CRM system for real estate business: automating the activities of private realtors and agencies

Large companies and small real estate firms are always in the process of finding ways to increase profits, reduce costs and optimize the work of employees. And all this with minimal financial costs. How to do it, you ask? We answer: implement CRM – a modern program designed to improve relationships with customers and make communication with them more productive. What else is useful for automating business processes, we will tell in this article.

How to determine that a real estate business needs automation? 7 signs when it’s time to install the CRM

If you doubt the need to purchase and integrate expensive software, analyze your business according to the signs listed below. They will give you a solution. If the mentioned situations are not uncommon, then a CRM system is indispensable.

There is no unified customer base.

An employee of a real estate agency will not physically remember the names of all clients and all the numerous information about them. Of course, you can resort to notes in notebooks. It’s cheap, but also unsafe. But then it will be easy to lose the entire customer base. We recommend implementing a CPM system if your client base consists of more than five people, and even if you have a whole staff of agents. So you can recall all the information about the client at any time in order to increase the chances of concluding a successful transaction.

Lost customer service documents.

The loss of documents with personal information of customers, invoices and contracts puts any business at risk. If some documents cannot be recovered, then your real estate agency may face unpleasant consequences. To prevent conflicts related to the loss of important information, integrate the CRM system. So, all the data of the client’s card, contracts, accounts, statistics, call records, texts of correspondence will be in one safe place and always at hand to remind you of the client and the deal.

The number of routine tasks has increased.

A real estate company, like any other organization, has many of the same type of repetitive tasks: maintaining databases, selecting properties, finding clients, sending notifications and reminders to employees. If you do all the records manually, then the development of your business will slow down. Realtors will be engaged in “paper work”, and not the conclusion of lucrative contracts. Connecting a CRM system will save your staff from routine work so that they can conduct several transactions at the same time.

The number of minor bugs has increased.

When an employee of a real estate agency has many clients and performs several tasks every day, there is a possibility that he will forget to perform some important action: call back, send a letter, clarify data, etc. Small flaws can be the reason why a client leaves you. And your company will be perceived as an irresponsible organization. The CRM reminder system does not allow such problems. In addition, it reports if the task was completed incorrectly or overdue. The real estate agent and supervisor are notified. With this function, you can track the level of performance discipline of your realtors.

The preparation of documents for the client takes a lot of time.

Preparation of contracts and reports can distract from the implementation of transactions if the employee is engaged in this most of the working day. At the same time, the presence of a CPM system will ensure the preparation of documents in a matter of minutes. The fact is that the program has a large number of templates for various tasks. Therefore, upon request, it will automatically generate the necessary papers using the client’s card data.

There is no transparent system of motivation and results tracking.

CRM has a program that creates motivation systems for employees to work more productively. Each realtor with access to the program can track their own KPI, and the manager, looking at the results, is already making a decision regarding the agent.

Work under the transaction is suspended when the employee is on vacation, on sick leave or dismissed.

Staff turnover in the real estate business is not uncommon. If each realtor has his own client base in paper form, then the likelihood that he will leave the company along with valuable data is high. To protect your company from poaching customers, implement a CRM system. Thus, all the necessary information about them will be stored in the program, and the dismissed employee will lose access. In addition, the manager will be able to appoint and reassign responsible agents if any of them fell ill, went on vacation or on maternity leave. This will allow you to continue working and close a profitable deal.

Now you know for sure if your business needs an automation system. It is only worth clarifying one point. If you have just opened a real estate company, you do not have many clients and do not have a staff of realtors, it may be worth postponing the purchase, installation and configuration of CRM. After all, this is another item of monthly expenses, which will not benefit the still fragile business.

Benefits of a CPM System for Realtors and Real Estate Business Owners

Automation of business processes improves the quality of work of any organization involved in real estate transactions. It applies to all participants in the workflow.
The CRM system can be flexible, adapt to each employee of the company, which will increase the number of sales. Other benefits of the program include:

  • saving time on repetitive daily tasks;
  • no errors and loss of customer data due to the human factor;
  • joint work on one transaction while granting access to other agents;
  • prompt response to requests and applications at any time and in any place;
  • safety of data from transfer to third parties or competitors;
  • regular updating of information on all transactions, meetings, calls.

The CRM interface is convenient and intuitive, so even a novice real estate agent can master it on their own. However, there are also advantages for the head of the company.
Firstly, setting and monitoring the implementation of tasks is greatly simplified. At the same time, you can assign persons responsible for the transaction and track the results of both one and several realtors at the same time.

Secondly, the work process is gaining speed. Reports on sales volumes, closed deals, expenses are generated much faster.
Third, the optimization of business processes to bring results. The coverage of the target audience is increasing, and consequently, the scale of the real estate business is also growing.
At the initial stages of implementing a CRM system, you, as a manager, may experience technological, financial and organizational problems. These shortcomings faced by real estate agencies are completely removable.

