Change, they say, is as good as a holiday. But when it comes to completely overhauling the systems, tools and processes you’ve become familiar with at work, you’re probably thinking a week-long stint at a beach resort in Thailand holiday seems a tad more enticing. Vacation fantasies aside (cocktail, anyone?), it can be worth embracing change from time to time. Especially when that change is going to make your business run so much more smoothly. It’s pushing through that short-term pain to reap the rewards of the long-term gain.
Running a real estate business is no easy task, but technology is certainly helping. From keeping in touch with your past customers, staying on top of referrals, hooking in prospective customers, meeting, calls, open homes, property tours, and updating where you’re up to in the process with each customer… it’s exhausting! There’s a lot to keep track of for optimal results – but the solution lies in adopting a customer relationship management software.
If you’re still sitting on the fence – we get it, change is daunting! – here are 11 signs that will push you over to the other side. Trust us, the grass really is greener on the other side, and we're here to show you how and help you in the process.
Ah, good old Excel spreadsheets (bless its many functions and formulas). So reliable, so adaptable, so comforting. You’ve no doubt been using it to collaborate on the business for a while now and are in quite a rhythm. So much so, you probably haven’t even noticed its serious limitations. It’s far from a level playing field with a CRM. It’s like comparing Spotify to a Discman. If someone hasn’t told you already, it’s time to upgrade. With a real estate specific CRM you bring all your teams into the one document, which can be updated in real time. All your teams will be dancing to the same tune and working to the same goal.
Here’s a little test for you: get your team together and ask what the sales cycle currently looks like for your real estate agency. What stage is each prospect up to in the sales process? Our money is on the face that no-one has an exact answer – or access to an exact answer. It would take some jumping around from spreadsheet to spreadsheet to work out. Your team is flying blind!
Leads come in all shapes and forms. Through your website, email, phone calls, walk-ins, etc. It’s hard to collate all these leads and follow up on the best of days. A CRM captures all these prospects, recording it all on a platform for everyone to see – everyone is on the same page. You can classify each lead as hot, warm or cold and make sure your team is following up the right ones in a timely manner.
We all have that star employee in the office: they’ve been there for years, they know exactly what they’re doing and they’re you go to when you need any information about anything. What would happen if this person was your top sales rep in your real estate agency and they left your business today. Just upped and left without another word? Would your team be able to pull it together, access all their past conversations with prospects and know how to pick up the pieces? Could you easily recruit a new person to fill their shoes? We’re guessing the answer is no. You guessed it, you need a CRM.
Or can you? We’ll give you a handy hint here… with a CRM you can come close to it. An important part of any real estate business is being able to predict the market and forecast your businesses future sales. Do you know what your sales pipeline current looks like? Do you know how many hot leads your team is currently chasing? If your salespeople are currently keeping this information in their heads, then who knows whether rain or sunshine on the horizon! That’s valuable information you’re missing out on that can help you fine-tune your sales strategy and aim for future growth.
If your teams aren’t singing from the same song sheet, there’s a very high chance you could have sales reps working the same contact at the same time. Oops! If your prospects are having discussions with multiple salespeople from your business, not only is this a waste of resources for you, but it is mighty confusing for the customer. Not to mention potentially embarrassing if they get different quotes for the same work!
Diaries are great for keeping track of your events and to-dos… but that’s about it. If your team is still using a diary to keep track of customer interactions, alarm bells should be ringing. This is risky business! From tracking leads to dealing with customers, noting essential details such as phone numbers and emails… this is vital information! And it’s information the entire office should have access to and be able to see at a glance. The good old paper diary is about as useful as lips on a chicken when it comes to managing such things. What do you need? Hint: it starts with a ‘C’.
The property is a fast-moving market. One day you have 10 houses listed for the sale, you wake up the next morning and 6 of these have sold. If your sales process isn't keeping up, then you’re missing out on plenty of potential sales. Using a CRM can cut the time it takes to close a deal, and keep you on pace with the changing market. Not only will a CRM provide you with the data on average property turnaround times and how long your sales team is spending on each stage, but you can then use this data to improve processes moving forward. It’s a no-brainer.
I know who has it! All those people in your office who are still using their hand-written diaries. See the problem here? If people in your team ask for, and spend time looking for, contact details – from a prospect to the accountant to the courier – you absolutely need a CRM. If the contact details for your business relationships are not available to you at the press of a button, it is time for a CRM. Like, now-ish.
Reports are an essential part of running any real estate business. They help you keep track of all the essential information from the amount of prospects, to how many sales happened in that time period. They need to be accessible at the touch of button. If your business is still taking hours to pull together the information from the accounting team, email, Excel docs, etc., it’s time to ask yourself why. A CRM offers you instant reports when you need them.
Whoever coined the phrase ‘Repetition is the mother of all learning’ clearly had an abnormal tolerance for the mundane. If you’re carrying out repetitive tasks over and over that could easily be automated (sending real estate listings to every prospect, every month, for example), we hate to break it to you, it’s all doable with a CRM with the click of a mouse. Automation beats repetition every time.
You know the drill: you ask a salesperson to follow up on a lead and then don’t think about it again. Until two weeks later, that is, when you get a call from the lead asking you where you’ve been. It’s embarrassing to say the least. And you want to scream at your sales guy, right? But, instead, you have an awkward conversation in which he tells you it just slipped his mind. Well, imagine if you had a magical machine (on your desk or in your pocket) that reminded your salespeople that a job needs doing. We call this enchanted invention a CRM. You need one. Pronto.
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