There comes a time in every New Realtor professional life where they need to decide if they are satisfied with their current production OR if their looking to promote some continued growth. IF you’re the agent that is choosing the latter…then you’ll be trying to figure out what systems are going to give you the most bang for the buck. Well, a Customer Relationship Management System, or CRM, is something that you should start exploring. Here are a few Real Estate Tips that you should be considering when deciding which CRM system is for you.
First, you should be looking at a CRM from two different perspectives; the “Front End” and “Back End”. There is the “Front End” …which is the piece of the CRM that consumers are going to see… a website platform. The “Front End” should provide clean, professional, and engaging look for your consumers. It should also be something that you have the ability to customize easily. Then there is the “Back End” …this is the piece of the CRM that you as the agent/team leader are going to use and develop to best fit the changing needs of your business.
CRM “Front End”- 2 MUST HAVES
Lead Generation Platform
A CRM and a Lead Generation Platform (website) are two totally different things. What you should be looking for is a CRM that also provides a Lead Generation Platform (OR website for you to drive your business towards). So, if the CRM you are exploring doesn’t…cross it off the list! Now, understand that this website is the storefront, or “Front End”, of a real estate agent’s business. The goal of this website is to allow you to isolate and pull consumers away from ALL the other agents that you are competing with. For example, social media platforms like Facebook allow consumers to be relentlessly attacked by agents. Each agent posting, liking, and sharing different items looking to solicit more business. Your goal is to take those consumers out of the social media world and isolate them on your website (Lead Generation Platform). Once you have a lead on your website, your CRM is able to track their activity and give you quality information you’re looking for! Your hope is that your website becomes the “go to” for your clients as opposed to Zillow, Trulia…OR worse…another agents website! Her are a couple of ways your CRM MUST help you…
- Includes a Forced Registration
There is the argument in support of “forced registration” verse “unforced registration”. For most of our campaigns we prefer forced registration. The rationale behind this is simple…if I’m paying for the clicks…I want to get the contact information in return. If I’m not getting that, what exactly am I paying for???
Assists you in Lead Generation
- Consumer Information Resource
The appeal of the site has to rivals the Zillows and Trulias of the world. BUT…it must also give the consumer what they want. It has to have the supermodel BEAUTY with the powerlifter BRAWN. What consumers are looking for are properties to search! At this point in their search, people don’t care about you or your team. They just want to look at homes! You need to deliver. If your site isn’t providing that information, then they will simply move on to the next website that will. Hopefully, they will keep coming back. When they do…this will be your opportunity to establish your value. However, with the forced registration, you now have their contact information so you can reach out to them.
- : Curb Appeal– As I previously stated above, the Website must be professional and visually pleasing to the eye. In today’s day and age over 90% of real estate consumer do their initial searching online. Whether it be a buyer surfing the internet doing a preliminary search of the affordability of homes in their desired neighborhood OR sellers finding comparables to help them set an asking price…everyone is online. For this reason, it is CRUCIAL that your website draws them in and doesn’t send them away!!! The pressure is on…that “live or die” moment only last a couple of seconds.
- : Customization– It is also critical to your long term success that the website is something that you can customize. Real Estate is one of those businesses which is based on relationships building. Your website is like your own personal store front; and the product that you are selling is YOU!!! For that reason, your website should be a true reflection of who YOU are and NOT have the same old generic feel that you get for certain websites! If the CRM you are considering doesn’t include a customizable “Front End”, I would keep looking.
CRM “Back End”- 3 MUST HAVES
As Ying is to Yang, the “Back End” is to the “Front End” in the CRM world. In order to be a truly effective CRM, the system must possess qualities it both areas. Here are a couple of things that you should consider on the “Back End” … (…it would also be nice if the system provides user friendly Realtor Training!)
