Using Custom Real Estate CRM Software has become one of the biggest trends in real estate management. Gone are the days when all you had to manage deals and customers was a string of overly complex spreadsheet workbooks and business cards. A CRM makes it easy to keep track of everything and close more deals.
In this guide, we take a deep dive into customer Real estate CRMs. Stick around to the end if you want to learn everything you need to know about developing custom real estate CRMs. More importantly, we’ll explore the real estate CRM value proposition based on real industry insights.
What Is A Custom Real Estate CRM?
A general-purpose customer relationship management helps businesses streamline communications with their customers and may have some marketing and sales features baked in. A custom real estate CRM has all the features of a CRM but is designed for real estate companies. The custom CRM system will come with several real estate-specific features such as:
At the heart of any modern customer relationship management system is contact management. A customer real estate CRM should be designed to help real estate companies create and manage complex contact data stores to be used daily. The ability to use contacts to generate leads and close deals is invaluable to any real estate business
As is often the case, generic CRMs have an average contact management module that may not fit your business setup. For instance, your real estate company may want a CRM contact management system that pulls contacts from different sources and makes them available on the go. By designing a custom CRM, you get to choose precisely how contacts are managed and be in control of data privacy for compliance purposes.
Customer relationship management systems were mainly designed to streamline communications between businesses and customers. This primary feature is available in all CRMs but implemented in various ways based on the target market. For instance, Salesforce emphasizes B2C sales communication with no particular industry in mind.
A custom real estate CRM is designed to make it for real estate companies and agents to communicate with clients, suppliers and contractors. It should have specific features that ease communication between the business and any of these stakeholders and ensure the medium used is effective. For instance, email communication can be used for client-facing communications. In contrast, chatbots and automated calls can be used for marketing efforts.
Modern CRM systems also double up as advertising planning and lead generation tools. You can use the CRM to plan multi-channel advertising campaigns and generate leads. Lead generation is a basic feature you will find in most general-purpose CRMs out there. However, you can take it further with a custom CRM for your real estate that compliments your online and offline lead-gen efforts.
For instance, a custom real estate CRM should be able to pick up leads from the company website and landing pages and put them in a marketing and sales pipeline for the team to dive into. Such functionality is hard to implement in an off-the-shelf CRM unless you are willing to pay top dollar to the developer.
One of the most powerful features of modern CRMs is marketing automation. With a few clicks, you can create powerful marketing campaigns on multiple channels to reach your clients wherever they are. CRM solutions can be used to create and manage complex email sequence campaigns, social media campaigns, offline marketing campaigns, and automated ads.
With a custom real estate CRM, more like an ERP, you can quickly create marketing campaigns that align with your company’s marketing strategy. For instance, the CRM can be customized to use templates created by your marketing team on the go for faster implementation. Imagine being able to create video clips and branding them in the field using your CRM.
The CRM helps create and manage contact lists and automated email campaigns and helps your team manage and keep track of emails. Modern CRMs have powerful email management features that make emails an asset rather than a burden to the recipients. They will help you categorize emails, and follow-ups, automate replies, connect with shareable resources etc.
By designing a custom real estate CRM, you can define precisely how you want your email communications managed and achieve better integration with the existing system. For example, you can ask the development team to integrate the system with an existing mail server for an easy transition.
CRM systems also come with excellent planning and scheduling features. Within the CRM, you can plan your day based on your customer-facing activities, like when you will call customers or respond to emails. Their calendar features are also centred around customer-facing activities such as scheduling meetings and phone calls.
While these planning features are excellent in their basic form, designing your custom real estate CRM gives you much more room to make it your own based on your daily activities. You can add customization to the scheduling and calendar module to suit specific workflows and needs. For example, a custom real estate CRM can have a planner matching field agents’ daily routines or sales team members.
Businesses receive a lot of feedback from customers from various channels and locations. A customer relationship management system has modules to gather and organize all this feedback. This allows businesses to digest what the customer is saying and even get timely notifications when feedback is received. They can even use the same feedback for promotional purposes in various ways.
