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The Ultimate Guide to CRM for Real Estate

If you are in real estate business, you know how challenging it can be to manage your business and clients.  Let me introduce you to a tool that can make things easier for you: the CRM.

What is a CRM?

Real estate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a must have software if you are in the real estate business.  It allows you to seamlessly manage your business. Generally, the software lets you manage leads, store customer information, manage marketing campaigns and after sales services through a single centralized platform. This information is available to everyone in your business who needs it. Real estate agents can now run their business without wasting time. 

Reasons Why You Need a Real Estate CRM

#1. You Will Understand Your Prospects

It is essential to understand how you generate prospects. It could be through your marketing campaigns or well-built website.  If you know where your prospects are coming from, you’ll understand what they are looking for in the market. When a prospect lands on your website, you can use CRM to create a form that collects necessary information about them. In addition, there are CRM software that have chat tools that allow you to engage with your prospects real-time. If the prospect is from an email campaign, then the prospect is automatically created in your real estate CRM.

#2. You Can Prioritize Leads You Want to Chase

Real estate CRM allows you to focus on leads interested in transacting with you rather than following up with leads that you won’t convert. So, how does real estate CRM help you prioritize the leads?  Real estate CRM allows you to classify your leads as either hot, warm, or cold according to how they engage with your business. Prioritize prospects that are actively communicating with you.

#3 You Can Access All Customer Information In One Place

One of the best reasons why your real estate business need CRM is that it allows you to track customer activities, make calls or even send them emails from your CRM. You can check all engagements you’ve made with various customers since you started engaging. Besides, CRM allows you to add tasks and notes relevant to each customer.

#4 You Can Map the Sales Process Using CRM

Modern real estate CRM allows you to keep track of your engagements with customers. You can customize yours sales process depending on your needs.  For example, you can follow the following steps.

  • Send a pitch
  • Send a follow-up email
  • Virtual tour
  • Visit the property
  • Negotiate prices and so forth

This allows you to know the number of customers at each stage. You can use this information to generate revenue estimates and to identify any loopholes in your business.

# 5. You Can Analyze the Performance of Your Business

As a realtor, you will want to know how your business is performing, how each agent is performing, where you are generating leads from and more. In simple terms, you might need to know the status of your business. To do this, you don’t need complicated tools and spreadsheets. All you need is a modern real estate CRM that can generate periodic reports. You can draw insights from the reports and strategize on how to improve your performance.

#6. You Will Never Miss a step with Your Customers

A real estate CRM allows you to automate workflow. Without a real estate CRM, you could easily forget to send follow up reminders, attend meetings and so forth.  It allows you to save time so that you can attend to your customer’s needs.

#7. You Will Build A long lasting Relationship with Your Customers

Most realtors make money through referral. A sure way of getting referrals is through great customer experience. Another way is by establishing a long term relationship with your customers. Keep in touch with your customers by sharing with them DIY tips, on how to furnish their houses, sending them anniversary and birthday wishes. You can do all this within a real estate CRM by creating customized sales campaigns. 

Advantages of CRM for Real Estate

CRM is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways of strengthening your real estate business. Although CRM for real estate has been around for a while, the process has evolved to a better version referred to as SMAC. SMAC is an acronym for Sales, Marketing, Accounting, and CRM. Handling all your real estate business without a CRM can be a daunting task. Below are the advantages of CRM for real Estate.

  1. You will be More Knowledgeable about your clients.  CRM allows you to customize your services because you can have a profile for each client.
  2. Automating your real estate business will make the sales process safer and easier.
  3. Integrating CRM allows you to send out emails, reminders and reports instantly. Your team will be better at follow-up and support.
  4. CRM allows you to perform marketing activities safely.  In the CRM, you can plan and organize different activities in line with your business
  5. CRM allows you to create and analyze reports efficiently. This can benefit your business in a big way.
  6. CRM for real estate will increase your efficiency. To achieve this, integrate your business with other business software.  It will allow you to synchronize important data such as financial statements, transaction records and more.
  7. CRM will allow you to audit your business operations allowing you to automatically archive and verify information.
  8. A CRM will help you find a customer from your database. You can thus  look at your previous transaction with them and easily contact them for future sales

How CRM Can Help Realtors Boost Business

CRM can help realtors improve their marketing efforts.  It allows real estate agents to focus on opportunities that deliver results. Using CRM for real estate will allow you to follow up with organic traffic and leads. 

The main objective of a real estate is to convert prospects into clients and to manage client information. An example is when a new client calls to make inquiries.  You can follow up with the customer in real-time. 

The real estate industry is broad and it may take time before you start seeing results. However, you can fast track this process by defining your target market .When you integrate CRM in your real estate business and define a target market, your lead generation campaign will be more effective.

