CRM Best Practices - Sources of business

By
Real Estate Technology with RE-ACT, LLC

A good CRM allows you to record essentially two sets of ways someone who did business with you, found you. One set is that they were a personal referral, made by an individual, such as another agent, or by a non-agent such as someone in your sphere of influence. If they came from one of these two sources, you should record that persons name in the contact's record. A good CRM will give you a specific place to store that information so you can look at someones contact record and clearly see how many people they referred to you, and if that person should be treated especially well if they have bee a good source of business. An even better CRM will actually have a field in which to record that persons name in a relational field, which will then be displayed in what is called a Referral Tree. It is so called because when someone refers someone to you, and that person refers someone to you, and so on, when you look at that progression, it starts to look like branches of a tree. Using a referral tree as a visual is a great way to see how referrals have been generated from the in ital source of the first referral. One CRM with which I am affiliated actually also displays the commission dollars associated with each referral. The end result is that not only can you see all the people someone referred to you, but also how much that translates to in a dollar amount for each referral, and and a total for the person at the top of the tree.

The second set of ways people find you is from sources other than personal referrals.  You need to record the source from which they came, such as ad calls. Note that Ad call is not a good way to record the source of that business. You want to be more specific than that. Rather than just Ad call you should record it as Homes and Land ad call. Some people even like to track which home was in the ad. Other sources include open house, walk-in, my Web site lead, office Web site lead, blog, church, friend, SBA, etc.

Be specific about the source. The goal recording these statistics is that in a good CRM, at the end of the year, you want to generate a report to show you where your business came from. This is one instance of what is meant when people say to run your business like a business. If you know exactly where your business is coming from, it allows you to identify your strengths and weaknesses so you can adjust your marketing business plan accordingly. Even more practically, you can see which advertising money is giving you a good return on your investment, and which is not. You can then make a more informed decision as to where to spend your advertising money. Granted that some advertising is done simply to be seen. That's fine, but at least you will be able to identify that that is what you are doing. If cutbacks become warranted, you'll know which is more practical to cut. 

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