6 Signs That You Need to Upgrade Your CRM
Access to commercial real estate software like a CRM (customer relationship manager) is becoming a necessity for success in our industry. Inman reports that two-thirds of real estate agents and brokers surveyed use a CRM system.
The first CRM platforms were introduced in the 1980’s, and there have been tremendous strides made with regard to its capabilities. Technological development in this area continues at a blistering pace, and systems that were amazing just 3-5 years ago are now being left in the dust.
How do you know if the CRM you’re using is optimized to promote your success? Here are some signs that may tell you that your CRM is ready for an upgrade.
#1. Desktop based
In this day and age, there is absolutely no reason you should have to download and install anything to your desktop. If your CRM is housed on your computer, requiring you to troubleshoot and deal with updates, then it is seriously out of date. Your CRM solution can and should live solely online and not on your hard drive.
#2. There’s a learning curve
You will not invest time in training. Any solution that expects this in order to use it properly doesn’t respect the needs of CRE professionals. Complexity and adoption are inversely related. This simply means that complex CRMs have poor adoption. Have you taught yourself to ignore the majority of features in your CRM since you never use them? If so, then something is wrong.
A good CRM should not require training…at all. Intuitive design and ease of use are necessary for your productivity. If you’re still waiting for the day when you’ll have the time to really master your CRM then it’s probably the wrong choice. You can do better.
#3. Lackluster support
In those (hopefully) rare occasions when you do have a question about using your CRM, then help should be easily accessible. Assistance should come in a variety of forms too, including online chat, email and phone. If you’re the type that likes to find your own answers then look for solutions with a good library of how-to videos. There’s nothing like seeing a feature in action.
Personalities and company culture matter. If you do call for support then expect to be greeted by enthusiastic, skilled technicians who are grateful for your business. Anything short of this diminishes your ability to maximize your CRM success.
#4. Missing email connectivity
More than 50% of your communication is based on email. You send email for prospecting and during every stage of a deal’s lifecycle. It’s critical that this correspondence be linked back to your CRM contacts, companies, properties and deals. It shouldn’t matter whether a message starts in your CRM, Outlook or your mobile device. Everything should be connected as well as searchable, otherwise you’re working with a handicap.
#5. No client collaboration capability
Your clients want immediate access to the latest updates on their deals. Gone are the days when a static monthly marketing report was your means of client communication. Today you need to boast the ability of having real-time collaboration capability that accelerates deal making and makes for much happier clients. Your CRM should not only offer this type of collaboration, but also make it super easy to contribute updates, activities, files and emails to your client portal. Otherwise even the best client collaboration platform causes you more work and significantly impacts productivity. That’s bad.
#6. The dreaded silo
If you find yourself relying on other systems to supplement the functions of your CRM, it’s not up to snuff. A good platform doesn’t operate in isolation, and doesn’t create unconnected stacks of information. Look for a CRM that connects seamlessly to other commercial real estate applications that provide synergistic features for things like marketing or research. Clientlook works seamlessly with useful add-ons like Buildout, Mailchimp, and Realtors Property Resource to expand your capabilities without scattering your work. No silos here!