On The Fence About A CRM? 10 Pros And Cons For Real Estate Agents

If you aren’t using your CRM at 100 percent, you are certainly leaving money on the table. Your CRM, also known as your database, allows you to manage your sales contacts and prospects, and it’s important to evaluate the perceived pros and cons of using it.

Your CRM should help you work more efficiently and effectively; agents who leverage their database well are the ones who sell more houses. Many agents have limiting beliefs about using their CRM. Many of those beliefs are based in unfounded fear, and we’re going to dispel them right now.  

Con No. 1: People don’t want to be part of a database

Most of us already exist on a database at our doctor’s office, places we routinely shop and other entities that we frequently engage. The reality for us all is that databases are a regular part of life.

Instead of worrying about whether people want to be part of your CRM, leverage your database to help you stay organized and running efficiently. If you deliver value, share market insight and help solve real estate needs, people will want to be part of your database.  

Con No. 2: CRMs remove the personal touch from communication

Your very first interaction with any prospect or lead should be a phone call. Allow your prospect to hear the sound of your voice or see your face to help them begin the process of getting to know, like and trust you.

Use personalized video to allow them to see your face, hear your voice and experience your body language, while you keep your CRM organized.

Use handwritten notes, too. It is easy to deliver a personal touch when you work your leads and prospects like you know you should. If you rely totally on automation and do not want to put in the sweat equity actions, then this con could be true. It would also be the result of user error.

Consumers are now OK with some level of automation. It is up to the user to make the outreach attempts and follow the plan in order to make this perceived con a nonissue. The pros of using your CRM far outweigh the cons.

Pro No. 1: Your CRM tells you who to call, when to call and how to communicate

Have you seen the agent who comes into the office and spends a ton of time getting ready to work instead of actually working? This is a major productivity issue within our business. It stems from lack of prep or lack of systems.

Your CRM will solve for both. Utilizing the system fully and having a follow-up plan will eliminate this exact issue and allow you to work smarter and more efficiently.

Instead of wasting time trying to figure out what to do, you will be able to take actions and do all the income-producing activities that will get you more appointments and more sales.

Pro No. 2: Your database keeps you organized

If you’ve worked in this industry for any time at all, you’ve likely forgotten something that you told someone.

By including all the notes, phone calls, emails and texts in your database, you won’t have to remember what you previously told someone, and you can avoid backing yourself into a corner or contradicting what you said before. 

Pro No. 3: Your CRM keeps your clients ‘in the store’

Every CRM has a property drip component called an IDX, an Internet Data Exchange, that comes from the MLS and provides real-time property information.

Your CRM keeps your customers on your own website instead of using realtor.com, Zillow, Redfin or other websites that people search for real estate. They see properties through your site without multiple off-ramps that invite them to engage with other agents.

Pro No. 4: Your CRM can alert you when you get a response

If you set your CRM up properly, it will notify you each time you get a response from your database.

Like everyone else, Realtors get spammed on their phones and emails, but an effective CRM can notify you when an active prospect engages you so you can wade through the flood of messages on your phone and in your inbox and respond quickly. 

Pro No. 5: Your CRM allows you to scale and automate follow-up

Tools like smart drips, auto text and auto email allow you to continue the reach-out attempts without having to physically do the work yourself.

You can also auto-start drip campaigns, so that when a lead comes in, after you’ve called, emailed and texted (which everyone should be doing), you place the prospect into an appropriate category in your CRM and your drip campaign will continue the flow of communication. 

Pro No. 6: Your CRM can send properties your buyer likes to see

If you’re using your CRM the right way, you can see the kinds of properties your prospect is looking for. You’ll know when they’ve calculated a mortgage payment or reviewed a property multiple times. You can reach out to them about that property with a message about it, and the prospect will see that you’re proactive. 

Pro No. 7: CRMs provide seller sales activity alerts

Every Realtor wants more sellers, but it’s hard to use the MLS to keep them informed. CRMs allow you to keep them informed about sales activity in their neighborhood.

Once you set it, these alerts and reports will keep your prospects updated with the information they want on a regular basis. The key here is that you are giving them something they want and value. It builds trust and keeps prospects informed about how the market is moving.

Pro No. 8: CRMs offer voice notes

You can use the dictation feature on your smartphone or other device to record voice notes about your engagements with the people on your database.

CRM gives you capabilities you don’t have with the MLS and other tools because CRMs are more intuitive. Your limiting beliefs about CRM require you to do more steps manually, which occupies more of your time. 

Using your CRM is all about getting seconds back in your schedule: it’s efficiency, effectiveness and scale. Your database will free up more of your time, and allow you to work smarter. When you use your CRM well, it will help you set more appointments and sell more houses.  

Tom Toole is the founder and team leader at Tom Toole Sales Group. Connect with him on Facebook or LinkedIn

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