Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is undoubtedly one of the fundamentals for any smart business today. A good CRM system will help salespeople keep their contacts and clients organized, engaged, and satisfied in an efficient manner, which leads to more sales and sustainable growth of the business.
It is great if your real estate agency is already well equipped with CRM software that satisfies all your business requirements. However, if there are gaps between your current system’s capability and your agency’s ideal workflow, then it is time to look for a new CRM software solution.
Due to its impact on the business, employing or switching to a new CRM system is not a simple task. Apart from the financial investment, it involves data migration, training, and collaboration from all related parties to successfully implement the CRM and create a real, positive change. Therefore, before you commit, it is critical that you have a thorough understanding of what you should be looking for in a CRM system and be attentive in each step throughout the decision-making process.
Once you have recognized the need to change and have researched the market offerings and currently available technology, you will eventually have a shortlist of CRM solutions to evaluate further. In this article, we will deep dive into this stage called “Evaluation of Alternatives” in the Five-Step Decision-Making Process.
Why free trials are important
While contacting the shortlisted providers for more details, you are likely to receive invitations to trial their software for free. Exploring these free trials inside and out is required to effectively evaluate the alternatives. It is an opportunity to have first-hand experience with each system before your agency commits the time and financial investment to a specific offering. These trials will answer key questions, such as: how the CRM will improve (or complicate) your agency’s work process in the long term, how it is worth (or not worth) the price, and how supportive (or unresponsive) the software provider is.
Superficial evaluation during the free trials can lead to a poor decision and leave you with an ineffective system that prevents your agents from realizing their full potential and wastes their valuable time and resources. However, no matter how much attention is paid, the free trial period is often undermined. Here are some reminders to prevent you from underutilizing this crucial part of the selection process:
- You are not too busy to use free trials.
In many cases, busy agents and agency leaders fail to spend enough time focusing on using the software and testing its functionality. However, the time costs are real. The longer you take to identify the right software, the higher the time and opportunity cost your agency is bearing. Here is the key: you do not have to do everything in one sitting. Software providers normally give you at least a week for free trials, so you can have several smaller sessions that allow you to explore while keeping your time cost to a minimum.
- Free trials are your opportunity to stretch the limits of a solution.
Although you have access to a paid software package without charge, you should not take it for granted. Free trials are sandboxes for experimenting with different features without the fear of mistakes or impact on your ongoing operations.
- Real data is not necessary.
The purpose of software trials is to let you explore the system interfaces and functionalities in a sandbox environment using a set of dummy data. There are good reasons why your company’s actual data does not belong in free trials. First, the trial environment is not designed for your business to fully operate the software. In most cases, the official software instance is not the one given on trials. Second, you do not want to spend time uploading your actual data to a system that you may not end up using. Third, you do not wish to share any confidential information about your contacts, listings, commission structure, etc., with a third party before a deal is made.
How to make the most out of free trials
Without proper guidance, having access to a full suite of software can be intimidating. Even a well-designed, powerful system can leave you lost during the first encounter. It is important that you do not let unfamiliarity scare you away from a potential game-changer. Below are techniques to make the most out of your software trials:
Now that you know how to make the most out of CRM software free trials, you are ready to proceed to make a better, well-informed decision for your next CRM solution and step up your game in the real estate world.
Property Raptor is a Salesforce-powered CRM system developed with industry experts to precisely tackle pain points in the real estate sales process. Learn how Property Raptor works and experience our CRM system first-hand so you can see how we can help you deliver exceptional customer experiences and close more deals. Click HERE to book a demo!