Once a lead is on your website you should have the capability to track all activities of that lead in order to increase your ability to convert that lead into a client and then eventually a closed deal. You want to track every action a lead takes on our site which empowers you with insights that you can act on. What listings have they searched? What are the common characteristic? How many times have they looked at the same listing? These are pieces of a puzzle that you as the agent can put together to understand what a lead wants before you engage them in a conversation. Ultimately, your CRM should allow you to predict, accelerate, and act on opportunities.
The platform that you choose must be able to seamlessly import the leads you develop. Whether it be through Zillow, Trulia, Facebook, Craigslist, Seller Evaluations or PPC your CRM should allow you to easily and effectively establish a direct connection to your lead generator. This should also be the case for your home grown leads that you’ve developed through your tracking links, open houses or other farming activities. Depending on your activity and the amount of business that you do, this could also be something an individual agent should consider.
Database Management System
- Allows Integration of Existing Database
I’m assuming that all of you out there have developed your sphere of influence to some level. You should be able to easily import your Facebook friends along with any CSV and Excel files into the CRM. Time is money and you are on a budget. You don’t have time to manually enter each member of your SOI (Sphere of Influence). The CRM you choose should allow this to happen with the click of a button.
Systematize the Leads Generated
- Easy to use Categories
Your CRM should allow you to segment and sort your database by the prospects that are most likely to transact. Whether you call it…Hot, Nurture, Watch OR …A+, B, C; the CRM that you choose must have a systematic way that you can categorize your leads. If it doesn’t…what are you paying for???
Linked to the MLS
As agents we hear all the time from clients… “I found a property on Zillow, but it doesn’t show up on your site.” Well…that’s because Zillow’s info isn’t updated as regularly as our site. The property that they are talking about is probably is no longer on the MLS. You need to make sure that your site that is linked directly to the MLS and updates at least every 15 minutes. This will ensure that you have to most reliable information and are not wasting your time or the time of your client. Not only that, but you never want to be pushing a property to a client that is NOT even an option. Good, reliable data is a MUST!!!
Diverse Integration Methods
Every month it seems like the real estate business is moving further and further into the tech world. Agents are constantly striving find better ways of connecting with consumers. Emailing continues to be an effective way of reaching out. However, BombBomb has developed a way for agents to become more personal by including personalized video recordings into the email as opposed to the basic text. If the CRM that you are using doesn’t facilitate the video integration within their system, you are limiting yourself and your business. Options you should be looking for a CRM to include is…
in order to be successful in today’s real estate world you have to be actively developing leads on every front. The standard thought of getting your hour of power on the phones will always be part of a successful agent’s activities. For that reason, your CRM should include the ability to work with automated dialers. For example, BoomTown is a very effective CRM. However, BoomTown does NOT have an automated dialer system. In order for BoomTown to maximize its effectiveness it reached out to the Mojo dialer systems and is now able to integrate the two systems.
- These dialer systems also have capability to integrate text communication to execute drip campaigns.
Video Email Integration
Video is another method of reaching out to your clients in a more personal way. For that reason, your CRM should allow you to include this tool into the different campaigns you initiate. I’m not say the CRM includes the video capability, but rather that it allows for the integration of it into their system.
- Obviously, your CRM should also have the capability to push out mass emails and email drip campaigns without the video integration (seems like I jumped ahead of myself…went straight to the video).
CRM for Team Leaders
Once you get to the point where you are looking to build a team of agent under you, you will shift some of your focus to accountability. The CRM you choose will be a critical tool in your success as a team manager. Some of the activities that you should be able to track are…
When agents log in
How many calls agents make in a day
How many text agents send in a day
How many e-alert agents set up
How many “To Do’s” have been set
How many “To Do’s” have been accomplished
These, along with a million other activities should be at a team leaders finger tips within seconds of logging on. This will also help you better track your agent’s success and short falls as you begin to develop your team.
Well, there you have it!!! These are just a couple of notes that will help you decide which CRM is the best for you. Understand that every CRM has strengths and weaknesses, but there will be something out there for you and your needs.
…and it’s FREE!!!