Best Practices and Strategies for Success
The 21st-century real estate industry is driven by technology, which helps real estate individuals stay organized and proactive while enhancing the level of service they can provide to their clients. One such technology determining the success of real estate agents is real estate CRM, a powerful and transformative tool that aids client management, leads, and transactions in the industry. But how exactly does real estate CRM work? And how can you unlock its full potential as a real estate agent? Here, we explore the best practices, strategies, and common mistakes associated with real estate CRM usage.
What is Real Estate CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management systems, and they have become an essential tool for businesses across many industries. In property and real estate, CRM have been tailored to help property professionals manage, track, oversee, and nurture their client relationships, ensuring no lead or opportunity is lost.
For this reason, the importance of using real estate CRM cannot be understated, especially when relationships can be the difference between success and failure. It can’t be denied that when CRMs are used correctly and effectively, they can play a pivotal role in the success and efficiency of an agency.
CRM systems blend traditional relationship-driven sales with modern-day technology to enhance efficiency, ensure thoroughness, and increase the agent’s ability to deliver exceptional and memorable service to their clients. CRM systems can be used to manage leads from initial contact to the final sale, client profiles can be created so agents have all the information they need at the click of a button, and all communication can be tracked to ensure agents can refer to previous discussions.
And that’s not all; they have features for task scheduling, marketing automation, property listing segmentation, performance analytics, and collaboration. Indeed, the realm of CRM is vast, and when used correctly, it can take real estate agencies to the next level.
Implementing CRM Real Estate Best Practices
Successfully implementing these systems into your real estate business isn’t just about investing in software and entering the appropriate information. It requires a methodical approach, constant monitoring, and the ability to understand the system. Here, we reveal a step-by-step approach to ensure you implement a CRM software that is set up for success from the off.
- Assessment of needs: Before you invest in a CRM tool, write down your requirements. These will depend on your specific needs and goals, as well as the services you provide to your clients. For example, do you need a system that integrates with listing services or email marketing? Do you need a system that is accessible via mobile or simply desktop devices?
- Training and education: Once you’ve found the right CRM to suit your desires as listed above, spend some time learning about the system and how it works. While this might seem like a waste of time to begin with, especially when your to-do list is already mounting up, it will allow you and your team to effectively harness all of the chosen CRM’s features. Plus, it’ll likely save you money in the long run.
- Data entry: The difference between a CRM that works and one that doesn’t is consistent data, which is why this needs to be a priority. Whether inputting new client details or categorizing leads, consistent data will ensure you’re better able to search for and track in a more easy and efficient way. Again, this might take up a little of your time to begin with, but it will be worth it in the future when the system is doing all the hard work for you.
- Stay updated regularly: In addition to the above, ensure you’re adding relevant and updated client details. If, for example, someone makes a property booking or rents an apartment, be sure to update their details on the system. This means you’ll have a better and more complete understanding and overview of your clients. After all, a CRM system is only as good as the data inputted.
- Automation: If you’ve never used a CRM system before, you might be hesitant to give full control to the technology’s automation features. But this is exactly where the power of the CRM system comes in. Spend time learning what the CRM system can do and try a few different features to see what works for you. While each CRM system is different, as a brief overview, generally, a CRM system will allow you to automate reminders for follow-ups with clients, email campaigns, and even property viewing schedules.
- Integration: Again, another advantage of CRM systems is that they easily integrate with other tools you use, including email platforms, social media, and listing services. Don’t be scared about setting this up. Instead, take it slowly and try one at a time. Then, once you’ve got the hang of one integration, start rolling it out. Gradually, you’ll find your days becoming more efficient with more time-consuming and laborious tasks being taken care of by the CRM system.
- Feedback loop: For CRM systems to really work, it’s important that people are on board with it. Therefore, it can be really beneficial to ask team members using the CRM system what they think of it. If they are struggling with certain areas, it might be that a simple training session can help, or you may identify features that don’t work for your team, as well as areas for improvement.
