How to Choose the Best Real Estate CRM
Is your technology working for YOU? Or is it the other way around?
If you’re shopping for a CRM based on features and price, stop. People are like moths attracted to light. We love shiny new features, and we love a good deal.
Is that healthy for your business? No. Definitely not.
It’s how you get stuck with a real estate CRM containing complicated (and ineffective) features. Ones you’re paying for, but not using! It’s how you frustrate team members.
Choosing the best real estate CRM starts with 4 main categories. These should be the checkboxes you cross off as you shop for a CRM.
1Does it Create Tech-Enabled Agents?
The best real estate CRMs enable agents. Think in broad terms here. Enable agents to contact hundreds of leads in an hour. Enable agents to find ready-to-close opportunities. Enable agents to prioritize based on ROI (i.e. tasks more likely to generate $$$).
Tech-enabled agents are able to close 183% more deals. They see more responses from leads and convert on a faster timeline. Imagine taking a homebuyer from a 6-month window to 3 months. Go from getting 5 responses to 22 responses (from unconverted leads).
As you look at real estate CRMs, ask if they:
- Handle all aspects of lead nurture. Can the CRM automate the communication? That way, you don’t have to email and call every single lead yourself.
- Filter and categorize leads based on readiness (or likelihood to close). A good real estate CRM can match leads to properties and suggest they look at it.
- Give insights into website visitors. Can the CRM tell you which leads have visited the website in the last 30 days? Those could be hot opportunities to prioritize.
2Is Workload Reduced?
Technology like a real estate CRM should reduce work. Not add to it.
Yes, it might be a new process. In the beginning, it’ll take time getting acclimated. But in the end, you should be able to dump off routine, grunt work. Example: Responding to new leads. A CRM can automatically send an email you’ve programmed (versus you doing manually). Think about the time saved.
In real estate, time is money. Look for communication tools and the CRM’s ability to organize leads/tasks. Agents should be sharing their knowledge, not finding people to share their knowledge with.
BEWARE – Some real estate CRMs will have lots of features. They’ll promise to save time. But you need to examine how easy the system is to use. Does it take 20 minutes setting up CRM tools? Or does it take 2 minutes?
If the CRM isn’t easy to use, you’ll only add work for yourself. You’ll be busy trying to figure out a new software. And that’s something no one enjoys.
3Can it Work with Other Tools?
There’s no “all-in-one” tool for a real estate business. Anyone promising it is fooling you. A real estate CRM can do a lot, but you’ll still be using other software like showing apps and office management tools.
This is where you’ll want to ask about integrations. Can the real estate CRM work in sync with other tools? If so, which ones? A good example: BoomTown integrates with dotloop. A real estate CRM with a transaction management software.
You’ll want to make sure the CRM is flexible to your business. Not the other way around.
4Does the CRM go Beyond Organizing Leads?
For real estate agents looking to move beyond spreadsheets and rolodexes of leads, a CRM is a natural next-step. But we’re past 1999.
The best real estate CRMs do more than organize leads. They match leads to properties. A CRM should recognize that Jack Catterton is looking for colonial-style homes around ~$300k. It should see Jack is interested in San Diego properties. Then it should take that data and see what homes are available, and tell you: “Jack would be a good fit for these 27 properties.”
This allows you to look like an expert without having to ask homebuyers 20 questions. When a new properties hits the market, it allows you to instantly find homebuyers who would like it. That’s something especially helpful for large MLS markets.
Pricing and Features Aren’t Everything
Starting your real estate CRM search with the 4 questions (seen above), will help you find the best system. And though I said not to begin the search based on features and pricing, they still matter.
If you’re a small team, beginning to generate online leads (outside of referrals), you won’t need a large CRM with tons of features. You’ll need something basic that handles your current needs. Don’t feel obligated to get the “big, awesome machine.” Not everyone needs a designer laptop. They just need a regular one.
Evaluate what your pain points are and make the sure the CRM addresses those. As you grow and surface new needs, you can then upgrade the CRM.
If price is a concern, evaluate the ROI (return on investment). Paying cheaper is still throwing money away if the CRM isn’t helping you close deals. Look at the benefits and the $$$ it’ll bring back to your pocket versus how much it costs.