How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM Tool
Jacqueline Kyo Thomas
When you become a real estate agent, every one tells you to get a customer relationship management tool, aka a CRM. While that advice is absolutely true, you may be left wondering:
What the heck is a real estate CRM tool and how can you use it to generate more business?
In this post, we’ll discuss what a CRM is and what you need to know to use it effectively. Let’s get started.
A real estate CRM is a type of software that allows you to manage your contacts. Instead of trying to keep track of your contacts with sticky notes and memory fragments, you can record everything you know about your contacts in one central location. Then, you can look up that information whenever you need to, whether that’s during a call or before a listing presentation.
CRMs enable you to record everything, not just a contact’s phone number, but also all of your interactions. For example, your CRM can keep every email that you’ve sent and received for each contact. This makes it easier for you to recall information for a specific lead or client without searching through your entire email inbox.
Your CRM also gives you an overview of where each lead or client is in your pipeline. See at a glance what your next move is, whether that’s sending a personal email or contact details. This invaluable feature helps you stay on top of your daily and weekly tasks. That’s right—your CRM will give you a head’s up when you need to reach out. By staying in touch with your contacts regularly, you’ll remain at the top of their minds when they need your services.
CRMs can also make use of marketing. If someone initiates contact with you over social media or your website, your CRM can spring to action and send an immediate message to your new contact (and a notification to you) so that no one slips through the cracks.
In short, the right CRM will give you super powers.
You may think that you can’t afford a CRM, especially if you’re just getting started, but here’s a dose of good news: Some CRMs, such as Bitrix24, Freshworks, and Insightly, are actually free, with the option to upgrade as your demands grow. So, there’s really no excuse for migrating from spreadsheets and sticky notes to a robust client management system that you can access on your desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone.
Now that we’ve discussed why you should use a CRM, let’s discuss how to use it effectively.
CRMs enable you to organize your contact list into groups depending on a number of factors such as: where they are in the buying process, if they have purchased a home with you before, if they are interested in properties in a particular town, and more. This process is known as segmenting.
Why is segmentation important?
Your contact list includes a very diverse group of people. Your contact list may include current clients, former clients, and leads at various stages of the funnel. Some leads are ready to buy or sell tomorrow, but others are still in the early stages and would benefit from nurturing. Your contact list may also include other real estate professionals, such as lenders, attorneys, contractors, and fellow agents.
With so many different people on your list, it’s more effective to separate them into groups. This allows you to prepare individual messages for each group.
There are many ways to segment your list. For example, let’s take leads. You can segment based on how they found you (through mailers, social media, cold calls, open houses, etc.). Or you can segment by client type (i.e. buyer or seller). Even more, you can segment buyer clients based on other criteria, such as:
As you see, there are a lot of ways to organize your list.
By taking the time to segment your list, you’ll be able to send more targeted communications to each group. This will ensure that your audience receives the type of information that they care about so that they don’t lose interest in your emails and tune out.
Use your CRM to keep track of where your leads are coming from. Did they find you through a referral? If so, who referred them? You can keep track of that in your CRM. This can guide your future marketing efforts, so that you know where to focus your attention. If you find that a lot of your traffic comes through Zillow but not Instagram, you may decide to double-down on Zillow and stop spending money on Instagram ads. Or you may decide to refine your Instagram strategy.
This is a great way to save time and maximize your cold calling efforts.
Use your CRM to store all the information that you know about a prospective client before cold calling or cold emailing. For example, you can research them on social media or jot down information that you get from a referral source and then use that information during your initial conversation.
The contacts in your CRM aren’t just there to collect dust. Every single person in your CRM should be reached out to regularly, or they don’t belong in your CRM. Yes. Every contact.
Real estate is all about people. Your success as a real estate agent relies on your ability to maintain top of mind status. You’ll never do that if you let your contacts forget about you. You’ve got to stay in touch.
Use your CRM to remind you when it’s time to reach out to every contact, whether that’s in the form of a “happy birthday” card to a former client or a “let’s catch up over coffee” text message to a rockstar referral source.
Use your CRM to reach out to your contacts at key milestones automatically. You can create and then program your CRM to send actionable messages to your contacts.
For example, you can create a message that’s delivered to new leads after they fill out a form on Zillow. This provides reassurance that you’ve received their message while also giving you a chance to start building trust with your new contact right away. You may share a link to a free resource, such as a neighborhood guide, while they await your return call on the property. This helps you capture the lead and prevent them from wandering away to another agent.
That’s just one example of many ways that you can automatically deploy messages through your CRM to your contact list. You can also use events, such as an approaching birthday or a move-in anniversary, to automatically trigger a pre-written email from you.
In addition to pre-written emails that you may pen for an individual contact, you can create templates for every common scenario in your real estate business. Store these email templates in your CRM and then personalize them as necessary. Sending a templated email with personalized additions (such as their first name) will save a lot of time and effort, without coming across as soulless.
It’s the little things like this that add up to conversion, loyalty, and repeat business.
Many CRMs include contact phone dialers. This feature allows you to blast through phone calls non-stop and crush your daily followup quotas.
Instead of dialing (or mis-dialing a number in error), you simply input a list of phone numbers into your CRM and then it will make one call after the other without you having to hang up between calls.
What happens when you inevitably reach the voicemail? Your CRM can leave your pre-record voicemail at the click of the button. That’s a huge time-saver, and worth the cost of a CRM on that feature alone. Just be sure to find a CRM that offers this feature if you make a lot of cold calls.
Your CRM will not only save you time but make you money. It’s an invaluable tool for every real estate agent. Use the above tips to make the most of your CRM.
Before you go, check out these related posts: