January 24, 2018

What Is CRM? How Will It Increase Your Sales?


Real estate, like many businesses, is absolutely an industry focused on relationships. Truth be told, a real estate agent is a matchmaker that introduces buyers to the perfect property for them, and sellers to people who need what they are selling. Of course, agents speak with literally hundreds of people every week. How do you keep track of your business? For many people, the answer is on tiny scraps of paper, on a spreadsheet or worse... not very well. If you can relate, that should definitely change as soon as possible. Luckily, getting organized is not that difficult when you have the right system in place.

Highly successful real estate agents know how the importance of communications and relationships. Gaining the trust and respect of clients will reap massive rewards during your career, and if you want to be outrageously successful, referral business should be a prime goal. Remembering what you've discussed with which client, what they need and want and even personal information shared with you makes you more trusted and valued. Why not make it easier and more profitable with CRM?

CRM Definition

When people discuss the CRM acronym, they are typically talking about software that forms a powerful system, making it easier for a business to stay in touch and engaged with current and past customers as well as potential clients for their organization. CRM software solutions help a business track all of their contacts, lots of activities, productivity and sales. The clear goal with any CRM tool is to help businesses improve their relationships.

What Is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer relationship management "refers to the principles, practices, and guidelines that an organization follows when interacting with its customers. From the organization's point of view, this entire relationship encompasses direct interactions with customers, such as sales and service-related processes, and forecasting and analysis of customer trends and behaviors. Ultimately, CRM serves to enhance the customer's overall experience" according to Investopedia.

What About Contact Management?

As noted, CRM goes beyond a simple computer system with names, addresses and phone numbers. That is considered contact management, and it differs from CRM. Contact management software tracks contact info and possibly previous sales history or the like. CRM systems offer much more data that helps sales agents to move their customers and prospects along in the sales funnel.

Is Marketing Automation Important?

Another concept is marketing automation software. Is this the same as CRM? Or is it contact management software? The answer is that it is neither. As we discussed the CRM meaning earlier, "one of the main differences between the two types of software is who they target. Primarily, CRM software is sales-focused, while marketing automation software is (aptly) marketing-focused" per the Capterra sales and marketing tech blog.

This difference is defined by Marketo on marketing automation, "a category of technology that allows companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster." So, if you need analytics, top of funnel statistics, email marketing and lead management help, marketing automation offers those elements.

What Does CRM Do?

CRM will help you manage relationships with both buyers and sellers and schedule activities, from phone calls to open houses or private showings. Information for involved parties is at your fingertips for changes or follow-up actions. CRM helps you to move transactions along smoothly, create lists for email marketing and even categorize customers and prospects. For instance, you'll definitely want to divide up those prospects that are "hot" from those who are just dabbling in the market.

Here are some key features of most CRM solutions:

  • Contact management - As discussed, contact management organizes the customer's data in one central location and keeps phone numbers, email addresses and transactions handy.
  • Reports and dashboards - CRMs consolidate lots of data streams into meaningful reports and dashboards to help you spot trends and patterns for marketing needs.
  • Lead management - CRM assists with managing leads from an initial phone call to a done deal. You can track every conversation, activities, tasks to finish, etc. as you move through the stages to a completed and funded sale.
  • Email tracking - This portion of a CRM records opened and clicked emails and allows you to see at a glance what interests people so that you can follow up accordingly.
  • Social media management - CRMs also track social media activity, including likes, mentions, tweets, comments and shares. This data is helpful for marketing planning.
  • Mobile compatibility - It's imperative for real estate agents to have a mobile-ready CRM solution. After all, most of your time is spent out of the office and away from a desk.

Should You Use a CRM for Your Business?

CRM systems have many advantages for users. Your growing real estate business merits a CRM solution that allows you to set smart goals and see where you stand at a glance. No pulling information from your email accounts or trying to track down how many prospects you have in your sales funnel at any given time, or how many are ready to buy or sell today. That is valuable information, and having it handy can motivate you like nothing else. If you are ready to move your business to the next level, Contactually is a great partner - as your CRM solution grows as your business does.