10 Must-Haves When Shopping Commercial Real Estate CRMs
If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you understand the importance of a commercial real estate CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) to your success. It’s not realistic for any CRE professional to expect top performance without taking advantage of the many ways that CRM increases efficiency, responsiveness, and accuracy.
Many CRMs are designed specifically for the CRE industry. They integrate functions like contact management, scheduling, email campaigns, report generation and client collaboration. Everything can be accessed and shared online, so colleagues and clients get what they need almost instantly. A good CRM allows you to easily track leads, monitor and evaluate marketing efforts, and produce relevant and effective reports on demand.
In fact, this type of commercial real estate software can do so many things for us that it’s a little overwhelming when you try to select the best product for your own use. The choices do vary, so it’s good to have a list of must-haves to help make the right choice.
1. Cross-device functionality
The broker’s work doesn’t all take place at a desk, so look for tools that travel with you and synch with all your devices. Don’t even consider a product that can’t function on any device, from desktop to tablet to phone.
2. No setup, downloads, etc.
You want to use the tool, not maintain it. Save yourself the hassle of installing programs on your machine and then keeping up with endless updates. With the availability of cloud computing, your CRM solution can and should be housed (and maintained) elsewhere, not on your hard drive.
3. Analytic reporting and data integration
Look for tools that make it easy for you to quickly generate easy to understand reports. They should provide updated listing information for marketing materials, and then analyze the results.
4. No learning curve
The best systems don’t require training because they’re so intuitive and easy to use. Give any potential system a thorough test drive without guidance. See if it all makes sense without investing time and money in training.
5. Space for collaboration
A big part of CRM is maintaining contacts and facilitating communication, so a platform that provides space for collaboration and document sharing with partners, clients, and team members is a must in CRE.
6. Management of leads and opportunities
A good CRM tool helps you categorize leads, create contact lists and networks, and track the progress of deals efficiently. Look for features like grouping that allow you to subdivide your large list of contacts into smaller targeted segments. This is essential as your lists grow.
7. Automated marketing
With CRM, you should be able to essentially put marketing on autopilot, using tools like drip email campaigns. This lets you boost your responsiveness and still put less time into marketing day-to-day.
8. Workflow management
Managing your days on an integrated platform ensures that you’re never overextended and can follow through on commitments. It helps to ensure that your schedule is workable and nothing’s falling between the cracks.
9. Organize property inventory
Being able to gather all of the relevant information for the properties you care about is critical. Then, by creating the relationship between your contacts and properties you’ll be accelerating deal making and finding hidden opportunities.
10. Integration of tools
A good CRM platform becomes your virtual headquarters. It’s where you’ll manage everything about your business. There’s no one system that does it all though. Clientlook works seamlessly with useful add-ons like Buildout, Mailchimp, and Realtors Property Resource to expand your capabilities without scattering your work.