A decade ago, you might have been the don of the real estate market. No more, though. Today, you aren’t the only walking, all-encompassing real estate encyclopedia. Your customers know as much as you do, thanks to the rapid advent of social media, online communities, search and other tools.
Take a look at this statistic unearthed in a study on Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report by National Association of Realtors (NAR). It indicates that 99% of the millennials and 89% of the older boomer do an online search before purchasing a home. With the market seeing such a huge shift, notwithstanding other changes it is witnessing, such as low interest rates and high inventory, what could make you stand out as a real estate agent is your ability to deliver on or above par customer experience.
But, can you do that without the help of technology? We doubt it.
We bet a typical day for you involves juggling multiple tasks, such as keeping in touch with your past customers, keeping tab of referrals, attending to your prospective customers, scheduling meetings and calls, visiting open houses, taking your customers on a tour of properties, identifying the progress you’ve made with your customers, and the list goes on.
How do you organize your everyday tasks better? How do you get a bird’s eye view of how your deals are progressing and where the bottlenecks are? How do you always stay on your toes when it comes to customer experience, because hey, that’s the source of your moolah.
The solution to all these questions lies in adopting a customer relationship management software.
Here are 7 reasons you need to adopt real estate CRM so that you can deliver a positive customer experience while also driving revenues for your business.
- You will always be in the know about your prospects
- You can prioritize leads you want to go after
- You get to access ALL customer information in ONE PLACE!
- You have the sales process mapped right within your real estate CRM
- You can analyze how your business is performing
- You will never, ever skip a step with your customers
- You build a long-lasting relationship with your customers
You may be getting leads from various sources. It could either be from a great website you’ve built, supported by engaging videos and interactive content, it may be through top-notch marketing campaigns you’re running, through ads, open houses or other means. Now, what do you do with all these prospects which come from different sources? How do you understand what they are looking for in the market?
Here’s where a real estate CRM can make your job a whole lot easier. For one, if your prospects land directly on your website, you can create web forms in your CRM to collect necessary information about your prospects, such as their name, email address and the company they work with before you engage in the first conversation with them. Additionally, some CRM software also have chat tools which you can use to engage in real-time with your prospects. Mind you, if they took the effort to chat with you, this isn’t a prospect you’d want to ignore. Alternatively, if the lead comes through an email campaign, then the lead usually automatically gets created in your real estate CRM.
In fact, a good real estate CRM can also auto enrich leads by furnishing further details about your prospect by drawing information from their social profiles. Additionally, it can also track your website or app visitors and give insights into the pages your visitors engaged with the most, the reports they downloaded and more. This will provide more context into what your leads are looking for. For example, they may have viewed a few properties you’ve listed on your page or downloaded a report about real estate purchase trends in a particular market.
You get to focus on those leads who are more interested in transacting with you to buy or sell a home, rather than following up with a dozen leads which may or may not convert. Now, how can a real estate CRM help you do that? The answer to this lies in scoring your leads. You can classify your leads as hot, warm or cold, depending on how they engage with your business and ensure that you go after those leads who are more actively communicating with you over those who are unresponsive.
One of the best things about having a good real estate CRM implemented in your business is that it allows you to make calls and emails from right within your CRM. And, you can even track every customer activity and get a chronological timeline view of every engagement you’ve had with your customers since the time they began engaging with your business. What does this mean? Let’s take an example. You were engaging with a seller who wanted to get a reasonable price for his property in a downtown locality. After several email exchanges and in-person meetings, and after engaging with several buyers, he decided to take a step back and wait until the property prices go up further. Four months later, he comes back and decides to put his property on the market again. Would you rather drill through the multiple emails and messages you’ve exchanged to come up to speed on where you left last, or store all information in one single place for immediate access? Hence, a single location where all customer engagements are stored not only saves time but also helps you catch up on where you left last with your customers.
In fact, right within a real estate CRM, you can add notes, tasks, and appointments relevant to each customer. You can even upload files like buyer contracts, purchase agreements and more.
Let’s assume in the last seven days, close to 50 buyers, and sellers have approached you about property details in your region. And, you have your sales process all planned out in your head. Exchange a set of emails, set up an in-person meeting, take them on a tour of the properties that may be relevant to them, negotiate and close the deal. But, nothing works like clockwork and not all potential customers convert into a won deal. So, how do you determine which stage of the deal your customer is in? In other words, how do you chalk out your entire sales process with a buyer or seller within your real estate CRM?
A visual sales pipeline in a modern real estate CRM can act as the perfect setup for you to keep track of the progress you’re making with each customer. You can customize your sales pipeline depending on your needs. For example, it could include the following steps- Pitched, Follow-up, virtual tour, view property, negotiation, won and lost, or have additional steps in between.
You can view the number of customers in each deal stage, analyze won and lost deals, generate revenue estimates, identify bottlenecks in your business and much more.
As a business, you might want to understand how many deals you’ve closed in a month, quarter or year, analyze buying/selling trends in a particular period, determine how each agent is performing, identify which sources the leads are coming from and more. In other words, from time to time, you might want to draw actionable insights into every aspect of your business. You don’t need complicated reporting tools or spreadsheets to do that. All you need is a good real estate CRM which can generate weekly, monthly or yearly sales reports to identify gaps in performance and draw out strategies to grow your business further.
In fact, if you want to compare a few reports, you don’t need to open each one of them individually. You can simply view the insights in real-time using dashboard.
Be it to send a follow-up reminder for payments, for a meeting, for a contract, or to notify your team every time a lead goes cold; you can perform these tasks in a jiffy in a real estate CRM with workflow automations. This not only saves time but also allows you to spend more time catering to your customers.
Did you know? A study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) reveals that real estate agents get close to 41% of their business through referrals. That’s a huge number we’re talking about!
But, how do you get referrals? One is through great customer experience which you can deliver if you follow the steps we’ve listed above. And two is to ensure you establish a sustained relationship with your customers. Be it to wish them on their birthdays and anniversaries, to share DIY tips to furnish their homes, to share market data related to the area where they’ve bought a house or to simply keep in touch with them, newsletters or targeted marketing emails can go a long way in establishing recall and even increase your chance of a referral.
Usually, you can do all this within a CRM by creating customized sales campaigns. In fact, you can even track opens, clicks and other metrics right within the CRM to draw insights into how you can engage better with them.
Our last words…
We’ll leave you with this piece of data. In another NAR report published in 2017, research indicated that ‘agents want to work for brokerages that can empower them with good technology to make daily sales and marketing work easier. This necessarily includes a reliable real estate CRM.’