Why You Need Customer Relationship Management Software, Part 1
- Jun. 23, 2016
- Courtney Lynch
- Real Estate Business
Real Estate Agents have a lot to juggle as they strive to convert contacts to clients, in addition to maintaining relationships with those they have worked with in the past. Keeping track of personal, specific information pertaining to each client can significantly improve a Real Estate Agent's relationships with his or her customers.
When Real Estate Agents not only remember to follow up, but also remember a client's specific preferences or even a client's birthday, they can raise their client's desire to work with them. Managing all of that data, though, can be tough, and remembering when and who to follow-up with can sometimes feel impossible.
Luckily, customer relationship management software exists to remember all of it for you. With this software, Real Estate Agents can easily track and store information, and most programs even allow agents to automate tasks like follow-up emails.
CRM software is a great way for Real Estate Agents to gain new customers and hold on to current ones. The average return CRMs can give Real Estate Agents is $5.60 for every $1 spent.1
What Exactly Is CRM Software?
At its core, CRM software is an information management platform. There are generic brands that you can adapt to fit the needs of a real estate professional, and there are also real estate-specific brands you can use. Each brand of CRM software is unique and comes with its own set of features, but Zillow laid out some basics that almost all CRM software will have.2 Any CRM will allow you to store the contact information of clients and prospects as well as allow you to attach notes and files to individual contacts. It should also provide a system of organization that helps you manage prospects as well as provide follow-up tools.
Those features comprise the foundation of any solid CRM, but there are many other great features that different companies provide. Fit Small Business, which writes reviews and how-to guides for small businesses, discussed how some CRMs allow Multiple Listing Service integration, which means agents can transfer listing data from other sources into their CRM.3 It also discussed how CRMs can help you create drip email campaigns, which automates the sending of several emails to leads over a period of time. You can set up the software so it sends your lead a welcome email, a follow-up email one month later and another one in two months.
There are tons of other great features included in various brands of CRM, and what it all comes down to is choosing one with features that will best suit your agency's specific needs.
Choosing the Right CRM
Once you have decided you would like to use a CRM to help build your business and manage customer relationships, it is time to figure out which one to purchase. There are so many different kinds of CRMs out there, and it can be very overwhelming to determine the best one for you. You not only want to find a CRM that works for you but you also want to find one at the best price. So take a deep breath and don't rush into anything. You are investing in your business in a big way, and it will be worth it to take the time to shop around and compare brands.
One thing to figure out before you even start searching is which features you are looking for. Identify what is vital to a CRM that will help your business and which features are not as important to you.2 Start comparison shopping once you have made your list.
While you shop, there are a few features that should absolutely not be compromised. For example, do not choose a CRM that does not allow you mobile access.4 Real Estate Agents are always on the go, and you will want to be able to access your database from wherever you are. You will also want to make sure the CRM system allows you to try it out before buying it, works on mobile even when you are offline and allows you to add information about your contacts.
When you do access this data from anywhere, it should be as up to date as possible, and the way to ensure this is by choosing a cloud-based system. Shark Agent said a system that does not use the cloud is not even worth looking at. Without the cloud, it will be incredibly difficult to work from wherever you want. Cloud-based systems can protect your data if your computer were to crash.5