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3 Time-Saving Features to Look For in a CRM

May 03 2012

leo crmWhen meeting with a prospective client the other day, the topic of CRM came up. She told me, "A CRM is a CRM, is a CRM."

I quickly and firmly disagreed with her, and this piqued her interest. We got to talking about this, and I was able to explain to her that while many CRM systems share some similar qualities, a CRM is certainly not a CRM, is a CRM. I pointed out that aside from the basics, there are key elements that every REALTOR® should look for when choosing a CRM.

While I could write an entire novel on CRM features (trust me, it's so bad--I eat, sleep and dream CRM some days), I've decided to focus on three of the most important features I feel a REALTOR® should look for in a CRM:

1) A True, Two-Way Contact Sync

I'm putting this as rule number one, simply because it is THE most important rule for any CRM or contact management system. If your solution won't sync with your computer and your phone, DUMP IT! You should not and, frankly, will not ever make duplicate entries to keep your CRM contacts up to date if there isn't a sync. So why stress yourself out or, even worse, try to conduct business with out-of-date information?

When selecting a CRM solution, make sure that it has a "true" two way sync. What does this mean? It means that your sync will push information two ways (e.g. if you update a contact in your CRM, it will automatically update your computer address book and your smartphone. OR, if you update your smartphone, it will update your CRM and computer).

Having your contact data in sync, no matter where you might be, is critical to the growth and success of your Real Estate practice.

2) Less Is More (When it comes to clicks.)

Even though I might work 80 hours or more in a given week, one thing about me is that when it comes down to it, I'm lazy. Lazy in a good way. You see, I am a fan of, and on a constant mission to figure out how to achieve a desired result in the fewest motions possible. The same thing holds true with my CRM, and it should for yours as well.

REALTORS® are extremely busy people. They hardly have time to log into their CRM, let alone, click on extra windows and screens. That is why a compact, clean, easy-to-use system will always beat out a clunky one.

For instance, one feature of LeadingAgent CRM is the ability for an agent to log a phone call and schedule any follow-up tasks in the same exact window. What does this do? It keeps an agent from having to save twice and navigate to two different pages. Add up the screen refresh times for those four motions and multiply that by how many people you connect with in a given day. The amount of time you'd be wasting is staggering.

Another great time-saving feature is an auto dialer. How many phone calls do you make in a day? How long does it take to dial a phone number? What if you could just point and click and your CRM would automatically dial your contact? The time you save by doing this means you can make more phone calls. The greater the number of phone calls you make, the more likely you are to generate business.

Time is money, and money is the name of the game. Fewer motions allow you to perform money making activities more frequently, making you and your Real Estate practice more successful.

3) If it's not mobile, it's not practical.

By definition, REALTORS® are rarely in their office. Most of their day is spent out in the field, working with clients and handling their deals. If you are out of your office and your systems are set up so that you can access them while on the go, you cannot grow your business. Having a CRM solution that is mobile gives you the freedom to conduct business anytime, no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection and you are set.

Now, when I say "mobile," I feel compelled to point out that I am not referring to "an app." Mobile apps are basically stripped down versions of an entire program. For instance, a mobile app might allow you to view records, but not edit or add them. That, clearly, is not helpful.

When I say mobile, I mean "mobile enabled." The best mobile enabled solutions are cloud-based CRM systems. These solutions give you the luxury of being able to log in from your mobile device's web browser and access every single part of your CRM solution. You'll have all the tools you need, at your fingertips, when you need them.

As I mentioned before, I can write a list of desired CRM features that is a mile long. If you at least focus on these three key elements, however, you'll find that you are more productive and effective than ever before.

Is your CRM solution missing these things? Would you like to discuss how our Leading Agent CRM solution can help you with your Real Estate practice? Contact meContact me anytime and I would be happy to examine your current CRM solution, give you tips on how to improve it, or discuss with you the upgrade process, and specifically how our CRM system can help you.