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For years now we have had our own Cloud Based Real Estate CRM System available to Realtors®. I’ve also written dozens and dozens of articles about how to find the best CRM, features every CRM needs, etc. Throughout those articles, I’m always pointing out that the number one most important thing about choosing the Real Estate CRM that is right for you is to make sure you choose the one you are most comfortable using. The more comfortable you are with your CRM, the more frequently and regularly you are going to use it. In order to have a successful go at getting your business organized with a CRM, regular and consistent use of the system is CRITICAL.
That still remains my number one suggestion to any Realtor® that is looking for a Real Estate CRM. My number two suggestion is actually pointing out three ways that I find agents mostly don’t use their CRM, and really should be. Today I thought I would share these with you.
Use Your CRM As Your Hub For All Other Platforms
You would think this would be a no-brainer. You got your CRM to organize your Real Estate Business. If that is the case, why wouldn’t you want all your other tech oriented platforms to feed into your CRM system? If they don’t, you’ll run the risk of having different versions of the same contact, in multiple places. That means if you update the contact in one place, it will not update in others. This is completely counterproductive, given your original goal of getting more organized.
Think of this as a bicycle wheel. Your CRM should be the hub of that wheel. All your other platforms are attached to that hub by spokes. The spokes represent the direct connection to the CRM that pushes updates, additions and changes to information back and forth, ensuring that all your data is always in sync and current.
When we originally set out to develop our Real Estate CRM platform, before we considered any of the hundreds of features we wanted to put into our platform, making sure we had a solid cloud we could use to ensure our platform is always the hub was critical. Partnering with Salesforce.com and leveraging their huge appexchange allowed us to do this in ways no other company was able to offer.
A common pushback we get from Realtors® when discussing CRM systems is they don’t want the added expense of “another tech platform”. The reality though is that if you add this expense, you can actually streamline other expenses you might have, zeroing out the added cost of the CRM. One of the easiest ways to do this, and seemingly the most overlooked is managing your transactions through the CRM.
It will take a little bit of set up in the beginning, and possibly some trial and error at first, BUT once you get a clean, easy set of workflows and action plans in place to help you manage your transactions, you’ll find that you can save money. You might not need that full time assistant after all. Or, if you get things really clean and organized like a well oiled machine, you might even be able to avoid hiring a transaction manager.
Again, you bought this platform to help streamline your business and allow you to grow. All CRM systems should have a way for you to set up a custom transaction management process to suit your specific needs.
This last overlooked item isn’t completely overlooked, but does seem to be an after thought with many Realtors®. You see, almost every Realtor® has some sort of drip marketing email campaign set up in their CRM system that they use to nurture their incoming leads. I could write about a dozen reasons why these drip campaigns suck, but I will save that for another article on another day. The important thing to note here is that they shouldn’t be only running their drip marketing through their CRM system, they should be running ALL of their marketing through their CRM system.
Again, the CRM is meant to get you organized. If your CRM doesn’t keep track of who is getting what postcard campaigns, Facebook ad campaigns, or retargeting campaigns, how will you know what to do next for which contact? The answer is simple. you won’t.
You need to make sure your CRM either has built in functionality to handle all these types of things, OR make sure the marketing vendor you are using has a way that they can feed marketing campaign information into your Real Estate CRM. For instance, when we built our Capture Postcard marketing platform, we of course designed it so it would seamlessly integrate with our Real Estate CRM platform. We also though were cognizant of the fact that not every agent we work with would be a CRM subscriber, so we needed to make sure that our platform could also push marketing campaign data into other CRM systems as well.
So there you have it. Just remember this one key thing: You subscribed to a Real Estate CRM to streamline your business, make your life easier and grow your Real Estate Practice. Don’t cripple yourself by not utilizing all the power and functionality that is at your fingertips.