What is a CRM (and Why Do Real Estate Agents Need It)?
Between fielding client calls and rushing off to home showings, your real estate plate is full.
But we're knee-deep in the Information Age right now, so it's time to use technology to work smarter, not harder. Specifically, you need CRM for real estate agents.
CRM stands for customer relationship management. To some real estate agents, it's software that helps them to manage their clients, whereas others view CRM as a business philosophy. Still, others consider it a process that marries software and strategy to convert leads to long-term clients.
No matter what CRM means to you, know this: If you're not harnessing the power of CRM for real estate agents, you're definitely missing out on sales. We've compiled a guide on why real estate agents need it in this day and age.
Let's jump in!
CRM for Real Estate Agents: The “Daily Five”
Are you familiar with the “Daily Five” process? If not, it's time you incorporate this hack into your daily routine.
Yes, we know your days are already full. But no, you can't afford to not do this.
With the Daily Five, you essentially call five individuals per day, talk to each of them for five minutes, and do this five days per week. If you have a well-designed CRM database, this is a cinch to do. The process will ultimately make you more disciplined about contacting all of your potential customers.
Just think about it: In just a week, you would've made contact with 25 people. And by the end of the year, you would've made 1,250 calls. If your database contains 300 names, this means you would've spoken to each person a minimum of four times a year.
Let's say only 5% of these calls lead to a business opportunity or referral. Five percent might not sound like a lot, but it could translate to a whopping 62 transactions per year.
Can you say #millionairemindset?
Digital Marketing Automation
Another reason to use CRM for real estate agents? It allows you to automate your real estate business's digital marketing.
Remember when real estate agents used to send clients postcards back in the day? Those days are long gone. Now, it's all about generating leads online and sending automated emails.
For instance, more real estate agents are offering valuable pieces of information, such as customized market reports, in exchange for customer leads on landing pages. In addition, they're sending monthly newsletters to the client email addresses in their CRM databases.
Also, you can now mix automation with a personal touch. For instance, you can easily program your database to send out “Happy Anniversary” emails to various clients on the anniversaries of their home purchases.
In this way, you don't have to comb through your database each morning to determine who should receive emails that day. Instead, you can let your CRM system do all of the legwork for you.
And that means you can get back to growing your business.
With CRM for real estate agents, you can develop more solid relationships. And that's golden in an industry where your level of success is directly tied to the quality of your relationships.
An important aspect of developing a strong relationship is being dependable. When you're busy, important emails and phone calls can easily slip through the cracks. And unfortunately, this makes you look unreliable to your clients.
But CRM software offers tracking and accountability, so you can easily follow through with what you've promised to do. For instance, if you tell a possible client you'll call her on Tuesday, your CRM system will make sure you don't disappoint her.
A CRM system also allows you to store notes of prior conversations. In this way, you can start where you left off each time you resume a conversation with a prospective or previous client.
Productive Social Media Usage
CRM for real estate agents also enables you to utilize social media in a more productive manner.
Sure, social media is great for connecting with family and friends. But it can make a world of a difference in your real estate business, too — if you use it correctly.
You can easily link your CRM to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, which will allow you to keep track of work anniversaries, birthdays and other information that's great to know for client relationship-building purposes.
Research shows that younger people prefer to use text messages and social media over phone and email. So, it only makes sense to tap into the power of social media when managing your customer relationships over time.
Does the idea of being the top producer in your real estate sales office sound appealing to you? And not just for one year but for multiple years in a row?
You can't accomplish this today without having a CRM system in place.
With CRM for real estate agents, you are more competitive. In fact, research shows that most agents manage their databases with CRM software, and they feel that CRM makes them much more productive compared with those who don't use it.
If you're not tapping into the power of CRM for real estate agents, you are being left behind. And unfortunately, this will have a negative impact on your bottom line long term.
CRM software makes it easier for you to remember to follow up with prospective clients.
Did you know that the top reason referrals don't turn into customers is that real estate agents fail to follow up with them?
All flourishing real estate businesses are flowing with referrals. In essence, referrals are their lifeblood. But many real estate agents don't know what to do with them.
When should they contact them, which ones should they contact first, and what method should they use?
With a CRM system — the brain of your real estate operation, if you will — you eliminate these questions. Once you log on, you'll immediately know who you need to contact and whether you should reach out to them via social media, email or phone.
Reconnecting with Former Clients
Think about the personal relationships you let fall apart over the years simply because you were too busy to maintain them.
