It’s easy for details to fall through the cracks.

cracked wall image via shutterstock

A good customer relationship management (CRM) system will seal those cracks for you.

But how do you pick a good one?

In this article, I’ll outline four key considerations to keep in mind when evaluating a real estate CRM. These are the important features that will both make life easier for you as an agent and propel your business growth, increasing the number of referrals and repeat client transactions you get every year.

1. Contact management and personal organization.

Any good real estate CRM will have detailed Realtor-oriented contact profiles. This means the profile should have fields for birth dates, family members, special interests, mortgage details, lead sources and referrals. These particular fields will help you to learn more about your clients and prospects over time and develop stronger relationships with them. A robust “keep in touch” dashboard is essential.

Automated website lead capture is a really important feature. Leads captured from your website should be automatically flowed into your real estate CRM. It’ll enable you to respond to website leads right away (your CRM will remind you when a website lead is captured) and assign them to a drip email marketing campaign.

2. Powerful email marketing.

Your real estate CRM should have a powerful email marketing system built in. This should include the ability to send out a monthly e-newsletter that’s predesigned for you. One of the best ways to build relationships with clients and prospects and stay “top of mind” is to send out a monthly e-newsletter.

The CRM should also include email marketing templates and the ability to send out personalized mass emails. The best real estate contact management systems will let you choose from a variety of professional and effective templates.

Moreover, the real estate CRM should have automated email campaigns, which will enable you to put your marketing communications on autopilot. This way, you can keep in touch with prospects and clients, and stay “top of mind” while eliminating a lot of the work that this often entails.

Select the marketing campaign appropriate for the lead or longtime client to make certain you’re building long-term relationships with those that matter. Note: While it’s beneficial to automate some of your marketing and communications, don’t neglect face-to-face meetings, events, phone calls and direct mail pieces.

Email campaign reporting is also an important email marketing feature that a real estate CRM should include. Campaign reports let you track the success of your email campaigns with statistics like open rate, forward rate and click-through rate. As well, you can use campaign reports to identify the hot leads in your database: the people who are reading and clicking on the links in your email marketing.

Imagine you just sent an e-flier on a new listing to 300 people in your database. Wouldn’t you love to know who was interested enough in your listing to click on the “Learn More” links or to forward the email to others? That’s the power of campaign reporting.

3. Active business.

As a real estate sales professional, it’s imperative that your CRM have features for you to manage your active buyers, sellers and listings. You’ll want the ability to generate service reports, record notes about contact listings, list property details, manage offers, manage key dates, and track commissions. Having all the details about active business listings and active buyers and sellers in your CRM will help you to be more organized, proactive and in control at all times.

Listing and closing activity plans are instrumental and an important CRM feature to look out for. These plans are a series of “to do’s” that have been created for you to manage all the key steps throughout the listing and closing processes.

4. Connectivity and compatibility.

Being able to sync your CRM database with the address book, calendar and task list built into your smartphone is a giant time-saver. A real estate CRM with wireless smartphone sync is a time-saver because it eliminates the need to enter in contact data, tasks and appointments twice.

A real estate CRM is an essential business tool for all real estate sales professionals. It’s one of the best investments a Realtor can make — the return on investment (ROI) is tremendous. Keep these key considerations in mind to ensure you choose a system that is going to help you take your business to the next level.

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