In our 2018 DNA of #CRE Survey, we asked brokers, “What tool or technology do you feel is missing from the CRE industry landscape that would help you with your day-to-day work?” a very common broker response was: “a better CRM.”
One broker told us they wanted “a CRM that syncs to outside sites used in everyday business,” another said “total connectivity of Data from MLS, to CRM to Buildout,” and another wanted a “simpler CRM for commercial real estate professionals.”
It’s clear brokers need more than a standard CRM to help them do their work every day. Here’s what a CRE-specific CRM or database should offer:
Simple, dynamic interface built for broker needs
Seventy-three percent of brokers surveyed for the 2018 DNA of #CRE said building relationships was the most important aspect of winning business deals, but about a third of them said they only spent six to 10 hours a week doing so. With a CRM or database that helps them easily generate and nurture leads, they could devote more time to building those relationships.
That’s why the ideal database for CRE professionals would be easy to use and offer industry-specific functionality like:
- Visual map views for brokers to see a birds-eye view of the properties in their market
- Lead status at a glance including call notes, scheduled meetings and tours, and expected timing for winning or closing a deal
- Call list building for brokers to quickly contact property buyers and owners in their network
Complete integration of tools through the full deal cycle
For maximum efficiency, every tool a brokerage uses from the first contact with a property owner all the way through a sale should be integrated. That means a CRM or database built exclusively for the CRE industry should allow brokers to:
- Develop call lists, log or assign activities across your team, and craft proposals in the all-in-one platform to win more listings, faster
- Seamlessly share information to their marketing team and assign tasks once a property is ready to go to market
- Submit vouchers to a firm’s back office directly from the database once the deal is closed
Pipeline insights to forecast revenue
With complete integration between lead generation and back office through a database, a broker would be able to track his deal pipeline and forecast his commissions in the future. With a clear snapshot of expected sale prices and the likelihood of winning or closing which deals and when, a broker can decide whether they should spend their time aggressively pursuing more deals, or focus on managing the ones currently in the pipeline.
Plus, with this information from all brokers, a brokerage could assess the total expected cash flow for the month, quarter, and year.
Flexibility to share and secure data
A broker’s database should serve as the library of their own expertise, so it makes sense why many brokers choose not to participate in company-sponsored CRMs. The ideal database for the CRE industry would give brokers a collection of contacts they own with the flexibility to share specific pieces of data with the people who need it, while keeping the rest private. That database would also be portable, and ready to use in any firm a broker chooses to work with over the course of their career.
Take a look at our DNA of #CRE Broker Survey results infographic to learn more about what brokers expect from CRMs and the industry as a whole this year.