There are two types of property agents: those who employ CRM software and those who do not. For a busy property agency like yours, work efficiency is something that needs to be reviewed regularly. While it is not always obvious that you are trapped in a comfort zone, exploring how your competitors are doing, and what solutions are available in the market will help with your self-evaluation. Through these techniques, you can begin to examine if there is anything you can improve and how.
If your agency is already operating with CRM software, take this opportunity to assess how your system can be better. If you are still managing tasks and processes manually, it is time to upgrade and reap the benefits of new technology.
To help you step back and see a wider perspective, here are three signs that you should start using a CRM or switch to a better one:
1. Your current CRM is not user-friendly
It is nearly impossible for your agents to stay on top of every lead and ongoing deal if they stubbornly stick to traditional spreadsheet systems. Unless each agent only has one active contact at a time, a manual system is not sustainable for businesses with serious growth ambitions.
For agencies that already use a CRM system, one common problem is that the agents are provided with good tools, but they are not keen to learn how to properly use the tools. If the agents only see their organization’s CRM as a data-logging system, they will end up spending extra hours each day filling in information instead of leveraging the system to close more deals. In this case, you need a new CRM that better fits the needs of your agents or provides continuous support, training, and monitoring to drive the user adoption of your current solution.
Nevertheless, the users are not always to blame. If you find that your current CRM is poorly built, you should consider other options. Well-designed, sophisticated software should be easy to navigate even for agents who are not necessarily skilled in IT, despite the advanced technology behind it. If the system is too complex to use without being counterproductive, start looking for alternatives and switch as soon as you can. On the bright side, now you have a better idea of what to look for in the next CRM system that will work for your team.
2. Your current CRM costs more than it should
If your current system operates around spreadsheets, you are bearing the cost of time and operational risk. When considering the time–cost of your agents, it is not as simple as the amount of their base salary divided by hours. Instead, you should take into account the projected revenue each agent can earn for the business. Here is a useful guide to calculate how much your time is worth to get a better sense of the time cost.
As your business grows, manually managing administrative tasks and maintaining an accurate database also risk human errors. When considering the competitive nature of the property business, a small mistake or delay can have huge opportunity costs. Investing in a CRM system will allow your agents to have better accountability and time management, enabling them to cultivate better relationships and close more deals.
If your agency has been using a proprietary CRM system for years, make sure it is still relevant to today’s business setting. While you may enjoy certain privileges, a legacy system tends to come with a disorganized database and an obsolete interface and technology. In addition, the costs of system maintenance and dedicated in-house engineers continuously take your bottom line. While these drawbacks of maintaining proprietary software are not surprising, you may think it is too late to switch out of the current system given the significant resources invested. Do not fall into this common trap; Sunk Cost Fallacy can be dangerous and hard to notice!
In general, most property agencies are better off employing third-party solutions developed by a specialized tech team. As software companies are exposed to diverse clients, their tech talents continuously handle new challenges across multiple industry projects. As a result, they tend to be more agile and innovative compared to in-house teams.
If your agents have been comfortably using a third-party CRM system, evaluating the return on investment is worthwhile. Below are some key questions to ask yourself:
If your answer is “No” to any of the above questions, we suggest it is time to explore new software in the market.
3. Your current CRM does not solve the pain points
The objective of investing in any technology is to make our lives more convenient, efficient, and productive. Having a large number of listings, contact data, documents, and legal requirements to follow, property agents are easily overwhelmed.
Here are the common pain points that cause property agencies to migrate to new CRM:
Lack of consolidation: Do you record new contacts on one platform, search and shortlist relevant listings on another, and finally prepare related documents offline? Having multiple isolated systems unnecessarily adds workload for agents as they attempt to keep the information up to date across the board. Most of the time, this will result in a messy database and too much time spent. While a good CRM system does not necessarily have full financial or tenant management capabilities, it should be able to handle the deal from end to end and integrate with third-party systems seamlessly.
Not made for real estate: There are many CRM systems in the market, yet, only a few are designed specifically for real estate agents. While all salespeople share the same core principles of selling, property agents go through specific processes, legal requirements, and documentation processes that may be difficult or impossible to accommodate within other CRM configurations.
Lack of important features: There is no perfect system that fits all individual needs and working styles unless it is precisely customized (which means expensive). However, a good system should be able to accommodate at least 90% of the working environment, leaving the other 10% for the less-convenient workarounds.
The flexibility and scalability of a platform are essential because business requirements can change over time. As your agency continues to grow and mature, your initial choice of CRM system may no longer be a good fit. If your business requires cross-contact relationship tracking, two-way matching, email marketing features, or listing portal connectivity, do not settle for a system that fails to support such features.
The best time to change is today!
Choosing the right CRM system is a big decision that can define the level of success your company will achieve. The sooner you realize that your current system, whether it is a legacy CRM platform or a set of traditional tools, obstructs your team from realizing its full potential, the sooner you will be able to step out and actively search for a new option.
Property Raptor is the state-of-art CRM software for real estate agents and agencies. We provide the most agile, end-to-end integrated real estate solution to agents so that they can focus more on selling real estate and creating lifelong clients. Ready for a change? Book a tour to see what an agent’s dream-come-true software looks like!