For example, if we are talking about technological problems during program setup and staff adaptation, when there is no action plan, it is necessary to distribute tasks among professional employees. This will make it easier for the agency to move from paper-based to automated.

Organizational problems are associated with the wrong attitude towards the CRM system. Real estate agents may have high expectations or, conversely, see no point in a new program. They will lack the motivation to work in it. Here, the manager needs to work out all the objections of the staff and prepare clear instructions for everyone who will have access to the system.

Financial risks include loss of money and loss of benefits when technological and organizational problems are not solved. For example, if the terms of personnel training to work with the CPM system are delayed, you should carefully observe the dates, if necessary, adjust the deadlines and provide for all financial expenses.
So you can avoid possible risks and experience all the benefits of automating business processes.

What tasks should a CRM system perform? List of main functions

Its effectiveness for companies involved in the sale and rental of real estate depends on the functionality of the CRM. A suitable program will save the company money. Real estate agents will spend less time on familiar operations, which means they will be able to:

  • look for offers from sellers and landlords;
  • select real estate objects taking into account the wishes of buyers or tenants;
  • assess the market value of real estate;
  • maintain databases;
  • draw up contracts and legal support of transactions;
  • advise clients on issues that arise.

Thanks to the implementation of a CRM-system, the real estate agency will increase sales and strengthen its competitive advantages. The company will receive a flexible program, the ability to manage data and the work of agents centrally, as well as regulate the level of access to information. You will have a tool that will help you:

  • create customer databases with the most complete information about their requirements, requests, previous transactions;
  • analyze sales funnels in order to adjust the activities of the company: this function will allow you to find problems and reasons why customers refuse to conclude transactions in time;
  • manage a database of real estate objects;
  • receive and process applications automatically through the agency’s website, e-mail or phone calls;
  • integrate with other information systems of the company to make it easier for realtors to work with clients, communicate between departments and employees, upload data to the system;
  • generate reports and conduct analytics;
  • visualize information about the infrastructure of the area and real estate objects located on its territory, classify them and divide them into categories.

The list of mandatory functions of the CPM system for a real estate agency will facilitate the work of realtors – there will be no need to monitor the relevance of the client base, since all information will automatically appear in the system along with order history and correspondence. You will be able to quickly plan the workflow, select suitable real estate objects in a few minutes, quickly prepare relevant agency reports.

CPM tools that a real estate company will need

Another indicator of the effectiveness of an automated system for a real estate agency is the availability of all the necessary tools. When choosing a CRM system, pay attention to:

  • availability of a database of real estate objects, including apartments, offices, parking spaces with photos, descriptions and characteristics;
  • availability of a database on new buildings, including individual buildings and residential complexes with a status indication, for example, “under construction”, “rented out” and cards of new buildings with characteristics;
  • availability of a database of clients and buyers with cards containing contacts and all wishes regarding the required property;
  • the presence of a database of realtors so that you can divide clients and real estate between them, view the percentage of a particular seller from the transaction, track the number of sold real estate;
  • list of integration modules: it is difficult to imagine the work of a company without e-mail, website, instant messengers, social networks;
  • built-in telephone modules for recording, distributing, processing and analyzing all audio recordings of conversations and a complete history of communication with the client;
  • payment systems with the possibility of linking to a transaction;
  • a sales funnel with the ability to set up and adjust the status of “leads” through kanban;
  • a program for processing a transaction by turning it into an order card and a client profile;
  • availability of templates with automatic loading of the necessary data;
  • a built-in calendar to easily link events to a deal, funnel, client card, as well as set time-limited tasks and track the work of agents remotely;
  • a system for setting access rights with the ability to limit the “visibility” of entire sections or specific lines for some realtors who do not need them in their work, so that there is no temptation and the opportunity to contact clients or property owners on their own or pick up contacts upon dismissal.

When choosing a CRM system for your company, make sure that it has the listed components that you will definitely need to optimize the work of each employee and increase profits.

How to choose a business process automation system? List of recommendations

Consider several evaluation criteria when choosing a CRM system for a real estate business:
Free trial period and its duration. When choosing a CRM, pay attention to the presence of a trial period. This option is sure to be a plus. During this period, you will be able to familiarize yourself with the functions, evaluate the help of technical support, start creating real estate transactions, and determine the effectiveness of the program as a whole. Time to decide on the choice of tariff is given from 7 to 14 days.

Wide functionality and clear interface. The next thing to focus on is the mandatory set of functions of a business process automation system. For the real estate industry, choose a CRM that will allow you to fully manage databases (real estate objects, clients, agency employees), parse objects, create and automatically fill out documents, upload ads, and create client cards.

