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Upgrading to Renaissance: REW CEO on Deprecated platforms.

Posted by Morgan Carey on Saturday, February 6th, 2021 at 10:39am.

Greetings valued customers,

I’m writing this post to help explain REW’s deprecation policy and also to help our customers understand the serious potential risks involved in running deprecated platforms as well as the significant advantages of upgrading to current technology. 

I recognize that if you are reading this you have likely come here via one of two channels. Either you have been sent here by an account manager who is being proactive about encouraging you to upgrade or you are an existing customer who is having a technical issue with a deprecated platform and you have been told that it is no longer supported. 

Note: If you have already ordered your Renaissance platform you do not need to continue reading. Thank you for your order, you are going to love it! 

Existing customers “not” currently experiencing issues. 

Even for our oldest platforms, serious technical issues are (thankfully) quite rare. So if you are reading this and thinking “actually my platform is still {just fine}, why would I go through the hassle of upgrading” please keep reading. 

First, let’s talk about some of the issues of running a deprecated platform. 

 {Just fine} to you is not just fine to your customers or to your agents. 

Losing customers: If you are running extremely old technology chances are you are losing customers when they visit your platform due to its lack of speed, accessibility, user-friendliness, or just plain dated look. This can result in tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost commissions. (Note, your upgrade to Renaissance is likely very low cost or even free). The thing about opportunity cost is you don’t even know it. But we do since we see the difference in performance on new platforms vs old ones. 

For brokers looking to retain their talented agents and recruit agents, promising them an iPhone 6 is not going to get it done. Nor will trying to show off a 10-year-old website with a CRM that doesn’t work on a phone and doesn’t sync to their Gmail. All the other brokers are pushing something far more impressive and current than what you have. You will lose agents if you stay on old tech and you’ll have a much harder time recruiting. 

Accessibility lawsuits: ADA (American Disabilities Act) is the law. In 2020 alone (just in Florida) there were hundreds of lawsuits threatened and/or filed against brokerages whose platforms did not comply (or reasonably attempt to comply) with the American Disabilities Act requirements. Worse yet, these plaintiffs also alleged Fair Housing violations which come with potentially significantly larger costs to defend and a higher risk of larger settlements. 

ADA lawsuits (even if you win) can cost tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars and as much or more of that value in your time. For this reason alone, you should upgrade. Also, consider the damage to your reputation if you lose a fair housing lawsuit that accused you of discriminating against a protected class. 

Security / Spam risks: Running deprecated platforms means you are also running the risk of serious data security breaches and potential spam / DDOS attacks. Without necessary “current” security patches and updates a deprecated platform leaves you exposed to attacks from hackers who will attempt to compromise the security of your customer list. This can mean serious harm to your reputation and your business if your leads database is attacked or if hackers manage to take down your website. 

What would happen to your reputation if your entire leads and customer database was downloaded by a spammer, and they started sending spam attached to your name? Worse, what if they somehow accessed extremely sensitive financial information or information on your past transactions? 

You have to pay to maintain deprecated platforms. There is more on this later, but in a nutshell, since deprecated platforms are no longer supported, if they do have issues and need maintenance, you have to pay to have the services, and it takes time to place that order, get it assigned and get the issues resolved. 

I don’t want to be all doom and gloom as these situations are extremely rare, but they do happen and the consequences can be devastating to your business. Please note: REW provides you with the no cost upgrade option to assist you in your data security and accessibility efforts, but will not be responsible or liable should you choose to stay on deprecated technology. 

My main point here: these situations are also for the most part completely avoidable and it is irresponsible not to upgrade your platform especially given the very low relative cost compared to any of these issues. 

Next, let’s talk about the positives of upgrading to Renaissancence: 

It’s the exact opposite of the issues above. 

On Renaissance, your brand will look AMAZING! Renaissance is a beautiful website and no matter where you are in your journey, every visitor will think you are the #1 agent, team, or brokerage in your area. 

Win more customers. With a really great looking website that is also super fast and works great on a phone, you will generate more leads (of higher quality) and those leads will return to use your website over and over again which builds your brand and consumer loyalty. They are also far more likely to share with their friends and family. 

Recruiting: When you have the best website, lots of leads, and an amazing CRM to put them into then you have a huge advantage in recruiting and retention. Agents will come to you! 

Renaissance is WCAG 2.1 complaint. You should have no worries about accessibility if you upgrade to Renaissance as it is currently the most accessible real estate platform in the entire world. We have coded it so that it is WCAG compliant with AA standards in virtually all areas. 

