Every single day we get emails and phone calls in our office about our Leading Agent CRM System. The calls, even though recevied from Realtors® all over the country, share some common themes:
1) Many Realtors® are not exactly sure what a CRM is.
2) Realtors that do know what a CRM is, when asked about their current CRM solution, give us the name of a product that actually IS NOT a CRM solution
3) We have yet to see a Realtor® call or email us that currently has a CRM solution that is actually socially integrated (don’t worry. We know that isn’t exactly clear, but we’ll go into detail below)
Because of this, this week I would like to comment on each of these findings, and then finally end my article with ways you can examine YOUR existing CRM solution, to see if it is or isn’t socially integrated.
What Is A CRM?
If you are a Realtor® that falls into the category of not knowing what CRM means, have no fear. Many of your colleagues have no idea either. Simply put, a CRM system is a:
Client Relationship Management System
Your CRM should be the lifeblood of your business. It gives you valuable information on your leads, clients and prospects. It keeps track of your important tasks, your appointments, and any special notes and attachments. Simply put, it makes it look like you are a super hero and never forget ANYTHING.
For instance, last week, I was speaking with a client on the phone to schedule a sneak peek preview of our new Real Estate 3.0 offering. When they called, I pulled up their contact record in our CRM, and I noticed that the last time I spoke with them, they had mentioned to me that over that weekend they were going to be attending their son’s first little league game.
When we said hello to each other, and began chatting, I casually asked them how the game went and how their son enjoyed it. They were noticeably surprised that I would remember such a thing, as it didn’t pertain to “actual business”.
The reality is that we have a thousand or so Realtors with which we work. Many we are in contact with all the time, and others we hear from every once in a great while. Remembering all these details for all these people would be impossible. The fact that I have my “go to” spot, for all information related to my clients is critical to my business. It keeps me from forgetting anything, and also makes me look like a rock star to my clients, who can’t figure out how I’m always “on top of it”.
Just Because It Stores Contacts Doesn’t Mean It’s “Actually” A CRM
Frequently when I speak with prospective clients about our CRM solution, the answer I get is, “Thanks, but we already have a CRM system”. What I find, when digging a little deeper, is that the Realtor® may have some sort of solution in place, but that solution isn’t actually a CRM solution.
Perhaps the most common one I have people tell me they are using is Constant Contact. For the record, I have nothing bad to say about constant contact. However it’s NOT a CRM. It is a broadcast email sending tool (A Marketing Tool). That’s it.
As I have mentioned above, you NEED to have some sort of CRM solution in place. So if you think that Constant Contact is it, you are falling short. You can of course keep your subscription to Constant Contact, along side a subscription to a CRM (although most CRM tools, including ours have built in Broadcast Email capabilities. Many, like ours, also allow you to send unlimited emails to any size list, while Constant Contact charges you by the size of your e-mail list).
So do you have a CRM, or do you have a marketing tool? Here are a couple quick questions you can ask yourself. If your answer to any of these is “no”, you most likely do not have a CRM, but some sort of other tool:
-Does your solution allow you to post lots of information in the contact record (e.g. phones, emails, web addresses, contact types, address info, etc.)?
-Does your solution allow you to keep an activity history for that contact (e.g. log a phone call, schedule follow up tasks and reminders, view a list of listings you’ve sold that client, etc.)?
-Does your solution allow you to store files with your contact’s record (e.g. reports, contracts, or anything else related to that contact)?
Is Your CRM Solution “Truly” Socially Integrated?
So I hope the above information was helpful for you, however that wasn’t the main reason I decided to write this article. The main reason I wanted to write this article is because we are finding, practically across the board, that there is a vast disconnect between CRM and Social Media. Our belief is that if your CRM isn’t socially integrated, you are not capitalizing on the full power your CRM could have, and not prospecting to leads and keeping in touch with your clients and past clients, in the most effective way possible. This can directly affect your success, and therefore your bottom line.
Pulling valuable social media info into your customer relationship management platform is critical in today’s “Socially Engaged” World. Think how much more valuable your data would be, if you could easily pull in things such as Birthdays, anniversary dates, major life events, bios, work history, hometowns, and so much more? Imagine the relationship that would be built with your client? They would feel connected to you, because you “actually” know about them, and their personal life. You are acknowledging and validating these life events, that are very important to them, showing them that you truly care about them.
Filling in these gaps gives you the ability to have a much richer experience, when it comes to staying in touch with and marketing to past and current clients. The key to a system like this working successfully is integration. What I mean by this is that you need an automated way to have this information seamlessly pull into your CRM. If you have to manually enter this data into your CRM, it is extra motions you don’t need to make, and frankly, most likely not ever going to happen.
There are only a very few CRM’s we can find on the market, for the Real Estate Industry, that are “actually” socially integrated. Many CRM solutions claim to be, but the reality is that there are only two or three. If you are looking for a socially integrated CRM solution, or are wanting to determine if your current CRM solution is socially integrated, here are some questions to consider. If you answer “no” to any of these three questions, the CRM solution you are looking at, IS NOT socially integrated:
-Can your CRM system automatically search your contact list and pull in social media information about those contacts, WITHOUT you having to manually enter it?
-Does your CRM have a control panel that you can use to monitor your “online reputation” (e.g. Yelp, Trip Advisor, Mentions On The Web, etc), and all your social media accounts?
-Does your CRM allow you to use that same control panel to respond to anyone that mentions you online, or interacts with you, on any of your social media sites, WITHOUT making you log into the actual account to reply (e.g. On our Leading Agent system, in our social media management panel, all you need to do is click the “reply” button, by any posting and you can respond to them in that exact same window, WITHOUT having to log into that social media property)?
There are of course many more intricacies to social media and how it can integrate with your CRM solution, but these are some great baseline questions to use, when evaluating a CRM solution.
Our Leading Agent Real Estate CRM & Business Practice Management system is fully socially integrated, and incorporates all the things detailed in this article, and so much more. If you would like to schedule a demonstration of our CRM / Business Practice Management solution, please contact us anytime, as we would be more than happy to give you a demonstration, and show you the power of our one of a kind CRM solution.
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