CPM system specialization. Universal programs for customer relationship management have basic functionality. If the set of options from the developer does not meet the needs of the business, it is supplemented with third-party products. And this is an additional cost, since integration with other services is not free. And the wider the functionality, the higher the monthly fee for using the system. Therefore, for a real estate agency, select a specialized program. It will have exactly the set of functions that your business will need.

Integration with online ad placement services. The main channel for finding clients for a real estate company is electronic bulletin boards. They place ads of real estate objects that are in the company’s catalog for the purpose of sale or rent. Therefore, the presence of an option that allows you to automatically upload ads from the agency’s website to the OLX ad service, RIA, Aviso and other platforms will be a plus in favor of the CRM system.

Access rights capabilities. Pay attention to the settings of access rights to sections of the CPM system. Important points: each employee of the agency gets access only to those sections that are necessary to solve his problems. If the information needs to be corrected, for example, it is required to delete or supplement the client card, then only the administrator or the head of the agency with wider access rights is allowed to do this. So, when choosing a program for a real estate company, evaluate the level of flexibility in setting access rights. Also specify how you get into the system: through the developer’s server or personal.

Availability of technical support. Why is it important? You can contact the support service especially often at the initial stage of working with the programs oh, when you just get acquainted with the interface. Technical assistance will also be needed throughout the life of the business to update, advise and fix failures and malfunctions of the CRM system. If the developer has provided a connection to the support service, check how quickly it works.

When choosing a suitable business process automation system, pay attention to both the subscription cost and the price of rights to the program.
First, you must understand that there are ready-made solutions. They are suitable for small businesses due to affordability and simplicity. However, ready-made CRMs are not customized for a specific business. In any case, you will need additional tools. Secondly, individual development is more expensive and takes some time. The advantages of such a CRM system are in full compliance with the tasks of the company and the ability to modify if business goals change.

The price of both types of CPM depends on the functionality, interface, license, data parsing, information and technical support. There are indirect costs associated with training staff to work with the system. The cost of a license depends on the tariffs offered by the developer. There may be several, at least two. The cost is indicated per month. One user has access. However, real payment occurs for the entire duration of the program or for a previously agreed time period.

7 stages of implementing a CRM system in a real estate business

The process of integrating the CRM-system into a real estate agency consists of 7 stages, each of which solves certain problems.

Describing business processes.

At the first stage, you need to list and give an idea to the developer about the business processes that take place in the company. So he can automate them. The information obtained will become the basis for the settings of the CRM system. Provide the following details:

  • company structure, distribution of employees between departments and tasks between them;
  • target audience, channels of its appearance, classification;
  • procedure for working with a client;
  • loyalty program and marketing techniques;
  • analytical tools.

When you describe every detail and you have created an information base regarding the algorithm of your real estate agency, we move on to the next step.

We draw up a technical task.
When you write the terms of reference, be sure to tell us about the weaknesses in the work of your company that you would like to improve. The contractor, from his point of view, can also point out the details that need to be improved. Together with the developer, you make a list of tasks and discuss how each of them will be solved. When the business processes and weaknesses are spelled out in the terms of reference, we move on to the next stage.

We form a map of settings.
At this stage, the developer decides how the CRM system can be used to optimize, speed up, automate the processes listed in the terms of reference, and offer solutions. For example, you need to set up automatic sending of messages, preparing documents, setting tasks for agents. At the stage of creating a settings map, you can still make changes to the terms of reference in order to improve interaction with customers.
We set up a CRM system, import data and integrate with third-party services.
At this stage, the implementation specialist implements what is written in the settings map. He is engaged in importing data, setting up a sales funnel, creating checklists, custom fields, prescribing scenarios for automating business processes. That is, the system interface is adjusted to a specific real estate agency. At the stage of direct implementation of the CRM system, integration with e-mail, IP telephony, the company’s website, SMS mailing services and other products from third-party resources is carried out.

The specialist tests the CRM system.
This is the refinement stage. Before you get access to the finished program, it is checked and tested. If errors are found, the CPM system is sent for revision. When all errors are corrected, and all functions work properly, proceed to the next step.
The developer makes a presentation of the CRM system.
When the business process automation software is ready to use, the developer demonstrates it to the client. The specialist points out those moments that were implemented according to the terms of reference, and shows how the CRM system works as a whole.

We test the CRM system and train staff.
The testing phase is usually provided free of charge. You independently try to work in the program and master all its possibilities. If you have any questions, please contact the implementation department. At the final stage, employees are also trained to work in the system. Along the way, they explain why CRM is better than other ways of storing information and why it is important to record customer and transaction data in it. The system itself is not profitable. The income of a real estate agency increases if realtors begin to actively use it.The vicissitudes of implementation. Oshi problems that the real estate business allows by connecting an automation system, and how to avoid them

You are not immune from mistakes even if the CPM was chosen correctly and you know how to implement it in a real estate company. We will analyze the most common of them and tell you how to avoid them.

