How To Use a CRM To Expand Your Real Estate Business
September 22, 2023
Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, News, Real Estate Business Planning, Real Estate CRM, Real Estate Marketing, Real Estate Teams
As a real estate agent, a critical component of success involves your ability to manage your contacts – leads, past and current clients, or other individuals within your sphere of influence. That’s because, in this industry, relationships matter.
That’s why real estate customer relationship management systems exist – to support how you manage and interact with your contacts so that you can build even stronger connections with your audience. When done right, these relationships then lead to more transactions for your business, no matter if you’re a solo operator or part of a team; a tech-savvy real estate professional or someone who operates entirely from a traditional lead generation playbook.
Understanding the basics of real estate CRM
A real estate client relationship management system (CRM) is a digital tool that helps agents manage and organize client and potential client information. It enables agents to:
- Track communication and interactions
- Streamline workflows
- Identify areas of potential opportunity
- Foster meaningful relationships
What makes a real estate CRM different from generic CRM software?
CRM software is not new to the market. Generic versions of the software are practically a dime a dozen. That’s because CRM systems have proven benefits to any client-facing industry.
The benefits of CRM software
- Improved client relationships: CRM software helps businesses build and maintain client relationships by providing a centralized database of client information
- Enhanced communication: A generalized CRM houses a digital paper trail of all communication with clients, whether the conversation happens over the phone, email, chatbot – or a mixture of different methods.
- Streamlined marketing efforts. CRM software supports targeted marketing efforts based on criteria such as client behavior. Having this information at the ready can help you maximize your marketing efforts every time you run a campaign.
- Efficient task management: A CRM system helps organize tasks, appointments and deadlines, helping your team operate more productively.
- Data insights: Many CRM systems offer at least some data and reporting tools to help you better understand sales performance.
A generic CRM software is a more efficient way to organize your real estate business than relying on spreadsheets to catalog new and existing contacts.
However, it doesn’t scratch the surface of the advantages and nuances a solution tailored to the real estate industry can provide. That’s because a real estate system hones in on the two things that matter most to your real estate business: people and properties.
The key benefits of real estate CRM software
- Property management and marketing: A real estate CRM includes features for managing the intricacies of property listings. With this information, agents can easily update property details while keeping tabs on its history, too.
- Lead and client segmentation: Industry-specific software takes lead segmentation one step further, providing agents with a granular look at clients based on criteria like budget, location and amenity preferences. This kind of information helps agents target their communications with even more specificity, connecting leads with property matches faster (and with less legwork).
- Transaction management: Not only does a CRM track a property’s status before it’s sold, but it can also help manage your processes throughout closing. From tracking contract deadlines and compliance requirements to automating to-do items for your team, it simplifies the workflow, ensuring no steps are missed.
- MLS integrations: One of the most important features of a real estate CRM is a MLS integration. This integration ensures real estate agencies have access to real-time property listing information, ensuring you’re only spending time on available listings.
- Client insights: Using the information collected, stored and managed in the CRM system, agents can get an even clearer picture of the wants and needs of each lead, client or contact.
Why agents need a CRM
Real estate agents well-versed in online lead generation understand the importance of organizing and nurturing a database of leads and clients. These agents use a CRM to automate follow-up emails, track online interactions and segment their audience by different criteria for more effectively targeted marketing campaigns. Implementing a CRM in this way helps these agents convert leads efficiently and effectively, even in a saturated market.
But not all agents are well-versed in online lead generation.
Some prefer to build their business around clients and referrals within an established sphere of influence network only. Because they don’t generate leads online, these agents often assume a CRM won’t offer any additional benefits to their way of work.
That’s where they’re wrong
How can CRM be used in business?
Using a CRM, these agents can effectively manage even the most extensive network, allowing them to engage with their clients on a highly personalized level – without having to cross-reference spreadsheets or rely on memory to recall details. A CRM contact management system ensures you’re able to send out regular updates on your local market, tailor your communications accordingly and even trigger drip campaigns for important dates, such as birthdays or anniversaries of closing dates. This helps you build even stronger client-agent relationships – a critical business priority, especially during a time when the ratio of available real estate agents compared to available homes for sale is 2:1.
What are other reasons agents need a CRM?
Even if an agent’s business primarily gains business from referrals, a CRM can track the source of each referral, helping an agent understand which clients or partners are leading to the most return on investment. This performance tracking information can be used to prioritize and nurture referral sources within your SOI to strengthen your sales pipeline and expand your real estate company.
A CRM can also double as a document management system, where agents can save all transaction-related information for easy access. Considering any one transaction can involve multiple contracts, inspection reports and communications, this centralized repository helps reduce the risk of errors in your agency operations.
Choosing the right CRM for your real estate business: Get CRM-ready with Sierra Interactive
If you’re a real estate agent or broker considering implementing a CRM to help grow your real estate company, these are several important features to consider.
How to choose a real estate CRM: Four features to look for
- SEO website integration: A stand-alone CRM system limits the amount of value you’re able to get from it. Instead, choose a system that integrates with a real estate website builder. That way, you’ll ensure the information feeding into your CRM is tightly synced with your online presence and lead generation efforts.
- Lead tracking and management: Ensure your CRM provides intuitive and automated lead tracking and management capabilities, especially if your agency is looking to implement online lead generation efforts to expand your business. This should include comprehensive lead routing features to accurately distribute any leads you’ve earned to your team based on that lead’s criteria and preferences.
- Customizable and automated marketing campaigns: Ensure your CRM can segment your contact database in a way that helps you tailor and personalize your outreach and marketing email campaigns. This feature should also include task automation and campaign scheduling to help ensure these messages reach your target audience with less work required of your team on the backend.
- Data management: Your CRM should also double as a single source of truth for your entire business to work from. Having a central hub of information helps reduce miscommunication and errors – especially in high-stakes contract situations. And, while the system should create a trusted source of information your team can rely on, it should also be able to be customized. For example, the ability to save default views to capture snapshot news, kickoff feeds for agents and ISAs, and more. From there, managers should be able to drill down into granular data, weighing new leads and new lead touches against outbound contacts and other criteria to help gauge agent performance.
Sierra Interactive’s real estate CRM software offers these features, plus the benefits of integrated lead generation websites, ad management, marketing automation and more. To learn more about how to use Sierra Interactive’s real estate platform to grow your real estate business, contact us today.
How do I create a real estate CRM?
Creating a sophisticated real estate CRM involves technical knowledge of database architecture, coding and management.
However, agents and brokers can realize the same benefits of a CRM without building anything from scratch. Instead, select a reputable and proven real estate CRM such as Sierra Interactive’s CRM software, import contact data, and configure features such as lead management, automated workflows and property listings to manage relationships with clients effectively.
How many real estate agents use CRM?
It’s estimated a majority of real estate agents making more than $100,000 per year use a CRM. However, there are benefits of using a real estate CRM regardless of agency or brokerage size. That’s because a CRM leads to improved customer service, productivity and deals.
How can having a CRM system add value to a company?
A CRM system can improve real estate lead conversion rates, reduce manual administrative tasks, provide important business insights and strengthen relationships with an agent’s established sphere of influence as well as prospective clients.
Matt Niehaus is the Senior Digital Marketer at Sierra Interactive.
Real Estate Business Planning
Real Estate Business Planning