A customer relationship management (CRM) system is practically a requirement for brokerages nowadays. Considering the multifaceted and fast-paced work lives of real estate agents and recruiters, a CRM can help improve hiring programs, boost retention, and increase workflow efficiency overall. But more importantly, this type of software can help you cultivate client relationships that strengthen your position as a reliable, productive brokerage.
That said, if you haven’t invested in a CRM yet, here are some considerations to ensure that you’re getting the best one for your company:
Your Needs and Your Budget
Different CRMs are made by other companies and therefore have various features. Some have a fixed number of functionalities available per tier (e.g., basic vs. advanced), while others allow you to mix and match depending on what you need. The most important thing is to determine what your team needs and then find a CRM that can deliver all of that. It’s also crucial to make reasonable forecasts based on your data; you might think you don’t need a specific feature, but your brokerage may require it sooner or later.
Of course, budget is also an important consideration. How much are you willing to spend? More importantly, how much can you spend? Some CRMs are more expensive because they have all sorts of bells and whistles but do you need them? Aligning your brokerage’s needs and budget can help you determine the “right” amount to invest in such tech.
Usability and Learning Curve
If a CRM is confusing or too difficult to use, then it might not be worth your time and money. It’s supposed to make things easier for you and your team, not complicate matters. However, it can be challenging to gauge a CRM’s usability and learning curve if you haven’t used it before. You can get over this hurdle by asking for product demos, which companies are more than happy to provide.
You can also check out customer reviews for some real-life feedback. Note any comments regarding the user interface and navigation since these factors will significantly affect the user experience. Finally, check out Brokerkit reviews and testimonials if you’re interested in a system that can help you recruit and retain top agents that’s both effective and easy to use.
Compatibility and Integration
Aside from MLS, your brokerage is likely using various other services and apps that help you gather and manage data. These include things like recruiting services, as well as a skills assessment. Then there are simple day-to-day tools like email providers and calendars. Of course, adding a CRM to all of these means more things to manage—that is, if your CRM doesn’t support integration.
When you’re choosing a CRM, make sure to include compatibility and integration with most if not all of your existing tools in your list of criteria. This will help improve your team’s efficiency and even help lower the software’s learning curve. Do note that compatibility should apply to both software and hardware. Thus, the CRM you choose should ideally be something that can be used as effectively on a desktop computer as on a smartphone.
Speaking of smartphones, many real estate professionals are always on the go. Thus, a good CRM is something that you can access conveniently via mobile devices. The app or mobile version doesn’t need to be an exact copy of the full desktop version; after all, smartphones usually don’t have the same storage and processing capabilities. However, the CRM’s mobile app or site does have to have the essential features, so it’s usable in most situations outside the office. It should also look well-designed and not merely be forced to fit a smaller screen.
As its name suggests, a CRM system helps you manage customer relationships. To do this, you’re going to need a product that allows you to keep in touch with clients and candidates not just quickly but also correctly. For instance, if two candidates are at different stages of the application process, a single templated message wouldn’t do. Instead, you need to send a tailor-fitted response so that prospective hires know you’re seriously considering their application.
Aside from communication features, you should also take a look at CRM’s lead segmentation capabilities. These can help you organize your contacts list and process relevant data, ensuring that you’re always sending the right messages at the right time.
Automation and Customizable Templates for Messaging and Drip Campaigns
Finally, a good CRM should have features that allow you to automate specific processes. An important one is appointment scheduling since it’s easy to make mistakes if you’re inputting details manually. Ideally, your chosen CRM should also have customizable templates for responding to inquiries, following up, and sending drip campaigns.
These are all simple tasks, but they can take a lot of time and are prone to mistakes. However, with automation features and editable templates, you can minimize human error while improving how you communicate with clients.
Report Generation Capabilities
As the saying goes, if you can measure it, it can be improved. In short, you need a CRM with a built-in report generation feature that provides accurate data that’s ready for your analysis. With this, you can gauge your recruitment efforts, agent performance, and even agent retention programs. But, more importantly, you can pinpoint which aspects need improvement and develop solutions to address any gaps.
Last but certainly not least, you need a CRM that grows with you. This way, you don’t need to invest in new software when your brokerage expands its coverage and services. Migrating data can be tricky, so you want a CRM that can keep up with your company. Besides, if you change systems often, your team’s mastery of the tool can also suffer. This can eat away at your productivity and even get in the way of your momentum.
Hopefully, with this list, you can find the best CRM for your brokerage. Good luck in all your endeavors!
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