Mistake No. 1. Haste at the beginning of the implementation.

Incorrect designation of business processes and weak points in the sales funnel are common mistakes in the early stages of the implementation of the CRM system. This may lead to the fact that the program simply does not integrate into the real activities of the real estate agency and does not solve the tasks assigned to it. To avoid this error, take your time and clearly follow the developer’s recommendations. Focus on the following dates. Integration of a CRM system in a small company will take 2-3 weeks, while implementation in a large company will take at least six months.

Mistake #2: Lack of integration with company software.

If the CPM system you have chosen does not support the necessary integrations, such an error may be the last in the life of the company. Therefore, at the stage of choosing a program, make a list of software and services for the implementation specialist with which it needs to be integrated. So you will have a tool where all the relevant information on the real estate industry is collected, and the chain of “touches” will work without failures.

Mistake No. 3. Exaggerated expectations from the automation system.

As we mentioned earlier, a CRM system is a tool, not a “magic wand” that will immediately raise real estate sales, discipline agents and improve business processes. It works only if it is correctly configured, they learn how to work in it themselves and motivate the staff. Therefore, before integrating the CRM system, define its tasks that monitor the implementation and training of real estate agents.

Mistake #4: Lack of control during the launch phase.

In order to get exactly the automation system that you expected at the end, appoint those responsible. They will report to you on all stages of implementation. You can create a roadmap for connecting the CPM system to your business, and then track and adjust tasks.

Mistake number 5. Using old and familiar tools.

Some real estate agency employees may continue to use the old tools, such as chatting with colleagues in third-party chats. The results are disappointing – some important information is lost. When you transfer staff to a new program, notify agents that they must conduct all dialogues in a single database, and explain why. If the new system does not have a chat function, select the messenger that best suits the tasks and connect it. Then create groups for departments and projects. So your company will not lose important documents.

Mistake #6: Manual reporting.

This error is related to the previous one, as employees are used to working in this way, and innovation causes resistance. As with older tools, some data is lost. Therefore, all reports should be automated and located in one place. Completely eliminate the occasional use of the CPM system, entering information into separate tables, paper records. Train your staff to keep track of each task and check that the system has all the data. Therefore, you will have a complete picture, and you will be able to influence the situation if the need arises.

Mistake No. 7. Lack of uniform rules for working with the CRM system.

Due to the lack of rules, there is a high probability of error. Therefore, for each department, approve the procedure. Prepare the following instructions:

  1. How to use cards?
  2. How to start working with a client?
  3. How to conduct transactions?
  4. How to set tasks?
  5. How to use the system tools?
  6. How to conduct business correspondence and communicate with clients?
  7. How to make reports?

The mandatory use of the CRM should not be discussed. Reward proper application with bonuses, and ignorance of requirements with penalties to avoid sabotage by managers. If the rules are approved, each employee will understand what is required of him and how the system works. Also, by personal example, show that changes improve the work of the entire company.

Mistake No. 8. Unjustified savings when buying a license.

Get ready for the fact that the implementation of a CRM system is a financial investment. If the free version isn’t producing results, it’s worth considering the paid options. Agree with the contractor about the method of payment so that the time and effort spent is not wasted. Sometimes attempts to implement a CPM system are unsuccessful due to lack of money. Then you need to adjust the action plan, take a break before the profit comes. But don’t give up on the idea of automating the agency’s business processes.

Mistake number 9. Excessive autonomy in matters of learning.

Training to work in the new program helps to quickly and easily implement the CRM system in the real estate business. Otherwise, you lose time, which entails costs, stress for employees and loss of customers.

In addition, refusing the services of a contractor and trying to implement the program on their own are not always successful. Connect a specialist to install, configure and train personnel to work in the system.

His services may be needed when:

  • past implementation attempts were unsuccessful and you are not ready to understand the features of CMR on your own.
  • it is difficult for you to navigate the necessary functions and integrations.
  • you are afraid of losing money and some customers if the implementation process is delayed.
  • there is no clear regulation of work in the system to increase sales of real estate.

Do not neglect the help of implementation specialists. So the process of connecting the CRM system will be smoother and less painful for you and your team.

Mistake No. 10. There is no growth in real estate sales.

There are several reasons why there is no increase in sales after the integration of the CRM system. First, do not expect results in the first week of work. Sales growth should be monitored every month, then six months and compared with the first indicators. Only in this way will you determine the effectiveness of the application of the new program. Secondly, you should not work on the basis of the number of customers, not transactions. Track the progress and status changes of each deal. This way you will be able to notice the staged conversion and manage it. Otherwise, you will begin to use the CRM system not as a sales tool and analytics control, but as an expensive customer notebook.

We have listed the “pitfalls” that a business selling real estate objects may encounter in the process of implementing a CRM system. Use this knowledge to avoid failure.

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