Just imagine: you’ve invested a pretty penny in well-thought-out marketing campaigns and finally got long-awaited prospective clients, which is already quite a success. However, with every prospect comes a bunch of new records like what kind of property they are looking for, the geography they’re considering, neighbors they would like to avoid, and so on, not to mention generic information like email addresses, companies, and names.
Handling all these records and other tedious tasks like scheduling meetings with amateur tools like Excel spreadsheets or Outlook makes a real estate agent’s day seem like a juggling act, which someday might well come to a crunch point.
Luckily, now we have tons of real estate automation tools to turn the intense workload into a total breeze. The most mature breed of such solutions is the Customer Relationship Management system, or CRM for short, which centralizes all real estate data, tasks, and deals into one simple interface. There are multiple examples of CRMs for every taste and budget, ranging from generic tools like Monday CRM and HubSpot CRM to all-in-one systems designed for real estate like AscendixRE CRM, REthink CRM (now known as Buildout CRM), and RealNex.
Speaking of the gains real estate agents get from such tools in the arsenal, I can’t help but recite KPMG:
Using a CRM or any other workflow automating tools “results in higher quality, cost savings, and improved customer satisfaction.”
So, how exactly does automation help real estate agents to achieve these widely sought-after ‘results’?
All historical and current data resides in one place. Say no to scattered spreadsheets and address books! With automation tools like CRMs, you can centralize all records about your clientele, including their property preferences, lease end dates, budget details, and contact information. What is more, such systems store all your past communications with ex-clients, so once they’re back, you can strike them with to-the-point offers right of the bat. This helps agents establish their professional credibility.
All schedules and client data are synchronized. If you often find yourself torn between your calendar and clients’ contact details hidden somewhere in the pile of spreadsheets, you can’t miss out on this automation reward. Just imagine how simple meeting scheduling could be if your mailbox could recognize your client in the email received and automatically link it to your calendar. In some CRMs, for example, the system intelligence brings the relevant contact information to the side panel next to your emails, which allows you to see the details of this client’s record and the communications you’ve had with the contact to date. Mature CRMs can also send reminders to notify you when a meeting is due.
Deliver a more professional service with decent marketing deliverables. Brochures and flyers still play a vital role in your real estate success. But there are 3 ifs: 1) if they contain meaningful and digestible information your client required, 2) if they look professional, 3) if they require less than 5-10 min to be created. With an advanced CRM system that has report generation functionality, you have these boxes checked. In AscendixRE CRM or Buildout, for example, real estate agents can simply choose one of the pre-designed templates and pull all the data from the CRM system, with no manual input! Being able to promptly send a quick brochure or flyer on the client's request translates into a higher level of service you provide to your client. And a high level of service means more deals closed, as 73% of clients point to customer experience as a principal factor in their decisions, reports PWC.
With all that said, automation in real estate is not just a quick affair to make the most out of your marketing-mined leads. It is about self-sufficiency, quality customer relations, time efficiency, and eventually, more closed deals.
It is up to real estate agents to decide on whether to employ the new tool in their arsenal, but what we have learned over the course of our cooperation with numerous real estate firms is that it is just impossible to manually embrace the growing database of records and fine-tune relationships unless you have a centralized system. Automation becomes even more pivotal if you do not want to put your brokerage at risk of being left behind by more agile competitors.