CRM for Real Estate is a pretty dry topic, but I’ll try to make this blog interesting. It all starts with me going to an appointment at my Health Maintenance Organization (HMO).
Yesterday I had an appointment with my audiologist. While having a routine examination, it was determined that one of my hearing aids was not working correctly. The HMO that I go to sent the hearing aids out for repair, and I was scheduled to pick them up and have them adjusted.
During the visit, the clinician explained every step of the process, what she was doing, and how it would benefit me. As I left, I was given a” Summary of Today’s Visit.” The summary listed my known allergies, a full list of medications I take, it listed all my future appointments (not just with audiology, but with dermatology, cardiology, and others, and referrals to related appointments. The paper also listed the names of my primary care team, additional information about emergency care services and hospital affiliations, it gave specific details on the Ear, Nose and Throat practice, including how to reach them, and some helpful information.
I left feeling that the people at my HMO had valuable insight about me, were up to date on my care, and cared about me. I thought for a few moments about how this was accomplished. I realized that my HMO was using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Similar in many ways to ZipperAgent™ and other CRM’s. I thought about different service providers that probably use a CRM as well.
Who Uses CRM’s
All of this got me thinking about who uses CRMs’. Well, a lot of people and organizations use CRMs from funding raising organizations and nonprofits to political campaigns and large international companies. The service department at my car dealer must be using a CRM to keep track of when I need service, and the best way to contact me. The Red Cross must be using a CRM to know when I am eligible to donate blood again and to contact me. Reports indicate that 91% of businesses with 10 or more employees now use CRM software. (Source: CRM Magazine). That’s many businesses.
Why use a CRM
The benefits of using CRM are numerous. A well designed and implanted CRM will
- Help you grow your business
- Keeps everyone on the same page
I find it very annoying when I must keep giving the same information to someone over and over. You probably do as well. Think about how your customer feels if you have to ask them again and again for the same information, they have already given you. With the data stored in a CRM, all you need to do is look it up.
- Keep in touch
Many CRM’s, like ZipperAgent, give you the ability to keep in touch with customers in several ways. You can contact them by phone, text messages, e-mails, even video messages all from your CRM and increasing via the CRM’s mobile platform. Not only can you reach out to them, but they can also contact you as well, and all of this is in notes in your CRM.
- Nurtures those leads
If as a real estate agent you keep track of your leads, keep organized information about them, and use that information to stay in touch regularly, then if follows that your sales will increase. Let’s say you have ten leads, all of them have told you then want to purchase a house in 5 years in the Anytown community. Two currently rent, seven already own a home, three of those homeowners will be downsizing, and two will be upgrading. One of them wants a specific school district and one another school district. The thing is one of them told you their plans two years ago, one six months ago, one just told you yesterday, and the others told you more than three years ago.
With a CRM you could quickly put them all on a five year drips campaign, send out home evaluations to the homeowners, send comparisons of monthly expenditures for renting versus buying to the renters, post articles of interest on the school districts to two or more of your leads, all while staggering the start times of the drip campaigns so few if any will be getting the same information at the same time.
- Breaks customers into segments
Sementation is mentioned in the section above. Leads and customers can be broken down into specific segments, which align with their interests, needs, and desires. The segments will vary, but here are some examples:
- First-time buyers
- Baby boomers
- Automates Communication
There are over 180,000 contacts in one on=f my databases. I needed to send out a specific e-mail to some of them today inviting them to a trade show where ZipperAgent will be exhibiting. This morning I created the criteria for whom I want to get the e-mail, 30,000 of them in a specific area of a particular state, wrote the e-mail and scheduled it to go out at one particular time.
Try doing that without some automation.
- Sends Specific Information
If you have things that can be downloaded by customers signing up on your website, newsletters, of a list of all condos for sale in Anytown, US, for example, your CRM can automatically send it out. You save time, and the customer gets exactly the information they requested.
- Keeps them coming back
Research says that 70% of home buyers forget the name of their real estate agent after one year. A CRM makes follow up with past clients easy and automatable. If you want to stay top of the mind and develop that, “Real Estate Agent for Life” mentality, there is no more natural way than by using a CRM.
- Providers Access to Metrics
With a CRM you can quickly get information on when is the best time to call individual customers, when is the optimum time to send them an e-mail, whether they respond better to text message, e-mails, or phone calls. You can find out from the metrics how many of them open your monthly newsletter, what articles they read, and how often. With that information, you can tailor the way, time, and content of your messages to be a more effective salesperson.
- Fosters good habits
As real estate agents, we know that we should keep in touch with our leads, customers, clients, and past clients. Research also tells us that many real estate agents are not very good at follow up. With the features of a CRM at your disposal, follow up becomes a more manageable and automatic task. Improved follow up is a good habit.
- Makes use of Social Data
Integrating with social media is another way that CRMs are saving you time and helping you as an agent keep in touch with your clients. I sold a house to a young couple that wanted to start a family. ZipperAgent connected me to their Facebook page. They announced the birth of their son on social media. I found out when they had their first child, his name, and date of birth. Proactively I reached out to them congratulating them. I didn’t have to wait six months to get the information. I was on top of things. You can be as well.
- Connects easily to other Data
CRM can easily connect to other platforms like Google Drive, to share information with your customers or other service providers, like loan originators. The sharing of forms, documents, and even calendars become a much easier task.