The latest security: Being on the latest platform means you are going to be up to date on all recent security updates as well as being protected by our full range of Google Cloud Platform security features. By having the most up to date framework you are sending a signal to spammers and the public that you are well protected and your data is secure. 

Technical support is included: If you are on a supported framework not only is technical support available to you, it is also free. With the exception of custom work, if there is ever an issue with your platform you are welcome to submit a ticket to REW’s tier 2 and 3 support teams 7 days per week. There is no cost for this on current platforms. 

It’s time to upgrade! 

I do hope that after reading this far, you have realized that it is time to upgrade your deprecated platform. It’s little to no cost to you and the advantages are huge. 

We want you to enjoy your time with REW and generate the most income possible. When you upgrade you will automatically have fewer issues, to begin with, but if you ever do have an issue, we always are there for you and give you 5-star customer service. 

If you’re ready, please reach out to your account manager to schedule your installation date. 

Trying to subject a ticket on a deprecated platform? 

For those of you who have come here because you are currently experiencing an issue with a deprecated platform, the following information is to help guide you and explain your options. 

Deprecation:
What it means at REW.

Deprecated software or platform: A version of our software or platform is considered “deprecated” when it is no longer supported by tier 2 or tier 3 technical support. 

Customers on older “deprecated” platforms may still access tier 1 support, which is our CSR (customer support representatives) who answer “how to do I” questions however they are unable to create “tickets” for a customer if there is a technical issue reported on a deprecated platform.

What happens when you submit a ticket for a deprecated platform? 

If you submit a ticket via our Zendesk system (typically by emailing support @ rew.com) our CSR team will triage the ticket. 

Depending on the nature of your ticket the process is as follows: 

1: How do I? All customers are entitled to this level of support, and our team should attempt to get back to you right away with a helpful answer.

2: Technical support ticket: If there is an issue that is beyond the capabilities of CSR to assist with (such as a technical issue) and it is on a supported platform, they will let you know it needs to be escalated to tier 2 and create a ticket which will then be administrated to our SLA.

3: Technical support ticket (deprecated): If there is an issue that is beyond the capabilities of CSR to assist with (such as a technical issue) and it is NOT a supported platform (ie it is on a deprecated platform) they will politely inform you that the version of the platform you are on is on the deprecated list, and they are unable to assist further. 

Having technical issues on a deprecated platform? You have options! 

Upgrade your platform: In almost all cases, an upgrade to the latest platform at Real Estate Webmasters is completely free. This includes the time to import your content and your leads assuming there is no custom work required. Our CSM (customer success managers) will also do the work of hooking up your navigation, footers, etc. 

The only thing you need to do is edit your content once imported and make adjustments where you feel necessary to have your content match the new design. Of course, you can always book our agency teams to assist you with this as well if you don’t have the time, it is quite affordable. 

Book a retainer: If for whatever reason you absolutely cannot upgrade your platform or you need technical assistance on the current platform, you can always book professional services via REW’s retainer program. This program is perfect for clients who have ongoing maintenance or customization needs and do not want to wait for estimates, or in production queues. 

With a retainer, your programming time is “pre-booked” as such you can access the resources you need within that period. 

*Note, there is generally a 30-day+ waitlist for our retainer program. If you are considering signing up for this program, it is advisable that you do so immediately instead of waiting for an issue to arise. If you do not have a retainer pre-booked, and you encounter a technical issue, that issue must wait in our production queue as there will be orders ahead of you. 

We’d rather you upgraded: Honestly, while the retainer program is a great business for REW, we would far prefer you upgraded and got your technical support for free. 

For you, (our valued customer) upgrading has so many advantages:

  • no cost

  • shorter time to resolution

  • fewer things needing support in the first place

  • access to more advanced technology and features.  

For REW, we want our customers to spend their hard-earned money on new opportunities:

  • More leads

  • Better branding

  • Great content

  • new features

  • Better conversion

If you are reading this and you are on a deprecated REW platform, I do hope that you will strongly consider upgrading your site and backend to the new Renaissance web platform and REW CRM. 

There are so many advantages, and it is little to no cost to you, our valued customer. If you would like a tour of the new features, we can send you our demo, or you can reach out to your account manager and schedule an in-person tour. 

Warm regards
Morgan Carey, CEO
Real Estate Webmasters Inc 

 

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