Real Estate Specific CRM vs Generic CRM

Following is an excerpt from my book:

There are many very powerful and versatile non-RES(Real Estate Specific) CRM solutions available. There are more and more people who have no Real Estate background, who are working with Real Estate licensees to help them with technology. They have a tendency to recommend non-RES CRMs to Real Estate licensees. Why? Because those are the CRMs with which they are familiar. There can be a significant difference between someone who works with Real Estate licensees to ascertain what they need, and someone who once was a Real Estate licensee, and knows what they need from that experience. Outlook, ACT!, Goldmine, Maximizer, SalesForce, Prophet, InfusionSoft, SugarCRM, and hundreds of others are very good CRMs with a widely varied arsenal of feature sets and capabilities. The problem with them is that because they are not created specifically for use by Real Estate licensees, they typically flow in a manner more closely related to non-Real Estate sales environments. In some respects, RES CRMs need to be more like that, but the downside is that they require a significant amount of customization and work-arounds. As powerful as some of those non-industry specific CRMs might be, even with whatever modifications or add-ons might be possible for them, they will still usually fall short of what a quality RES CRM will do for you right out of the box.

It’s very similar to web sites.Have you ever known someone who built his or her own Web site? Maybe they had a background in a related field, which gave them a leg up on designing their own Web site. The question is how long it would take them to:

  • Learn HTML
  • Learn a Web site editing software
  • Build their own site
  • Maintain it according to advances being made in that industry

If you are doing that, why not just get into the business of building Web sites? The answer is because you can make much more money in Real Estate sales, and you have already chosen to do Real Estate sales. So why would you spend literally hundreds of hours doing something you could pay someone else to do who could do it better and faster? Why indeed, when you could go out and make more money, and more quickly learn your chosen profession rather than someone else’s.

People tend to think that if they do it themselves, they are saving money. That could not be farther from the truth. The fact is that in order to grow your business in Real Estate sales, you need to be prospecting consistently. When you instead use the time you should be prospecting to customize software, you are costing yourself a great deal more in lost sales than you are saving in buying software designed for what you do. You can justify it by saying you simply do not have the money, which may be true. If you are honest with yourself, you will know that what you may also be doing is avoiding prospecting. Think about that very hard. Do you spend more time on technology than you should, when you know you should be prospecting? You would not be the first, nor will you be the last. It can be a fine line.

Are you one of that group of Real Estate agents who uses one CRM for a year or two only to change to another one that seems better for another year or two? How many have you used? The reason you stopped using the last one was that it did have a few features that you wanted. So the new one has them, but it does not have others that you already had. So the time you saved is far outweighed by the time lost learning another new CRM. If your current CRM is woefully inadequate for your purposes because you have outgrown it and now have greater needs than you once had, then by all means look into replacing it. If you are just being annoyed by a few inadequacies, consider staying with it. Make suggestions to the vendor, and maybe you can hope to see the changes you need made in a future release. A few shortcomings take far less of your time than learning a completely new CRM.

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