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Today, customer relationship management means the difference between generating and keeping your business to losing it.

Indeed, people are coming into real estate sales informed better than ever. 98 percent of home buyers start their search online and they are willing to make a thorough quest. They use websites, portals, social media, and online reviews to evaluate their options better and decide if it’s worth doing any business with you. Realtors are no longer the gatekeepers and exclusive holders of the property market information that once made them the most powerful party in a real estate transaction.

The only way to capitalize on this changing mindset is to excel in customer service. Even great service is no longer enough. Customers expectations have skyrocketed which leaves you facing some new challenges.

A CRM, or customer relationship management, and the software used to power it, bring some exciting opportunities. A CRM helps real estate businesses generate more leads, close more deals and retain more customers at a fraction of the traditional marketing expense.

We’re very glad to share some of the most interesting findings from the 2016 CRM Buyer Report compiled by Software Advice and based on the company’s in-depth conversations with 200 SMBs. Given the importance and a growing demand for an effective industry-specific CRM, this insightful report couldn’t have been published at a better time.

1) Brokerages are looking for a real estate CRM tailored specifically for their industry needs

More and more agents and brokers are turning to a CRM that’s focused specifically on real estate. In fact, real estate sees the biggest demand for an industry-specific CRM:

Industry segments of prospective buyers

real estate crm demand

Source: Software Advice

We love the spirit of this change as a real estate CRM is so much better at serving an agent’s needs than a generic CRM. Indeed, realtors have to deal with a unique sales process. There are online and offline leads. There are MLSs with different requirements. There are national and international portals that agents should feed their properties to. There’s a need of managing a property database and creating dozens of property proposals every day. A need to handle referral sources properly. The list can go on and on.

Andrew Friedenthal, a researcher at Software Advice, notes:

“What was unique to the data from this CRM Buyer Report, though, was what we discovered amongst our buyers’ reported industry segments. The largest percentage of buyers were coming from industries—like real estate, consulting, and manufacturing—that require specialized CRM solutions for their needs that a more generic SFA system won’t address. As the CRM market diversifies, with a greater number of vendors offering more niche systems, those businesses are now turning to software to address their unique needs.”

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A real estate CRM helps perform usual tasks easier and faster. In particular, it simplifies managing:

  • contacts;
  • properties;
  • projects;
  • property proposals;
  • referrals;
  • transactions;
  • emails;
  • documentation;
  • commissions.

Effectively working behind the scenes, it lets you plan your next move better.

[Related post: 10 Reasons to Use Real Estate CRM to Power Your Sales & Marketing Ventures]

2) Salesforce automation is the most called for feature

Managing a growing database is challenging. That’s why sales force automation (SFA) is the most important functionality for salespeople. At the same time, small and mid-sized brokerages are looking for some basic automation features first, before upgrading to something more advanced.

In particular, contact management, tracking interactions and scheduling reminders are the most called for features:

Most requested CRM software features

real estate crm features

Source: Software Advice

It seems that once the contact management process is put in place, the next important thing is to master features such as email marketing, reporting and sales pipeline tracking.

[Related post: 5 Real Estate Contact Management Strategies to Upgrade Your Follow Up]

3) Manual, time-consuming activities are still the case for most agents

72 percent of prospective CRM buyers use manual methods to manage their customer relationships (Source: Software Advice). This means important business information is scattered across different places: spreadsheets, notes and inboxes.

In fact, 80 percent of leads are either lost or never followed up because no proper documentation was created for them. Of course, any marketing activity and expense are pointless if the leads aren’t nurtured and converted.

On the contrary, software like a real estate CRM provides one central dashboard for managing your contacts and improving followups.

[Related post: 7 Top Real Estate CRM Benefits Your Team Will Be Grateful For]

4) The biggest challenges threatening business success

Small and mid-sized brokerages, as well as single agents, face lots of challenges when setting up their sales process. In particular, the biggest one is organization/efficiency. Take a look at this chart to see more of them:

Top pain points for prospective CRM buyers

Pain-Points

Source: Software Advice

Another amazing thing about a real estate CRM is it addresses many of the problems brokerages face every day. A good CRM isn’t only about contact management. It embraces marketing and sales and pulls all data into one place to bring you a 360-degree view of your business.

[Related post: Real Estate Marketing 101 for Aspiring Agents: What Works Today]

5) Small and mid-sized brokerages are the ones most benefiting from a real estate CRM

Many realtors still have a preconceived notion that a real estate CRM works best for only the large brokerages. However, this point of view is rapidly changing. In fact, smaller companies are now the ones most interested in adopting a CRM:

Prospective buyer size by the number of users

real estate crm number of users

Source: Software Advice

The size of business also goes hand in hand with the CRM functionality. Smaller companies, as well as first-time buyers, should focus on the core sales force automation features first. This will train the team and there’s always an option to upgrade.

[Related post: 5 Signs Your Brokerage Needs a Real Estate CRM to Fuel Sales]

Closing words

It’s pretty obvious that more and more brokerages will aspire to adopt a CRM in the coming years. Demand for CRM has been growing steadily since 2010 and is expected to grow in 2017.

This means your competition becomes more advanced and tech-savvy in marketing and sales. It is able to leave you behind. These stats pinpoint the great value of a real estate CRM when cutting the costs, generating more business and delighting your customers. The right software for the right user is a valuable asset to build a company that only gets better over time.



SEMRush

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