CRM stands for customer relationship management, but it can mean many different things: Some agents regard it as software designed to help manage clients, some consider CRM to be a business approach and others view CRM as an approach that involves strategy, software, and systems to gather, develop, and ultimately convert contacts to clients — and then keep the relationship going after the sale.
Regardless of your definition, nearly every top real estate agent uses some form of a CRM solution in their business, although the particular product they use isn’t as crucial as what they do with it.
Today’s CRM software is very powerful. Listing all the possible features is not the aim of this post, but here are just a few of the features you can expect from CRM:
Customer & Potential Customer Classifications:
- And Custom
- Import Data (Leads, etc.)
- Export Data
- API Integration With 3rd Party Software
- Data Backups
- And More
- Call Reminders
- And More
- Email Integration
- Drip Campaigns
- Social Campaign Integration
- And More
- Sales Reports
- Trends Reporting
- And Much More
Regardless of where you are in your business, CRM is indispensable in saving you time and workflow. Here are 5 Big Advantages of Using a Real Estate CRM:
1. A CRM Consolidates All of your Information Into One Location
Most successful real estate professionals have multiple lead generation streams. You probably get contacts from networking, website, social media, direct mail campaigns, online advertising, etc. Maintaining individual databases for all these lead generation sources will quickly become very time consuming and inefficient.
With a CRM you can organize information from all your lead generation sources in one place. Contacts are easily collected and organized, and you can access the information from your home computer, phone, etc.
2. A CRM Easily Allows For Timely Communications
Responding immediately to inquiries, particularly online inquires, is a critical component of successful conversion. Many real estate CRMs include a customizable auto-response feature that enables you to provide an immediate response to contacts. If you feel that auto-responders are impersonal, just customize the messages to your target audience. Being responsive — and doing it sooner rather than later — is the key to starting the client relationship.
3. A CRM Keeps You in Touch With Past Clients
It's common to think the primary purpose of a real estate CRM is to focus on new prospects. Of course that is a key benefit, but don’t forget about the group of people who already know you and your services well: your past clients.
According to the 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88 percent of buyers said they would use their agent again or recommend him or her to others. Yet only 12 percent of repeat buyers actually used their previous agent.
Buying a home is not a daily thing. A lot of time passes between home purchases. As more times passes, clients might forget who their agent was. The solution is simple, yet is missed by many agents: Stay in touch with your past clients so they can’t forget you.
That’s not to say you have to bombard them with newsletters and mailings. A few check-in emails per year is often enough to stay on your clients' radar. With a real estate CRM, you can keep track of events in your clients' area, and easily remind them. You can also send home purchase anniversary emails, ask if they know anyone looking to buy, or simply remind them you appreciate their business.
4. A CRM Lets You Customize and Personalize Your Services
Gather as much information about your prospect as possible, including: areas and neighborhoods of interest, types of homes they are looking for, price range, desired number of bedrooms and even preferences like carpet vs. wood flooring. Every detail you capture can be used to personalize the service you give prospects, which will help you get further down the road in converting the prospect to a client.
Even if your prospect isn’t ready to buy, your attention to detail will go a long way toward helping them choose you as their agent when the time comes.
5. A CRM Greatly Automates Tasks and Increases Workflow
With a real estate CRM, you can combine your personal touch with seamless automation. For example, that “home purchase anniversary” email you want to send will easily be stored withing your database and ready to go. This is just one of countless examples of the types workflow automation you can achieve with a real estate CRM.
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