1. How much are you willing to spend?- What is the initial cost of the CRM? How many “seats” or users do you get with your account? Do you have to pay for additional seats? How much is monthly charge? What are the contract terms? Is their an early termination if I choose not to use your CRM anymore?
I see agents blow a ton in monthly fees for a CRM that they never use.
2. Why does your business need a CRM software? Are leads not getting proper follow-up? You feel stagnant in your business? Lack of organization with your daily tasks for clients? I tend to forgot about past clients? I feel overwhelmed with doing everything in real estate but don’t have enough production to warrant an assistant? I think my sphere of influence forgets about me being a real estate agent! I don’t know but I was told by my trainer to get one!
If you nodded your head after reading the above questions, then it’s time to choose the right CRM.
3. What features do you want from a CRM? – Do I need daily task management on files? I want a shareable calendar to my team? I just need drip email campaigns. Is there something you absolutely love in your current CRM that you want in this one? Do you want to be able to “group” prospects? Do you want email reminders to the clients during the transaction?
4. What goal do you want to accomplish with a CRM? – Is it to handle leads? Prospect to past clients and sphere of influence already in another database? Drip email campaigns? Specific email timeline campaigns to clients? Track & reminder to reach out to future prospects that are necessarily a lead? Track where business comes from? I need better efficiency because I feel like I am losing business?
Once your determine what the goal you need from the CRM after you realize why does your business need a CRM, it will quickly help you narrow down the CRM choices available for you.
5. How many people will be using the CRM in your business?- Is the CRM system designed for teams or individuals only? Can I separate out tasks to other team members and check that they have done them? How adaptable is your team to learning new system?
6. Ease of use- Will your team be able to adapt into their work flow? Visually do you like the product? Is it intuitive to you or your team/assistants? The best CRM is the one you will USE!!!!
Many agents are visual and also don’t have time for a long learning curve on a new system, so this is imperative that you chose one that makes sense to you.
7. Cloud Based / Mobile Access- To me this is must as a mobile agent out on the road with clients. You want to be able to access your CRM from a mobile device and know that whatever you put into the CRM from your computer, you will be able to see on all devices. Also, double check if the CRM app is compatible with the devices you use in real estate.
8. Customizable – will it grow with you? You may be looking at the CRM for your current individual status as a lone real estate agent, but if you decide to add a buyer’s agent, listing agent, assistant or build a team, will the CRM you chose be compatible with those type of business structures. Don’t think short term but think long term when choosing your CRM. Also, does the vendor listen to your feedback? How long do they take to implement changes?
9. 3rd party integration – If you are using Constant Contact or Mail Chimp already, does the CRM integrate with those programs? What other 3 party integration is available for the CRM even if you have not implemented yet? Maybe you use gmail and need to see if integrates with their platform? Or IFTTT or Zapier? Check into what you are currently using for 3rd parties, but also check out for future reference what other programs integrate with the CRM you chose. Can you import contacts from your phone into the CRM?
10. Take advantage of trial periods – Most CRM’s offer some kind of trial period. The problem with us in real estate is we get side tracked with putting out fires with clients and never take time to play with the CRM during the trial period. A lot of the CRM’s will ask for a Credit card, knowing most of the time as agents we forget about it and then we will get charged a monthly fee on a product we are not using. I spent 4 months researching various CRM’s before deciding on the one I choose. I willingly spent the monthly fees because I wanted to take time to use it in various aspects of my real estate and speaking business. Some CRM’s will extend the trial period time if they see you have been logged in and using the system or you are asking for help, so make sure to ask.