According to the research by Active Rain, top-performing agents are eager to spend 6x more on technology and twice more likely to use a customer relationship management (CRM). Given the strength of CRM tools in the business world at large, it’s high time to ask: which benefits does a CRM carry for real estate agents? And how exactly does it help to refine and perfect your marketing and sales strategy? Look no further: here are the top real estate CRM benefits you should know about.
CRM stands for ‘customer relationship management’ but it can mean many things to agents. Indeed, it’s great software to follow up with clients, attract, nurture and convert contacts to customers, manage past clients, generate reporting and much more – all of this via a single platform.
Thanks to its powerful functionality, real estate CRM software delivers some key benefits to the daily activities of real estate agents (check out the full list of the top real estate CRM features to look our for).
If you’re not yet familiar what’s in it for you and your team, here’s a list of the top real estate CRM benefits that the best-performing agents share.
Top real estate CRM benefits that supercharge your real estate business
1) CRM creates a central platform for all business information
Successful real estate professionals generate leads from multiple channels. You probably get online leads as well as leads from sources like your SOI (sphere of influence), direct mail, open houses, past clients referrals, community events and more. Using individual databases for all of these channels is terribly inefficient and is likely to leave a lot of contacts not followed up properly. In fact, as much as 80 percent of leads are either lost, or never followed up if the database is not unified!
On the contrary, one of the top real estate CRM benefits is a single dashboard for keeping all of your business information:
- customer requirements;
- email and correspondence.
Once the CRM is put in place, agents see a 29 percent increase in sales! Now that you have your contacts unified profiles, it’s easy to keep everything organized and under control.
2) CRM automates and finetunes follow up (marketing automation)
You engage in customer relationship management every day, even if you don’t have a specific system put in place yet. However, without such a system, you’re missing out valuable leads which could otherwise buy from you.
Following up with a large contact database is challenging. If you don’t automate the follow-up process, it’s going to be inefficient. Let’s admit it, it’s crazy to assume that your agents will follow up with all contacts at the right time, having so much work on their plates.
Here are just a few amazing marketing automation things a real estate CRM does for you:
- lets you integrate and schedule emails;
- syncs your CRM account and inbox for timely conversations with clients;
- lets you create a library of personalized templates;
- sends out your email and SMS marketing campaigns and track results;
- lets you set up drip marketing campaigns and more.
Add to this your real estate blog and you’ll have a powerful follow-up strategy that is meant to connect you with potential homebuyers in a much more meaningful way. You can send them valuable home-buying information, your featured properties, market updates, monthly newsletters, etc. Anything could do as long as it resonates with your audience.
So producing valuable content and then using it for intelligent follow up which you can fully automate via a real estate CRM helps you make lead generation much more effective that you could have otherwise hoped for.
[We have a full post here uncovering some of the best ways to follow up effectively: CRM for Real Estate: 6 Perfectly Actionable Follow-Up Formulas].
3) A CRM lets you stay connected with current and past clients
Many agents think a CRM works just for nurturing and converting new contacts. While this is one of the top real estate CRM benefits, don’t forget it also applies to another valuable group of your contacts: past clients.
Your past clientele is your most generous source of positive word of mouth and referrals. However, the results of the 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers are somewhat shocking.
88 percent of respondents said they would gladly recommend their agent to others and work with them again but only 12 percent actually did. So why this huge gap if people are willing to spread the word about you?
It turns out that agents just don’t ask for these referrals. They don’t use the database of their past clients to keep in touch with them. In the meantime, the easiest way to get a referral is just asking for it (provided your service was outstanding).
Buying a home is not an ordinary purchase. Once the house is bought or sold, people forget about their agent as time goes by. The solution is very easy, yet many agents overlook it: stay in touch with your past clients and this will help you generate more business at no cost.
There’s a fine line between following up with new and past clients, though. You wouldn’t like to bombard your past clients with monthly newsletters or market updates. They already made their big purchase and probably signed with the relief they no longer have to monitor price trends.
So you’ll only need a few touch points a year. Shoot them an email congratulating them on their birthday and wedding anniversary. A great one is a ‘home purchase anniversary’ which can read something like this:
“Hi James and Mary! Can you imagine it’s been 5 years since you bought your house? Remember all those homes we were going through, trying to find the perfect one? We did, eventually! Hope you’re enjoying your lovely home!”
