If you look at the software that runs your business, your real estate CRM and your transaction management systems are the heart that keeps your real estate business alive. It manages your relationships with the people that keep you in business – your leads and your clients.
(NOTE: Sisu is not a real estate CRM system, but we advocate their use because, you might have noticed, we’re huge on tracking, analyzing, visualizing, and gamifying data).
A study by research group Active Rain looked at trends between successful and average real estate agents and showed that successful real estate teams are 87% more likely to use CRM technology. In fact, successful real estate teams/brokerages are more likely to use technology in general.
It might seem like a huge investment at first, but it pays out in the long run. Here’s another study to prove it: Nucleus Research showed that CRM investments pay back between $5.60 to $8.71 for every dollar spent.
But what if you could get even more out of your CRM? Think about how much data is stored in there. Information is power, so the more insights you can extract out of that data, the better prepared you’ll be to dominate your space.
Let’s look at some great uses for CRM and how you can get the absolute most out of your investment
7 Great Uses for Real Estate CRM
- Managing the sales cycle. Here’s the first and most obvious function. You have a lot of clients, and you need to know where they’re at in the funnel. Each lead needs a specific type of nurturing and action plan to make it through to a closed transaction, and your CRM helps you track and nurture them. The more progressive and advanced real estate CRM solutions provide automated email and text “drip” functionality based on the sales stage of your transaction.
- Faster response times. In sales, response time is everything. This is especially relevant in the lead phase. Effective teams have this down to a science – a potential lead visits their site to look at a home, which requires them to put in their name, email address, and phone number. Within seconds of submission, advanced real estate CRM systems will respond with a custom email or text response to the lead request. Within the hour (or half hour, even!) someone from the sales team should contact them to assist with their needs while the lead is still hot. Great CRM/websites make this kind of quick, effective correspondence possible.
- Acting as a customer database. Real estate teams/brokerages with great vision are always focusing on repeat sales. They know that if they do a great job with a client, they can transform them into a lifelong customer – as long as they can maintain the relationship. CRMs are a critical tool and allow teams to strategically maintain those sphere of influence (SOI) relationships and watch for more opportunities.
- Task and event automation. Let your CRM automate tasks while your agents focus on high-level sales activities
- Vendor and system provided pay per click and Facebook advertising. Many real estate CRM vendors will provide monthly buyer and seller lead generation services in addition to the monthly subscription fees that you will pay for the real estate CRM usage. This will typically include setting a monthly Google and/or Facebook advertising budget. The vendor will then manage these ad campaigns which funnel directly to the CRM.
- Collaboration between agents. With a real estate CRM, you don’t need to worry when an agent goes out of town. As long as you properly maintain your data in the system, another agent can quickly get up to speed on what’s happening with any client.
- Real estate IDX/MLS websites. The majority of the CRM vendors will provide the realtor/brokerage with a client facing website with IDX/MLS integration that allows for clients to search, save properties of interest and submit new client interest directly to the CRM.
Choosing “Best of Breed” Applications that Integrate with Your Real Estate CRM
Here’s where we talk about getting even more out of your investment by pulling insights out of the expansive data stored in your CRM.
With CRM providers focussed on their core function (once again, managing the customer relationship); 3rd party, purpose built applications provide huge value. These aren’t things that the CRM technically could do, if they chose, but have chosen instead to focus on what they do best and partner up with other real estate software providers to provide even more value to their customers. Just look at Salesforce’s app exchange! Salesforce is the biggest CRM in the world, and there are thousands of ways that innovative developers have been able to add value for them and their customer base.
It’s the difference between being a jack of all trades or the master of one. The most successful CRMs are masters of managing the customer relationship, and leverage system and technology partnerships to provide the rest.
Because selling real estate is so different than sales in other industry, there are numerous real estate CRM vendors that provide focused solutions to the industry. The strategic and focused CRM vendors leverage third party, purpose built technology partners to accomplish required functions such as integrated dialing solutions (Mojo), video included email marketing (BombBomb), database access to property parcels (RPR Resource), and transaction management systems (Dotloop, DocuSign, and Skyslope).
Although real estate CRMs have started to evolve with application integrations, there’s a lot more to be done to help you fully leverage that data.
Accountability, Data Visualization and Gamification With Sisu Team
Sisu Team leverages spreadsheet and/or your real estate CRM data to monitor, analyze, visualize and gamify key aspects of real estate sales.
Coaches and industry leaders have promised agents for years that if they set relevant goals, hold themselves accountable by tracking results/activites, and then analyze their performance, they’ll see a massive increase in their business. The problem is that it’s hard to keep up the motivation to do all of this in a spreadsheet, and it’s hard to ask a CRM to really go deep into this process with all of the other functions they’re providing.
Thats where Sisu comes in, managing the entire process – from data analysis > setting effective goals > accountability and activity tracking > performance reporting. The cool part is, Sisu can leverage CRM data to do it, too!
When you get started in Sisu Team, you’ll be able to export a spreadsheet from your CRM (or produce your own self-maintained spreadsheet with agent performance) and import it into our system. This provides Sisu with the baseline data you’ll need to set data driven goals by displaying past performance.
If your real estate CRM vendor is an integration partner of Sisu, then real-time data sharing eliminates spreadsheet import.
Once you’ve set great goals, Sisu Team helps you track all of your agent’s activities to reach them. Dashboards and scoreboards make the entire process very visual and even gamify it – leaders can set objectives for agents that will improve the health of their business as well as agent motivation. All of this data will be kept in our visual dashboards, helping you better understand and manage your business, continue to set great goals, and identify areas of growth.
There’s a lot that Sisu Team can do to help you get the most out of your CRM data, and we’ve really only touched the surface here.
Choosing the right real estate CRM vendor
Whether or not you move forward with Sisu Team for your accountability and gamification needs, you should evaluate your real estate CRM vendor with data sharing and data access ability in mind.
What is the culture of your real estate CRM vendor as it pertains to data sharing and data access? The culture of your real estate vendor is critical. Discuss with your real estate CRM account executive how data sharing is accomplished with 3rd party vendors. Ask your account executive what existing technology partnerships and integration relationships are in place today, and what the process is for additional vendors to become an integration partner.
If you get any indication that your CRM vendors doesn’t have a formal integration program for 3rd party vendors, doesn’t have any vendors that they are currently integrated to, or believes that they can provide all functionality internally, you should pause in your approach with the vendor.
Do you own your data? Seems like a simple response, right? You would be surprised. Some vendors will intentionally hold you hostage as it pertains to data ownership. Ask your account executive where you can review their terms and conditions and master subscription agreement prior to proceeding. Make sure you are able to bring your data with you if you decide to leave.
Does your real estate CRM have the ability to export your transaction and activity data? If your CRM functionally provides the ability to export your transaction and activity data in Excel or comma separated value (.csv), then you are in good shape. If it isn’t apparent, ask your account executive what the process is to get your data in Excel or .csv on a regular or requested basis. If they can’t answer it, or don’t provide the ability, you might have picked the wrong vendor.
Does your real estate CRM vendor have a documented and available application programming interface (API)? Those vendors that provide a well thought out technical mechanism to share data via an API are those vendors that have a culture and strategic focus on data integration to 3rd party vendors. Ask to see their published API and share it with your desired 3rd party vendors. If an API isn’t available, ask for development roadmap timelines.
Interested in learning more about how our product can help your real estate team or integrate with your CRM? Get in touch below!