There are a number of considerations to think about when in the market for a real estate CRM. Perhaps you’re currently using a system that’s hard to use or too complex or maybe you don’t have a contact management system at all and are looking for one to help you get better organized and keep in touch with your sphere.
Whichever category you fall into, in this article I’ll explain key criteria to keep in mind when looking for a real estate CRM.
If you’re a REALTOR®, a general purpose CRM just won’t cut it. Your CRM needs to be designed for you and your business. It needs to include features like real estate related contact fields, a transaction management module, listing and closing Activity Plans, a real estate e-Newsletter, and real estate focused drip marketing campaigns, including email and letter templates.
The CRM needs to have contact fields for mortgage details, lead sources, referrals, birthdates, interests, and family member details. As a Realtor, these fields are vital to better understanding your leads and clients and building lifelong relationships with them.
Another thing to keep in mind: a good real estate CRM will let you easily insert a lead capture form on your website. When you get a lead, the lead should be automatically captured into your database, you should get an instant email notification, and you should have the ability to automatically assign the lead to a drip marketing campaign.
Lastly, the CRM needs to have a module for transaction management so you can generate service reports, record notes about your listings, manage your showings, store documents, manage third-parties related to a listing, manage and get reminded of key dates, track commissions, and more.
The real estate CRM should have drip marketing campaigns for different lead types. These campaigns, if done well, are instrumental in helping you nurture all your leads and eventually convert them to clients.
The CRM should also come with a comprehensive library of real estate specific email and letter templates, and Just Listed and Just Sold e-Cards and e-Flyers.
As well, an included e-Newsletter, that’s professionally written and designed for you every month is important. A real estate newsletter is a great way to position yourself as a “home expert,” keep in touch with your real estate sphere of influence (SOI), and get leads and past clients to pick up the phone and call you.
Lastly, if your CRM has the ability to view email campaign reports, this is a big plus. You’ll be able to get vital insight into who your hot leads are and be able to improve your email marketing. Data that campaign reports provide include who opened your email (and how many times they did so), who clicked on your links, and which email addresses hard bounced (never got sent because the email address isn’t longer valid).
You need to ask what the real estate CRM syncs with. It should sync with your smartphone, your tablet, and Microsoft Outlook (PC users), and Mac Address Book (Mac users). Additionally, it should be web-based so there’s no software to install and should be fully compatible with all the major web browsers such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.
If you’re not too tech-savvy, the best type of smartphone sync is one that syncs with the built-in address book and calendar in your smartphone. This way, you don’t have to learn how to use a separate app (which can be complicated) and you’ll have lightning quick access to your contact details and appointments when you need them. The benefit of a smartphone sync, of course, is that you don’t have to enter information in two places (in your CRM and in your phone) every time you add, delete, or modify data.
If you’re going to be using a real estate CRM every day (you should log in at least once a day), it needs to be intuitive and user-friendly. And because you’re likely a busy Realtor, you don’t have time to spend months learning how to use a software, so the initial learning curve can’t be steep.
Read some product reviews and customer testimonials and make sure the software comes with free and unlimited customer support by phone and email, so you can contact the company if you have any questions or need help.
When it comes to choosing a real estate CRM, there are a number of necessary considerations to keep in mind. The five criteria discussed in this article are what differentiate a top notch and comprehensive CRM for Realtors from one that could be missing key features and functionality required to be truly effective. Good luck!