How to Get the "M" Right in Real Estate CRM

CRM Overview
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Real estate CRM, Customer Relationship Management, is a hot topic among real estate professionals. There is no lack of instruction and advice about real estate CRM practices, but it's mostly overview information, a high altitude look at how to work with prospects.

There is a lot of high-tech and high touch information. You know, it's the automated responses and email follow-up stuff. That's all important and works, but only if done right. This article is going to focus on just one letter of the acronym, the "M" in CRM. We're "managing" our prospects, not just trying to sell them something.  

What is involved in effective prospect management?

  • Supporting your value proposition
  • Timing and frequency of contact
  • Constant calls to action

This plan of attack may have some common elements with what you read about CRM, but the "M" is the most important part and will determine how the "R," Relationship develops and whether you ever see a commission out of it. Let's take a more M-focused look at these three factors of proper CRM.

Supporting Your Value Proposition

This prospect is in your system because somehow you found out their contact information. We're focusing on lead generation from the Internet, so you must have had a lead generation form to which they responded. Something in that content and the call-to-action got their attention and managed to get them to give you their private contact information. It could have been:

  • Buyer information
  • Seller information
  • Transaction process info
  • Specific property or search data

Whatever got them to give up their contact information, it's now time to support your value proposition, the value they saw in your information and call-to-action. It could have been an offer of more detail than is displayed in an online listing. Or, maybe it's the explanation of the offer and counter offer process for the first time home buyer. Whatever their area of interest, they obviously found something of value in your content and clearly want more information. That's your value proposition, an offer of more of your expertise and information.

Follow through with exactly what they're expecting and wanting. Provide more detail and information specific to their initial interest and other information that's related. You're supporting their decision to trust you with their contact information and enhancing your value through providing more help. As for a DO NOT, don't send them canned emails you purchased that talk about the smell of baking bread selling homes. Send them information of real value that will help them to buy or sell real estate.

Timing and Frequency of Contact

Management of your prospects involves keeping them. You will find that more difficult if you send them a flurry of emails, especially those baked bread type in a short period of time. You should know your market area and the normal average time from the first contact through a decision to buy or list. Carefully plan the type of emails based on the prospect type; buyer, seller, investor, etc.  

Once you have them properly categorized, have a set of follow-up emails and/or phone calls that are all going to deliver more information that supports your value proposition. EVERY email or call you make should be to offer them more relevant information, not to just "take their pulse" or "see if they're warm or hot." Every contact should be relevant to their needs, not yours.

Now that you know what you want to communicate, schedule or time those communications to keep them appreciative of your expertise and value, but not so often that they become annoyed or find your information of little value due to dilution over many contacts.

Constant Calls to Action

These can be subtle, but you need to give your prospect an open and constant invitation to contact you again and engage in more conversation or take action and buy or sell real estate. Every email should in some way encourage them to reach out. It needn't be a "fill this form out" type of request. It can be as simple as "reply to this email" with any other requirements you've thought about for the home you want to buy. For seller prospects, it could be a "what's the best feature of your home" question.

Follow these three simple suggestions and you'll find that you hold onto more prospects and that you convert more of them to clients at the closing table.