What does a CRM do anyway?

If you don’t know what a Customer Relationship Manager does, how can you know if you need one?

Do you run your business like a business? You’re probably tired of hearing that old question, but it’s one of the many things a CRM helps you do better. So what doe s a CRM do? If you want to do the following things, or do them better or faster, then you should be looking at CRM solutions.

  • Prospecting – get suspects, turn them into prospects, and turn them into sales, by knowing who they are, what they want, and when they want it, all in significant detail, and being reminded to capitalize on that information automatically
  • Lead source tracking – knowing where your business is coming from and spending your marketing time and money accordingly/wisely
  • Referral tracking – knowing who is referring you the most business, so you know who to do more for in return
  • Contact management – That means everyone! Suspects; prospects; clients; vendors; friends; relatives; neighbors. Knowing how to find any information on anyone, even from many years ago, with a few clicks virtually instantly
  • Time management – having automated to-do lists, and organized methods of consistent follow-up. Decide what you want to do, once, and automatically follow up that way every time from then on
  • E-mail management – how many e-mails are in your inbox? They should be with your contacts, or with the property, where you can find them, quickly, not in your inbox or in a folder somewhere
  • Listing coordination – the biggest complaint lodged against Real Estate agents is poor communication. A comprehensive, automatically executed listing plan enables you to turn those complaints into praise effortlessly, automatically
  • Closing coordination – too many details can fall through the cracks. The busier you get, the more details you have swimming around in your head. And each day you have to make many decisions regarding what actions you need to take for which transactions. Even the best paper list and file methods are rife with bottlenecks and inconsistencies. Having all the information you need in one place and an automated to-do list posted on your calendar makes your job far easier and more stress free.
  • Document management – store all the documents relevant to a transaction right with the record of that transaction and/or with the client
  • Word processing and desktop publishing- enjoy being able to easily do any kind of mailing you want to, right from the database itself rather than farming it out to third party if that is your preference. OR maintain your mailing list and easily send it out to third parties with a few clicks when needed.
  • Post closing follow-up/client retention – not staying in touch with past clients is one of the single biggest causes of loss of income in the Real Estate sales industry. Never lose another referral due to your failure to stay in touch.
  • Risk reduction – knowledge is power. Having an automatically generated centralized easy to reference complete record of phone calls, letters, e-mails, appointments, etc., insures that you will enjoy a much better position from which to defend yourself if need be.
  • Staff training and accountability – personnel retention is a problem that never goes away. Having a system in place with notes built into the CRM task lists significantly diminishes the impact of a lost staff person. It enables you to have the new person step right into a tried and true system, and none of the details are lost in the transition. Additionally, it provides a clear picture of exactly who is doing what each day in the daily tasks.

CRM is the software you need to do these things for you. Therefore, if you need to do these things, you need a CRM solution.

You cannot really grasp how much it will help you.

Occasionally when you are working with a buyer or a seller, do you find yourself thinking, “They have absolutely no clue how incredibly complex this whole transaction is from start to finish. They can read all they want about it, feel they have become quite expert on the subject, and still have no real appreciation for it all.”

Until you use a CRM to the point where you can no longer see yourself getting along without it – you too, cannot appreciate how much of an impact it will have on your business, and even on your life.

If you invest the necessary time to truly use and develop a good CRM as more than just a glorified Rolodex, it is an absolute fact that you will look back some day and wonder how you ever grew your business, stayed in business, and kept your sanity without it. It will be the single most all-pervasive choice you will make in your entire Real Estate career concerning the day-to-day administration of your business. It will become a growing thing and believe it or not, you will actually come to like it a great deal.


…unless you are committed to:

  • making the time to learn it – note the use of the word making as opposed to gettingthe time. It’s so very important to understand that this one point makes all the difference in the world between someone who implements the CRM and reaps the benefits, and someone who eventually simply regrets spending the money, and blames it on the CRM. Maybe you have heard the time management axiom that a project or meeting takes as long as the time you allot to it. The same goes for your Real Estate day. You cannot keep putting off learning your CRM until the time that you need to spend with it presents itself. For many of us, that time just does not come. When you put one hour into learning your new CRM first thing in the morning, before you answer any calls or e-mails, you get it done, and then you somehow miraculously manage to get everything else you need to get done that day, done!
  • learning to use it as more than just a glorified Rolodex. If that is all you are going to use it for, stick with Outlook or something like that.

As a Real Estate licensee, we wear many hats. No one likes all of them. There are those who will tell you that the reason most agents do not use a CRM is because they are too complex, and they need to be easier. Maybe they do, but selling Real Estate needs to be easier too, but it is what it is. You learned how to use Outlook, MS Word, and maybe MS Publisher too. You spent hour after hour playing with them until you got a handle on them and never complained because you had no choice. What is so different about learning a CRM?

You do not have to like the time you invest into becoming proficient with a good CRM. But if you want to grow your business, while having more of a life, with less stress, with less mistakes, with better service, with less staff, with more compliments, with more referrals – then you need it.

Make that determination right here and now. In order to accomplish the above, you must make a commitment to investing the time to learn how to use a CRM. You then must either create, or purchase and tweak, pre-written e-mails and letters; fliers; post cards; prospect follow-up campaigns, etc. This does not have to be done all at once! It’s an elephant. Eat it one bite at a time! If you are not yet an organized professional business person in Real Estate sales, and want to become one, what are you waiting for?

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