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Real estate CRMs

How to meaningfully grow your client database

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How to meaningfully grow your client database

Everyone knows how important using a database is to be successful in real estate these days. Utilising a database effectively is key to productively managing relationships and continually adding new clients to your prospecting pipeline.

It’s all well and good to add every new lead you come across into your database, but unless you go that step further and make detailed and relevant entries it’s likely to be a waste of time.

But what if you’re just starting out and you’re struggling to foster a quality client database? Or perhaps your database isn’t as easy use day to day as you’d like?

There are many ways to expand your database, but here are some of the best ways to ensure you’re growing your database in the most meaningful and useful way possible.

Clean up your data

Sometimes you need to get rid of all the unnecessary clutter before you can utilise a tool effectively. Before you can use your database properly and even think about expanding it you need to clean up your data to avoid confusion and improve productivity.

Start by exporting all your contacts into an excel spreadsheet. Then sort them by different fields (name, address and so on). You’ll quickly spot and be able to delete any duplicate and incomplete contacts (those missing email addresses, phone numbers and follow up notes etc.). This is a great start to making your database more manageable and meaningful.

Also, don’t be afraid to remove old contacts that never went anywhere and are no longer relevant to your business processes. It’s only natural that these will accumulate over time so it's good to get into the habit of a clean out every few months or so.

Quality over quantity

It can be tempting to add every person you meet at your opens into your CRM, but you’ll get so much more out of your database, not to mention it will be much more manageable, if you just focus on adding the hot buyers, owners and potential sellers you meet at inspections. Try these five questions to quickly qualify leads to seperate the wheat from the chaff.

This way you can focus and tailor your marketing efforts to each different cohort that are most likely to convert into a client in the short term. For example, update potential sellers with sales results in their area to keep them up to date with what their property is worth and motivate them to seriously consider selling.

Stay in touch with hot buyers (those that are requesting contracts, have pre-approval, are bidding at auctions and making offers) by sending them your newest relevant listings or special personalised invites to VIP inspection previews.

Utilise personal & professional networks

This may seem counter-intuitive to the point above, but adding people from your professional and personal networks to your database can be greatly beneficial for your business. Add Facebook friends, LinkedIn contacts and even relatives to your monthly newsletter mail list and/or recently sold market updates.

They may not stand out to you as the hottest of leads, but fostering long-term relationships with these groups will position you as a ‘real estate expert’ in their minds. Your personal connection also sets you up for referral business and to receive any real estate related questions they may have over their lifetime, setting you apart from their local agents.

Get creative

Think about out of the ordinary channels you can use to supplement your database with quality leads that many agents are neglecting and avoiding. Go old school and pound the pavement for an afternoon of local door knocking and letter box dropping.

Introduce yourself to sellers on popular ‘for sale by owner’ websites and marketplaces. Let them know if they change their mind or don’t achieve the result they wanted, you’re ready to offer your expertise and assistance. You never know where you might strike gold!

By undertaking these four ways to maintain and grow your database, you'll soon notice a change in the quality of leads in your pipeline and the ease with which you nurture client relationships.

For more ways to up your database game check out the best CRMs for agents and the features of a good database.

Happy selling!

The Homely.com.au Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Sunshine real estate for sale and properties to rent in Melbourne. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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What makes a good real estate CRM?

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What makes a good real estate CRM?

Real estate CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a must-have for any agency that wants to compete in the modern world. The benefits go far beyond quick and easy access to your client data. Now, CRMs have become so brainy they can automate plenty of the administrative grunt work, foster better follow-up, track KPIs, manage financials and commissions, boost your prospecting reach - the list goes on. Think of them as less of a database, and more of a personal assistant.

But as fantastic as CRMs are, it can be hard to decide on the right one for your agency. There are now around half a billion fractionally different models out there, with another two or three million being launched every week. Personally, I struggle to decide which variety of toothpaste I want, let alone pluck the right CRM to run my entire business out of this almost infinite hat. So how do you make the right decision?

There are a few factors you can look for to separate the wheat from the chaff. While most CRMs usually have similar standard sets of identical functionality, not all will help take your real estate agency to the next level. Here are three things you need to take into consideration before you decide on which CRM is going to help boost your business now and in the future.

Mobility

A lot of agents think of CRMs as stuffy old relics from the Windows 95 era. Software that does nothing but anchor them to their desk. Fair enough. A lot of CRMs are exactly that and that lack of mobility can really get in the way of your agency’s productivity.

In fact, we surveyed 400 agents about their working habits outside of the office, and some of the results were pretty surprising. Turns out agents spend, on average, 60 per cent of their time out of the office. Yet only 27 per cent are really happy with how efficient they are when working remotely. ‘Why’, you ask? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that when we asked agents what information tools they take into the field, the most popular response was a ‘notepad and pen’.

If you're paying the big bucks for a great CRM to power your agency, you’re going to want to make sure that it’s accessible to agents for their full working day. The most valuable data is going to come from the interactions they have when they’re out and about - not sitting at their desks. Make sure the CRM you choose is cloud based, and has a mobile application.  

Integrations

Integrations allow software tools to ‘talk’ with one another. This is hugely beneficial. Let’s say you use something like Open House ID to register OFI attendances, for example. You don’t want to have to manually re-enter all those names and phone numbers into your database at the end of the day, do you?

Image: Open House ID

Image: Open House ID

Instead, choose a CRM that can integrate with other software tools. That way, it’ll be able to automate the tedious data entry for you.

Information from all the software tools you use every day - payroll tools, contract auto-fillers, CoreLogic, etc - can be shared back and forth with your database to seriously lighten the administration load you need to carry. Forms and contracts can be automatically filled out with the right information. Historical property data can be pulled into your CRM directly from PriceFinder or CoreLogic. The possibilities are endless.

Computers are supposed to make our lives easier, after all and what’s the point of a database if you can’t use the data in it easily? Make sure the CRM you choose can integrate with the other tools you already use.

Great user experience

While it might not be the first thing on your mind, the look and feel of the CRM you decide to go with is just as important as what it can do.

‘User experience’ is a new school of design spearheaded by the likes of Facebook and Google. Basically, it refers to the challenge of making sure the software’s interface is as easy and intuitive for the user as possible. After all, if people don't enjoy using your software - or find it difficult to understand - they’re quite frankly not going to bother at all. That’s a problem no amount of office memos is going to fix.

A great user experience is doubly important in a service industry like real estate. If you want to foster the best relationships with all your clients, you need to store a lot of data. If agents aren’t bothering to track their interactions with clients and leads because their database is confusing or ugly, invaluable insights are lost for good - and with them, potential business.

When you’re choosing your real estate CRM, you’re looking for a cross between Google and Helen of Troy. Make sure it’s something you’ll want to use everyday - not another chore.

For more tips and tools to boost your productivity take a look at the best CRMs for agents, what's new in real estate tech and seven handy apps for agents

Author bio:

Jackson Hills works for Rex; a real estate software company based in Brisbane. He writes about real estate technology, and how new tools can help agents stay relevant in a changing world. You can read more of his work on their blog.

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Corinda real estate for sale and properties to rent in Brisbane. With over 340K listings and 500K local reviews and insights, homely.com.au is a faster and easier way to search for property to buy and rent in Australia.

Check out our Suburb Reviews and Questions pages to see what everyone is talking about.

Don't forget to download our iPhone app!

We'd like to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this blog leave a comment below and share it with your friends. Please respect the public forum and refrain from posting any expletives or hateful comments as they will be removed. We're always on the look out for guest bloggers and would like to receive your feedback, so feel free to get in touch at marketing@homely.com.au.

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