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5 things you need to know before buying real estate CRMs

November 21, 20236 min read

CRM system time!

The acronym "CRM" stands for customer relationship management, and while it is not new to real estate, it is becoming very important for agencies to have one in their office for their staff.

CRM systems are especially important because of different legislative regulations that have come up in recent times which necessitate that CRMs be kept. CRMs are also necessary to maintain compliance with data and privacy laws.

There are 3 core reasons why every real estate agency needs a CRM system for their office (though there are hundreds)

1 Real estate CRMs keep and store data

CRM systems keep records of all the contacts and interactions agents have with clients, agents’ transactions - new listings, sales, and property management. CRMs record and report on these activities and interactions that take place in real estate offices. They also store information like customer contact details, applications, customer and office documents (offers to purchase and leases), survey reports, pictures of properties listed for sale or rent.

2 CRM systems centralise communication

CRM systems record and centralise all client communications like phone calls received and made, SMSes, Whatsapps and emails sent and received, and appointments attended or missed.

To run and compete in the competitive real estate market, you need systems now more than ever that assist both agents and admin teams with the day-to-day tasks and follow ups, but also the marketing of their stock, attracting and closing new mandates, and making it easier for customers to schedule appointments with your agents.

3 CRM systems improve customer service

CRM systems for real estate agencies significantly improve customer service by having a single source for all communication between a company and its customers. CRMs help companies better track their day-to-day interactions with current and prospective clients while also helping agents communicate more easily and work faster.

Customer Relationship Management and what it means

Customer Relationship Management is a technique for managing the entire customer experience.

As a real estate agency owner, principal or sales manager you want your existing clients and new leads to all receive ongoing, consistent and journey-specific communications from your agency or agents.

This is the power of having automated marketing tools and features inside world-class CRM systems. As your database grows each day, you want to spend less time manually following up and nurturing your database, and more time managing and assisting your agents with closing deals.

But in order to even get those deals in the door, there are 5 non-negotiable features every CRM system needs.

1 Mass communication

A CRM system that doesn’t have mass email or text functionality will not cut it in today’s competitive market. Gone are the days where agents and admin staff had to manually send emails to their database; or not be able to track and reconcile mass communication with the data inside their CRM system.

You CRM system needs to have mass communication features built-in. Having this feature inside a system where your data is housed means you can track and analyse customer behaviour, which helps you make better marketing and follow up decisions.

2 Integrations with social and business networks

Social and business networks like Google and Facebook are par for the course today. Your customers spend a lot of their time on these platforms where they either engage with your content or have the ability to send you direct messages about your services and properties for sale.

A good CRM system integrates directly with these platforms and helps your agency capture these leads and automatically follow up with new conversations taking place on social messaging platforms in real time.

CRM systems that are not connected to popular social networks will become obsolete very quickly, especially if you’re in an agency that focuses on social media marketing (which, by the way, you need to be).

3 Automation and workflow builders

What makes CRM systems special is how they help you automate workflows so that specific actions happen automatically once a trigger is set off. This not only saves hours of time a month normally spent on repetitive and mundane tasks, but also significantly improves the customer experience because potential leads’ questions and queries are answered immediately.

By automating as much as possible, you will avoid losing touch with your sellers and buyers - something that can deal a huge blow to agency’s bottom line.

4 Calendars that link to agents’ schedules

While most top CRM systems on the market are going to have a calendar of some kind, not all CRM systems for real estate agencies link calendars with your agents’ and employees’ schedules. This isn’t an option, it’s a must-have feature.

Calendars are very important in CRM software because they ensure that everyone who needs to know about an appointment is aware of it. It also makes it convenient for customers to book time with an agent minus the usual email/Whatsapp back and forth trying to find a suitable time for both parties. CRM systems that allow you to link agent calendars with calendars inside the CRM software also ensure no double bookings happen.

5 Task management, oversight and notes

A good CRM is a task management powerhouse. It should make task creation, assignment and notifications easy. Your CRM should allow you to assign tasks directly from inside the system, which creates a centralised environment for managing all outstanding matters so nothing falls through the cracks.

Your CRM system should also make leaving notes easy. Notes on customers ensure conversations that take place offline or in an agent’s personal capacity stay visible and accessible throughout the life of the customer in your database.

There is nothing worse than having a lead inside your database but you have no idea who they are, what they need, and what has been discussed and agreed with them.

Notes ensure your customers feel like VIPs, not numbers.

The best CRMs allow you to monitor the activity of each customer and create a personalised experience for each one through relevant email templates and automated communications that match their needs as expressed in the CRM data.

When it comes to CRM systems, there are a lot of options for real estate agencies. It can be tough to find the right system that meets your needs and doesn’t break the bank at the same time. We hope this guide on what features you should look for when choosing a CRM solution tailored specifically to help you manage your business more efficiently and effectively has been helpful.

Contact us today if you want our team of experts to review your current CRM or give recommendations on how we might improve yours!

real estate crmcrmcustomer relationship management
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David Steynberg

David Steynberg is a serial entrepreneur who has been involved in the South African real estate market for more than 10 years. He started his career in media before moving into copywriting and marketing, combining these skills to create full-stack solutions for real estate professionals and agency owners alike. He enjoys developing strategies that will take any agent or business owner to the next level while also providing an edge over their competitors. His company Property Funnels provides CRM, lead generation, reputation management, social media management, content creation and SEO services alongside other essential needs of property agents like websites, funnels and brand development.

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