Most agents and brokers don’t want a CRM (Client Relationship Manager). It’s just another tool / hassle / neglected technology.
So how can we get the benefits of a CRM, without the work that most CRMs require?
This is a fun challenge we’re tackling next.
I’m a former agent (at KW) and mortgage lender, so I know first hand this world. Lately, I’ve had some great discussions with some friends over a beer who are also real estate agents, real estate investors, and mortgage lenders. They gave me a wish list – which I’m putting out there for your comments, which we’re setting out to build.
Note SwiftCloud started as LenderMate, a mortgage CRM, back in 2009, and so this is technically a massive ground-up rewrite for us based on refined ideas. SwiftCloud contains a powerful CRM with over 1 million sales records, has been used by mission-critical 25-person sales teams pounding phones, and so we know the technical issues of latency, “never down” infrastructure, etc.
All that said, we’re starting something exciting: “Invisible” CRM. The “less work / no-work” CRM. The CRM you don’t have to use much, but you still get the benefits from it.
While we have hundreds of ideas, the most important for real estate specifically seem to be:
- Sync to phones, seamlessly, and other devices (i.e. Outlook, Gmail, etc)
- A powerful address book, fast, easy to use, with tools to segment by tags (renter vs. owner), geographic area (everyone within 2 miles of 123 Maple Lane)
- A variety of import tools, as many agents seem to have a hodge-podge of systems… some contacts in their broker-mandated system, some on their phone, some in an old Yahoo account they don’t use any more… and it all needs to get merged
- Contacts auto-polling so that if the address book doesn’t have someone’s physical address, it can ask them, and they can update it themselves- then tell it user-defined-questions, like whether they rent or own. All this should be branded to the agent, so it feels personal.
- Social tracking of life-change events (had a baby, married, divorced) based on social media, which means, social media connection so if you call someone, you instantly see, say, their last 5 social media posts and thus have relevant info at your fingertips
- A variety of contact methods. Some people prefer SMS, others facebook chat, others phone call and old-school snail-mail.
- Scheduling rules, so you can, say, stay in touch with all your “A clients” at least 4x a year via phone, include on your Christmas card list (or Hanukkah if you have them noted as celebrating Jewish holidays)
- Auto Intake Sequences. Swift Marketing has this, but what’s missing is seamless phone sync and passive triggering of campaigns – for example, you meet someone at a party, and add them as a friend. The CRM notices, adds them into your address book, starts a new record, and sends them a link asking them to update (complete) their record (add their address). The CRM then asks if you want to send them a campaign – buyer or seller, by emailing you or logging everyone you’ve met into a digest. Clicking yes then triggers a campaign of timed emails, FB messages, snail-mail, phone calls (a task for you to call them on day X).
Did I miss anything?
Naturally, the contacts management system above will be at the core of the actual CRM (tool for managing potential deals, once someone has actually “raised their hand” and you have a potential or actual transaction) and the project / task / helpdesk management system (for transaction management).
This is a discussion – so let us know your thoughts and feedback!
Also I know you want the above for free, but we like coffee and food too – would you pay $100/mo for this? $50? $20? $200? How much would having the right system mean to your income? 4 more transactions per year? 6? 20?