Failing to stay in touch with friends from your past can understandably be emotionally painful. But in the same way, not staying in touch with clients from your past can be financially painful.
Research shows that most buyers would be okay with using their real estate agents again in the future, but not many repeat buyers actually do. It's not that their agents were bad. It's just that their agents were bad at keeping in touch with them.
Your clients are the ones who have made you financially prosperous. So, it's critical that you don't forget them.
Once you finish a client transaction, be sure to assign the client to a custom follow-up plan. A client follow-up plan should first include making a personal contact with the client.
In fact, if your client has children, record the children's names in your CRM database notes. In this way, when you reach out to the client, you can ask how each child is doing. Your client will appreciate this more than you know.
In addition, your client follow-up plan should entail completing automated marketing to keep you in the forefront of the client's mind.
Remember the age-old saying that it's more blessed to give than it is to receive?
This couldn't be truer in real estate. Getting referrals is obviously important when you're in the real estate business. But it's also nice to give them, too.
CRM for real estate agents makes the giving part easy for you. Your CRM database features your previous and prospective clients' names, but it also contains the names of various professionals and business owners.
Does one of your clients need a pest control company, mortgage lender or carpet cleaner? Use your database to obtain the appropriate professional's name as well as his or her contact information for your client.
Just be sure to tell the professional that he or she can expect a phone call soon. And leave a note in your database to check on how everything went later on.
Another chief benefit of CRM for real estate agents is that you can use it for managing your closings. As your real estate business grows busier, getting to the closing table can seem increasingly tough.
But you can't afford to miss the closing — literally. No closing equals no payday for you.
Your CRM system is an excellent place to stay on top of all of the tasks that need to happen before closing day. These include completing the home inspection and meeting the mortgage application deadline, for example.
Use CRM for real estate agents to generate automated reminders and even personal encouragement if necessary — whatever it takes for you to get the job done.
Staying organized is crucial to being a successful real estate agent. After all, if you're like many other successful agents, you have several streams for generating leads.
For instance, you likely receive contacts from your website, sphere of influence, social media networks, online ad sites, and direct mail campaigns. Trying to keep track of all of these sources in individual databases is cumbersome and inefficient.
But with CRM for real estate agents, consolidating all of this information in a single place is easy. On top of that, you can access this information from your smartphone, tablet, laptop or PC. You can't get any more convenient than that.
Real estate agents need CRM because CRM software allows them to immediately respond to online inquiries as well.
Many CRM databases include auto-response features that enable you to immediately respond to contacts in a customized way. Being responsive is the first step in developing a healthy client relationship.
As a real estate agent, you wear a lot of hats. But, of course, you don't need us to tell you that.
You might feel like a psychologist, manager, negotiator, photographer, scheduler and professional juggler all in one day. But one of the biggest hats you'll wear is that of an investigator.
Over time, you'll gather plenty of information — or “intel” — regarding a prospective client. For instance, you'll find out his or her neighborhood of interest, desired home type, desired bedroom count, flooring-type preference and even price range. All of this information should go directly into your CRM database.
Then, refer to this information when looking for potential homes for the client to buy. Once you find something that meets the client's criteria, shoot him or her an email explaining why you've selected it.
Your client will be blown away.
The client may not be quite ready to make a purchase yet. But knowing that you “get” him or her will make the client more apt to choose you as an agent when he or she is ready to jump into the market.
Making Your CRM System Work for You
CRM for real estate agents is playing an increasingly critical role in agents' digital marketing campaigns. A major benefit of using CRM is that it makes your campaign more trackable, which makes it even easier for you to determine how successful it is.
In light of this, it may come as no surprise to you that according to research, today's top-earning real estate agents spend more money on CRM solutions than low-earning agents do.
If you want to be a top salesperson, CRM for real estate agents absolutely has to be an integral part of what you do on a daily basis.
The key, though, is being disciplined in your use of it. Having a tip-top CRM system is useless if you don't plan to use it in the way it is designed to be used.
In other words, your CRM system will help you only if you allow it to by taking the proper steps. After every conversation with one of your contacts, enter notes on what you talked about, and then schedule a talk with the next contact.
When you use your CRM database judiciously, you'll start to notice your relationships strengthen over time. Your pipeline will be bursting at the seams. And your real estate business will grow more quickly than ever before.
How We Can Help You with CRM for Real Estate Agents
We specialize in marketing automation along with other cutting-edge marketing solutions to take your real estate business to the next level.
Contact us to find out more about how we can help your real estate company to achieve unprecedented growth in 2018.