Efficiency, speed, agility and flexibility are important in every sector as we usher in industry 4.0 where relentless transformation is the only constant. In a highly competitive sector like real estate, these four aspects are even more critical, especially with respect to their sales and marketing functions, and they determine whether a real estate agency will stay ahead of its competitors or lose its edge. And how real estate agencies go about their customer relationship management (CRM) determines the efficacy, speed, agility and flexibility of their sales and marketing functions.
Major Customer Relationship Management Challenges in The Real Estate Sector
Real estate agents often have to handle multiple clients and multiple listings at once. They need to understand the needs, contexts and preferences of each of these clients and clearly distinguish between them to effectively negotiate and close deals. Traditionally, real estate agencies would maintain paper files (and as technology progressed on Excel sheets) that contained the details on individual clients. It was not uncommon for real estate agents to scour through filing cabinets to find details about a client, lug around briefcases, rely on post-it notes and diary/ organizer notes for reminders and so on.
The biggest challenge faced by real estate agents and agencies in using these traditional and rather outmoded tools and processes is effective lead and customer relationship management. Since information is scattered and recorded in disparate places, there is no end-to-end visibility and agents cannot see the information in a cohesive manner through a centralized database, not without endless hours of manual drudgery. So, the time taken for the back and forth is amplified, especially when client requirements are complex.
It is difficult to accurately and speedily know which properties are present and which are on hold when data is scattered and not in a centralized database. The agent had to spend time and effort going to through the vast inventory before she/ he can share information in a consistent format with the customer.
It is challenging to track leads, work processes and inquiry status. This adds a kind of rigidity to the process where agents are able to pivot seamlessly when there is a sudden change in circumstances or client needs or when things are not working out well and clients start showing signs of dropping off.
In today’s day and age customers want to get in touch through different communication channels including social media, unlike yesteryears. Today’s multiple channel communications with the clients at different levels by different people adds further complexity to CRM, marketing and sales. And there is a further chance of data getting scattered and siloed.
A major part of a real estate agent’s role is to develop and maintain strong relationships with buyers, sellers and brokers, especially high-value clients. Even when a transaction is over or if it falls through, the relationship needs to be maintained to improve chances of future collaborations and referrals. When real estate agents use outmoded technology and/ or manual processes, they may not be able to be in touch with such clients regularly and proactively.
One of the other challenges faced while using traditional and outmoded tools and processes in real estate is that it is difficult to know where the agent is, both from the agency and customer points of view. The other challenges faced in using traditional processes and tools are missed meetings, slow response times, forgotten forms, manual drudgery and operational inefficiencies.
Given the competitive nature of the industry, these challenges cause real estate agencies using traditional and outmoded/ no CRM to not just lose time but miss opportunities as a result of the incoherent processes and scattered information.
How is Salesforce CRM Revolutionizing Real Estate?
Salesforce CRM is one of the most effective and comprehensive tools that integrates sales and marketing data (including client history, referrals, leads from different sources, etc.) from multiple, siloed sources and channels of communication in a centralized database with minimal duplication and manual processes. Intelligent tools like Manras Real Estate CRM also enable SMS and WhatsApp to be integrated to expedite communication and ensure that no information/ insights are lost.
Time is money in real estate and Salesforce Real Estate CRM, equipped with cloud functionalities and intelligent automation, empowers agencies to minimize response time to leads and clients. Agents can access information from anywhere, anytime from the centralized database. Using features such as property inventory offered by solutions like Manras Real Estate CRM, agents can do a map search and parameter search of all properties and send instantaneous PDF copies of available properties to customers.
With the help of intelligent automation in Salesforce CRM, agencies can ensure that no communication or query is missed. Even when the agent is unable to respond to a query, a custom automated message can be sent to the lead/ client that the query has been received and that the agent will get back as soon as possible. With intelligent automation, all reminders, feedback collection, referral programs, personalized messages to previous clients, etc. can be automated and the demand on the agents’ time and attention can be reduced. Live tracking of agents and knowing exactly where they are is made possible through GPS tracking
In the real estate industry, there are fewer but larger steps involved in the sales process, unlike some industries which have several smaller transactions. So, the process of warming leads up, converting them into clients and closing a transaction requires meaningful and sizeable time investment. If the transaction falls through at the last moment, the agent will suffer significant losses. With the help of CRM analytics, real estate agents can effectively sense when things are not going well, understand why clients maybe dropping off and decide if they should continue to invest time into the deal.
In summary, Salesforce CRM is revolutionizing the real estate sector in the following ways:
- Faster Response Times
- Integration of data from multiple channels and disparate sources.
- Breaking of information silos that slow down and erode the CRM processes.
- Effective lead management and tracking
- High portability quotient for agents who are always on the go as full functionality is available on the go, across devices.
- Enhance internal functioning
- Reduction of time and resource wastage
The most successful real estate agents and agencies have already leveraged Salesforce Real Estate CRM for greater efficiency, agility, speed and flexibility, and are gaining strategic and competitive advantages. Products such as Manras Real Estate CRM, a software built on Salesforce that caters to the unique needs and complex challenges of real estate agencies, makes project management, opportunity management, property transaction and account transaction management intelligent, frictionless, efficient and agile. This product is equipped with a unified dashboard to give you a holistic picture of opportunities, sales reports, project and transaction details and payments, as well as, a customer 360 feature that gives you access to customer details and opportunities. Manras Real Estate CRM enables 3X enhanced lead conversion rates and accelerates sales, revenues and referrals.