Today, we are being bombarded by so many tools and information that it can be a bit overwhelming. Many offer free trials and you may think about trying each one before deciding. That may make you even more crazy.
Instead, write down those features that are most important to you right now and for the vision you have for your business. Don’t get caught up with all the bells and whistles if you don’t have the time to use the majority of them.
To be conservative, consider looking for a CRM where you will be utilizing at least 60 % of the features.
The Top Questions People Ask Before Choosing A CRM
Which is better for a Real Estate Agent: a Small Business CRM or a Real Estate specific one?
For Real Estate, stick with a CRM that is focused on the Real Estate Business. It does make a difference, as it understands the real estate process and the essential components to running your business efficiently.
What if my company offers a CRM, do I need to purchase another one?
That is a personal choice. Many companies offer good platforms to use, so ask yourself whether you plan on spending the next 5 years at the same company. Then ask yourself how you will go about taking your data with you if you need to leave. Unless you have someone (a skilled tech person) or the time to move all your transaction history and contacts to a new platform, consider using one that is yours, no matter what real estate company you are working with or join. Remember this is your business, these are your contacts. And consider that you may not be able to export all the data or even have the time to transfer your data if you choose to leave.
Do I need to try out different companies before choosing?
Do your research and pick your favorite one to try out. Many offer free trials. Call them to find if they offer a free set-up (no set-up fee), training and live customer support. The only caveat is not to take too long to decide on one to use. Pick one and go for it 100% to make it work for you before deciding to try another.
Top coaches recommend sticking with it for a year because you need to give yourself time to master your Contact Relationship Manager (CRM) system.
Keep in mind, it may be challenging to find one CRM that meets all your needs. If it meets more than 60% of your requirements, that can be a great place to start!
Why Not Go For A Free Cloud-Based CRM?
Of course, that is up to you. With a free version, check out their customer support and level of security for your information that they offer. Many cloud-based versions may have ads or vendors reach out to you to offset the term “Free”.
Important Things To Look-For Before Choosing Your CRM
Find out what is included in the price
Some CRM’s limit the amount of e-mails and texts that you can send out for their lower priced versions. To have the premium features would require an upgrade.
Is it compatible with your existing apps and marketing systems?
Do you use Gmail, Outlook or another e-mail service provider? Is the program compatible with them? Do they integrate with your contacts and calendar?
Time equals money. This is about making your life easier, not more complicated.
What Type of Customer Support is offered?
Everyone wants an awesome real estate agent. Consider a company that offers you outstanding customer service. Is support offered live via telephone, chat or e-mail? Do they offer live set-up, training and support? You want someone who understands your concerns and can help walk you every step of the way.
Do you still have access to your information if you decide to cancel?
Once you cancel, most CRM’s will not allow you access to your information. What happens to your contacts, notes and transactions when you cancel? This is proprietary information. Ask if you can download and export your contacts and notes if you choose to leave.
Whats the Cancellation Policy
Do you have to sign an annual contract, or can you go month-to-month? If you choose to cancel, is there a refund if you paid the year upfront? Find out if you are tied into an annual plan even if you pay monthly.
How is Your Data Protected?
Security is essential in today’s world. While you are working with them, what type of security protection do they offer for your data? Once you leave, how long does the data remain on their system before it is deleted?
Ultimately, the best CRM is the one that you are going to use! Buying something that has a lot of bells and whistles is useless if you don’t use it. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know what works for you.
Written for Form Simplicity by Janice Zaltman, a Realtor, LEED AP, Marketing Coach and Writer with more than 20 years of experience in the sales, marketing and media fields.