CRM allows you to manage, store and organize large amounts of client information from one place. This will help you to identify potential marketing opportunities based on your marketing campaigns. You can now focus on specific activities such as analyzing the online habits of your buyers or looking at their professional qualifications.

In any business, it’s important to monitor leads. In real estate business, monitoring your leads will improve your sales because you can identify prospects that are likely to buy.

Questions To Ask Before Buying a CRM

In today’s world, it’s almost impossible to run a real estate business without a CRM especially if you want to speed up the sales process and keep up with prospects. But before buying a CRM, there are important questions that you need to ask to ascertain CRM is the best solution for your business.

  • Do I have a license to integrate CRM and the business software?
  • Is my CRM compatible with the current software solutions?
  • How easy is it to export my current prospects to the software solution?
  • Does this integrate with third party applications?
  • Does it integrate with outside marketplaces to get more leads?
  • Will the CRM help me target the right customers?
  • Will it send me targeted responses?
  • Does it provide ways of measuring advertising results?
  • How easy is it to use the CRM?

Which CRM Is Best?  The Types of CRM Software 

CRM apps have different designs.  However, they shouldn’t confuse you because they all aim to help you understand your clients better even if they don’t work in the same way. It depends with what you want. Some aim to increase leads, while some might just be looking for a better way of following up with clients. Here are the four primary types of CRM software.

  1. Conversation CRM

Conversation CRM focuses on the conversation your company has with contacts and customers.  The CRM organizes each conversation you have into the correct contract’s profile.  This helps you to know the last conversation you had with a client before engaging them again.

  1. Leads and Deals CRM

Leads and Deal CRM are the most popular type of CRM. They focus on closing deals with the most promising prospects. In this type of CRM, you track potential clients (leads) and then turn the lead into a deal. They help to trace all the steps that made the deal a success. It also helps sales representatives to know at what stage the deal was at any given time.

  1. Contact CRM

 These are the simplest type of CRM. They help you to gather all the important information you need about the people you are engaging with. When you know client’s details such as their birthday or anniversary, you’re likely to make a long lasting relationship. Contact CRM are easy to use because they have a simple design similar to Google contacts.

  1. Marketing CRM

An example of marketing CRM is Hubspot. It makes use of your contact data by automatically emailing the contacts and so on. Marketing CRM will help you close deals faster.

Explaining the Most Common CRM Terminologies

It is essential to learn CRM lingo so as to understand how CRM works.  There are many new CRM terminologies that you need to be familiar with. Let’s explain some of these terms.

#1. Contact

You’re probably familiar with contacts.  A CRM contact contains and personal information of customers and clients.  Contacts for organization s you work with are referred to ad Company or Account. A good CRM allows you to link an individual contact to an Account or Company.

#2. Lead

A lead is a prospect. These are potential clients.  These are the people you’ll want to give more attention to increase sales.

#3. Opportunity

If you think that you are going to sale to your lead your service, then they’re an opportunity.  In simple terms, these are people likely to buy your product. You will want to know them more. CRM helps to list their information so that you know exactly what this opportunity is and track them using CRM.

#4.Quote

Let’s say you’ve converted your lead into an opportunity.  To make a deal, you’ll have to quote a price for your services or products.  In simple terms, a quote is the price of your services. CRM will help you know the price you quoted to a client when you engage with them later.

#5. Deal

After, sending a quote everything then can work out or fail. If it works out, the deal is successful. Sometimes the opportunity fails. CRM helps you to track all your previous deals.  You’ll know your won and lost deals.

#6. Profiles

Profiles refer to people that use the CRM APP. Each profile has a role and a set of permissions. For instance, your marketing agent might not have access to your suppliers list and so forth.

#7. Campaign

When using CRM for marketing, you need to track your outreach. Each campaign lists contacts, results and notes from that campaign.

#8. Tags

Just like meta tags in your photos or Gmail, tags allow you to add extra information to a deal , a contact or anything else. This data helps you in creating insights.

#9. Activities

An activity is anything that has happened in the CRM app. It could be a new contact, a new deal or even just a comment from a colleague. Activities are listed in one place so that you can easily access it.

Common Features of Real Estate CRM Software

Here are some features to look out for when purchasing a real estate CRM solution.

  1. Managing Leads

 A Real estate CRM allows you to manage the leads that you have collected through social media platforms, live chats, web forms and other platforms. This is also referred to as contact management. IN real estate, CRM allows you to manage contacts and leads using the most relevant tools.  Managing leads often involves:

  • Importing data from external sources like spreadsheets.
  • Automatically capturing leads from web forms, ads and other sources.
  • Lead distribution, so that you work with the most relevant leads.
  • Segmenting the leads based on a criteria of your choice
  • Lead scoring to know the hottest leads.
  1. Pipeline Management

Just like any other business, it’s ideal to have all your deals in one place. The pipeline feature in a CRM makes this possible. It allows you to attach documents and other details to each activity. Some CRMs include stats that show different metrics.

