12 Questions to Help You Find the Best Real Estate CRM for You
May 8, 2020
“What is the best CRM for real estate agents?”
As a marketing consultant, I get this question a lot. The answer is never simple, because there is no one size fits all solution. (There never is!)
A great CRM will help you stay organized, surface opportunities to connect with your most important prospects and clients, and automate communication on your behalf while you’re focusing on other more pressing tasks.
Sounds great, right?
The problem is…finding the right CRM can feel like finding that elusive needle in a haystack. The options are endless.
Here’s a list of 12 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you go looking for that perfect CRM. You’ll hone in on the features and functionality that are most important to you and save yourself from paying for fancy bells and whistles you’ll never use.
What features do I need in a CRM today? The first step is to get clear on what you want/need in a CRM. What are your “must haves”? Do you need it to organize the people you will reach out to in a day? Do you need email marketing campaigns or just need it to manage your business pipeline? Also, if you have a CRM but are looking to make a switch, think about the features that you currently have that you never use. Sometimes, less is more. Just because a CRM has a feature, doesn’t make it better. It needs the features that work for YOU.
Will this CRM meet my future needs? All that said, it’s important to have a CRM that you can grow into. If your 1 year goal is to 3x your business by adding multiple lead sources, your CRM needs to be able to accommodate those additions and integrations. Even if it costs a bit more, it will be worth it in the long run. Switching CRMS is a huge pain. Choose one that will accommodate you as you grow your business and evolve as an agent.
Is it intuitive and easy to use? A CRM that is cumbersome and difficult to use will become one that you don’t use. Look for a CRM that is easy to learn and feels relatively intuitive to you and your work flow. Take advantage of free trials to test drive different CRMS to get a feel for this before you purchase and commit.
What kind of tech support is available? At some point, you will need help, so what tech support resources are available to you? Do you have to pay extra to actually speak to someone? Is there an onboarding process to help you get set up? Good customer service is priceless when it comes to CRM support.
Is it mobile friendly/responsive? As a real estate agent, you are constantly on your phone. Your CRM needs to be too. Does your CRM sync with your mobile device? It better!
Do I want/need email marketing and drip campaigns to be integrated? For many people, having a CRM that includes marketing campaigns is a must. If you fit into that camp, find out the drip campaign functionality, if there is pre-created content that you can leverage and customize and what kind of automation is available.
What level of automation do I need? From from drip email campaigns to automated work flows, some CRMS have a ton of automation built in and others don’t. When considering automation, remember to find a good balance between automation and personalization. If you’re using all canned messages without personalized content and your voice, you’re doing your clients and yourself a disservice. Content still needs to be relevant and compelling or your audience will start to tune you out.
What is my budget? This one is pretty obvious, don’t you think? Get clear on what you’re willing to spend.
Is this CRM being used for a solo agent or do I need functionality for a team or brokerage? There are a wide variety of solutions out there. Some specialize in supporting teams or solo agents. Others have large enterprise solutions for brokerages or franchises.
What 3rd party integrations do I need?
If you are receiving leads from a 3rd party source like Zillow or realtor.com
or you want your CRM to integrate with leads generated from your website, you’ll need to find out what integrations the CRM supports.
What level of reporting and analytics do I need? Peter Drucker said it best. “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” What type of activities, events, or items do you need to track so that you can iterate down the road?
How easily can I import my current contact list from a file or another system? If you have an existing database, it’s critical to be able to import that list into the system successfully. If that sounds daunting, see #4 above. Will someone be able to import the list for you or walk you through the process until you get the result you need? Similarly, how easy is it to EXPORT your data from this system if you choose to leave?
Now that you have your answers, it’s time to go CRM shopping! If you want to see a list of some of the vetted CRM options that my team recommends, check out our Product Library here