Real estate CRMs have come a long way but not all of them are creating equal. Your CRM should be helping you automate tasks so you can spend more time with your real estate clients. Let's look at 5 things your real estate crm should automate for you.
1. IMMEDIATE LEAD FOLLOW UP
When you first get a new home buyer or home seller (can we call them a lead, from now on? thanks), what happens? Even the most basic email providers have an autoresponder function that people usually use for vacation. Your Real Estate CRM should have this too! So when you get a new lead what happens? This is what the automation is for.
I recommend an email and a text and phone call task assigned to you or your buyer/seller specialist or if you'r really fancy, an ISA (Inside Sales Person). Email is expected and likely ignored, the text is a great touch that can make your real estate business feel like it’s actually responding. However... Nothing closes a sale like a phone call, the one part that can almost be automated, but not quite.
A rule of thumb: In general you want all your communication (especially your crm automation) to be short and to the point. Open ended questions are also good.
Example: “Thanks for registering/ordering/contacting us! We’ll be with you in [set time]. In the meantime, what questions did you have?
2. ASSIGNING A LEAD TO THE RIGHT PERSON
AKA Lead Routing. Once you get a lead what happens? Wait, didn’t we already talk about that. Some Real Estate CRMs don’t let you assign who gets it, and it’s a problem. The best automated systems are ones that can identify the type of lead and assign it to the right person. This will allow specialization.
To take this idea one step further, you could/should customize your automation to fit the type of lead that is coming in. So that not only are they assigned to right person but that your automation plan actually communicates with the lead and moves the ball forward.
Example: “Hey! (home buyer) Thanks for looking at homes in Hickory Hammock on our site today. vs (home seller) Thanks for checking out the market in your Hickory Hammock on our site today. Are you thinking of selling your home? I’ll be sending over our Winter Garden market information for you. ” (then the CRM sends them an email shortly after the text).
3. HELPING YOU TRANSITION ON YOUR SALES FUNNEL
When I say Funnel, all my internet marketing friends will get excited but most real estate agents don’t use this term. Every business has a funnel, but you might call it “stages” or “phases.” A more proper definition is likely sales cycle.
There is the
- pursuit of a lead,
- the lead appointment, (home buyer consult or listing appointment)
- the lead conversion to a client, (signature on a brokerage document)
- the exchange of service or products for monetary compensation, (showing homes, CMAs, writing offers, presenting offers)
- there is the execution of service or delivery of the product (signatures on offers)
- the closing of a sale (the actual closing)
- the after sale (where most agent's drop the ball)
A good automation plan will take into account your businesses stages and have plans that can be assigned to each. There are communication and tasks that are repeated at every point and these are the tasks and communications that should be automated.
4. NURTURE LONG TERM POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES
As you may know, I was a real estate agent for 15 years. The average client sells their home every 10 years in the Atlanta area. It’s easy to see why the statistics say that 85% of all home sellers would use their old agent but didn’t because they didn’t stay in touch. That’s some serious tenacity to stay in touch with a customer for 10 years! A nurture program can fix this. I love Gary Keller’s book, the Millionaire Real Estate Agent. It talks about how you should touch your clients 33 times a year to overcome this problem. The hard part is executing this.
Your CRM should be able to help you stay in touch. 33 Touches seems like a lot but it’s not:
- 12 Newsletters (automated)
- 8 Holiday and Birthday (or anniversary, etc) (automated)
- 4 Phone Calls (automated tasks)
- 4 Personal Emails or Letters (automated)
- 4 Texts (automated) 1 Client Event
5. APPOINTMENT REMINDER AND PROCESSES
Having an appointment reminder is a no brainer. The problem is that many of us rely on Google Calendar to do the reminding and frankly that’s why some people deal with no shows. You should build out your appointment reminder plan.
Here’s an idea.
- Thank you text/email for appointment
- Reminder email/text about upcoming appointment
- Homework or questions to think about before appointment – something like a trigger to remind them how valuable
- Final reminder – Bonus points if you do something like, “Hey Name, looking forward to seeing you today. How do you like your coffee?”
You might ask me what's the best CRM based on these things. There is some truth to "the one you will use" however, I tend to like FollowUp Boss for it's super low learning curve and speed at which it delivers it's information.