In today’s real estate market you are at a distinct disadvantage if you don’t have some sort of digital presence. While it might seem like an additional burden, it is actually an improvement over the olden days when you reached people through door knocking, newspaper ads and commercials. This is especially true if you are new to the real estate business and thus don’t have a long list of prior clients to mine. Today, using social media, email and sms, you can reach hundreds or thousands of potential leads for a relatively small price but you need the right technology to be successful. This paper will provide you with some important insights to help you in that process.
Why You Need A CRM
To effectively convert leads and prospects into clients often requires a long incubation period. According to NAR
, the median duration of homeownership in the U.S. is 13 years.. Even leads that you obtain who are claim to be looking to buy or sell in the immediate future often spend months doing research before they pull the trigger. To have a reasonable chance of converting them you will need to engage them at an early stage and keep engaging them, providing them with relevant information that shows that a)you are knowledgeable and b)you are actively devoting time to helping them. Since only a small portion will likely pull the trigger at any given time, you ideally need to be doing this for a large number of prospects or leads simultaneously. The only practical way to keep track of this is use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) System. Your CRM at a minimum should contain your lead’s contact info and a history of your interactions with them (phone calls, emails,texts, etc) along with notes to help you remember what they are looking for. Without the information in the CRM to remind you what they are looking for and the information about previous followups to tell you when you need to next reach out to them you are not going to able to satisfy criteria a or b. But this is still just the starting point.
Why You Need A CRM Designed Specifically for Real Estate Agents
At one time having a simple CRM as described above to keep track of your leads and prospects might have been enough.. You could sort them by opportunity and then schedule calls to them or manually assemble mailers and hope for the best. Today, however you can do so much better. If you have a CRM integrated with IDX and capable of sending E-Mails, Texts and/or Facebook posts, you should be able to automatically send your leads updates on properties and market reports fitting their needs or their neighborhoods if you don’t know their specific needs yet. You should be able to send informational pieces such as blogs or marketing pieces that are tailored to their interests. Furthermore, your CRM should be integrated with an IDX website where visitors can search and examine listings. In that way you can correlate your outreach and follow up with their activity to refine your engagement. For example, if you know a lead lives at a certain location and that they are looking at homes near that location that are of higher estimated value than their current residence you know they are likely moving up or alternatively, if they currently in a single family home and are looking at condos you know they are likely downsizing. or looking for an investment. Your CRM should provide you with this information and the associated web site should be very user friendly to make it likely your leads use it in their home searching activities. Furthermore, it should be capable of using that information to automatically target leads and prospects with followup emails and Facebook or Facebook Messenger posts. This will allow you to dramatically scale up your lead nurturing activity.
Why an Integrated Solution is Better
The technology world is overflowing with tools for real estate agents. There are tools to assist in property research, transactions and lead generation and tracking. It might seem smartest to choose the best of breed, the best tool for marketing, the best IDX website, the best tool for registering open house visitors, the best tool for generating CMA’s, the best tool for sending E-Flyers etc. The problem with this approach involves tracking and nurturing the leads generated by them. Each one captures and stores lead information in its own silo. Additionally the amount of CRM functionality will differ considerably between each application. To be efffective and efficient, all of those leads and prospects need to be in a single place. For example, assume you use one of the applications currently available for registering open house attendees, a highly useful source of leads. Now you want to send them information about houses that might fit their needs. Does you open house application have the capability of sending bulk emails? Is it integrated with IDX so you can create searches for each attendee tailored to their interests and deliver them automatically when new listings come on the market ? When people respond to your marketing outreach do their responses go into separate CRMs requiring you to continually merge and scrub data ? Ideally you want a single silo. Information about attendees at your open houses, responses from prospects to your social media postings, responses to your email marketing, responses from google ads should all end up in the same CRM sales funnel.
Why “Hitching a Ride” is Problematic
Some agents recognize they above need for a digital presence from which leads can be collected but opt out of having their own solution. Instead they may piggyback off their broker’s site or a third party site. Besides the obvious concerns about sharing a web site with other agents who are potentially your competitors, piggybacking off a broker’s site can be especially problematic as many agents will change brokers at some point in time. If your point of web presence is that broker’s site you will have to figure out how to redirect all your traffic to your new site. Also, your broker may believe they own any leads that come into your web page. Even if you are staying with a broker incoming leads are technically the broker’s meaning you are in competition with other agent’s at the same brokerage. A better solution is to maintain your own digital presence and CRM. That way, no matter where you move your point of contact stays the same and your contacts stay with you. This especially makes sense considering how relatively inexpensive it is to have your own digital platform in today’s market
Realtech’s Agent CRM solution embodies the principles described above and provides you with an integrated solution and single funnel for all your lead sources with the tools you need to analyze and optimize your lead gathering and nurturing progress. It also includes many labor saving tools for performing tasks associated with lead generation and nurturing. Moreover it has been built by working with real agent’s to solve their real world problems. If you would like to hear more about what we offer, please contact us by clicking Here
Deciding on a Product/Vendor
Hopefully by now, you will now realize the importance of having your own centralized CRM designed for Real Estate agents and having one single funnel for all your lead activity. While this narrows down the set of possible solutions it still leaves quite a number of them and we understand and encourage you to check out not only our product but our competitors before making a decision. To help you decide which one is best for you, we have put together a questionnaire that you can use when talking to one of these vendors that asks pertinent questions that you may not have thought of if you haven’t already spent considerable time working with one or more of them. Just fill out the form below to get your free copy.