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The best real estate CRMs

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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The best CRMs for real estate agents

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The best CRMs for real estate agents

Every agent knows a good customer relationship management system (CRM) is an invaluable and powerful tool for managing and growing their business.

By allowing agents to streamline the running of their client database, the best CRMs save agents time by taking the headache out of listing uploads and client communication, and hopefully in the process improve client satisfaction and sales productivity.

Using a CRM is essential to implementing your marketing strategy, systematically staying on top off potential clients you meet and most importantly prospecting.

As a foundation of day-to-day management and long term business development it is crucial to select the best CRM for you. When comparing CRMs for real estate there are four critical pillars to look at, including:

  1. Interface
  2. Features
  3. Training and support
  4. Security

If you feel as though your current CRM isn’t cutting it or you’re wanting to upgrade to a new system, here’s our comparison of five functional CRMs for real estate agents to help inform your choice.

LockedOn

Interface-

  • Cloud and web based software
  • Mobile capabilities (iPad app)
  • Easy to navigate dashboard
Image: garydavidhall.com

Image: garydavidhall.com

Features-

  • One click listing submission (to real estate portals, social media and agency website)
  • Vendor reporting & vendor portal
  • Pre-loaded follow up action plans
  • Appointment and task management
  • Lead tracking
  • SMS and email marketing
  • Sales and marketing templates customised for agents
  • Interactive listing presentations
  • Record open house attendee details

Training and support-

  • Online training webinars or paid on-site training available
  • Phone and email support
  • Support team to import and export data
  • Offer a 30-day free trial

Security-

  • Secure military-grade servers based in Sydney
  • Take care of backups
  • Automatic updates

Agentbox

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Mobile capabilities
  • Designed by real estate agents for real estate agents

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Prospecting tools
  • Appointment and task management
  • Automatic property alerts for buyers
  • Transaction management (vendor marketing contributions, sales deposits etc.)
  • Vendor reporting
  • SMS and email marketing
  • Brochure, SMS, email and window card templates
  • Google mapping
  • Capture leads directly from property portals
  • Property stocklists

Training and support-

  • Email and phone support
  • Online training materials
  • On-site training available

Security-

  • ‘to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online’

ListOnce

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Intuitive, fast and easy to use 'Contacts Database'
Image: ListOnce

Image: ListOnce

Features-

  • Single listing data entry unlimited portal multi-loading
  • Contacts database
  • Automated contacts communication
  • Email marketing
  • SEO analysis- Monthly SEO summary report including Google analytics and keyword analysis
  • Brochure, email and ad templates
  • Individual property websites
  • Individual agent websites

Training and support-

  • Email and Australian-based phone support
  • 2-hour SEO review available with issue identification and recommendations
  • Free online demo available

Security-

  • Described as ‘bullet-proof speed, reliability and security at competitive rates’
  • For large accounts option for Virtual Private Server and dedicated server solutions

Rex

Interface-

  • Web based
  • Easy to navigate interface, inspired by Google and Facebook
Image: Rex

Image: Rex

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Listing management
  • Prospecting tools
  • Financial and transaction management
  • Contact management and follow-up reminders
  • Sales management
  • Automatic SMS updates
  • Email marketing and reports
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Newsletter and print marketing templates

Training and support-

  • 160 how-to online videos
  • Library of help articles
  • Regular webinars
  • Full time in-house support team- average response time of 20 minutes
  • Free 30-minute demo on offer

Security-

  • Monthly updates
  • Backup provided

Eagle Agent by Eagle Software

Interface-

  • Simple, clean sidebar navigation, smart filters and intuitive design
  • PC, mobile and tablet compatible
Image: Eagle Software

Image: Eagle Software

Features-

  • Portal listing uploads
  • Automated buyer matching
  • Create and manage property listings
  • Document upload
  • Email marketing and SMS campaigns
  • Enquiry tracking
  • Property list templates

Training and support-

  • Free hour long demo
  • Local email and phone support

If you're considering making a CRM switch don't forget to make sure you can migrate data from your current database into your new one, so that you don't lose years of hard work and long term prospects.

This is by no means a definitive list, undoubtedly there are plenty of other great CRMs out there that offer different advantages to suit the specific needs of different agents and agencies.

Do you have a CRM to recommend that we missed? How satisfied are you with the capabilities of your current CRM? Please let us know in the comments section below.

Happy selling!

The Homely Team

About homely.com.au:

Homely.com.au is a new way to search for Springfield Lakes 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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