Are Realtors utilizing the tools available to them to increase efficiency and productivity? A recent study by Software Advice (a free online resource for real estate CRM software) has revealed some insights into the Realtors that are and aren’t using customer relationship management (CRM) software. The survey, which used a sample of CRM buyers consisting of 78 percent real estate industry professionals and 22 percent people in the mortgage business, aimed to find the best CRM solutions for agencies and brokerages. Read on to learn about their findings and see where you fall.
Who’s Using What?
The report showed that real estate professionals looking to purchase CRM software were far more likely than other buyers to have previously used industry specific software. However, a majority were still using basic methods like email, pen and paper, and spreadsheets to manage their customer relationships. According to Justin Lee, co-founder and COO of The Square Foot, “this data indicates an alarming number of real estate professionals are in the dark not only about what new solutions are out there, but also about how these solutions can be used to [increase efficiency].”
Prospective Buyers’ Current Methods
Of those that are indeed using CRM software, 28 percent were using real estate software, typically provided by their brokerage, agency, or franchise firm. Of those using real estate software, “51 percent were using CRM software specifically tailored to the real estate or mortgage industries, including proprietary solutions like Keller Williams’ eEdge.”
Why CRM Software?
Many agents are finding that their current customer relationship management systems are unable to manage all of their contacts. In other words, many Realtors feel that email marketing or multiple listing software with built-in contact management functionality isn’t enough. These frustrated professionals are looking for ways to improve their efficiency and organization without breaking the bank.
Others looking into new options for CRM wanted a system for themselves to “retain ownership of leads if they chose to leave their franchise firm or organization.” Many of these agents are resisting their brokerage’s attempts to implement a company-wide CRM.
What Agents Want
So what are Realtors looking for in CRM software? The top three reasons given were 1. Contact management (at 90 percent), 2. Interaction tracking (at 52 percent), and 3. Email automation (at 41 percent). Following closely behind were lead tracking/sales pipeline management, alerts, and task scheduling.
Top-Requested Real Estate CRM Features
Email automation ranked higher than lead tracking primarily due to the agent’s need to constantly stay top of mind with those in their pipeline. Lee agrees; “The more contact you have with a prospect, the more likely you are to maintain the relationship and eventually earn a commission.”
Overall, real estate professionals are beginning to make the shift from a referral-driven industry to one based on data accessibility. “The more tools real estate professionals have at their disposal, the better the data they can provide to prospective clients,” Lee states. Being equipped with technology and tools doesn’t only help the Realtor become more efficient and productive, it allows customer relationships to be nurtured without taking a lot of time from your day.
Do you use CRM software? If so, what are the pros and cons to this type of customer relationship management?