Real Estate CRM: What you need to know
Real Estate Agents who really want to get that extra edge are increasingly turning to technology to help them. Most start with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software program. At heart, CRMs are a database of your clients and prospective buyers.
But CRM software is different from an Excel spreadsheet or using your Outlook or Gmail inbox as your database. “CRM software for the real estate industry manages client data, tracks interactions and automates workflows. This increases efficiency and organization and enables buying and selling agents to close more deals, faster,” wrote Craig Borowski CRM expert at Software Advice.What Craig says is really the crux of CRM.
Real Estate Agents use CRMs is because it helps them be more productive and close more deals. But just under 30% of agents are not using a CRM. Maybe you’re considering using one, but you’re not sure what the concrete benefits are. Here are the immediate benefits of using a CRM for Real Estate:
When it comes to closing deals, a fast lead response time is essential, in fact, research has shown that the ideal time to respond to a lead is within 5 minutes, and it drops 10x for every five minutes thereafter.
CRMs can help you catch leads in this tiny increment of time. You’re probably thinking “Wait, this is all very well and good, but if I’m in the middle of an important meeting, I can’t just drop everything and contact a new lead.” You’re right about that, and lead response time isn’t necessarily about you personally contacting your lead. Even an auto-response will do the job, and your CRM can help you manage this. “Hang on, I don’t want to send out some canned response that’s impersonal.” You don’t have to. Tailor your messages to read something that reflects the tone of your shop “Hey, Sorry for the auto-response. Just letting you know I got your message. I’m just in a meeting right now but I’m going to be in contact with you as soon as I can, Cheers.”
Another alternative is to use AI tech to help you out. This might sound a bit sci-fi, but really it’s a sophisticated piece of tech that can be used in the guise of a chatbot. Your chatbot can pop up on your website and ask your lead some questions, doing the qualifying for you before you’re even aware they’re on the radar. Once the lead is qualified the chatbot can then distribute the lead among your agents.
Check out roof.io as a great example of where this Real Estate tech is going. You can also use one of the mobile apps that CRMs such as Nimble, Contactually, Pipedriveand Follow Up Boss, offer their customers. activecampaign form=14
Centralize all your contacts
Most agents use CRM to help them centralize and order their contacts. But a CRM is much more than having an expensive computerized address book. It’s about efficiency. The Software comparison website, Software Advice said in relation to CRM efficiencythat “When everyone in your agency has access to your customer and contact data, you can deal with clients more efficiently and avoid the dangers of reaching out to contacts either too frequently or not enough.
You can also track those interactions and analyze that data for more efficient resource planning.” In effect, you’re more able to work as a team with your colleagues to ensure that not only are you regularly keeping in contact with valuable customers and responding to leads in a timely manner but that you are also not doubling up on work or overlooking work that needs to be done.
Stay in touch with the “Daily Five”
Like we’ve already pointed out, a CRM helps you to stay in touch with your customers and prospects by giving you follow-up reminders and alerting you when you should just check in with your client base. But it can also help you achieve the much-lauded “Daily Five” routine. In essence, the daily five routine means you check in with five people, for five minutes, five days a week. This means you’ll only spend 25 minutes a day talking to your client base. If you follow the Daily Five routine, by the end of the year you’d have made 1,250 phone calls!
But working out who to call is sometimes a time-killer. That’s where a CRM can step in. Some CRMs such as Nimble, routinely remind you to touch base with clients you haven’t spoken to in awhile. You can also set a schedule for when you’d like to get back in touch with them - say in three weeks. With a CRM, you no longer have to remember who to call and when.
Top Earning Agents use them
Let's talk money. A survey conducted by ActiveRain found that Agents earning more than $100k spend 22% more on their CRM respectively than agents earning less than $35k. So yes, this means if you want to really start earning a decent wage, investing in technology is a must.
A word from the pros
Mark Ferguson from InvestFourMoreuses Podio CRM.
“We use Podio for our CRM because we can customize it to exactly what we need. My team manager has a bit of computer experience and can set it up to handle any project. I have many flips going, multiple agents on my team, and projects within my blog InvestFourMore.com as well. Podio is able to handle all of those with ease.”
John and Melissa Steele, from Team Steele San Diego Homes, use CRM to power their entire operation, telling me:
"As a real estate agent, a CRM should really be the backbone of your business. Everyone that you come in contact with should find their way into your CRM. While it may be easy to keep up with and keep track of everything when you only have a handful of clients."
As you grow, you are going to want to have somewhere to keep track of and manage your sphere and incoming leads, otherwise, you will find it hard to grow or leads will start falling through the cracks. Our team has been using the Hubspot platform for our CRM and have nothing but great things to say. Aside from keeping notes and contact information on all of our contacts, HubSpot makes it easy for us to stay in front of our sphere with tools that include emails that track opens and clicks, automated drip campaigns, landing pages, email newsletters and more. Everything is managed through this system and not only does it make our lives easier, it also helps our team to have everything located in one spot.
For those that are looking for a more budget-friendly approach, we would highly recommend Contactually. We used this for a good year and a half plus as we got our business off the ground and it worked great. We only switched because our database was growing too large for it to handle and we needed a system with more robust marketing features. At the end of the day though, it really doesn't matter too much which CRM you choose, as long as you choose one and you use it!"