Use this time to do the foundational administrative work that agents can never get around to — like implementing a customer relationship management system.

Virtual open houses, digital closings, conversations from behind face masks — what productivity looks like for real estate agents this summer covers new terrain for all of us. All June, Inman surveys the New Productivity: the tools, skills and insights needed to make it work now.

We are typically always on the move as real estate agents. Now that we have the chance to slow down, we should use that time to do the foundational administrative work that we never get around to. It’s crucial to create and implement smoother ways of working now so when things are opening up fully, it will be an easy transition.

The biggest way to impact your business is to start using a customer relationship management (CRM) software as a database. The last thing you want to do is hunt through a messy spreadsheet to track your client information.

If you’re ready to take your team’s business to the next level, CRM is a technology for managing all your relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.

The goal is simple: Improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies stay connected to customers, streamline processes and improve profitability.

Don’t get overwhelmed

Hearing about all the ways you should be optimizing your business can lead to a path of beating yourself up. You sit and think about every single thing you need to do for your business, and suddenly your to-do list has 26 items on it. You have over-thought every single step, and now everything seems impossible. You are in the “overwhelm” zone. The overwhelm zone is an easy place to fall in and a difficult one to get out of.

You may be in the overwhelm zone and not even know it. Being overwhelmed can keep us out of rhythm with what is going on. If your admins have to track you down to get things done, you have a plethora of paper notes or you have increased your ads and leads but are seeing fewer sales, you just might be in the overwhelm zone.

Luckily CRMs are the best tool we have available to get out of the overwhelm zone.

The benefit of CRMs

It can be scary to think of putting years of contacts and experience into the cloud, but the database can serve as an extension of your brain. When your brain isn’t trying to remember each and every detail about your clients, you have the free space to focus on the people who are actually buying and selling. The use of a system will outperform willpower.

We may see our schedules packed and contact lists full and think we have no bandwidth for getting more clients, but CRMs help you stop working with a false sense of overconfidence.

When I started working with CRMs it was a double-edged sword because I realized I did not have as many active clients as I thought, but it also let me see that I have the capacity for more new clients than I thought I did. CRMs show you who is actually an active client and who is not ready to take the next sales step.

What an incredible tool to focus our energy accordingly!

Best practices for using a CRM

I don’t have a specific CRM software to suggest because it all depends on your business needs. Large agencies with unlicensed assistants and a solo agent will not have the same capabilities or needs. Instead of focusing on which system it’s important for us to share how to use the system.

Below are some best practices for using a CRM process:

  • When you reach a point in your business where you have way more work than you can handle, it will pay back to give your team the tools they need to get more done, faster. Juggling logins and switching between systems will hurt your team’s productivity and put you at risk of losing leads.
  • The sooner you can get your team using your CRM, the more comprehensive and accurate your data will be. That’s why the very first step in a CRM implementation should be adding users.
  • Sit down, and map out the entire sales journey from the time someone is a lead to the time they are firm. That can help you see what steps you are repeating and what you can consolidate. Once you have the list and all the steps you can to see how long the sales journey takes and then use the CRM to determine the timing on following up.
  • You should have a crystal-clear overview of your team’s performance so you can keep them aligned and give the right coaching and direction. That’s why a CRM dashboard is so handy: It’s like a control panel that you can customize to fit your specific needs.
  • Organize your notes in a way where anyone can jump in and understand what everything means. Have a key for what the acronyms mean. Trust your notes. Keeping them tight and accurate will give you the confidence to have more calls.
  • You don’t have to try to anticipate all the problems, you just have to have solutions for most of them. The goal is to create a system process that will give you a predictable result 90 percent of the time. A system that handles 90 percent of the business smoothly can guide your energy on the 10 percent of the business that is a little more complicated.
  • Schedule your day so that you have time in the morning to go through your to-do list and at the end of your day to update the CRM with any notes you might have. Carving out time in your day to do this can help you keep fresh, accurate notes.

Utilizing this time to rework your operating systems will be a decisive factor in the adaptability of your business. A CRM is the best tool to increase capacity, stay connected to customers, streamline processes and improve profitability.

Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. React wisely and change your life for the better.

Want to improve your CRM skills? Master these 11 simple daily tasks.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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