I see so many people that do not have an ability to follow a lead from beginning to end. If you can identify a potential buyer early in the process you have given yourself a leg up on the competition. If, however, you can't follow that person until they are ready to buy, what good was it to identify them in the first place. In order to follow a person through the home buying cycle, you must give yourself effective tools. A customer relationship management (CRM) system that does two main things is crucial.
The first thing your lead management system must do is allow you to set reminders for when you will next follow up with a person. This may be a reminder for the next time you will call. It may be a reminder to send them your business card. It may be a reminder to show up at their home with a basket of cookies. If you can set a reminder and have a CRM deliver that reminder to you, you are half way there. The other half is you have to execute on the reminder. Just setting it doesn't do a whole lot of good if you don't perform the task you reminded yourself about.
The second thing you want from a CRM is the ability to automatically market to those leads. In the real estate space you want to be able to get the consumer what it is they are after......houses. An automated home search can keep you in front of a customer for months without ever having to do anything beyond the initial set-up.
If you have these tools available to you, why wouldn't you use them?