What is Your CRM, Customer Relationship Management, IQ?
What’s to think about? You’ve been engaged in CRM for years maybe. You keep a database of information about your prospects and contacts, and you use that information to market to them. Or, maybe you use it mostly as a Rolodex to get in touch with them when you need to do so. So, what about CRM is a big secret?
There’s no “secret sauce” in this post, but there is a process that isn’t followed by many real estate professionals, and it’s costing them money. Often it’s the simple things, those “I should have thought of that” moments, that take a Realtor from mediocre performance to Top Producer status.
Question #1: Are You Keeping the Right Information and Not Too Much or Too Little?
We can all agree that the basic contact information is a necessity. We want addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. We also want to know what they do, their relationship to our business, buyer, seller, investor, appraiser, title company, home inspector, etc. This type of information is crucial if we want to be able to pull up a contact or prospect in our database and quickly know what their value is to us and how to reach out to them.
Now, let’s go a step further. Are you keeping up with things like family member names, birthdays, anniversaries, etc? Are you sending out cards for those events? Are you keeping a running record of every time you interact with a contact or prospect and the topic of that interaction?
Action #1: Plan Your Data for Efficiency and More Business
How much time do you spend in getting personal info like birthdays and anniversaries from your prospects? Can you definitely relate those activities and cards to business? What about the expense of those greetings and whether that money could be used more effectively in other marketing campaigns? If you believe this is a good marketing activity, look into new services that let you design a card online with a custom message and they mail it for you. It works well, has the same impact, and you can spend your time in more valuable ways.
Does your CRM system make it easy to have your prospect/contact information in front of you when you call or contact them? Is it easy and fast to enter a quick description of the subject of the call, email, or other with date and time of the contact? Can you see those interactions going back in time the next time you interact with them? If not, you need to get this capability set up and use it. They are going to be impressed with your business abilities and professionalism, and that’s more valuable than a birthday card.
Analyze your current CRM system and the data you maintain. Have you been consistent with recording all data items, or are you doing it sometimes and not others? Are you keeping running records of interactions, or do you need a better way to make it happen?
Question #2: Are You Properly Segmenting Your Prospects & Contacts?
You have some kind of categorization of prospects, and most agents keep it simple, buyers, sellers, maybe investors, etc. Simple is good in most cases, but in this case, it can cost you extra money in marketing or alienate prospects who receive the information they do not want or in a way they do not want to receive it.
Action #2: Segment Your Prospects Better
For both buyers and sellers, one way you should segregate them is how they came to be in your database. Your sub-categories for either could include website lead, email inquiry, walk-in, phone call, etc. Why? If someone calls you as a first contact, it’s likely that they will prefer you calling them when you want to interact. Even though they may end up giving you their email address, they may prefer phone contact.
If you ask a question of buyer prospects, perhaps in the lead generation form on your website, about their home price range, then use that as further segregation so that you’re not sending potential homes for consideration at twice their affordable price. For sellers, if you’re going to send sold property emails, it may be more effective to only send them solds in their neighborhoods or subdivisions, so at least record that information as a segmentation factor.
Question #3: Are Your Marketing Goals Aligned with Your CRM System?
Let’s face the fact that your main, perhaps only reason, for maintaining a CRM system is to grow your business and generate more commissions. With that in mind, is your CRM system properly designed to do precisely that, generate closings? If there are information fields that don’t contribute to your goal or they aren’t used, then why are you maintaining them?
Action #3: Streamline and Fine Tune Your CRM for Marketing
Set up the information fields in your CRM system that will contribute to growing your business. Get rid of those that do not, add those that will help, and keep that information updated to use in your marketing. Market with the right calls-to-action targeted to the prospects most likely to respond positively to them. Getting the “M” in CRM right will make you more money.