CRMs can be superheroes for your business, but not all of them possess the necessary powers to save the day. As with any kind of business software, there are platforms that better enable estate agents to stay ahead of the competition, improve relationships with customers, and ultimately benefit the bottom line – and there are those that fall short. One way of assessing the quality of an estate agency CRM is to focus on key capabilities, because a lack of these capabilities is often one of the top reasons why businesses become dissatisfied with their current CRM.
In this blog we will walk you through the eight core capabilities most important to consider when choosing a quality CRM.
One of the biggest challenges with CRM deployment is often user-adoption, and this is backed up in a study which reported that 65% of CRM users consider ease of use to be the single most important requirement when selecting a CRM.
In many cases, those staff who stand to benefit the most from your CRM often cannot or will not use it. If your agents are unhappy with your current CRM, ask yourself the following:
- Is it missing important functionality?
- Is it too rigid for your business processes?
- Is it unintuitive?
This last point is an important one. Useful should not equal complicated. An effective CRM prioritises a streamlined interface that facilitates straightforward interactions for both experienced users and those just starting out. It is about giving your agents the right quantity of information, in the right place, at the right moment.
Analysis from the McKinsey Global Institute found that 40% of all estate agency activity can potentially be automated. A fit-for-purpose CRM must excel at workflow management, automating processes wherever possible and reducing reliance on manual processes.
Automation improves productivity, reduces costs, and enables your agents to commit more of their time to revenue-generation activities instead of administrative ones. Such functions can be found in:
- Enquiry handling
- Data compliance
- Diary handling
- and more
These functions are all complimentary and will help to streamline efficiencies across departments to manage clients and leads.
By leveraging automation in your CRM, you can free up your agents’ time to focus on utilising their people skills, enabling them to devote more of their energy to nurturing relationships, provide personalised service and closing deals. So, when evaluating CRM options, be sure to look for automation capabilities that can help your agents work smarter, not harder.
According to the Pareto principle: 80% of your profits come from 20% of your customers. Companies that make data-driven decisions are more productive and up to 6% more profitable than those not making the most of their data.
A quality CRM will not only provide valuable analytics on client behaviour and preferences, it will empower your agents to build stronger relationships with those clients. With access to key data and insights, your agents can tailor their interactions to meet each clients’ specific needs and preferences, building trust and rapport in the process.
By using analytics to inform their approach, agents can more effectively nurture leads, close deals, and ultimately drive revenue growth for the business. With the right CRM, your agents will have the tools they need to leverage their people skills and build lasting client relationships.
4. All in one place
A CRM’s effectiveness depends on its ability to serve as a centralised tool for bringing business functions and customers together. The most effective CRM software is the one that is able to combine all your agency data on a single, centralised platform, giving you full accessibility to all your data at the touch of a button, and revealing the ‘big opportunity picture’ in your data that will otherwise have gone unnoticed.
Bad data sources result in 30% of all leads failing – Cyber Sphere
Gains come from increased efficiency and productivity across admin teams and through improving communication channels across teams. It should touch all aspects of your business, not just front-office sales, and should be able to support the entire customer journey, from acquisition to advocacy.
5. PropTech integration
According to MuleSoft’s 2023 Connectivity Benchmark Report, 80% of respondents said integration challenges continue to slow digital transformation initiatives, and 36% of respondents consider integrating siloed apps and data as their single biggest challenge to digital transformation within their business in 2023.
For a competitive agency, the best CRM system is the one that offers ready-to-use apps and integrations from leading PropTech providers, as well as solutions built specifically to extend the functionality of the CRM. All these integrated solutions should be available in one place, eliminating the need for double keying data or jumping between apps.
When you’re in the market for a new CRM, ask the supplier if all of the apps and integrations built on the platform share an integrated, secure data and identity management model, and are accessible through single sign-on (SSO), so you don’t have to worry about integration or security hassles.
Better yet, if you want the ultimate platform that will support your digital transformation goals, partner with a CRM supplier that gives you the tools to build your own apps and customise your experience.
A mobile CRM is essential for your team out in the field, providing access to day-to-day functions for both sales and lettings users. From registering an applicant or adding a market appraisal property, to processing appointment follow-ups, setting call reminders and tasks, and even running reports – an effective CRM should be able to handle important tasks remotely.
Nucleus Research discovered that 65% of companies using a mobile CRM achieved their sales quotas, as opposed to only 22% using nonmobile CRMs having reached the same targets.
Browser-based mobile access is the preferable choice rather than app-based as it would not restrict you to certain smartphone operating systems and ensure a device-agnostic approach to meet your business needs.
Your CRM is a vital tool for maintaining compliance along every step of the privacy data lifecycle. But a quality CRM can support you with more than just UK-GDPR compliance, it should also help you to meet your Anti-Money Laundering (AML) requirements. A good CRM will enable agents to collect and verify customer identification information, track AML checks and risk assessments, and maintain an audit trail of all customer interactions.
With AML compliance being a legal requirement for estate agents, having a CRM that is specifically designed to support these obligations is critical. This not only ensures that your agency stays on the right side of the law, but also helps to promote trust and confidence with clients by demonstrating a commitment to regulatory compliance.
Cyber-attacks are a global issue, and one that seriously impacts the property industry, given the level of personal and financial information involved. With attacks on agencies of all sizes becoming more common, and with the large volumes of valuable data your business holds, cyber-security should definitely be one of your top considerations when choosing a CRM.
A reliable CRM can help protect your data, prevent privileged information from being stolen, and maintain your reputation as a trusted agency. In addition, ask your preferred supplier if their CRM is built on a robust and secure cloud-based infrastructure designed to provide high availability, redundancy, scalability, and performance.
Find out more in the Estate Agency CRM Buyer’s Guide (2023 Edition)
Looking for the perfect CRM for your agency? We’ve got you covered. For over 25 years, Reapit has been helping estate and lettings agents all around the world put growth on repeat. Download your free copy of the Ultimate Estate Agency CRM Buyer’s Guide (2023 Edition) today for a no-nonsense, jargon-free resource designed to answer all of your questions about what to look for in a CRM.