Do you use your CRM for just contact related things, or do you also use the Property/Transaction section? There are many benefits to it so if you don’t already, you should consider using it.
It always amazes me how few people do. And far less use transaction management plans. Most people think of these types of plans as being comprised of tasks that their office transaction coordinator or attorney, or title company or you name it, does. But what I mean by these plans encompass all of those tasks that they do, but then all the rest of the things you do as well. You may have different people taking care of a good many things for you, but they certainly don’t do everything. If they did, you would literally have nothing to do after the contract was signed. That said, although they are a major part of the Property/Transaction sections, we’re not going to talk about Transaction Management activity plans. I did that not too long ago. Check out Trans-Plans.
You have a tab or section in your CRM with a screen or screens where you track all your contact information, but what about the section that helps you keep track of your listings and closings? Do you use it? Should you be using it? The better CRMs have a section in the Property/Transaction section that helps you track the Parties to the transaction. This is the place where you are able to select a contact record of the person and add them as a party to a transaction. This is one of the great things about this section.
If you have any of the following CRMs, they all have a Parties section. Top Producer, IXACTContact, WiseAgent, TribusCRM, AllClients, MyRealEstateTools, MyRedTools, and RealFutureCRM to name a few.
As a matter of practice, aside from your past clients, prospects, sphere of influence, etc., you should also have parties affiliated with your past transactions in your CRM. That would include the loan originator/mortgage company, attorney, buyer, seller, home inspector, homeowners insurance company, termite inspector, appraiser, etc. Over the years you’ll end up with a comprehensive database for your area comprised of a significant percentage of those kinds of people and companies. The longer you do it, the less often you’ll have to key in a new one with each new transaction, and the faster and easier it will be to find their phone numbers, e-mail addresses, web sites, etc. Another benefit of having them in your database is that you will be able to see what transactions they participated in and what you thought about them at the time. Did they help, or were they a pain to work with? You should have that in your notes. If you were smart you would have made a note saying they needed to be contacted frequently or they might drop the ball. Or you might have which people were better to deal with in the company and why, or for what aspects of the deal.
The normal routine for most agents when they are working on a closing file is to bring out the paper file and look around in the file until they find the affiliated party’s information that they need, if it is even there. Even if it only takes one minute, it’s much longer than having them in the CRMs property/transaction record. And you know full well that sometimes it takes far more than a minute. And you typically have to contact most of them more than once, which means going back to the file and finding them each time.
Once you add them as a party to a transaction, they are all right there in one place, just one or two clicks away from calling them or e-mailing them, or getting to their web site. You will save many minutes on each transaction just by having all the different information quickly available in one spot. You can’t imagine how much more you can get done in a shorter period of time when that’s the case.
That’s one advantage. Another is that when they are added to the parties tab, they become a permanent part of the record, and in some cases they can be sent out to your client for reference in a report.
You can also e-mail all or selected parties all at once, and include documents if necessary.
If you’re currently using a CRM, you know how much more quickly you can retrieve information about contacts then you could before. So this is just an extension of that same wonderful efficiency. Check it out!