Feedback processing can be even more robust if a custom solution is developed instead of a generic one. With the custom real estate CRM, you are free to design modules that capture feedback from specific channels that are of more use to you than others.
For instance, most real estate companies are likely to be more interested in Zillow.com reviews than on general sites like Facebook. You can only achieve this granular level of control by designing a custom real estate CRM.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses dealing with multiple clients is synchronizing data coming from different sources relating to customers. For instance, synchronizing support communication to sales and marketing communications, financial data to upselling or after-sales Service. A good CRM helps you synchronize any data that needs to be synchronized for easier decision-making.
A custom-built CRM will allow you to dial down on the power of data synchronization because you will have control over what data needs to be related to or linked to what and how these relationships are defined. For instance, you can choose to have data from sales inquiries synchronized with marketing to close more deals as a property management or real estate company.
Modern CRM systems have powerful data analytics features to help companies make sense of a large amount of data they get from customer-facing activities. They can use inbuilt data processing algorithms to crunch both structured and unstructured data and present it in easy-to-digest dashboards for end-users.
As a real estate business, you want to define what processing on customer data, metrics used, and how it is presented for easy decision making. A custom CRM will allow you to process and use customer data to stay ahead of the competition through data-driven decision-making and overall strategy. It’ll even make more sense when dealing with unstructured data from multiple sources, as is often the case in real estate.
Last but not least, most customer relationship management systems are designed to help businesses manage complex customer-facing processes. For instance, you can use your CRM to manage the property closing process to ensure every crucial step is completed correctly. The CRM will also record all activities in every process for easy retrieval or reference.
Process management is one of the key selling points of CRMs. However, you may have to improvise or modify a lot when using a generic CRM for your real estate businesses. Instead, you can opt to design your own CRM that has process templates that match your internal process. For example, it is possible to design a CRM that guides the customer on the house financing process from start to finish.
Benefits of CRM For Real Estate?
There are many reasons why switching to a customer relationship management system is a no-brainer for any modern real estate company or individual realtor. Here are some of them:
A CRM Will Keep You Organized
CRMs are designed to help businesses keep track of large amounts of data coming in and out and customer-facing activities like sales, marketing, support and deal closing. With a good CRM platform, you won’t have to do much organizing to stay on top of things because they do everything for you. CRMs have intuitive dashboards to help you keep track of every organization’s process, activity or communication.
For example, lead generation is a typical business process likely to involve several people in your organization. Some lead generation activities could be happening on popular social media channels. In contrast, others could be offline with your filed realtors linking with potential customers. Keeping track of all these processes can be hectic unless you start using a CRM with data synchronization.
Easy Activity Planning and Tracking
Today’s real estate industry involves a lot of activities that usually involve the customer in one way or another. Every day, you may have one or more field agents visiting properties, negotiating deals with potential clients, closing deals or supervising other people working on your property. You need a solution that helps you stay on top of these complex workflows through planning and activity tracking.
Most CRM systems help with complex activity planning and workflow tracking, especially for customer-facing activities. You’ll get real-time updates on what your people are working on and can also pull and use customer data on the go to help those out there do their job. With real-time tracking and planning, you are also able to do quick follow-ups when needed, as you have everything you need on the dashboards
Real estate CRMs are all about automating as many processes as possible so that you can concentrate on the important tasks. You can design your CRM to automate invoicing, cold outreach communication, customer data collection through forms, contact management etc. Custom real estate CRMs can even automate a complex process like property valuation when fed with the correct data.
Easy Real Estate Project Management
Project management is an additional feature in most modern customer relationship management software, so it should be included in your custom CRM. Project management in real estate CRM may include assigning tasks, tracking the progress of ongoing real estate projects like renovations etc. Having this functionality in your CRM is good as it helps you keep your data synchronized.
