Choosing the Right CRM for You

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Happy Grasshopper

Most of us have at least some experience with CRMs - software, often with reminders that help you organize and reach out to your clients. The problem is, CRMs often evoke more questions than answers. Do I really need one? Are there important features to look for?

The answers to your questions is a resounding YES. Let’s take a look...

CRM2
Why You Need a CRM

Here’s the deal: the first line of success in any business is organization. For our purposes, organization comes in the form of keeping your contacts in line. Salespeople often have multiple lead sources, which can be daunting from an organizational standpoint. What good is spending all that time, effort, and money farming your leads if you’re going to forget about them?

That’s where a CRM comes in.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is able to categorize and keep your leads current and top-of-mind - this is important. We’ve all been there; you got a hot lead at an open house or maybe a referral. You write it down on a Post-It, stick it to your desk, and promise yourself you’ll get to it after lunch.

Except you didn’t, and now your referral went elsewhere.

CRMs are able to streamline the whole process for you. You can either input contacts manually, or make it easier and automate contacts from lead sources on the fly. You can categorize your leads by their relationship to you, as well as set reminders to reach out to them. You can even view statistics, tracking closing rates to see how you’re doing.

While the scope and features are broad, we’ll go over the ones you need as a salesperson, even helping you to choose the right one for your business.

The CRM Features You’re Looking For

Analytics

All the organization and success in the world means nothing if you can’t track it. Analytics provide metrics for tracking your progress. CRM analytics can show you important information such as close rates, allowing you to see what’s working as well as what’s not.

Good CRMs allow users access to decision-making options, helping them select the right campaign for the right group, as well as real-time feedback to make decisions quickly and while they’re still impactful.

Mobile and Remote Access

It’s 2015, people. You’re at trade shows, conventions, and on the road - you need a platform that doesn’t chain you to your desk. When it comes to mobile access, you typically have either web browser access on your device or an app. It doesn’t matter which medium you choose as long as you have something for when you’re on the go.

CRM Webinar

Integration

This feature doesn’t seem necessary on the surface, but as your business grows so will your use of other systems - it’s inevitable. When you have these other services, you’re going to want them to integrate with your CRM for ease-of-use. An example of such integration is yours truly, Happy Grasshopper! We integrate with numerous CRMs with our email follow-up service, allowing users to send contacts automatically over to Happy Grasshopper and start them targeted email campaigns. Pretty nifty, huh?! =)

Contact & Lead Tracking

You need to track your contacts and leads - you’ll want to know when they were added, how far they’ve come in the process, and when to reach out to them. This feature is a must-have for salespeople, as our line of work is time-sensitive. Missing a chance to stay top-of-mind with a potential client or current client can be a costly mistake, and one you do not want to make.

Campaign Management

A CRM should be able to fully encompass a campaign. Creation, management, deployment, and tracking are all crucial elements you’ll need to be successful. Campaign features enable users to not only add and organize their contacts, but to also walk them through the entirety of the sales process. The more work your CRM can take off your plate, the better.

Multichannel Support and Simplicity

These last features are also the most important. When you have an issue, question, or concern, you need to able to get ahold of someone quickly. That means a direct phone number to reach support, a quick turnaround email, ideally, a live chat.

In addition to support, you’ll want the most basic feature of them all: simplicity. You’ll want something you can pick up quickly and begin using right away. The idea is that the faster you pick it up, the faster you’ll see the benefits. Simplicity is king.

Now that you’ve learned the nuts and bolts of a CRM, as well as some important features to look for, it’s time to dig deeper. For our upcoming webinar, we’ve asked Dan Corkill, CEO and co-founder of Follow Up Boss, to join us and discuss all things CRM. We’ll go into detail, helping you choose the best CRM for you with tips from an expert. Don’t miss it, register now!

 

Claim Your Spot Webinar

 

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We help salespeople write and deliver thoughtful, well-written follow-up that connects them with their prospects and current database in a way that builds a stronger relationship and a deeper trust.  Take our free assessment here to see how we can help you keep in touch with your sphere, convert more leads and grow your team.

 

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Rainmaker
3,723,305
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great post on the importance of a CRM. And the second most important point is that one uses their CRM! So many agents have one, but never make use of it.

Nov 03, 2015 03:00 AM #1
Ambassador
4,309,924
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Dan Stewart thanks for the invite to the webinar.

CRM is the heart and soul of our business - and yes, we need to make sure it is STRONG!

Nov 03, 2015 04:34 AM #2
Rainmaker
217,117
Denise Watkins
Samson Properties - Upper Marlboro, MD
Realtor Serving DC and MD

Yes, we must have a strong CRM and we must know how to set it up and use it so that it can work for us. 

Nov 03, 2015 04:43 AM #3
Rainmaker
793,467
Olga Simoncelli
Veritas Prime, LLC dba Veritas Prime Real Estate - New Fairfield, CT
CONSULTANT, Real Estate Services & Risk Management

CRM is so important. I could drown in my little notes to myself!

Do you know that you are competing with AR now?  Ben Kinney launched Brivity.

 

Nov 03, 2015 05:01 AM #4
Rainer
79,911
Jeff Getman
Realty Executives of Ravalli County - Hamilton, MT
Realty Executives

Yes a CRM is important. Helps keep track of clients and simple things like paying your bills on time. But I'm from the old school, I like to have one installed on my laptop, not a cloud-based system. Part of that may be where you live. In our part of the country cell service and internet access can be spotty at times and when I'm adding info or pulling up someone's info, I don't want to lose things in the middle of the game because the cell connection or internet conection vanished.

