How often do you hear about the benefits of using a CRM for your real estate business? They are a common topic at real estate workshops, industry colleagues share their success stories, you see platforms promoted on social media, and you are probably targeted with online ads.
You hear about the value of using a CRM often because statistics continue to prove that agents who use a system to manage their lists receive more repeat and referral business, and earn more money than those who do not.
Even if you aren’t using a CRM right now, chances are, you know you should. Maybe you’re here right now because you’re trying to figure out which CRM is right for you. Or, maybe you’ve signed up for one, two, or more CRMs in the past, only to be disappointed by how difficult it was to incorporate one into your daily operations.
The reality is that most Realtors will invest a lot of time and money into several different platforms, hoping each new journey will result in a system that works for them.
Before you sign up for a real estate CRM, you need to understand the cost of choosing the wrong system.
The True Costs Of The Wrong CRM
Lost Time – when your CRM has a steep learning curve or requires substantial customization to make it work for your real estate business (or both), you must give up time elsewhere. This means focusing less revenue-generating activities and forfeiting personal time, or paying for (and eventually canceling) a service you never had the time to learn.
Wasted Money – while the initial cost of a new system is obvious, most agents don’t realize just how much money is wasted with the wrong system. If you factor in the value of your time, and unexpected fees like purchasing add-on services or hiring a professional to manage the setup, the total for the (wrong) system adds up quickly.
Missed Opportunities – the trade-off for investing in a new system is missing out on new business opportunities. If part of your sales strategy includes paying for leads, unexpected costs of a new system may force you to cut back or eliminate this expense. And, if your time is tied up in learning and setting up a CRM, what impact does that have on your routine prospecting efforts?
Lost Relationships – when you’re focused on building out a CRM, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and fail to stay in touch with current and past clients. The less you communicate with your list, the more likely it is for your contacts to feel like past interactions were strictly transactional, deteriorating those relationships. If you aren’t intentional in continuing to build and maintain relationships with meaningful outreach, your competition will be happy to step up to win business from your connections.
Unnecessary Aggravation – if you tried and failed at setting up a system in the past, you may feel a burst of aggravation or resentment whenever you think of a CRM. Some agents in this position refuse to consider new CRM options because they chose the wrong one in the past, only putting them further behind their competition now.
Avoid The Costly Mistake Of Choosing The Wrong CRM
Explore Your Options – make sure you understand available options before trying to make a system work for you. Just as you tell potential buyers to create a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves for their next home, you should do the same for your CRM. If you attempted to use a CRM in the past, outline which aspects you did not like or did not work for you so you can explore those areas before committing to a new system.
Ask The Right Questions – if you hear answers like you could set the system up to do that or that is possible in this CRM, ask more digging questions. Just because a system CAN be designed for your specific needs does not mean that the setup will be simple, quick, or inexpensive.
Not sure what you should be asking before choosing your real estate CRM?
Assess Your Abilities – while many CRMs are highly customizable, understanding your technical abilities before committing to a large project can save you a lot of time and hard-earned money.
Are you a tech-savvy agent who enjoys learning new systems and tools? Or, are you the agent who hands your smartphone to your elementary-aged kid to ask for help?
Do you enjoy writing content to share with your network and look forward to creating new copy to keep your email drip campaigns up-to-date with market changes? Or, do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of creating meaningful content to share with your leads, past clients, and network?
What’s your schedule like? Do you have free time to invest in creating a system to help you grow your business? Or, will other areas of your business suffer if time is reallocated to a custom system setup?
Remember That Low Cost Usually Means Limited Functionality – if you’re like most Realtors, you run your business on a modest budget. It makes sense that the lowest service fees may be a top priority. While the cost of a CRM must work within your budget, choosing one just because it costs substantially less than the rest means you will likely have a system with limited functionality.
If your top choice CRM has a price that seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Refer to our Ask the Right Questions guide.
Be Cautious Of 3rd Party Rankings – some websites rank CRM programs and offer opinions on which are the best. Be careful here. Often, the systems in these ranked lists pay to be included and for their number on the list.
It’s also a common practice for CRM companies to create sites that seem to be unrelated to their business. They will post high reviews for their platforms, or review several systems and declare theirs the best. You can identify these sites by exploring the home page, about us, services, and reviews of other services or products. If you notice a bare-bones site and the only page that seems to exist is the original one you found, it’s safe to think the winning system’s marketing team worked hard to create the site.
Try Before You Buy – narrow your options to your top three finds. Then, get a free trial for each – this is the perfect way to evaluate if a system is right for you. Focus on the ease of navigation and compare included features to your current and future business needs.
Use The Expert Advice You Receive – once you sign up for a service, you will likely receive tips for a successful launch from their support team. Don’t ignore these tips. And, take advantage of support resources to get answers and avoid pitfalls.
Your Next Steps
Take action! Make sure you have your list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and concerns to address nearby as you begin your search.
Don’t delay! The longer you put off finding the right CRM, the longer it will take for you to reap the benefits of an effective system.
If you want a system you can confidently begin using today, try sGrow CRM for free for 7 days. Learn more here.