As real estate agents and lenders, you’re bombarded every day with new technology that's supposed to make your business better.
All these new tools may have flashy bells and whistles, but when it comes down to it, it seems the most basic technology propels your business the forward. It's often that your customer relationship management (CRM) tools fits that description.
But, it's not always easy picking the right CRM. Creating and maintaining client relationships is the one thing that helps close deals, build referrals and stay in business longer.
Simply put, you make more money if you use your CRM to it’s utmost potential. Are you there?
If all your leads were being tracked in a central location, would your conversion rates improve? If you were sending relevant, personalized and consistent messaging to your leads, would your conversion rates improve?
You should answer both of these questions, look at your CRM, and see if you're getting the most out of your tech. Having a centralized location that helps you automate and track your past, present and future business makes you a more efficient real estate professional.
Issues and Challenges Facing CRMs
It would be great if you were able to pick up the phone and instantly solve all the issues facing your business today. Unfortunately, that number doesn’t exist.
The way customers are doing business is changing. This is something that we’ve known for a while. Clients expect you to be more informative, more engaged and more available than ever.
Customers research earlier in their sales cycle now too, and keeping in touch with them is vital when trying to convert a prospect into a client.
You may be contacted by someone who is more than a year away from making a purchase. But, that person is gathering information for the purchase process. So when the time comes, they're just as ready as you are.
If you can keep in touch and build a relationship with this customer their decision is final, it's like Mr. or Ms. Homebuyer comes to you when the time is right.
Multi-source lead generation can be overwhelming. However, if you’re going to be successful in today’s real estate market, you need to have leads coming in from multiple sources. It's simply a numbers game: The more leads you gather, the more potential clients you have. This starts to present a larger problem and escalates as you scale.
You have all these leads coming in from all over the web, but where do they go? One of the biggest challenges facing agents and lenders today is keeping these leads organized in a fashion that is manageable by you and your team.
Your CRM should have the ability to capture the leads, route them to team members, track lead activity, and more importantly, track communication between lead and team member.
It's a misconception that automation is evil. Without it, growing your business becomes increasingly more difficult.
When we think of automation, we think of a very robotic communication that is sent out to a massive list of emails about something the recipients don’t care for.
That’s the wrong way to implement automation. We’re here to tell you it doesn’t need to be like this.
Consider the simple, personal communications that actually engage your leads, prospects and clients. You send these every day on your own.
Why not automate these communications? Having a CRM that is capable of building emails with a personal touch should be a priority on your checklist of CRM features.
How Your CRM Affects Your Funnel
A lot has been said about understand
ing your real estate sales funnel. Knowing how a client enters, moves through and refills your funnel is a crucial step in the success of any real estate professional. At the end of the day, your CRM should help you at all the key points in your funnel.
Awareness (Leads): As we said, a key challenge that faces today’s Realtors is the fact that leads are coming in from all different sources. Your leads may come from your website, blogs, third party aggregates, social media, from in-person events, and anywhere else.
The important thing is that you are capturing your leads information and categorizing them into a system that makes sense for you. Keeping your leads organized into segments helps you move them through your funnel quicker. Your CRM should have the ability to tag your leads or segment them according to their readiness to purchase, level of interest, or intent.
Engagement (Prospects): Once you’ve gained a lead, then it’s on you (and your CRM) to engage with that lead. Consider this section the dating portion of your relationship with your new lead. This is arguably the most important part of the funnel. This is where you gain trust, the confidence of your client and a relationship. If you can do this section well, you move your leads through your funnel much faster. A few keys to making this happen:
- Make Contact Quickly: First and foremost, you need to make contact, quickly. A study shows that the odds of making contact with a lead, if called in the first five minutes, are 100 times higher, opposed to trying 30 minutes later.Your CRM should alert you on your mobile phone that you have a new lead, so you can make this quick contact.
- Understand Your Leads Needs: Know what your client is looking for and then use personalized communication to send messages that help the customer make their decision. You want to use your CRM to create messaging campaigns with your tone of voice, your attitude. Consider how you communicate daily, and then spend an afternoon creating some templates for messages that you send frequently. Use your CRM to schedule these into drip campaigns and assign your leads to the appropriate drip campaign that fall into the right segment for each customer.
- Track Your Leads Activity: Through your CRM, you should be able to track when your leads are logging onto your website, opening your emails and viewing a listing. This helps you get a better picture of where your lead is at in the purchasing process. If you notice a lead has increased activity, it may be time to move your lead off of a drip campaign and reach out personally with a phone call or text message.
- Communicate: All the above have one simple concept in common, but it’s worth mentioning on it’s own. You’ll never be able understand nor close your leads if you are not actively communicating with them. Personal communication helps you remain top of mind when it comes time for customers to make their purchasing decision.
Decision (Customers): Building confidence, gaining trust and cultivating your relationships. If you’ve done everything right, you have nurtured your lead to a point where they decide to do business with you. This is not the time to slow down. Once you’ve completed your transaction with your new client, keep the relationship going.
Remember that referrals present opportunities for revenue. People are moving every seven to eight years, and if you think about that, you realize that there are a huge number of transactions awaiting you with each of your clients, as long as you're communicating with your past, present and future customers.
Picking the Right CRM
We know why a CRM can help you solve the challenges of your business. We know how a CRM can propel leads through your funnel, but the decision can be tough when it comes down to picking a CRM to commit your business to. Knowing what to look for in a good CRM can be the difference between wasting a fortune and finding a solution that fits your business needs.
A good real estate CRM will:
- Tie into your website and collect leads automatically for your web traffic.
- Collect Leads from multiple sources, including third party aggregate sites.
- Gather pertinent information about leads with the ability to add notes on finer details.
- Track lead activity on your websites and score leads based on activity.
- Easily send communications, drip campaigns, and property alerts.
- Handle all these responsibilities on a mobile phone.
Understanding your needs and knowing what solution makes sense for your business helps you identify the best real estate CRM that works.
A real estate CRM is at the backbone of any good real estate professional, whether you're a single agent, team or lender. Depending on your situation, try to identify where your business needs are and pair up with a suitable CRM.