I abandoned one program because they went to internet based and it was one I had used for over 15 years. Took me awhile to retype all my contacts into the new FREE CRM I found but well worth it. I thinned out all the dead contacts and this new FREE program is actually nicer than my old one that I paid $500 for 15+ years ago.

Nov 03, 2015 06:47 AM #5
Ambassador
704,668
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Thanks, Dan. I think a CRM system can be a great tool if used. That's the oeprative word. It has to be used consistently. I've used several and can't say I have a favorite.

Nov 03, 2015 07:45 AM #6
Rainmaker
2,036,638
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
MOOERS REALTY - Houlton, ME
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Having the CRM humming is important. But something worth feeding on for a presentation of fresh content to keep them interested is where the effort needs to go too! To make your connection strong, the back and forth because your websites, video, all your media stream channels are buffet loaded. Hot and ready for when your buyer is... like a middle of the night real estate snack. You are broadcasting and open for business Dan Stewart !

Nov 03, 2015 08:29 AM #7
Rainmaker
31,901
Amelia Robinette
NoVa House and Home - Frankly Realty - Falls Church, VA
Education, Innovation, Service

The biggest issue I've seen w/a CRM is that agents see them as 'magic bullets' and don't realize that a CRM requires significant time to set up, and requires constant monitoring. The advertisements and sales pitches for CRMs present them as easy and automated. If you want the most out of it, it's not easy, it's work.

If you're going to invest in a CRM, invest in managing it or hiring someone else to do it. Otherwise, it's a complete waste of your money.

Nov 03, 2015 09:42 AM #8
Rainer
332,704
Doyle Davison
Hawaiian Beaches Hawaii - 714-968-6767 - Huntington Beach, CA
30 years as your Concierge services listing broker

I have personally tried a bunch of systems and found they all require a lot of time.  mail-chimp for wordpress does pretty good job for clients that sign up on a website, but you have to set up your campaigns, import your letters, newsletters, flyers, etc.  there is no easy free ticket these days.

Nov 03, 2015 10:47 AM #9
Rainer
85,271
Pat Braithwaite
Braithwaite Realty - Marietta, GA
E-Pro

A great CRM system can be very helpful, when you keep it up to date. Many manage partially on their own, which gives us a breather.

Nov 03, 2015 10:47 AM #10
Rainmaker
1,119,682
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Is there a software that one can invoke from the iphone? Is so what is the link?

Thanks

Sam Shueh

Nov 03, 2015 11:07 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,317,857
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

A good CRM is important.  It really insures I stay in contact with leads.

Nov 03, 2015 11:21 AM #12
Rainmaker
325,331
Christina Sanchez Hood
Palo Alto, CA
#SiliconValleyHOODS | Inspired Living

Thanks Dan Stewart, I really appreciate the clarity of your post and the points you covered.  Great CRMs can make agents feel happy as grasshoppers  

Nov 03, 2015 12:30 PM #13
Rainer
14,935
Alvin Bert
Real Estate - Chinatown, NY
Here just for Real Estate activities.

Good post, now adays every Real Estate need it,

Also Masterkey is a Real Estate CRM software provider that offers real estate software solutions to companies in UAE and the globe.

Nov 03, 2015 03:30 PM #14
Ambassador
1,253,758
Ralph Gorgoglione
Maui Life Homes / Metro Life Homes - Kihei, HI
Hawaii and California Real Estate (310) 497-9407

I use a combination of two sites for my CRM, and I'm pretty happy with that combo. One site is for tracking all of my transactions, and the other site is for contact management.

Nov 04, 2015 04:14 AM #15
Rainer
20,554
Matthew Lawrence
ReMax Center - Round Lake, IL

I have two CRM systems also. It would be nice to integrate into one, but happy thus far...

Nov 04, 2015 05:18 AM #16
Rainmaker
700,422
Bill Reddington
Re/max By The Sea - Destin, FL
Destin Florida Real Estate

As Nina mentioned the CRM you use is the best one for you. I use one of the competitions. Tough to learn a new program. 

Nov 04, 2015 05:56 AM #17
Rainmaker
892,820
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Good post on the CRM, Dan Stewart. Also, agree with Nina Hollander that having a CRM is important and valuable. However, as she comments, - is whether it is being used. Takes time and diligent, consistent effort to afford valuable results. Bookmarking your post. Thank you.

Nov 04, 2015 11:04 AM #18
Rainmaker
544,742
John Mosier
Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert - Prescott, AZ
Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142

Dan Stewart -- I am using Follow Up Boss and I really love it. I like Follow Up Boss because it gathers and consolidates leads from a lot of other sources. For me, it gathers leads from

  • FlexMLS
  • Landwatch
  • Trulia
  • Homes.com
  • Market Leader
  • Realtor.com
  • Realbird
  • Listings to Leads

Another thing I like about Follow Up Boss is that it integrates and consolidates gmail messages.

I have not connected to Follow Up Boss to Happy Grasshopper but I want to check it out.

Nov 04, 2015 11:48 AM #19
Rainer
2,600
Katerina Snezhkovska
bhomes - Essex, MT

Great post! Automation and integration are essential. I would add here multichannel communications and event management.. and it would be great for the system to be scalable. 

It's 2018. There is plenty of modern functionality available. I would recommend Dynamics Estate. Especially, if your real estate is from UAE.

 

Sep 17, 2018 11:37 PM #20
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