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By far, one of the most important pieces of real estate software available to professionals today takes the form of a CRM system, or "customer relationship management." Real estate CRM is important because the industry itself literally depends on relationships - arguably more than most. In an overarching sense, CRM helps real estate agents not only stay better connected to their customers by providing them with a single tool to manage all interactions with them, but it also helps streamline processes and dramatically improve profitability, too.
One of the major benefits that this type of software brings to the table has to do with superior visibility over the data being created on a daily basis. When everyone in the same real estate agency is using the same CRM solution, nearly everything about a relationship with a customer is available at a moment's notice. This includes exactly how buyers and sellers have been communicated with, what types of properties buyers have purchased in the past, when they last purchased and how much they paid and much, much more.
Really, it's an exceptional opportunity to preserve your relationship with someone long after they've made that initial purchase or you've helped them sell a home. You can see when the last time you contacted them was and what you spoke about. You can tell when it's time to reach out again and just remind them that you're out there. All of this is in service of the most important goal of all: creating better experiences with your clients, thus separating yourself from your competitors in a way that matters a great deal to the people you serve.
Real estate CRM solutions will also have a few different features that are unique to this industry. One of them often involves integration with secure signing platforms like DocuSign. This allows the CRM to act as a simple, fast and secure way to e-sign documents and speed along the process, thus getting from "initial interest" to "closing date" as efficiently as possible.
But at the same time, one of the most important things to understand is that not all real estate CRM options are created equally. Just like your business is probably very different from your closest competitor (even though you're operating in the same industry), the same is true of the features that these solutions provide. Therefore, it is in your own best interest to read real estate CRM reviews to find a tool that properly aligns with your long-term vision for your firm. If a real estate CRM free solution works for that, terrific - if not, you'll want to dive deeper by way of a real estate CRM comparison chart.
Just a few of the features you should be looking for when shopping around for a new real estate CRM solution include important ones like:
Along the same lines, you'll also want to carefully weigh your options for the specific type of business you're running - meaning that the best CRM for real estate investors likely won't be the same option for a more singularly-focused real estate agency.
When someone is working with a real estate investment firm, that's a relationship that will go on for years. You still need to be able to adequately track interactions with a client and other information about the performance of the markets, but you're going to need to do so over a much longer period of time. If someone buys a house from a real estate agency that they plan on living in forever, they may not actually become a "customer" again for years - if they do so at all.
With a real estate investment firm, on the other hand, you'll be checking in with and interacting with customers on a regular basis so everyone in your organization needs the type of real-time visibility over that relationship that only the best real estate database software can provide.
Each client account will also be far more detailed than it would be with a traditional agency. You'll need to be able to see the larger performance of someone's portfolio and track properties on an individual basis. The CRM you choose needs to provide you with the ability to do this or you'll end up using many different tools, creating ineffective processes that are prone to user error and other issues.
Another important thing to consider has to do with if you're looking for a good commercial real estate CRM as opposed to one for a real estate agency that normally works with private homes. Here, you'll need a tool that allows you to deal with not only larger properties, but far more complicated transactions as well.
There are so many more "moving parts" to a commercial transaction as opposed to a residential one, and any commercial real estate transaction management software needs to support that. Your firm will likely be larger, which means that your CRM needs to support a larger number of users. More people will likely be working together on individual transactions, so any tool you use needs to be able to support cross-company collaboration as well.
Regardless of the type of business you're running, real estate CRM and lead generation truly go hand-in-hand. Based on all of the data that you're collecting about your existing clients (data that you can now easily refer back to and review in the tool itself), you likely have a better idea than most of exactly who your "ideal customer" is. This insight can allow you to get more specific and personal in your marketing campaign, thus creating the types of exceptional experiences that people want when they buy a home.
After using your software to review trends pertaining to past successful transactions and relationships, for example, you can see exactly how often you were contacting people and what success level that frequency had. At that point, you know exactly how to time your real estate CRM with drip campaign for email marketing to attract new customers in the same area. You don't want to send too many messages and overwhelm someone but at the same time, you also want to make sure you're staying at the top of their mind. Your real estate CRM can be a great way to walk this delicate line, creating the best possible situation for all involved.
The true benefit of real estate transaction management software is that it helps you make sense of the huge number of tasks that are associated with every purchase or sale of a home.
Throughout the process, there are documents that will need to be signed, tasks that need to be completed and emails that must be sent. It's quite the juggling act considering this all needs to be done in concert with opposing agents, mortgage, title, inspection and appraisal professionals.
The best software won't just help you organized all this by acting as a real estate transaction management checklist.
It should also do the following:
You can do real estate transaction management services "the old fashioned way," sure - but you'll quickly find yourself drowning in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that are difficult to share with others in your company.
Real estate CRM with website functionality is also important, as linking these two powerful resources together is the perfect opportunity to truly make the best of both worlds.
You could use your real estate CRM to include a property database on your website, for example. Because the database is always populated based on the real information in your CRM, it's always accurate - meaning that you don't have to add these property listings manually and you can change them or remove them in a matter of minutes.
Real estate CRM and website features also include marketing tools that can help you expand your online presence, using your website as a "staging ground." You could integrate the two together in a way that lets prospects make appointments with specific agents directly from your website based on their current availability, for example.
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