  1. Marketing Automation

This feature varies with the CRM platform that you’re using.  Some use simple text and email tools while others have fully fledged marketing automation functionality. Look for marketing automation tools with the following features.

  • Drip Campaigns: They help you to nurture deals with relevant content.
  • Automation: This allows you to schedule email campaigns.
  • Prebuilt templates and configuration options
  • Analytics reports such as open and click through rates that allow you to improve your outreach.
  1. MLS integration

MLS integration is specifically for real estate CRM. It allows seamless integration of MLS data within the CRM.

  1. Support for Popular Tools

The CRM tool that you use should be compatible with the other apps that you’re using should integrate with commonly used tools such as Dropbox, Google Docs, MS Office and others.  Of importance, it should support real estate platforms such as Zillow, Realtor.com, Easy Agent Pro and so on.

  1. Usability

You want a CRM tool that is easy to use. You don’t have to be tech savvy to use the CRM Software. It will be much easier if you understand the interface. After all, you don’t have to waste time learning how the CRM software works. Unless you’re tech savvy, choose a user friendly design. The features to look out for include:

  • Drag and drop tools
  • Visual builders and 
  • Premade templates

Top Real Estate CRM Software

A real estate CRM will lead to improved sales. However, there are numerous CRM software that it makes it challenging to choose the best.  So, how do you know the right real estate CRM to use? Here is a list of the top real estate CRM software.

Wise Agent

Wise agent has a myriad of features that make it one of the best CRM software. These features include unlimited document storage, landing pages, transaction management, mobile responsive design, and social media enhancements. It can integrate with a wide range of applications such as Google applications, IDX Broker, and Twitter. Its other unique features include lockbox list and a printing feature. Exemplary customer service is their priority. You can access their customer support attendants at any time.

Key Features

  • Calendar:  This feature allows you to plan your day. You can set up text or email alerts about future events.
  •  SMS Text:  it has an option to send texts to new leads and text blasts to larger groups. It also allows adding videos in the text.
  • Education Tracking: This unique feature allows you to track and record classes that you need to remain licensed.

Cons

Although Wise Agent has much useful functionality, it also has some downfalls. Here are some of its drawbacks.

  • You can’t send more than 500 emails in a day.
  • You can’t auto save notes.
  • Only one person can view a profile at a time.

Contactually

This is another popular CRM solution for real estate.  It focuses on lead nurturing and is cloud based. You can access some of its most common features including contact management, pipelines and dashboards. It integrates with tools like Zapier and IDX Broker. One of its trademarks is dedication to data security. It also automates repetitive tasks. 

Key Features

Here are some of Contactually’s top features:

Duplicate Content Scan: Contactually has a system for checking duplicate contacts. It compiles a list of all repaired names, phone numbers, email addresses and so on. This ensures that your database is clean.

Network Health:  Contactually provides insights on how well you are connecting with your leads and clients.

ScaleMail:  This feature lets you send messages to different contacts simultaneously while adding a personal touch to each message.

Cons

Contactually has the following shortcomings:

  • You can only see a limited number of historical actions.
  • Its Android app has a low rating

Realvolve

Realvolve is another amazing CRM for retail estate agents. It has features such as workflow automation,  calendar, bulk messages and contact management. Its hallmark is its scalability. It updates to changes in your business so you don’t need to replace it with a newer version. It has mobile apps for both Apple and Android devices. It also integrates with tools such as Evernote, Google+, and Zappier.

Key features:

Custom Workflows: Reavolve allows you to create your own library. It also has its own library of workflows.

Data Tags: This feature allows you to organize your data. It saves time when you’re searching for data.

Property Portfolio: Realvolve allows you to manage the details of the properties that you’re working on.

Cons

  • To add a video to an email, you need to integrate with a third party.
  • You can’t add custom fields to each client.

Follow Up Boss

Follow Up Boss is a cloud based CRM ideal for small real estates. It has features such as a shared calendar, file sharing and @tagging. Its other capabilities include email automation, outbound calling, and multiple integration. Its supports both Android and iOS devices. Lastly they have one of the best support services.  They reply within a few hours. You can reach them via email, text or phone any day of the week.

Key Features

Smart List: It allows organizing leads with similar characteristics together. You could organize them based on their price range, when they were created or even the number of times you’ve reached out to them.

Website Activity Tracking: You can prioritize which lead to pursue based on their online activity. The system looks at the lead’s spending behavior and draws insights used in marketing campaigns.

Inbound Calling Routing: You can create rules for routing inbound calls to different profiles.

Cons

Follow Up Boss falls short in the following areas.

  • You can’t set reminders for important events like anniversaries
  • It has a poor Android rating

Summary

As we sum up, I hope you now fully understand the role of CRM in real estate.  When venturing out in search of a new CRM for your real estate business, make sure it fits your needs.