It may seem like a no brainer, but today, nearly 30 years after the first CRM system hit the market, it’s still true, and there seems to be many companies who have not gotten the message: yes, you do need a CRM! Here are some reasons why.
Welcome to the Digital World
To begin with, we are all now living square in the middle of the digital world. If you want an example of how true this is, leave your smartphone at home for a day. Anyone who does so will probably go crazy after a while. Haven’t we all been frantic at some point when we thought we lost our phone?
Smartphones have come a long way from simply being phones used for calling. In fact, probably 80 percent of smartphone users are not using them for calling, but for many other tasks—searching for properties, placing reservations, renting cars, shopping, booking flights, playing games, listening to music, and even watching TV, sports and movies. There are tens of thousands of apps out there, some more useful than others.
Guess what all of that is? Digital! It’s all interconnected—otherwise, we couldn’t use it. That’s why, when we take a smartphone away from a user, they become seriously depressed and lost, like many teenagers subject to this cruel cruel punishment.
In this digital world in which we’re living, a smartphone is just one component of the whole system. A business is a part of that system—and a company without a digital process is not long for this world.
Even the IRS has become wise to the digital age and has exact processes. Most tax returns are not submitted hard copy any longer—they are electronically submitted and go through complex processes.
Companies that don’t have some kind of process can be very annoying. You arrive, and you’re asked for your name, your phone number, your address, and so on—every time you show up. After a while you say, “I’ve been here four times! You should know these things!” As a customer, you can become very perturbed.
An example of exactly the opposite is Amazon—their digital processes are amazing. With Amazon Fresh, people no longer have to make regular trips to the store. They can get their weekly 4 gallons of milk or whatever it is that day delivered right to their doorstep saving time, money, gas and labor. Amazon is a shining example of how rapidly customers will change their habits if they see a benefit. Following Amazon’s example, every company must have processes.
Using processes, businesses must create an infrastructure for themselves. This must include the perfect infrastructure for clients as well.
What is at the core of such an infrastructure? It is a real estate CRM. It is that CRM that makes it possible for your company to continue to interact with and service homebuyers—and without it, you have no clients. You can have the best multiple listing system in the world, but if you have no clients, you don’t need one. You can have QuickBooks, but if no one is buying your real estate, you won’t care about QuickBooks. And if you have no clients, you have no revenue, because only clients bring revenue.
It is only a CRM solution that makes it possible for you to accurately track your clients. If you only have 10 clients, perhaps you can track them in your head. But 100 or more? Forget about it.
You must know about their buying behavior, their contact details, your communication history with them, and what kinds of properties they are interested in. And it goes beyond simply knowing about the client—you need to know how you can support them, for if you don’t perfectly support a client, you lose them.
Once again, all of this is digital!
All of these processes must be geared around the client and must be smooth, without any hiccups. All of that happens through CRM, so if you have no CRM, you have no 360-degree view of that client, and you’re lost. You have no future. Maybe you can survive for a time, but sooner or later you’ll go down. You’ve shot yourself back to the Stone Age.
Today’s Drastic CRM Difference
Back when CRM systems were initially developed, they might have been called “Customer Relationship Management” but they were not really designed for managing the customer—they were designed to manage (and control) salespeople. Through CRM, sales managers were (figuratively) constantly chasing salespeople around. That’s why salespeople, for many years, have hated them.
In the last few years, a CRM is no longer targeted at managing salespeople. A CRM is all about helping clients and assisting agents to do a better job in servicing them.
A CRM not only becomes crucial, but it is also the driving force of sales. If you’re not implementing a CRM system, you’re not growing your real estate business. Every company without a CRM will, sooner or later, go down. When you’re regularly losing a percentage of your business, without a CRM you won’t even be aware of it. One day you’ll come to work and there won’t be any more business.
So, Do You Really Need It?
It’s not a need—it’s an urgency. You still run across companies that don’t quite believe it. Back when the first automobiles were arriving on the scene, there were those who didn’t believe in them, either. They invested further in their horses—in people to take care of them, and in stables. When the motor vehicle really took hold, such people were rapidly forced out of business.
Today, lack of technology adoption has a much more rapid effect. Do you realize that the smartphone has only been around for over 10 years? That’s nothing in terms of time. But today people won’t live without them. So yes, a real estate CRM is absolutely vital!
Thanks for the good article. Indeed, I found for myself some interesting cases. I myself am developing a CRM system for real estate agencies. I will try to implement your advice.