As a real estate agent, you must have a CRM in place to be successful. Without it, you won’t know a lot of really important information about your business or be able to put a strong marketing strategy in place. The way you use, or don’t use, your CRM affects all aspects of your day-to-day business.
Every agent has a CRM of some sort. Some have a robust, data-driven platform that they log into every single day to update, some have a Google Sheet with columns outlining names and important dates, and some even just have the information somewhere in their heads; obviously, some methods are more effective than others.
But there’s a direct correlation between those that deeply use their CRM and building a better, stronger, more effective business and overall marketing plan.
★ If you don’t have a CRM in place, one of the first questions you’ll have is which one should you use; and that’s a personal choice based on your business and needs. There’s no perfect CRM for real estate. If you want to learn more, check out this post called: Choosing a CRM for Your Real Estate Business, the Right Way.
An up-to-date CRM essentially gives you knowledge and transparency around and into your business and client history. Without it, you won’t have the same level of transparency required for you to make smart business and marketing decisions.
But if you’re like a lot of agents, you probably use a lot of different software. Maybe you have one for email marketing, one for a CRM, one for managing sales pipelines: the list goes on. A smarter first approach to take is to figure out how you can move everything into one place under one platform. Although it’s not 100% necessary, doing so will certainly make your life easier by creating more transparency around how you view your contacts.
For example, if you’re viewing the contact record for someone in your CRM, it would be nice (and valuable) to also see if they opened your recent marketing email, read your last email, what stage they’re in in your sales deal pipeline, etc. The more information you have on hand about a contact, the more successful you’ll be at building a relationship and an eventual transaction with them.
However, one big barrier that agents face when it comes to their CRM is time. There’s no 2 ways about it that takes a lot of time to input all of the details around your clients, and then continually manage it afterwards, but it’s critical to your success.
During the early stages of the pandemic, a lot of agents had something that they didn’t usually have: time. We recommended then that you use that time to focus on your CRM database. If you’re interested in how and why, you can check out this post called: Right Now, You Should Focus on Building Your Database.
A solid, highly-organized CRM is also built around a solid, highly-organized process of keeping the information up-to-date and accurate.
That’s where quality comes in. A CRM full of junk data and contacts that are never going to work with you is just not as valuable as one full of clients and leads that actually are interested in you and your business. But to get there, it means your CRM is going to require regular auditing and maintenance, as well as a process around how contacts actually get added.
So how you evaluate quality?
The quality of your CRM is measured in two ways:
- The quality of your contacts
- The quality of the data around your contacts
The Quality of Contacts
Not every single person should go into your CRM. Before someone goes into your CRM, determine if they’re someone you think you’re actually going to work with.
Having thousands of contacts that you’re never going to work with that don’t care about your brand is never going to bring any value to your CRM because the number of contacts doesn’t equate to value.
If your CRM is also handling your marketing, then the engagement metric should also be a factor. If someone never opens your emails and is totally disengaged with your content, then there’s no reason to continually send them new content or marketing material. You’re more likely to simply get an unsubscribe from them than anything else.
The Quality of Contact Data
When it comes to the data you have stored for your contacts, it should be as robust and detailed as possible. Just having a first name and email address isn’t that useful. Instead, try to define as much information as you can, and if you have a team, encourage them to update and work within your CRM as much as possible as well.
Your contact record should have the basics, like their name, email address, phone number, physical address, birthdate, and anything else you can get, but if you can define more, you absolutely should. You should also try to have detailed notes around every interaction you’ve had with the contact, whether that was over email, a phone call, or even an in person meeting.
Having detailed information about them, complete with notes about all of the interactions you’ve had with them, is really valuable as part of understanding how you met, engaged with, and hopefully eventually transacted with the person.
Plus, if you onboard new people to your team, they’ll have the benefit of being able to get a deep understanding of each client simply by looking through their records. That means your team, and you, will be able to give better service by having a better understanding of each person’s needs.
★ Want to learn more about the importance of building your contact and marketing database? Have a look at this post called: Why You Should Never Stop Building Your Email Marketing Database.
A quality CRM leads to a quality, more successful business. Without it, you just have the same level of transparency to make smart business and marketing decisions that agents that invest the time it takes into building one have.
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