Episode 422: What Does CRM Mean in Real Estate in 2924

Episode Timeline

For the 422nd episode of Mail Right Show, Robert Newman and Jonathan Denwood discuss what CRM means in real estate and how it is revolutionizing the real estate industry in 2024. Robert Newnan is the founder of InboundREM, which focuses on inbound marketing strategies and SEO. Meanwhile, Jonathan Denwood is the joint founder of Mail-Right, a CRM and website solution with landing pages, email and text messaging campaigns, and social media, all in one platform. This episode gives insights into the advanced technology shaping customer relationship management and its impact on property transactions in the distant future.

There are over 150 Real Estate CRM (Customer Record Management Systems) in the market. These systems help manage relationships with customers. Nowadays, people link lead generation activities with these systems, too. Building one system that does everything is hard as technology advances, like automated text messaging and emails. So, most people end up using systems outside their main one. Thus, a CRM returns to its original purpose: managing customer records. 

Why You Should Use a CRM System

A CRM is a way of organizing things instead of using pen and paper. In this show, people are confused about what a CRM is. It’s not useless, but what matters is what you, the user, want from it. This discussion can be critical for anyone using a CRM, not just in real estate because even though CRMs are used in different industries, they work similarly.

There are different CRMs, such as Active Campaign and MailChimp. Although they might seem similar, they’re made for various kinds of users.

Over time, there have been tools like Goldmine and Pipeline. Harvey Mackay made a CRM called Swim with the Sharks about 20 years ago. It was excellent because it focused on knowing a lot about each customer. It had 100 things about each person, even small things like where they went to college or their pet’s name. Mackay thought every “yes” from a customer was super important, so it was worth knowing about them. But now, most CRMs are simpler. They don’t have all those details. They mostly have spaces for general notes. You can customize big CRMs like Salesforce or HubSpot, but it costs a lot. If your sales team is good at asking questions and building relationships, using these fancy CRMs makes sense.

These days, many people use different apps for tasks, notes, etc., alongside what they call a CRM. But should you use one to keep track of your clients? Well, it depends on how good your memory is and how organized you are. Most people don’t use CRMs correctly. They’re often more helpful for the companies selling them than the users unless you’re good at collecting and using information in your sales process.

How To Pick the Right CRM System For You

So why should you use a CRM system? You should have a big problem that no other tool can solve, and you need to understand that getting a CRM isn’t a quick fix. Even if you’re just one person, if you want to get the most out of a CRM, you’ll need to spend a lot of time organizing your data. Most people don’t want to do that, and if you do, there’s even more stuff the CRM might tell you that you need, like plans, email templates, and processes. It can be a bit overwhelming if you don’t have those things. So, it’s not that you shouldn’t get a CRM, but if you do, make sure you need it, and it’s not just because your boss said so.

One CRM example is Mailright, which focuses on using Facebook and Instagram for advertising. They provide a great WordPress website that won’t get stuck if you want to create content that lasts a long time or is easier for search engines to find. 

You won’t be stuck if you ever stop paying or want to change things later. If you’ve got a bit of a problem with that, Mailright’s got you covered. However, their primary focus is on using paid advertising, like Facebook and Instagram, to direct people to particular web pages and send them emails and text messages. They also have some extra services on their platform, but let’s call those extra things. But the relationships you make through paid advertising aren’t deep. They’re more like internet leads, which are a completely different thing. So, if you’re not planning to invest in a website and get it out there, you probably won’t be interested in their ads. Mailright isn’t the right system for you if that’s the case. You should look elsewhere.

Some people want you to use their tool, but Mailright’s CEO thinks differently. He would usually recommend a customized version of Salesforce. If he had to choose, he’d go deep with HubSpot, especially if he was running a WordPress website. HubSpot works well with WordPress, making managing that type of website easy. Since about 25% of websites are built with WordPress, HubSpot has plenty of users and room to grow.

Some systems cost about $20. Some systems are popular but not very good, especially for brokers. There are lots of agents using them. Pricing for these systems varies a lot.

So, when it comes to CRM systems, there are two perspectives: one for managers and leaders and one for agents. CRM can benefit managers, but it might not make much sense for agents. Using a CRM effectively requires handling a lot of data, which can be overwhelming. Many CRM systems generate a ton of data that isn’t very helpful, and it’s up to you to sort through it. That’s not something the person would do, and they’ve been in sales a long time. It’s just not effective anymore.

Marketers should be able to find people willing to have a conversation, not just sell something. So, how do you know if you need a CRM? If you’re a team leader, it depends on your team’s size and experience. Will they use the tool? Are they willing to learn? And most importantly, do you think the tool will make a real difference? Bad CRM implementation can ruin morale and productivity. For example, Keller Williams lost many agents because of their CRM system. It wasn’t ready, and they forced agents to use it anyway.

So, if you’re a team leader, be careful. Make sure your team is on board before introducing a CRM system. In the US, people tend to resist change, so it’s especially tricky here. Be cautious if you’re giving it to them for free, like with specific systems.

Right CRM Feature to Maximize Your Database

WordPress is still the best choice for a real estate agent. But do you own a website through them if you’ve paid for it? Technically, yes. They limit your ability to add plugins, but you do own it. And if you request it, they’ll give you your files and let you be with the website, which is ownership.

Most CRM systems, like their custom features, are just extra noise. But in today’s real estate market, you need to pay attention. Sending out automated emails without customizing them is like sending out white noise. In a good market, people might tolerate it, but not in a bad one. You’ll see your leads drop to zero. You need to customize, even if you’re using automation. Pay attention to the email and text message titles. Make sure they make sense.

Real estate agents have been taught they can ignore their marketing, but that’s wrong. Tuning out is starting to hurt, especially in this hot market. AI promises to automate everything, but it’s mostly just noise. If you take the time to personalize your messages, you’ll stand out. Customizing 80% through AI and touching 20% personally will be brilliant. But if you don’t, you’re just adding more noise.

IDX integration is excellent in functionality, and tracking customer interactions on your website is valuable. Google Analytics can be challenging to understand, so having a tool that tracks usage on your site is helpful. Knowing what people are looking at is crucial for getting them to contact you. And customizing your emails? That’s the first step.

Automated texting and email marketing can be helpful, especially if you’ve already built a relationship with a list of 645 people. These tools can save time and keep in touch with your contacts. Many people spend their time on social media, like Facebook groups. G

However, most email and text messages get deleted. They often lack valuable content. The only exceptions are messages from a few clients who share helpful insights. These are worth paying attention to, even if it’s just for a minute. Furthermore, personalized messages are important. Sending people valuable content is good as long as it’s not generic. If people don’t like your emails or texts, they can unsubscribe. 

Overall, CRMs are different. MailRight is good, as does Right Desk and Chime; it depends on what you want. You can customize these tools, like HubSpot, to fit your needs, such as tracking data using CRM tools like KVCore or Chime. These help manage your sales team and keep everything organized. Moreover, using someone else’s CRM can be risky, so building your own might be better for team leaders.