The Best Strategies for Maximizing the Use of a Real Estate Agent CRM
As mentioned, and just like any other technology, real estate CRM is just about implementing it and allowing it to do all the hard work. Success comes down to best-practice advice and a team of committed professionals behind it.
While CRM systems make your day-to-day responsibilities as a real estate agent easier, you do need to give it a little helping hand. Begin by grouping your contacts in separate categories based on their stage of the customer journey, their desires, and even your proposed service offering to them. This means you can target them with specific communication and better serve their needs.
On the topic of communication, with your contacts grouped together, you can use the data in the CRM system to send them personalized and specific messages and emails. For example, if you know one client group that has a budget of $1,000,000+ and you see a new property come up for sale in that price range, you can send them a bespoke email with details of the property. What’s more, those clients with budgets out of that range don’t need to be included in the email chain.
Task and Calendar Management
CRM systems aren’t just great for communication. They can also be used to schedule tasks, viewings, and follow-ups. Think of it like a PA system, ensuring you never miss an appointment. This means you don’t need to cover your desk in sticky note reminders and can instead use the all-encompassing, centralized CRM system to help you stay on track. Plus, with improved organization, you’ll better serve your clients, which will do wonders for their satisfaction, loyalty, retention, and referrals.
As well as the above, many CRM systems also come with advanced analytics tools. This provides you with the opportunity to track leads, including where they come from, how likely they are to convert, and existing sales patterns and trends. This information can help you forecast future patterns, and you can also use it to identify areas for improvement. For example, is there an obvious trend where clients who sign up for rental alerts are falling off the customer journey? Or maybe you realize that after an initial viewing, too many clients aren’t coming back. This insightful data can help you look into specific areas of the customer journey and ensure they are performing just right.
As a real estate professional, you’re likely dealing with various clients and properties, but it’s also important that each client has your undivided attention. A CRM system makes this easier. For example, just before any client meeting or call, or even when a client calls up, spend a few moments going through their details on the CRM system to ensure you’re prepared and informed. This is a great tactic for showing your commitment and dedication to a client and, again, does wonders for their satisfaction.
When choosing a CRM system to invest in, consider one with mobile access. This allows you to access and update crucial client information on-the-go. Then, when you’re back at your desk, you can access the data and continue where you left off. It also means you can update information when you’re out and about for the team in the office to keep up to date with. In short, it helps to create a more efficient and harmonious work force.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using a Real Estate Agent CRM
As well as the best-practice advice listed above, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid. Here, we round up the ones to be aware of so you can sidestep them and instead successfully use your CRM.
Incomplete Data Entry
As previously mentioned, a CRM system is only as good as the data inserted. It pays to spend time entering complete and correct data. The more comprehensive the data, the more valuable the CRM becomes, and the more efficient you will be as a real estate agent.
Not Using All CRM Features
Most CRMs come packed with various features, and while you don’t need to use them all immediately, not using them all will undoubtedly deny you of all the full benefits. Give yourself a goal of learning about a new feature every other day and try to have the full system rolled out within the first month of using it.
To keep your CRM system efficient and valuable, CRM developers will regularly roll out updates. This can include new security features, so it’s important you keep your CRM updated so you know you’re always getting the most out of it.
When it comes to CRM systems, it’s best to find one that suits your needs and stick to it. Using multiple systems can only cause confusion. In addition to this, ensure your team is using the same methods to insert data. If not, you’re at risk of confusion and missed opportunities.
CRM systems are always advancing, so it’s important to ensure you’re keeping up to date with the latest features and trends. What’s more, if new team members join, ensure they are adequately trained and comfortable with using the system.
Why Real Estate CRM Could Change Your Agency
The truth is, when maximized, CRM systems can be the linchpin of an agent’s journey to success. It can enhance client relationships, improve operational efficiency, and ensure those all-important opportunities are never missed. In such a saturated and competitive market, leveraging CRM systems can undoubtedly give you a competitive advantage. So, whether you’re starting out in the world of CRM or want to refine your usage, remember the above insights, and you’ll be one step closer to success.