CRM! CRM! CRM? C-R-M !!!
Customer Relationship Management.
You are told from day one by everyone who is in Real Estate. CRM is heard through every conference, every talk, every video. CRM this and CRM that. CRM. CRM. CRM.
It is the tool that allows you to keep track of the sometimes hundreds if not thousands of leads, clients, and deals you will be hoarding through your entire real estate career. Think of it as a database of all you have worked for and towards. It will be the dictionary for you to reference at any stage, beginning to end and beyond.
But unless your brokerage has spent millions of dollars creating one or spent months on end customizing one for their agents, what do you do?
You can use the basic of basics for a CRM, even the notepad on your PC. There are also some really great free tools on the internet that can keep your list neat and tidy. This week I will go over a few ideas from a simple spreadsheet to a full on free CRM that can make your head spin.
You might have Microsoft Excel installed on any of your devices. Some come with a free copy while others may have a year trial. I still know a few people who pay for Office too. If you have a Gmail account you have access to Google Sheets which is pretty much the same thing as Excel.
You can put any information you need onto a spreadsheet. The sheet is your oyster. Do with it what you will, the information you put onto that spreadsheet can be invaluable. Names, email addresses, phone numbers, pet names, past sales, favorite ice cream flavor, you name it just type it in.
Beyond the Spreadsheet
There are some great online services that offer free accounts. Most of them have great apps that can be downloaded to a smartphone giving you your information at your fingertips while on the go. The few I mention here also have free subscriptions that can give you what you need without some of the bells and whistles. The subscription plans do give you a lot more options if needed, but the free plans are enough to get going.
Trello – www.trello.com
Trello lets you create “cards” for each of your contacts, clients, and deals. It also lets you create sections or categories that you can click and drag the cards through. One might be Leads and another might be Contacts, while you can also have a Deal category to know what clients are in active deals. Each card you can write whatever information you need into. The interface is clean and friendly.
Asana – www.asana.com
Asana is a small step up from Trello. It uses the same theory as Trello with a bit more options like creating and scheduling tasks. Instead of cards, Asana calls them Projects. These projects can hold the information you need on leads, clients, and deals. You can move them to and from statuses by clicking and dragging them where you need to keep them updated. You can also set tasks for yourself and schedule when they need to be done. From planning a phone call, meeting with a client at a showing, having that P&S done by a certain day, it can all be put into a task and scheduled. The interface is a bit more busy, but that’s due to the many options it can provide.
Full on CRM
These are free full customizable CRM solutions. They can take some time to get set up to the way you would need them to work, but in the long run are great once set. They have email integration to keep track of emails that have gone in and out to the person right on the contact cards, can have a calling solution, have many stages for leads and deals, document storage, automation, and so much more that this post would be VERY long. The best thing about these full CRM solutions is the reporting that can be generated. Know exactly where you are and what your projection will be.
Hubspot CRM – www.hubspot.com/products/crm
Hubspot can do a lot, and probably more. Contacts, leads, deals, scheduling, tasking, chat, and more.
Bitrix24 – www.bitrix24.com
Bitrix24 is a fairly young player in the free CRM world. Tons of options and customizations, marketing tools, Inbound and outbound telephone calling (rental of phone number needed), automation for leads, deals, and tasks, the list goes on for days.
Both solutions have great Youtube channels to view all the options and features. They even have help videos to get you started in any feature you need. Remember, these full CRM solutions will take some time to get set up initially. No matter which solution you choose there are great videos on Youtube to help you get started.