CRM is a type of corporate software dedicated, as the abbreviation indicates, to the management of customer relationships. In the field of real estate, it is a great tool for the automation of workflow required to provide what we usually call ‘a personalized customer approach’. Further on in the article, we discuss which tasks a properly selected CRM is able to solve in the aspect of property management and which system to better choose in the first place.
Tasks solved by CRM
Are you hesitating whether you need the dedicated CRM or not? We’ll tell you which tasks this software completes and how your business processes can be enhanced with its capabilities to make the decision easier for you.
- Customer service. A real estate agent is a connecting link between a property owner and the one who wishes to purchase or rent it. In order to earn, agents must, obviously, deal with large volumes of requests, contact customers timely, remind them about upcoming meetings, and tactfully suggest estate for sale to potential buyers. An agency without the centralized sales system will merely make employees literally ‘drown’ in the massive volumes of data. CRM, in turn, structures all that data and makes all related operations accessible and seamless.
- Dealmaking. The process of establishing a rent or selling a real estate object may take months or even stretch out throughout years, mostly due to legal issues. During all that time, several deals can be connected to one and the same object. This often confuses agents and increases risks of failing a deal due to all the paperwork mess. With the help of CRM, you can gather all important data in one place and conveniently manage everything related to the everyday workflow.
- Reputation management. Many owners and buyers try avoiding intermediary agencies, finding them a non-trustworthy partner in an important, financially reinforced deal. To gain a good reputation, stand out on the market, and become a word-of-mouth advertised company, a high-quality customer service that provides a real ‘wow effect’ is required. All employees must make deals according to a single method and using a single dedicated tool, respond to questions fast, keep in head all the nuances of the contract - all in all, an agency must work like a clock. CRM helps achieve that the best way possible.
- Centralized data storage. Agents are obliged to frequently work in the field: meet accommodation owners, demonstrate apartments, solve various questions on objects. A working PC is unavailable at such moments and all information is saved on various devices. Eventually, the data may be lost or missorted. In turn, all modern CRM systems provide access to the centralized info through any devices with the Internet connection.
- Time-efficiency. A CRM system allows managers to use their time more productively. Tasking reminds agents about all deals and actions connected to them.
Things to know before searching for CRM
Before purchasing some or other CRM (the vast majority of which are paid pieces of software), we strongly recommend answering the 3 following important questions.
- What are your current primary business needs?
A CRM must wholesomely satisfy your general business needs. Make sure the system has all the features for daily business processes enhancement. The most demanded out there are a billing system, tenant monitoring, mobile version access, and integration with third-party services (if there is such a capability, clarify which integration options are supported; usually, it’s email, database, and other services).
- What are your future primary business needs?
Think about the way your company can be expanded in the upcoming future. This doesn’t mean that you need to immediately get the most advanced CRM option out there, paying huge money for it just for the sake of the further prospects. Only an adequate, balanced assessment of your future business intentions will help you decide whether the most primitive solution with basic functionality will work for you or you should focus on more prominent alternatives.
- What is your employees’ level of PC skills?
Last but not least, quite an important question: how well will your real estate agents be able to handle the software? A die-hard marketer may not be the most tech-savvy person to start working with software automation tools right away. As a result, a CRM can come out as cumbersome for some employees and even cause errors in order processing. On the other hand, though, it may be a great pretext to make your staff consist of only the contemporary-minded experts with sufficient PC working abilities to handle the property management system.
Criteria in choosing CRM
What in particular to focus on to choose the best CRM? Let’s find out.
- Functionality. Among the necessary functions a CRM for the real estate business must feature are automated newsletter, notifications, reports, email account synchronization, and integration with third-party services (this is, usually, defined by the ‘open API’ feature).
- Automation. An automation of working processes for the increase of servicing quality during intensive traffic stress loads is practically an inevitable affair. The property management software that provides a full automation of all customer service processes from A to Z is definitely a powerful option to consider. On the other hand, it’s crucial defining how reasonable such a global automation will be for your particular business. Clarify how much the features of the CRM you are considering are customizable. The non-customizable options provide fewer opportunities to imitate the live contact with customers.
- Learning curve. We’ve already mentioned this briefly above. Despite the fact that the best property management systems are paid, most of them can be tested beforehand to become familiar with the interface and all the other interaction nuances. Screenshots can help with fully paid options. One way or another, before paying money for a certain CRM, make sure all the members of your team to work with this software are able to interact with it in practice. Don’t forget about the mobile version, which must be available through any ordinary smartphone.
- Tech support. When developers release a software product to a public eye, sooner or later, users come up with questions as to the performance of certain features, which aren’t likely to be solved by the available documentation. That’s what tech support is for. Trying out a trial version, don’t forget to also check how promptly the support replies to your questions. This can be one of the crucial points in choosing your management software.
- Price. Let’s talk about the CRM pricing. If your business is at the initial stage of development, perhaps, you should consider free solutions or products at a minimum price. In turn, it’s only reasonable to choose from advanced management system options for companies with heavy traffic flows. Those can’t be cheap due to the extensive functionality and accessibility. To define how reasonable your CRM costs would be, evaluate your current income and compare it with the potential profit you may get from implementing a CRM. As a rule, even with a limited number of customers, CRM allows agents to save around 1 hour of work time daily.
Choosing CRM: 3 types of real estate software
Now, we’ll take a look at three major kinds of CRM, different from each other by functionality, interaction capacities, and price.
For owners of business in the real estate sector just starting out, Rookie CRMs may be the most rational solution. These pieces of software are either completely free of charge or require no more than $100 for a yearly license. Such systems are very user-friendly, your staff won’t have to dig through documentation to figure everything out. Notice also that it isn’t necessary to use the ‘real estate’ keyword looking for a Rookie CRM. According to practice, any Rookie CRM is quite universal to be efficiently employed in practically any possible small business field. If you want something utterly customizable according to your demands and the demands of your business niche though, maybe you should consider one of the two following types of CRM.
Solo Agent CRM
If you see that your employees aren’t handling the orders and aren’t able to timely service all of the customers, it’s high time to think about purchasing a Solo Agent CRM. It’s, usually, a paid kind of CRM that offers a number of workflow optimization tools. It will ultimately help unload your real estate agents staff in terms of routine activities and allow them to work on more deals more efficiently.
A business that has more than one or two offices running requires a centralized software solution that would simplify customer interaction alongside helping to create (and visualize) the big picture of your business. Hierarchical correspondence between company employees or departments is easily configured in such solutions. Generally speaking, with Team CRM, you get something more than just a tool for customer and deal data systematization. Such solutions aren’t cheap. But their technological finesse and customizability will help you save loads of time and, perhaps, even decrease the frequency of opening new working positions.
Summarizing all this up, as you can see, in order to select the best real estate management system for you, not only the solution’s functionality must be regarded. It should be accessible and perspective for your further business development. If you need a ‘turn-key’ CRM system, let us help you create it! You’ll be surprised with how customized, flexible, and simple in use your customer relationships system can be.