As a real estate professional, your time is likely largely spent communicating with clients and other stakeholders in the home-buying process through the phone, email, social media, and in-person meetings. This aspect alone requires excellent time management and relationship skills – and you might need more than an Excel spreadsheet or Google Calendar to keep up.
Your role also likely entails reaching certain productivity and performance goals based on your marketing and client outreach efforts. How can you actively measure whether your efforts are productive and successful? Do your daily email blasts get read or even opened? Did your Facebook ad or Instagram story produce client interest or leads?
Being a real estate professional is a balancing act, and whether you’re an independent real estate agent or employed at a large agency, a customer relationship management (CRM) system might be your answer to attracting, managing and retaining clients.
Let’s dig into how a CRM system might benefit you and take a look at three suggestions of popular CRM systems you could purchase for your business today.
How a Real Estate Agent Can Benefit from a CRM System
At its core, a CRM system helps those in the real estate industry track client communication, time management, and marketing campaign performance.
Picture a CRM system as your virtual personal assistant, storing client contact information and documentation, scheduling meetings and appointment reminders, taking notes of your day-to-day tasks, and then compiling the findings into a database that displays your productivity through leads and revenue.
In other words, it helps you manage your time in an efficient and measurable way. Most importantly, a CRM system allows you to communicate with potential clients throughout the entire home-buying process.
Through a simple integration with your personal or company phone, email and even social media platforms, a CRM system can track client interaction and document important conversations pertaining to their progress in the home-buying process. It can even send automated emails to clients.
You can also set up reminders, calendar appointments or to-do lists that send alerts to your phone or email, keeping you on task and eliminating the chance of missing an open house or listing appointment with a client.
However, the most attractive function of a CRM system might be its lead generation. You can integrate your CRM system with listing software like the online Multiple Listing Service (MLS) platform or third-party websites, automatically importing listings for client interest.
Since the real estate industry is reliant on client communication and retention, using a CRM system can boost your customer service and help you stand out from other agencies.
What Real Estate Agents Should Look for in a CRM System
Most CRM systems include software that pertains to:
- Client contact management – contact lists, automated communication, and client experience
- Scheduling – calendar management and reminders
- Lead generation integration and reporting – access to the MLS and third-party listing platforms
Other CRM systems might even include agent commission/payment tracking, allowing you to track agent performance in relation to commission payments. There’s also an option for client access through a customized, password-protected portal where they can view listings, upcoming showings, and real estate agents.
Depending on your agency size, budget, and business needs, you may find that some functions of CRM systems are useful, while others are less utilized.
Keep in mind that most CRM systems are paid on a per-user, per month basis, with the lower end running between $50 – $90 and the higher end running from $200 – $300. You’ll also need to account for implementation, a one-time cost that syncs your work devices (phone, email, social media) with your CRM system.
3 Popular CRM Systems for Real Estate Agents
As you begin your search for the right CRM system for your agency, you’ll quickly notice the sheer volume of options available to you. Equipped with the knowledge of how a CRM system may benefit you and what to look for in a CRM system, you may be able to find a system fairly quickly.
However, for those overwhelmed by the CRM system options, we’ve broken down three systems varying in agency size, usability, and features based on reviews from Software Advice.
All three are available on desktop and mobile, moderately priced and ranked highly in real estate agent recommendations.
The appeal of Salesforce is its name recognition. It’s a fan favorite among real estate agencies and a top search result for CRM systems, most likely due to the fact that it’s compatible with small, medium and larger agency usage.
According to Software Advice, if you’re a large agency, the key feature you should look for in a CRM system is customer service functionality, or the ability to track and manage the customer journey throughout the home-buying process. This is so you can ensure a positive client experience throughout the entire process.
Salesforce is known for tracking and managing sales leads, projects, and listings. Able to integrate with email, calendars, and contact lists, it helps agents manage client experience and monitor marketing campaigns. Additionally, it’s able to track the progress of clients through the home-buying process, from initial lead submission to closing.
It’s also based in the cloud, so you’re able to access it on the go like a virtual office.
The HubSpot CRM system platform is geared more for a small-to-medium agency size. Like Salesforce, it has some name recognition in the real estate industry and is a great platform for lead generation and metrics.
For small-to-medium agencies, Software Advice recommends focusing on CRM systems with marketing automation. Look for platforms that allow you to automate client outreach and provide insights into marketing campaigns and lead generation.
With HubSpot, agents can also track client interactions through email, social media, and phone calls, stored and organized by lead.
HubSpot is best known for its automated communication system, which allows you to create and manage email templates and track how the emails are performing with clients. You’ll even be notified when a client opens and reads your email.
Additionally, there is a free version of HubSpot that might have enough features for a smaller real estate agency. For larger agencies or those with more tailored business needs, you might need to pay for additional features.
CRM platform kvCORE is best suited for small agencies, client management, and agent scheduling. Key features include task planning, listings, and lead management.
Software Advice recommends that small agencies (everything from a single agent to a small agency) could benefit from a CRM system that organizes client information and tracks interactions and outreach.
With this platform, you’re able to text, email or send via social media properties from the MLS or third-party websites directly to your clients. kvCORE also features reporting and analytics that can track agent performance.
If you’re a real estate professional looking to boost your customer service experience through enhanced client communication, time management, and lead generation, a CRM system might be the difference between you and competing agencies.
Do you use a CRM system in your real estate business? Comment on your CRM system below and let us know what you think! For more real estate tools you can use, check out our real estate agent content at Real Estate Agent Tools.