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How to select the best real estate CRM

A database-centric prospecting routine is the power behind any agent focused on avoiding seasonal ups and downs. Eddie Cetin outlines how to find the right CRM software for your business.

Courtesy of many years spent collaborating with Australia’s leading estate agents, we’ve learned their key considerations when selecting a new CRM. The industry’s best all agree that having a high-performance database paves the way to repeated success, referral business and growth.

Wondering what factors to weigh up prior to committing to a new CRM? Here’s a snapshot of key selection criteria to support your decision-making process.

1. Don’t reinvent the wheel
Reach out to high-performing agencies using the CRMs you are considering and ask for practical feedback about their experience. Create a shortlist of key questions you need answered, and dive into fine detail in relation to these. Map out your end-to-end sales and leasing processes, identifying the systems important at each step for your agency. Outline your current points of frustration, so that when you assess your shortlisted CRMs you’ll understand how they will improve your business.

2. Ease of use
CRM systems require a period of onboarding and use before your team have a true understanding of their machinations and power. It is important that your staff embrace your new CRM, so make sure you include colleagues from across your agency in the selection process. The usability of the system needs to be intuitive, so that all team members are comfortable using it. Some CRMs are fully featured, so it pays to invest in appropriate training to get the most from your investment.

3. Mobile
Today’s agents must be mobile and therefore need the information their CRM holds at their fingertips 24-7. Being productive whilst on the go is how leading agents hit their KPIs and ensure their most important tasks are handled first. Make sure the CRMs you assess deliver on mobility. It’s critical that any updates made on the mobile or desktop CRM are synced, so data doesn’t become out of date or – worse yet – duplicated. Your mobile app should work on both IOS and Android, offline and on tablets at open for inspections.

The industry’s best all agree that a high-performance database paves the way to repeated success and growth.

4. Clean data commitment
Market-leading agents understand the importance of clean data and a CRM that allows you to extract the right information at the right time in an efficient manner. Nothing discourages staff more than duplicate data; they lose confidence in their database and may upset clients. When assessing CRMs, understand how each system will avoid duplicate records whilst still reflecting the complexity of multiple owner relationships customers may have across several properties.

5. One solution that can integrate where necessary
Wherever possible, reduce the number of systems your staff rely upon to get their job done. Enhance your efficiency and accuracy by having most business activities completed within one system. Where multiple systems are required, ensure your CRM has the capacity to interact with ease – this must be one of your key selection criteria, ensuring you don’t end up with a data nightmare.

6. Reporting
A key aspect of a central agency solution is the reports that you can access at various levels of your business – everything from insights into individuals and teams to office-level and company-wide information. Make a list of the reports you require and see how each of the CRMs handle your data needs.

7. Support and training
Make sure your chosen CRM has a team ready to help you with everything from initial database training through to ongoing support. Meet with the team behind the scenes and get a real sense of the business that you are trusting to help build your agency.

8. Track record of stability and innovation
When you are relying on software to make your business a high-performing entity, it is critical you have confidence that the business you are collaborating with has a track record of success and innovation. When doing your homework, visit other leading agents who are using the systems you are considering. Get a real sense of the value they gain from their investment every day and the relationship they have with their CRM supplier.

Selecting a CRM is a serious matter for any estate agency, as it represents the central nervous system of your business. Make sure you invest wisely in the right fully-featured CRM and have dedicated resources involved in the process – from investigation through to implementation and ongoing business adoption. Having a powerful CRM driving your business is the key to owning your market, so never underestimate the importance of getting it right.

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Eddie Cetin

Eddie Cetin is the APAC Managing Director of Reapit Group. The combined Agentbox and Reapit offering provides real estate agencies with one market-leading solution for Sales and Property Management. Eddie co-founded Agentbox, the Sales CRM of choice for most high performing agents around Australia. For more information, visit agentbox.com.au