Checklist: 8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your CRM
In many cases, we don’t fully utilize the tools we have available, simply because we’re unaware of useful options. It can be impossible to find the time to fully explore digital platforms, like a commercial real estate CRM, so you may miss out on capabilities that could be very beneficial.
CRM (customer relationship management) platforms are quickly becoming essential tools for business, and their use in the real estate industry has been on the rise. In a recent survey of agents and brokers, over 71% of respondents used a CRM system. The remaining respondents reported using these tools to take care of the functions that a CRM manages: email, digital calendars, electronic contact databases, email marketing software and other tools in assorted combinations.
The features that users found to be most important in a CRM were contact organization (61.2 percent), activity management (56.5 percent) and ease of use (50.3 percent). More than ¾ of the agents said that their CRM has features that they don’t use. Interestingly, 10 respondents could not name a feature of their CRM that they liked.
To get the most out of your CRM, there are some key capabilities that you should be sure to use. Here’s a discussion of those, starting with the ones that brokers value most:
Your CRM should allow you to organize and share clients, prospects, vendors and more under one roof. Updates should automatically populate across the system, so information is always current, connected and accurate.
Look for the ability to relate contacts to multiple properties and deals, so their names and information come up when you look at any activity involving them, along with your notes and files.
Your CRM should make it easy to organize and categorize leads, so that your interactions can be more timely and appropriate. Indicators for moving a contact to a new group can be preset, so the move is automatic.
A CRM helps to ensure that you’re never double-booked and never miss an appointment or event. It’s easy to set up meetings and update your calendar on the go, and set up alerts to keep you on track. Make sure your CRM calendar sync with the calendar within your mobile device. You should be able to to view and schedule using any platform.
CRM is often the hub of activity for your business. Many users start their data in a CRM, and it’s the last application used before leaving for the day. Integration with this hub yields powerful results making it easier to benefit from other services. ClientLook works seamlessly with products like Buildout, MailChimp, RPR and TheAnalyst PRO, so you can use your CRM data for real world tasks like property valuation and marketing.
The CRM you choose should be intutive enough to allow you to work without training. There may be occasions when you have a specialized question that requires contact with Customer Support. These departments should be staffed with CRM experts that speak your language and are able to adepty resolve any issue. ClientLook even provides Virtual Assistants – real people who take care of data entry and other tasks at your direction. It’s all part of the service.
A CRM should allow you to track and manage transactions from start to finish, and include features that make it easy for teams to work together online. Secure deal rooms and easily managed permissions make deals move forward quickly. By allowing clients to self-serve their need for information you’ll be accelerating your deal flow and provide a higher level of service.
Your CRM should be a powerful part of your marketing strategy. As a hub for your email campaigns you’ll use it to find targeted lists, send campaigns and analyze results. ClientLook integrates with MailChimp to deliver an unrivaled level of email automation and tracking.
Part of a CRM’s usefulness is based on the principle of Cloud storage. Your platform should include unlimited online file storage. ClientLook provides unlimited space in the cloud, so that clients have anywhere, anytime access to essential documents and information.
Along with cloud storage, a CRM should be optimized for mobile use. ClientLook lets you sync to the native address book and calendar of any mobile device – an important feature to make use of in the course of your day.