February 13, 2018

Types of CRM: What's the Difference?


Customer relationship management (CRM) solutions empower your real estate company with the functionality you need to effectively stay on top of many essential business duties. These systems are foundational for being able to sustainably grow and manage your business. When you're looking at CRM options, you might assume that they all have the same feature set. In reality, CRMs come in several distinct categories that focus on specialized areas. Read on to learn the differences between the different types of these systems.

Operational CRM

An operational CRM covers many of your daily business tasks. It's a great starting point if you're not exactly sure what you want out of a CRM, as it covers three key areas that most companies need help with. The platform saves you time by reducing the amount of repetitive and mundane tasks through automation. Here are the three most common use cases for this type of CRM.

Sales Automation

You need to spend your time on closing deals with the real estate buyers and sellers getting in touch with you. It's hard to get that one-on-one time if you get tied up in basic data entry and administrative work. Sales automation can auto-populate customer profiles from internal and external data sources, integrate with databases from other applications to reduce data entry requirements, organize real estate leads, and automate your lead-nurturing workflow.

Marketing Automation

Scaling your marketing efforts is difficult if you have to handle everything manually. This operational CRM feature includes automatically engaging real estate prospects with content that is appropriate to their stage in the marketing funnel, organizing your marketing collateral for better accessibility, sending leads through a drip email campaign and reaching out to prospects based on behavioral triggers.

Service Automation

When someone is interested in working with your real estate company, their impression of you can be influenced by every interaction they have with you or someone else from your team. Service automation features in your operational CRM empower your customer support team to provide better service and improve the client relationship.

A few of the ways service automation works includes: automatically sending useful resources that are related to the client's inquiry, sending follow-up messages after being contacted to see whether they need additional assistance, and identifying customers who may be running into difficulties.

Analytical CRM

How much data does your real estate company generate? The big data business world means that you have a lot of information flowing through your organization, but that's not worth much if you don't have a system in place capable of extracting value from it. That's where analytical CRMs come in. They help you improve your client acquisition process by looking at your data and finding key areas of improvement. Here are three use cases for this type of CRM.

Customer Acquisition

How are you turning real estate prospects into real estate clients? This CRM supports your efforts through features that help you discover which leads are prime opportunities for your agency, the people who are most likely to be ready to buy or sell properties, those who need to be contacted with more information and other insights.

Customer Retention

Once you get your real estate clients, you also want to make sure that they stick with your agency for all of their property needs. Happy clients are also a great source of referrals, so it's important to get this part of your operation right. The CRM features that apply to this use case include: automatically following up after appointments, sending birthday cards based on their customer profile, bringing in additional data from third-party databases to deepen your understanding of their needs, and connecting with them on a regular basis.

Data Management

Get the most out of your data with a CRM that's capable of analyzing information and providing actionable insights that you can use to improve your real estate business. You can find out what communication channel works best with your clients, how many people open your emails, the content that they interact with the most and many other metrics.

Collaborative CRM

Communication is the key to a strong relationship with your real estate prospects and clients, along with bringing many benefits to your internal discussions. This CRM type has many features that encourage collaboration throughout your company, whether you're talking to other agents or reaching out to customers. Here are the three most common use cases for a collaborative CRM.

Streamlined Communication

Many companies use multiple forms of communication by switching to a specific app for that type. Trying to coordinate the information from each conversation is difficult when it takes place on more than one platform. A collaborative CRM brings this information into one place and makes it easier to reach out to people via their preferred methods.

Tracking and Sharing Customer Data

Another benefit of a collaborative CRM is the ease of tracking and sharing customer data. Integration makes it possible to use many sources of data and share it throughout your company, so real estate agents and other key personnel have all the information they need on clients and prospects.

Keeping a Seamless Multi-Channel Customer Experience

Your real estate clients expect that they can switch from email to phone to chat without having to repeat themselves, but that's difficult if you don't have the right system in place. A collaborative CRM makes it possible to promote that seamless experience and improve client satisfaction with a friction-free interaction.

The right CRM for your real estate company depends on many factors, but hopefully, this article has given you insight as to which category makes the most sense for you and your business.