I’ve always maintained that new real estate agents need only a few important traits and a couple of important tools to be successful in this industry. Those traits are grit and drive … they are fundamental for any person trying to achieve any kind of success in any industry. I can’t stress this enough. All the skill in the world is useless without these two critical work traits.
As far as tools are concerned you need to have a solid mentor who can help you to flatten your learning curve and you need a CRM platform that manages your contacts, organizes your data, and facilitates your outreach.
I’m surprised to see agents using a simple contact manager (Google; Outlook) or an excel spreadsheet for the purposes of keeping your business running smoothly. It’s 2019 and the ability to automate provides vast improvements to real estate agents looking to properly manage their database.
Let’s begin by eliminating any reservations you might have in utilizing a CRM system. They aren’t nearly as complex as you may think. A typical CRM platform will take some time to set up but once you are done you will have a tool that features a tracking system of your portfolio’s sales cycle, a dashboard with insightful information on your database, a calendar that keeps you organized, and an email interface that will send out timely and relevant messages to your contacts.
What’s not to love about that? I’m going to give you ten reasons why ALL real estate agents should use a CRM platform to generate the type of success that you may think is unattainable as a new Realtor.
1. A CRM platform makes developing your “daily five” routine easy.
Don’t have a daily five routine? Create one … it the act of checking in with five people a day, for five minutes, five times a year. Each week you contact 25 people. It works, trust me. This strategy has you making 1,250 calls a year and gets you talking to 300 people at least four times that year. Even at a 5% success rate you are looking at 62 potential transactions a year. Not bad for a newbie!
2. A CRM platform helps you focus your follow-up efforts.
Referrals are the lifeblood of a thriving real estate practice. The challenge for many new agents is figuring out with whom, when, and by what method to best follow up. When you manage your real estate database with CRM, you’ll know as soon as you log in who is on your list, and whether to call, send an email, or touch base on social media.
3. A CRM platform lets you automate your digital marketing efforts.
It’s not all about postcards anymore. Today’s savvy realtor can augment traditional forms of outreach with an email or online lead generation. You may be using a landing page to collect leads in exchange for your custom market reports, linking your listing postcards to online lead generation, or sending a monthly email newsletter to everyone in your database; a well maintained and properly utilized CRM platform helps you to do this efficiently. CRM’s ability to drive your marketing campaigns while making them more trackable is an important advantage for the modern agent.
4. A CRM platform helps you stay in touch with past clients.
Agents get so focused on today’s business that you sometimes fail to stay in touch with past clients. A well-structured CRM tool keeps this from happening. Every time you close a transaction with a new client, or get a new lead, simply assign them to a follow-up plan that includes personal contact and automated messages to ensure that you stay top of mind.
5. A CRM platform helps you develop stronger relationships.
One of the most important traits needed for developing strong relationships is being reliable. When you get busy, it’s easy to let important calls and emails fall by the wayside. Your CRM provides accountability and tracking so that when you tell a client you’ll call them on Monday, it happens without fail. It also helps you keep notes of previous conversations, so that every time you talk to a client, you can always pick up right where you left off.
6. A CRM platform lets you give, not just get referrals.
Want to be a valuable resource for others? Your CRM includes not just the names of all your past clients and current prospects – it’s also a handy database of all kinds of business owners and professionals. Got a client that needs a mortgage lender, carpet cleaner, or pest control service? Tap into your CRM to get names and contact information. Send an email through your CRM to let the person you’re referring know to expect a call, and schedule a task in your CRM to follow up and see how things went.
7. A CRM platform lets you use social media more productively.
Most agents are good at using social media to keep in touch with friends and family but lack the ability to use it as an effective tool for retention or acquisition. By linking your social media accounts like LinkedIn and Twitter to your CRM, you can actually use social media to find reasons to keep in touch (birthdays, work anniversaries, interesting posts) with the growing number of past clients, prospects and other contacts who prefer interacting through social media. Keep track of your social media contacts in CRM, and you’ll be able to develop stronger relationships over time.
8. A CRM platform can help you manage your closings.
As your real estate practice gets busier, it gets more difficult to juggle all the activities that need to happen to bring your transactions to a successful closing. Your CRM is a great place to keep track of all these tasks, from mortgage application deadlines to inspection and signing appointments. Set a series of appointments for important dates and milestones for clients and others involved in the transaction. This allows you to provide automated follow-up reminders, encouragement, and referrals as needed.
9. A CRM platform keeps you competitive.
Did you know that more than 70% of agents use CRM to manage their database? Did you also know that the majority of real estate agents and brokers in a recent survey felt that CRM made them more productive than agents who didn’t use CRM?
Now you do…☺
10. Real estate agents who use a CRM platform more, earn more.
Don’t take my word for it: a recent Active Rain survey showed that top-earning agents (those earning $100,000 per year or more) spent 22% more on their CRM solution than agents who earned less than $35,000. Think they might be on to something?
There are so many ways that CRM can help you manage your business. The key to getting the most out of a CRM platform is to be disciplined about using it. Every time you speak with a contact, enter notes about what you discussed and schedule your next contact. Every time you generate a lead, assign them to a follow-up plan. Over time, you’ll find that your relationships are stronger, your pipeline fuller, and your business is growing faster than ever.
Sarah C. Richardson is one of the preeminent leaders of residential real estate in Arizona. As the CEO and founder of Tru Realty, she is responsible for both the daily operations and oversight of the multiple growth strategies that the brokerage carries out. Sarah launched Tru Realty in 2010 as a way to serve a marketplace that was seeing a shift from auction centric fix/flips to an MLS flow. She is now rethinking the way her brokerage uses technology to better serve clients and agents alike.