What is a CRM?
CRM stands for Contact Relationship Management. It is a software that allows you to manage your leads by better organizing them, automate your e-mail marketing, track everything and it allows you to build reports so that you can analyze your business and keep on imporving on it.
Do I need a CRM?
Yes! Yes! and Yes! It is not just real estate agents but any business that is remotely successful uses a CRM. I have used one at every single company I have ever worked for and with. There are real estate agents that are successful without using a CRM but that is only because they have an assistant that uses a form of CRM system and the reality is that if they did use a CRM they would be even more successful. Data shows that for every $1 you spend on email marketing you get back $38. (Hubspot)
How does a CRM help me?
I tell my clients all the time, I can help you generate 1,000 leads per day, which is possible, but can also be a waste if you don't have the bandwidth to follow up with them. Timing is important and if you don't follow up with them, then those leads are useless and you are literary wasting your money and time. Data shows that the faster you follow up with your leads, the better the results. (Facebook) This might not be the most exciting article, however, you need to understand how to use a CRM and what it can do for you. Just getting one, without knowing how to use it, is pretty much the same as not having one.
You may not always have the time to follow up with new leads right away. You might be busy with an open house and attending other business or family matters. You might even spend time and money generating leads and only to never follow up with them. Don't worry, I can tell you this is a common probem with agents in the industry. I can also tell you that you can increase your efficeny via automation from features in the CRM. You can have the CRM follow up with your contacts for you by setting up various types of automated lead replies. You can even make the emails look like they are coming from you and the clients will be impressed by your efficeny and never ever know it was automated
This is part of Follow Up but it is so important that I decided to give it its own section. According to statistics from NAR "Buyers who would use their agent again or recommend their agent to others: 90%" however in 2019 "39% of sellers who used a real estate agent found their agents through a referral by friends or family, and 27% used the agent they previously worked with to buy or sell a home." What do you think is the main reason behind this? You guessed it, poor follow up. The agent didn't do a good following up with that client.
New lead, old lead, new client, old client, YOU SHOULD CONTINUE TO FOLLOW UP WITH THEM. Branding! Branding! Branding! Building your brand takes effort and you will not see the results right away but after a while, all that hard work catches up with you. You might even have to turn away clients or hire someone to help you out. In order to be in this position, you need to put in your work now. I am assuming that you are in real estate for the long term and you should strategize as such. There are lots of ways you can use email marketing to help you maintain and build your brand awareness. Some examples would be, monthly newsletters, marketing campaigns, automatic emails for birthdays, move-in anniversaries, market updates, holidays, and so on.
Be better organized.
A CRM can also help you organize your data and track everything. There are different aspects of this and I will cover a few different areas in this topic.
If I asked you right now, how many leads did you generate from Facebook Ads vs door-knocking last year, would you know? What about, how many sales came from Facebook ads last year? Would you know that? I am not talking about an estimate on top of your head. I am talking about the exact number. A CRM can tell you this information. If you know this information about your business, you can improve your processes and spend your time, money, and energy on the sources that are making you the most money.
Helps increase the open rate!
In my opinion, one of the worst things you can do is send your listings to everyone in your database every time you have a new listing. If I told my real estate agent that I am looking to buy a condo in Toronto and he/she sends me houses in New York, I am eventually going to stop opening-up the emails. Why are you sending me listings of houses when I told you I am looking for a condo, and why in New York when I told you Toronto. Of course, these are extreme examples but since my readers are from all over this paints an easier picture.
When I do my ads on Facebook, I target people based on the messaging and the objective of the campaign. Before you send an email, think about what the objective of the email is. In other words, what are you trying to get out of this? If it is a new listing, then think about who in your CRM is more likely to be interested in this property. Learn the search abilities of your CRM inside out and then use them to your advantage. Whenever you find out new info about your clients, record it on their contact profile.
According to data from MailChip the average open rate in real estate is 19. 17%. This means that if you send a mass email to 100 people, 19 will open it. The average click through (CTR) rate is 1.77%. Thich means if you send an email to 100 people 2 people would click the links in your email. The hard bounce is 0.38% which means for every 100 people, .3 will have given you incorrect email addresses or 1 person for every 300 contacts. The last bench mark you should be aware of is the unsubscribe rate which is 0.27%, which means for every 100 mass email you send, 0.27 will unsubscribe or about 1 for every 400 people. If your numbers are better than these than you are doing better than the average real esatte agent.
A CRM can talk to your website!
Driving traffic to your website, is another great way to build your brand long term and generate leads. I will cover the best ways to set up your CRM with your website in other articles so make sure to subscribe but for now all you need to know is that this is possible and super easy. You don't need to be a tech wizard to do any of these by the way. All the things that I have mentioned in this article have already been built for you. You just need to learn how to use them.
In conclusion, you can't continue to scale up your business without a CRM. As you become a more experienced real esatate agent, then your database will naturally grow as well. You might be able to manage your data base manually with 50 to 100 people but you won't be able to do that when your database gets in the thousands. At the same time, it is not a good idea to start using a CRM once your database gets bigger because a CRM can also help you expand your data base and get more referals. I would recomend to start using a CRM from day one or as soon as possible if you don't already have one. Ask me any questions below if you have any questions about CRM and kindly share this with your realtor friends to help me get more traffic and I will continue to provide you with tips. Don't foget to subscribe because, I will provide you with lots of free tips on how to improve your marketing :)