Unifying Marketing & Sales with HubSpot

Helping Avison Young move its teams from four siloed CRMs, including Salesforce, to one, easy-to-use but very powerful CRM — HubSpot.

Who is Avison Young?

Avison Young is a full-service real estate service provider involved in everything from finding land to leasing buildings, managing the property, and selling it on their clients’ behalf.

The challenge

Over the last five years Avison Young has gone from about eleven hundred employees to five thousand.

As a result of this rapid expansion, Avison Young lacked a global CRM system. Across North America, the UK and Europe, four different CRM systems were in use.

This restricted brokers to just regional client information - a critical issue as they required a global overview of all their clients’ activities.

Before HubSpot was rolled out, Avison Young had about 1600 CRM users in North America with only a 23% adoption rate. When such a low percentage of revenue producers are using a CRM, it's ultimately a loss.

Another challenge was that for many users, this was their second, sometimes third, CRM change. This meant that many team members felt disillusioned with CRM and saw this as yet another CRM project doomed to fail.

So we needed to generate excitement around HubSpot and give these team members a reason to believe that it was here to stay and that this time it would be different.

Finally, the majority of Avison Young’s users (the brokers) didn't want to use a CRM. They saw it as unnecessary admin that got in the way of them making money. This meant our training had to demonstrate how easy HubSpot was to use, while also highlighting the features that would help them to make more money.

We also needed to consider ways that we could ensure the brokers entered their deals into HubSpot in order to ensure that the Avison Young leadership team had the global forecast reporting they required.

Our solution

Avison Young ultimately decided to move to HubSpot as its global CRM because of the simplification that the system brought and chose Huble as its partner to expertly guide them through the CRM migration process. 

Our solutions architects initially defined Avison Young’s global processes and setup before migrating data from 300,000 contacts and 120,000 companies, plus all of the corresponding activities for these records, into their central HubSpot portal which supports the entire two-billion-dollar enterprise.

To increase CRM adoption among brokers, our change management consultants put in place several strategies.

This included training a team internally at Huble that provided around-the-clock HubSpot support to all of Avison Young’s CRM users, an Ambassador Programme where we trained and supported internal AY HubSpot ambassadors, an end-user support ticketing system, as well as setting up a knowledge base to help users self-serve when they need support, to help with the onboarding of new starters, and provide ongoing training to refresh knowledge and give an opportunity to dive deeper into certain aspects of the platform.

To generate excitement among the users going through their second or third CRM roll-out, we took a more consultative approach when initially defining the global process within HubSpot so that they were part of the process and were able to raise challenges from previous roll-outs.

The result was the training and onboarding of all 1,600 Avison Young team members across the US and Canada onto HubSpot’s Sales, Marketing and Service Hubs, with Germany and the UK soon to follow! 

Of these users, we identified and trained the following personas:

CRM Coordinator (old Apto Admin Users): Responsible for pulling reports, supporting teams with HubSpot settings, and assisting brokers with data migration and questions. They are tech-savvy and have experience as Apto admin users.

  • Leadership/Managing Director: Senior persona responsible for forecasting and reporting revenue across all regions, including active involvement in creating and updating deals, contacts, and companies. They manage regional divisions and report to C-Suite individuals. Some are tech-savvy, while others are not accustomed to using a CRM.
  • LRP (Revenue Processor)/Researcher: Responsible for extracting deal information from HubSpot for financial reporting. They export deal data but no longer update deals on behalf of brokers. They are under pressure from brokers but cannot enter deals themselves. They are familiar with basic CRM tasks.
  • Broker/Broker Admin/Operations Manager: Main users who store client information, track activity, keep notes, and manage deals in HubSpot. Using the CRM is crucial for commission claims. Training should focus on essential features, emphasizing ease of use and the importance of adding specific data.
  • Marketing Ops (Innovation & Marketing Support): Support brokers with marketing activities for listings and deals. They need to quickly identify deals requiring marketing support and assist brokers promptly. These individuals are tech-savvy and experienced in using marketing tools.

Avison Young CRM Migration-1

At the very start of the HubSpot deployment project, we had outlined a high-level timeline including training.

Once the project was underway, we met weekly with Avison Young and looked at the project milestones each week which included the pilot, change management plan, training plan, training material creation and the end-user training itself.

We built out a training plan, defining the initial training region, the number of users that needed to be trained, the different roles across the company so that we could tailor the training and divide the groups appropriately, and the number of sessions we would run to ensure the group sizes were as small as possible.

We recommended that all training all included the following:

  • Learning objectives tailored to each individual role
  • The objectives of the global CRM project as a whole, including a reminder of the problems AY was seeking to solve
  • What does success for Avison Young look like and how will it benefit each person using the platform
  • How HubSpot helps to accomplish this
  • Support resources available to all users
  • Learning resources for further training, including HubSpot’s Academy


We then structured the rest of the agenda in a ‘Day in the Life’ approach, focusing on how HubSpot would fit into their daily activities to ensure the training was clear and applicable to each user and their role within the company.

The results

Avison Young saw several benefits from the migration to HubSpot, including:
  • Faster response times and improved customer service thanks to centralised data that allowed brokers to draw up a prospect or customer’s files and view their needs within a matter of seconds.
  • Adoption of data-driven decisions for based on the metrics Avison Young now has access to, including how well they did in last year’s vertical, how fast they’re growing, and how competitive they are.
  • Simple streamlining and scheduling of events through the CRM system helping employees feel in control of their day-to-day.
  • Simpler team workload management thanks to all their customer data being stored in a centralised database that allows for quick task reassignment while also safeguarding against task duplication.
  • Enrichment of leads thanks to up-to-date prospect and customer information stored in a single hub that can be passed onto sales or customer support, if needed. 

How our hard work played out in numbers:

  • User adoption rate (active users %): 90% vs. 23% in Apto
  • Average order size increase (H1 2022 vs H2 2021): 24.5% increase
  • Improved customer retention (no. of repeat deals per customer) (H1 2022 vs H2 2021): 1.11 vs 1.25
  • Deals created (H1 2022 vs H2 2021): 10,021 vs. 6,919
  • Win rate (H1 2022 vs H2 2021): 59% vs. 75%
  • Meetings booked: 6,619 (96% increase from last year)
  • Calls made: 29,432 (55% increase from last year)

Additionally, management now has visibility of the entire North America pipeline and a single customer view, allowing them to forecast on a rolling 90-day cycle, allocate resources more effectively, and enhance collaboration and communication within the organisation.

The stats

90 %

HubSpot adoption by Avison Young’s brokers


deals created in the year following the launch of HubSpot

25 %

increase in average order size

Phoebe Scott
Phoebe Scott
Global Director of CRM, Avison Young

“Using a CRM platform is about building your technology to amplify your team’s expertise. A CRM should be designed to suit your team and the requirements they need to do their day-to-day work.”

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