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The CRM Advantage

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The real estate industry was slow to implement CRM solutions. Despite the great need for a proper CRM system the independence of agents and franchise nature of the business made this slow adoption a reality. With on-demand services increasingly prevalent, agents began to discover the power of CRM. In a business that employs large sales forces, the need to build lasting relationships with clients and process large numbers of documents, sales leads and referrals and maintain property listings, CRM has moved to the mainstream in real estate. In line with yesterday’s post, Real estate, like so many other forms of commerce, is well on its way to the online realm. The visual nature of the industry is well matched for the capabilities of Web 2.0 technologies. In recent years, agents have been finding buyers via real estate wikis, blogs, and networking sites.  Realtor.com, RealTown, Redfin, Trulia, Real Estate Wiki, and Zillow are a few names in the game. Likewise, prospective buyers are using the same tools for educational purposes, to browse properties and even negotiate mortgage financing. While face-to-face interaction is still an important facet of home buying and selling, the industry is transforming at quite a pace. With relevant information readily available, online clients are finding out about homes before their agents. The tech-savvy buyer has a definite advantage over fellow buyers and at times even their brokerage.

The CRM advantage

To combat this shift agents have no choice but to trade in the traditional communication tools for web-based technologies and applications. When it comes to processing the vast quantity of time-sensitive data, CRM system capabilities are invaluable to agents. Top 10% performing agent, Mike Kearns told HQ that “CRM allows agents to work on their business rather than in their business, it has become a necessity to staying on top of lead cultivation pipelines and streamline interaction with clients. If used properly CRM is an invaluable tool.” That said, real estate agencies are still not taking full advantage of centralized CRM systems. Perhaps partly because of the failure of leading CRM vendors like Oracle and SAP to provide specific offerings to brokers. Generic CRM business services and database software is not as enticing to respective agencies.  Being territorially based franchises combined with the independence of agents and the traditional compensation and hiring practices of the industry make the traditional approach to managing data somewhat irrelevant to real estate agencies. Regardless of the availability of industry-specific CRM models, the value of CRM will only increase as more and more buyers and sellers turn to the web.

Front end – back end 

Today, the front end of the buying and selling process is automated.  Initial browsing, applications and filling out forms, all of these processes require automation. What’s more, consumers expect short response times.  When it comes to sophisticated automation and performance metrics, a proper CRM system is paramount. Through the system, brokers can track deals, support a sales force, maintain an up-to-date client database and keep up with requests and inquiries. On the back end, is the data. The biggest mistake in the real estate market is the failure of agents to follow up with clients down the road. A good CRM system will prompt an automated follow-up and automatically implements client retention.

Think long term 

Most brokers and agents are focused overwhelmingly on closing and cost-minimizing as opposed to future business building and retention. CRM data can be used to build and maintain long-term relationships and lead to new business opportunities.

HQSoftware & CRM

HQSoftware has designed several online real estate web presentations – MiljobyenDalabukta, and Grilstadpark.  These examples epitomize a seamless shift to the online realm in real estate. Their obvious purpose is to showcase available properties and provide information to potential buyers. Behind the scenes, HQ has integrated with the real estate agency’s CRM and internal content management systems. When a request is made on the website it is sent directly to the inbox of the appropriate agent in the CRM database. Likewise, when changes to availability or price occur the system automatically updates the website.  What’s more, intuitive sites can be set up to print leaflets through local printing partners when online requests are made. The printing company receives the request directly, prints and sends. Simple, effective, efficient. Interested in streamlining your real estate business? Contact the professionals at HQSoftware!

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