Many estate agents are unaware of the true costs associated with running office printers and copiers.
This is in part due to costs being spread over multiple budgets (supplies, servicing and hardware), creating confusion over actual expenditure – and failure to factor in additional elements, such as employee resources.
The process of buying and selling is complex enough; finding the right place to advertise a property in order to target potential buyers, substantial marketing activities, meeting potential buyers, and, with seemingly endless documentation to deal with, the last thing needed is for staff to end up spending time dealing with broken machines and monitoring/ordering ink supplies – resulting in more delays.
When employees are taken away from essential tasks i.e. ensuring that tenancy agreements go out on time, checking references and arranging viewings, to deal with printer issues, the result can be extra burden, unneeded distractions, and resource concerns in an already stressful, high-paced environment.
Invoices can also be an issue. With a large number of outgoing costs to manage, invoicing in an estate agency can be a complex process. If there are several different invoices for printing activities, added pressure is placed on accounting teams.
Unfortunately, high printing costs tend to be viewed as an aspect of daily business that Estate Agents have little or no control over – the need to print important documents such as tenancy contracts and agreements cannot be eradicated – however, there is a solution.
Estate Agents can adopt a managed print service, regardless of their business size. This can help to reduce costs and establish control measures on office printing – starting with an initial audit to get an insight into potential cost-saving areas.
The main objective of a managed print service is to drive down costs and boost efficiency – estate agencies only pay for what they use and all services, supplies and hardware are included in one transparent flexible payment – freeing up agencies to concentrate on revenue-building activities.
However, print management also offers numerous other short and long-term benefits – for example; print management software enables estate agencies to create and implement printing rules to stay within a predefined budget – preventing costs from spiralling out of control and acting as a measure to avoid unexpected expenditures.
Agencies also gain a new level of support from their print management provider – if there’s an issue with a machine, help is a phone call or email away (removing the need to find an engineer, wait for a visit and potentially pay astronomical costs to get the printer or copier fixed). Existing machines can also be adopted and advice provided to help optimise their efficiency.
If you’re interested in finding out more, please check out our new guide: The Hidden Benefits of Managed Print Services