June 18, 2018

CRM Tools: Getting the Most Out of Your Software

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Customer relationship management tools can transform a disorganized real estate agency into a thriving operation. But navigating the decisions that come with adopting new software can be confusing and tedious. How effective your CRM tools become is dependent on whether you truly know how to use them.

Choose Wisely

It's important to first consider your budget and specific needs before jumping into a purchase. Set aside time to consider how a CRM tool might propel you forward, along with your current weak spots. Your team members will likely be able to answer this better than you can. There is no one perfect real estate CRM tool because factors like housing and zoning laws vary by state. Thus it's useful to compare products and keep in mind the legal requirements of your location. In addition, real estate agents may find that a cross-platform too is necessary while on the go, interacting with customers, project managers, and others.

Ask the Big Questions

There are certain questions every buyer should ask before making a significant purchase such as a new home, a car, or a computer. The same goes for contact management software and other tools that can radically transform how you run your business.

  • How much will it save you?
  • Do you need to manage leads easier, customize workflows, or simply keep better database records?
  • What can be automated?

These are just a few things that can be discussed with a knowledgeable representative from the software company.

Train Your Team... Well

Training your team is a no-brainer, but thoroughly weaving new software through your entire business model takes conscious effort. Both individual and group training may be needed to ensure every facet of a new CRM tool is explained sufficiently.

A big part of effective organizational change is communicating the "why" thoroughly. Everyone on your team should clearly understand the value of the new software as well as the limitations of the old system. With this information, teams can more easily transition without resistance or confusion holding them back.

Transition Fully

Oftentimes, agencies make the mistake of buying CRM tools and failing to implement them completely. This typically equates to wasted time, money, and a scattered system of operation. Rather than only using a few features of your CRM tool, take full advantage of the technology and transition fully. This means learning about all the benefits and features of the new tool and replacing all of your old and outdated systems. For example, employees might be able to use the new CRM to store information about customers that they once held on paper or even inside their heads.

Not only does this approach centralize and simplify things for employees, it also sends the message that you are organized and fully committed to updating your business with the changing tides. This sends to message to both employees and customers that you are professional and reliable in the long-term.

Track Progress

Once you've begun using new software, you'll have access to a wealth of data. Some of this data will be new, and all of it will be more accurate if you've never had a CRM tool to keep track in the past. Even if you're busy, it's critical to review at least some of these reports and statistics to track progress and see where you are headed. CRM data will reveal problem areas and things that may need to change. Act as quickly as possible in these areas, even if your strategy is simply trial and error. One of the major benefits of CRM software is to have all your most important information available at a glance. Thus it would be a mistake to not take advantage and utilize this aspect of your software to the fullest.

Perhaps more than any other industry, real estate agencies must be customer-focused and serving throughout the entire process of a purchase. From start to finish, a CRM tool can ensure a polished, professional experience for your customers.