For a long time, the real estate industry has been dominated by individuals who have been using the same tried and true techniques that were applied by their predecessors. Why change when the process isn’t broken and the industry continues to flourish? A couple reasons come to mind — technology and competition. The National Association of Realtors has identified, the recent surge in the capacity and availability of custom digital technology has pushed many of these ‘old school’ agents into seeing the encroaching presence of new technologies as somewhat foreboding. These agents are now exiting the business, rather than forcing themselves to adapt to use new tools. This is leaving a vacuum in the industry as a whole. As new, younger, more tech-savvy agents are rushing to fill the void, the demand for new real-estate specific technology tools is becoming greater every day. And, given the unique demands associated with real estate, these tools are needing to be not only super effective, but also hyper adaptable. In other words, real estate is finding itself in need of high-quality customer service management (CRM).
Why is this? Let’s consider some of the key benefits of CRM for real estate:
- Faster Response Times: Many clients are on a tight schedule when shopping for a property. As such, when they come to you with concerns, questions, or other issues, they expect to receive a response as soon as possible. Thanks to the nature of cloud-based CRM, you’ll be able to receive and respond to these messages from any internet-enabled device, so customers will have the benefit of nearly-instantaneous feedback, and you’ll have the benefit of not having to worry about playing telephone tag with someone who’s schedule may not align with your own. Of course, there may be times when you are unable to respond to customers immediately. CRM helps here as well, by allowing you to record and use personalised automated responses that tell customers that you have received the message, why you are unable to respond, and when you’ll be able to get back to them. An automated response that addresses concerns and provides valuable information is always more well-received than a simple “leave a message after the beep.”
- Intuitive Automation: There are a number of details that go hand in hand with the selling of a property. And while these details may seem like minutia when compared to the larger issues at stake, they are nonetheless vitally important. Setting up your CRM tool to automatically fill out forms, file important documents, and retrieve valuable data when it is needed can give both you and your customers the breathing room to be able to focus on bigger concerns. Additionally, automation makes maintaining client relationships much simpler. The CRM can be directed to keep track of important dates, send out reminders, and even contact your clients directly, when necessary. When used correctly, CRM can take over a number of smaller tasks, allowing you to make a much more efficient use of your time.
- Centralised Database: To make it in real estate, you need to be generating leads from a number of sources. This can be problematic, as maintaining multiple databases for each of these sources is a time consuming and inefficient process. CRM gives you a single, unified system on which to manage all of your contact information, as well as any other information that goes along with it. This data can then be accessed on any device, from anywhere in the world. And, should you be working with a real estate firm or with other agents, you won’t have to worry about information getting lost in the shuffle; your partners will have access to the exact same data, in the exact same format. It’s not only important, but critical that you choose a tool that allows for integration with your current systems; including popular real estate app IDX (Internet Data Exchange), RETS (Real Estate Transaction Standard) and of course, the MLS. You need your CRM to speak seamlessly with these industry standards and databases. If it doesn’t, you’re not leveraging your CRM to its full potential.
- Easier Correspondence: Buying a home (or other piece of property) can be a singular experience. And through all of the ups and downs of the process, it is not uncommon for a bond to form between agent and buyer. As a result, clients who later decide to make further real estate purchases usually prefer to work with the same agents from their initial purchase. Unfortunately, given the amount of time that often passes between purchases, many clients are unable to get back into contact with their old agents. A dedicated CRM tool can help maintain that relationship, even when it is not currently bearing fruit. By retaining contact information in the system, a CRM can periodically send out simple, friendly, non-intrusive emails. These can be as simple as home purchase anniversary reminders or yearly holiday wishes. Maintaining regular contact with clients will let them know that you are available to offer assistance, should they decide to re enter the market.
- Immediate Evaluation: It takes money and time to develop the kinds of relationships you’ll need to be able to succeed in real estate. Because of this, you can’t afford to stick with practises that don’t work. CRM is designed to be able to measure and evaluate the effectiveness of your work in real time. By analysing and documenting your processes, you’ll be able to more quickly abandon courses that aren’t paying off, and focus instead on methods that are.
CRM has proven itself to be an invaluable tool in many business arenas the world over, but some of the most fulfilling work may be in assisting agents to help place individuals into the homes of their dreams.
Real estate CRM helps simplifies agent communication, the home-buying process for their clients, and in the process, ensures a happy, productive relationship for everyone involved. Your clients trust you to help them find the perfect place to call home, and that’s a relationship worth maintaining and protecting.