eyes and pointers can shift quickly to see and open tasks, comments and documents.

Overall, I believe Zapelo to be very capable office and transaction workflow software. I have a problem with one aspect of its functionality, however.

I think the drip marketing features are misplaced. This part of the tool would make a better stand-alone product.

Dashboard-Zapelo

The template designs are modern and easy to assemble and send. They even have a resource library for ideas on what to write about in a newsletter or blog post.

To me, this aspect of the solution seems out of place, especially if company branding standards aren’t enforced or approval isn’t required before an agent sends a few messages.

Zapelo is 85 percent about what happens during and after a listing. That’s how I would use it. In that respect, Zapelo will make for a smart investment.

Tasks, systemwide activities and a list of transactions are all visible via the initial Dashboard.

You can drill down into transactions or view their progress on a bar graph. Zapelo makes it very easy to get a 50,000-foot view of your office’s daily activity and then zoom in on the individuals making it all happen.

Its document management library accepts any kind of document you can throw at it, and the visible thumbnails of those most recently accessed is a productive touch.

I believe that Zapelo’s document management tool is as well-done as dotloop’s.

Users intuitively scroll through uploads to initial, sign and keep the transaction moving. Everything is tracked and everyone is up-to-date.

Zapelo comes with a compendium of common tasks that accompany a typical real estate sale. Clicking one reveals its details.

If you were to tap the Schedule Inspection task, you might be greeted with the logo and contact information for “John’s Property Inspections and Always Right Foundation Repair.”

Brokers can arrange for preferred vendors to run ads within their system. The broker and Zapelo will earn from it.

Although RESPA is a confusing issue, and I asked about it during our review of the software, Zapelo is confident it isn’t a concern because using a branded vendor is only an option; brokers are not obligated to offer the service, nor are agents required to recommend that vendor to their clients.

Zapelo has a built-in email system that captures office email within the boundaries of workflow. It’s a nice value-add that will glue users to the system.

To-Do lists are categorized by color schemes and tags, a search and a data-point feature I’m a fan of in any software.

Zapelo’s mobile iteration snaps seamlessly to device screens, using the activity timelines as the user’s initial point of interaction.

Brokers will be able to personally brand and repurpose Zapelo as their own.

I wouldn’t recommend replacing any third-party marketing tools if you’re happy with them, but I’m confident Zapelo will be a dependable, productive solution for burdened real estate brokers and agents.

Zapelo is expected to launch in full before the National Association of Realtors Conference & Expo in November.

Do you use Zapelo — and what do you think? Leave a comment and let us know!

Do you have a product for our tech expert to review? Email Craig Rowe.