Ask any top real estate trainer or successful broker/owner and they’ll tell you the importance of embracing technology – especially a Realtor CRM. Agents who fail to use technology to their advantage will be watching their competitors soar to newer and higher heights while they themselves see increasingly less referrals and repeat business.
There are many Realtors who still feel intimidated by Realtor CRMs and believe that they’re hard to learn and use. While technology can be intimidating, unless you take a deep dive and see for yourself, you’ll never know. There are Realtor CRMs these days that have been carefully designed to work well for agents who are not necessarily tech savvy. IXACT Contact’s testimonials page, for example, is filled with agents raving about the solution’s short learning curve and ease of use.
And CRMs will make your life as a Realtor much easier by automating some of your real estate marketing communications and helping you ensure nothing falls through the cracks.
So maybe you’re a bit intimidated by a CRM. Or perhaps you’re computer savvy but just don’t have time to learn how to use a new software. If you fall into one of these two categories, this article is for you. I’ll discuss my top three tips for quickly becoming Realtor CRM proficient.
1. Do your research and ask the right questions
Before you get on board with a Realtor CRM, you’ll want to do a bit of research and make sure you have the answers to certain key questions. If you don’t choose the right system off the bat, learning and using it could be anything but easy.
You also want to make sure you fully understand the CRM’s features and capabilities, and how exactly it will make your life easier and improve your business.
Here are the questions you need to be asking:
- How long does it take the average person to learn your system?
- What makes your system easy to use?
- Where can I find customer testimonial and third-party product reviews of your system? (Make sure you can find testimonials and reviews of agents discussing the solution’s ease of use/short learning curve.)
- Once I start paying for the system, am I locked into a contract, or do I have the flexibility of cancelling at any time if I find it too difficult to integrate into my business?
- Does the system come with free customer support by phone and email? What are your customer support hours?
- What is your company’s reputation for customer support? Can you tell me where I can find reviews or testimonials that speak to this?
- Do leading real estate trainers recommend your system? (Do some research to find out what trainers and broker/owners say about the CRM you’re considering.)
2. Practice, practice, practice
That idiom, “practice makes perfect,” is true when it comes to technology tools like a Realtor CRM. Even the busiest agent should be able to carve out at least 10 minutes a day to learning and using a CRM. You don’t have to commit hours a day to fully learn a system and get the hang of it (disclaimer: this is only true if the software has a reputation for being easy to use in the first place – see tip No. 1). Master one feature, then move on to the next and fully embrace the system. Have confidence in yourself, and practice! It’ll pay off big time!
3. Make use of your support resources
Hopefully you’ll take my advice in tip No. 1 and make sure that the system you choose is known for its great customer support. If this is the case, you’ll want to watch the CRM’s tutorial and/or “quick tip” videos and call the customer support team when you need help. A top-notch support team will be friendly and patient and walk you through how to navigate the software step by step.
You can learn how to use a CRM, even if strapped for time. And the small amount of time you invest in learning will pay big dividends. A 13 percent return on your investment is a conservative estimate. This means that for every 100 people in your database to whom you market to/keep in touch with through the CRM, you’ll get 13 new transactions.
Put these tips into practice today, and good luck!
Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Collis works with REALTORS to help them achieve their goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. IXACT Contact is a Web-based real estate contact management and marketing system designed to help Realtors get more referrals and manage the transaction side of their business.