Improving Customer Experiences
Companies in the real estate industry have not been known for having the best customer experiences mainly because of the complexities of closing property deals and the number of people involved. You can ensure your customers have the best experiences by investing in CRM. Using a CRM, you’ll be assured that all your customers are served in the best way possible and that they have an easy way to interact with you.
CRMs were created to improve customer experiences as many features are aimed at customer-facing activities like support and sales. For real estate companies, these features can help streamline many customer-facing activities leading to improved customer experiences. For instance, using CRM, you can design easy FAQs for each property you are putting in the market.
There is a reason CRM adoption among sales professionals globally is 75% – G2 CRM research. CRMs can help increase sales by 29% or more, depending on the industry. By using a CRM in your real estate company, you are tapping into its sales automation features which are finetuned to streamline sales processes and help you close more deals.
Increase The productivity of Your Team
Thanks to task automation and ready insights, a CRM makes it easier for team members to accomplish more. Companies who have switched from manual or spreadsheets to CRMs have reported sharp increases in productivity as employees don’t spend time doing simple repetitive tasks. For example, your agents don’t have to spend time drafting and sending emails if you have a CRM.
Improved Decision Making and Strategy With Data Analytics
The data analytics component in modern CRM systems is very important for real estate businesses. The CRM pulls customer, and internal data from different sources, process it and presents it in a way that can help with decision making. Insights derived from the CRM’s analytics can inform many decisions and strategies in a real estate company, such as upselling, cross-selling, diversification and segmentation.
Central Customer Data storage for Easy retrieval and Service
In the past, even small real estate companies stored their data all over and in different formats. For instance, customer invoices are stored in accounts and closing documents elsewhere. A CRM enables you to have a secure central storage of all customer data so that it is easily accessible whenever needed. This leads to faster customer service and better experiences for everyone involved.
Streamlined Internal and External Communication
A CRM streamlines communication between internal teams as well as with external teams. Teams can easily share information based on their work and collaborate without ever having to leave the CRM. External communication is also easy because everything is set to facilitate smooth communication.
Why should I develop my CRM?
There are a couple of reasons you should consider developing your own CRM, the obvious one being that a custom one is more likely to cater to your business needs better than a generic one. You’ll have more say on the functionality that will be added to the CRM and how the final product works and looks.
Here is a more detailed look at some of the advantages of custom real estate CRM:
You will have more control over the type and number of features added to the CRM based on your business needs.
You can control how customer data is collected and processed, and stored. This kind of control is vital if you are worried about compliance or dealing with business clients with sensitive data.
Better control over how the CRM handles the sales process, pipeline or sales cycle. Each real estate company has its unique sales process, which may be hard to implement in a generic CRM.
Do you have specific requirements for how you want your contacts managed? You can only achieve this through a custom CRM.
Modules can be features or functionalities. It’s easier to add and remove modules to a custom-made CRM than to an off-the-shelf one.
You’ll find it easier to design and implement email templates in your own CRM than in a third-party CRM with strict design requirements.
How to create custom Real Estate CRM
Unless you have an internal app development team, the best way to create a custom CRM is to look for app development services from an external developer. Look for a developer that has worked with real estate agencies because they are more likely to understand and appreciate the real estate business model.
Here are some basic CRM features that you should be aiming at if you are looking for custom solutions:
- A dashboard
- Email management
- Lead management
- Contact management
- Data analytics
- Marketing module
- Communications module
- Collaboration module
- Project management module
- Listing management
- Report management
- Ad management
The idea is to end up with customer relationship management software designed with your need in mind but also comes with all the good things that modern CRMs offer. To achieve this, you must be involved in every step of the process or have some real estate professionals attached to the app development team.
How Long Does It Take to Develop A Real Estate CRM?
Generally, it would take between a year to two years to develop a fully-functional real-estate CRM. However, development timelines depend on the software development company you choose to work with and the size of the development team assigned to the project. You might be able to save on time and cost if you can find startups that have the web development talent needed to develop your solution. Start today and find your custom real estate CRM developer.