At very first glance, it wouldn’t seem that buying or selling a home or commercial property would be all that complex. One party wants to sell. One party wants to buy. They come to an agreement. Money changes hands. That’s really all there is to it, isn’t it? Do you really need a CRM application for that?
If you want to get a real estate broker laughing uproariously, just make that statement. A real estate broker is paid to oversee such transactions and to hopefully make them as smooth as possible. Real estate transactions are incredibly fraught with rules and regulations which change constantly, both for the buyer and the seller. That means that every sales cycle is very dynamic and the sales process is constantly changing. The same is true for the financial industry, from whence financing for real estate comes. A real estate broker or agent must first learn the volumes of basics of these many rules and regs, and are then required to participate in continuing education to stay abreast of any changes, updates and new rules and regs that are passed to be allowed to continue working in their chosen career.
This encyclopedic knowledge is quite in addition to the prime factor in any such transactions: the buyer-seller and customer relations, the skill with which the agents and brokers interact with potential buyers. Being human and often making the biggest purchase of their lives (in the case of home buyers) or a substantial investment for a business, they all have their individual needs, wants and desires. The broker or agent must always be focused on them if a transaction is going to take place.
Can the right CRM solution be of assistance?
Tracking Sales Cycles
A real estate broker or agent has quite a task in keeping track of all the details in just a single real estate transaction. Sales pipeline management within the real estate market is quite complex is strongly influenced by law. For example, a potential buyer is interested in a home that you have listed. The buyer does a walk-through, is interested. A quick conversation lets the agent know the interested buyer might well be qualified. The realtor puts the buyer in touch with the realtor’s normal lending organization to initially determine if the buyer will qualify for a loan. The buyer will then be walked through the myriad steps of qualifying and getting approved for a loan which may handled by the realtor directly or delegated to another. Throughout all this, the buyer will think of questions they forgot to ask about the property, which the realtor must then relay to the seller and get answered. The sales rep has to stay on top of the whole sale process and be ready to answer all the question, either from the buyer or seller. Then there are inspections, disclosures, many different forms to fill out, all of which the broker will need to stay on top of. Finally, there is escrow and (fingers crossed) closing, both of which carry their own mass of forms, rules and regulations.
That’s for a single transaction! And any realtor worth their salt is going to have more than one sale proceeding simultaneously, with varying levels of complexity.
In the old days all of this tracking was done by endless notes and folders, with many details being left to good old fashioned memory. The personal computer age brought us forward to spreadsheets and software packages, which many still use. But what is the best way to be able to stay on top of all these details without the stress of risk of forgetting one or two that might mean delaying or even blowing a sale?
CRM Application for Real Estate Agents
CRM solutions have long been around, but real estate brokers or agents might have shied away from them. They’re mainly designed for sales management to monitor sales quotas, not really to empower a broker or agent to rapidly and easily stay on top of all the various sales cycles and all of the necessary steps involved with each sale. And besides all that, CRM solutions tend to be quite complex, and a real estate broker or agent simply doesn’t have time to learn it all—it’s easier just to resort to spreadsheets.
Today, however, a leading-edge CRM application can be easily customized to an agent or broker’s own sales process. With most realtors, that process is normally well established—for example:
- acceptance of offer
- loan qualification
- loan approval
This would obviously differ depending on the realtor, their market, their types of transactions and even realtor preferences—but any can be accommodated with such a CRM application.
Such a CRM application makes it possible to rapidly and visually see the entire sales pipeline—how every sale is progressing and which are the priority tasks for that day, week or month. Then with a click a single sales cycle can be focused in on. All pertinent documents can be saved to CRM and saved in the sales process stages to which they apply. Rapid analyses and forecasts can be done. It truly is a single-source solution.
Being a real estate broker or agent is complicated enough. With the right CRM application, you can greatly simplify the job—and increase the velocity and number of sales you are handling. It only means more and easier-made commissions for you.