AgentBrokerage

3 steps to start using a CRM

Better client management equals more transactions and more commission

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Takeaways:

  • The National Association of Realtors’ Profile of Buyers and Sellers says that 73 percent of homebuyers would use their agent again, and another 15 percent said they probably would — but only 12 percent did.
  • Any agent that’s not using a customer relationship management system is losing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars each year; it’s even more if they are buying leads.
  • The three must-haves for an effective CRM are a database for contact information, a calendar and a way to add notes or tags to the contacts.

A few weeks ago, I received a message on LinkedIn. It went something like this: “Hey John, I don’t think we have actually met in person, so I wanted to see if we could get together and see if we can’t help each other’s businesses.”

Indeed, the message contained nothing special that made me eager to set a meeting, but it’s not unlike most of the email and social media marketing we get on a regular basis.

So what made this message stand out?  The sender and I had met — three times.

I was initially slightly offended, but that quickly turned into shock. How could anyone serious about building a business not use a CRM to track their contacts?

Buyer and seller behavior seemingly indicates that most agents do a poor job of staying in touch with their clients after closing.

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The NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers says that 73 percent of homebuyers would use their agent again, and another 15 percent said they probably would.

However, only 12 percent of homebuyers actually did use the agent they had used previously. The numbers are almost identical for sellers.

Any agent that’s not using a CRM system is losing tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars each year. To compound that, many turn around and spend money for fresh leads rather than put in a little time each week into cultivating their own database.

Perhaps the most maddening of all is how simple it is to increase your production just by using a CRM. Because CRMs are vital to our business, and clearly, not everyone is using one, here are three steps to help get you started.

1. Choose a CRM program and get your database uploaded

There are some great systems out there you can subscribe to, and I have used these before, but I know top agents that do fine using Outlook or Google Contacts.

I use my company’s in-house CRM software. The three must-haves for an effective CRM are a database for contact information, a calendar and a way to add notes or tags to the contacts.

The simplest system you use is infinitely more productive than the most robust system you don’t.

Although it’s not an absolute requirement, it’s more than helpful if you can access the CRM from multiple devices or via the cloud.

2. Develop a client engagement plan for staying in touch with your database

The most effective strategy will be a combination of phone calls, handwritten notes, postcards and email over the course of the year. But you should have some contact with every client at least once a month, if not more often.

The more often you have meaningful interactions or provide something of value, the more likely your customers are to not only use you for their next transaction but also refer you to their sphere.

Like choosing a CRM system, the particular form of a client engagement plan you choose is not nearly as important as following through with the execution.

You should, however, track the responses you get. Then, you should focus on the activities that provide the highest return.

3. Set a goal to build your database

That could be adding two names a week or reaching 300 names by the end of the year. If you regularly look for opportunities to add names, you will find yourself connecting with more people while doing the same activities you usually do.

By changing your focus, you will change your results.

These are three quick tips that will not only help you organize your business but also help you rake in all that extra cash from repeat and referral clients.

Face it, without a CRM you would have otherwise lost touch with your previous customers and, therefore, lost business from them as well.

John Blom is a managing broker for The Hasson Company. You can follow him on Twitter (@johndblom) or LinkedIn.

Email John Blom.