See how elegant and simple that is? No over-selling, no annoying reminders – just a fun way to show you appreciate relationships with your past clients.
So make sure to keep accurate records for each client in your CRM and use that information to stay connected with your clients.
4) A CRM helps you customize and personalize your service
As CRMguru.com founder Bob Thompson explains in his “Successful CRM: Turning Customer Loyalty into Profitability” white paper, it’s the way your customer actually feels about your service that can make or break a deal.
In other words, your CRM won’t help you sell better homes. They’ll be pretty much like your competition has. But the way you execute your marketing and sales strategy and power it by a good CRM – this is where you can become a true differentiator.
Record all intelligence you collect about your prospect: neighborhoods and areas of interest, property types they want to acquire, price range, amenities, even details like flooring and lawns. Put everything together in your CRM and watch closely for every opportunity that matches your client’s criteria.
This is what makes a great personalized service. You can have hundreds of fabulous properties in your database but what does it matter if they don’t offer amenities your buyers are looking for? People just won’t see and appreciate that.
Imagine trying to persuade people this house is a perfect match despite that it doesn’t have the lawns they would love so much. How would they like it? Not very much at all, and now see how a personalized email makes all the difference:
“Hi John! Got some exciting news for you! I’ve been looking at some of the houses today and was lucky to came across the one that you and Mary might love. It has a large open space kitchen that Mary is so fond of and – remembering about how much you care about your lawns and yard – it has automated sprinklers! Check it out and we can book a viewing to take a look together.”
This might not sell this specific property but making this customized service consistent and a standard of your business operation will have a powerful positive effect upon your agency. Moreover, the word will travel faster about the agent who does listen to what people want to buy and actually finds it.
5) A CRM saves you tons of time and eliminates manual work
Another top real estate CRM benefit is its wonderful ability to automate manual work and tedious tasks. When it comes to team collaboration, CRMs have some great functionality to make it straightforward and easy.
Top-producing agents love real estate CRMs because it let them:
- schedule and automate follow-ups;
- keep all documentation on contacts, properties, customer requirements, transactions and correspondence in one place;
- assign tasks to team members and get a calendar view of the work ahead;
- easily share access to client records with the rest of the team;
- setup automatic alerts and reminders;
- automate recurring tasks.
These are just a few examples of how agents can use a CRM to get things done in time. An opportunity to automate time-consuming, manual work while staying on top of things – isn’t that great?
6) A CRM generates relevant reporting
One of the most remarkable qualities of a real estate CRM is its ability to generate performance reports automatically. Calculating your monthly metrics manually is now a thing of the past.
Real estate CRM dashboards give you intelligent insights into your marketing and sales at a glance. For example, a good CRM:
- automatically generates reporting on all of your contacts, properties, customer requirements and transactions;
- automatically calculates your sales pipeline progress so you can see how qualified your database is;
- generates franchise reporting regardless of how many offices and locations you manage;
- provides an easy way to get timely feedback – daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, yearly, etc.
- Track everything – properties added, proposals sent and printed, emails received, documents changed etc.
Now you don’t have to overwhelm your team asking them for end of the month reports. Just head to your dashboard and get inclusive feedback in seconds which you can then use for better decision-making.
7) Real estate CRM software can integrate with your website
In order to make your daily work seamless, you need your CRM to integrate fully with your website. This way you have a single ecosystem of essential tools that play nicely together, rather than different tools each serving different purposes. Imagine being able to build and manage a network of websites right from inside your CRM account?
Advanced CRMs let you build and manage your real estate website right within your CRM. This also means a much easier property management. For example, you just added a new property for sale to your CRM database. You can then optimize it for SEO and publish to your site right from the CRM account, easily adding property features and amenities in the process.
Next thing you can do is post your newly added properties automatically to your social media to let your fans and followers know about your new offers.
So instead of doing same work twice, you only need to head to your CRM account, add your new properties to your database and then publish them to your website, property portals and social media accounts. Couldn’t be more simple, right?
The top real estate CRM features carry some amazing benefits for agencies of all sizes to grow and thrive. Top-producing agents approach a CRM as not just a software but as a business philosophy that helps them provide excellent customer service every day and capitalize on business opportunities fully.