Customer relationship management (CRM) has become vital in agents’ daily work and performance of their brokerages each year. According to Gartner research, CRM was recognized as the largest enterprise application software segment in 2018, as worldwide spending on this technology increased by 15.6% reaching $48.2B. The future of CRM technology also seems promising. The CRM software development market value is expected to double by 2027 to amount to $114.4B.
Even though there is a great deal of CRM tools available to real estate agencies right now, many of them need customization to meet the unique needs of realtors. Based on JatApp’s 6-year experience in custom real estate software development, we’ve prepared this article to shed some light on challenges that real estate CRM software solves, unique features you can add, and common pricing models.
What is CRM software in real estate?
In real estate, customer relationship management software, or simply CRM, refers to a tool that helps realtors in every aspect of their business processes, from lead management to marketing campaigns. CRMs for real estate not only assist brokers in communication with their clients but also allow them to automate a lot of manual tasks. As you may already see from the definition, CRMs can make agents’ work not only more efficient, but also much easier. Let’s discuss what common pain points real estate agents resolve with the help of CRM software.
Problems CRMs solve for real estate agents
Without CRMs, real estate agents would have faced a wide range of challenges each and every day. Some of the most common issues are poor understanding of client needs, overwhelming number of manual tasks, and inability to properly organize their data.
Poor understanding of customer needs
Real estate agents who don’t use CRMs in their practice often fail to keep important customer data, like call and purchase history, rejection reasons, property preferences, and such. The lack of relevant information makes it difficult to clearly understand what clients actually want and how to meet their demands. CRM solutions enable agents to create detailed customer profiles, so that they can find the most effective approach to each prospect or existing customers.
Some CRM tools not only serve as a place for storing important data, but also help to gather client feedback. Zillow Premier Agent, for instance, is a real estate CRM system that automatically requests client feedback on their experience with a realtor after 24 hours, 15 days, 45 days. Such an approach helps to check customers’ needs after first interaction with an agent, when the relationship has been already established, and after an extensive amount of time of their cooperation. Agents can later refer to this data to improve their customer servicing, make more personalized offers, and close more deals.
Zillow Premier Agent’s customer survey question
Many repetitive manual tasks
Real estate agents spend loads of time on manual tasks, like creating data entries, reviewing task statuses, sending emails, and such. The use of a CRM system helps realtors automate these operations, so that they can save their time and get more things done in a day.
As an example, GoCRM offers agents a tool to automate a wide range of manual processes, like call tracking and email campaigns. The solution relies on a cloud-based Voice over IP system to record data from phone calls and import it to a database for instant access. Automated emails are sent to leads to alert about new home listings that match their favorite properties or to provide more information about agents’ services. Brokers can also make email templates and set the optimal time when the message will be automatically delivered. Client name is included in the text message for a more personalized experience.
GoCRM communication automation
Data organization problems
Real estate agents need to store massive amounts of data about their clients. Without proper organization, it’s both challenging and time-consuming to search and access necessary information. CRM software is a viable option for segmenting and structuring different types of information in one place, which allows for easy data access.
For example, Cinc Pro allows agents to divide an email customer list into smaller groups or segments. Instead of sending an email about new real estate opportunities to each of their 200 leads, they can simply create a highly personalized message, select a list, and send it to a target group of customers.
CINC Pro email list segmentation
Many CRM tools offer to-do lists, calendars, and other solutions that help agents organize their business. As an example, Wise Agents’ day planner keeps realtors’ data in sync with Google Calendar and sends alerts for them to never miss an appointment. Apart from the basic features of online calendars, real estate agents can add files, such as schedules or questionnaires, to calendar events. On top of that, Wise Agent provides a team-friendly to-do list, so that agents can not only set a priority for each task and add the estimated time required for its completion, but also send text notifications to other team members.
Wise Agent day planner
Now that you know how CRMs make agents’ work life better, it’s time to talk about features that a real estate CRM system should have to stand out in the crowd.
Unique features to add to a CRM
Today, the real estate market is saturated with CRMs that offer basic functionalities, like data organization or automated email campaigns. To create value to your customer, you’ll need to incorporate unique features into your product. We’ve picked out three unique real estate CRM software features to help you set your business apart from competitors.
These days, leads want responses to their questions 24/7, so real estate businesses need to search for effective ways to ensure immediate customer assistance. With chatbots fueled by artificial intelligence (AI), clients have this support any time convenient for them. Meanwhile, agents can rest assured that, when they’re unavailable, prospects are still taken care of. It is also worth noting that chatbots can successfully address 80% of common questions. The technology knows when to pass the prospective client to an agent or the latter can take charge any time and view a full chat history.
CRM AI-powered chatbot from CINC
Not many CRMs to date offer the team inbox feature that allows users to cooperate as a team. This functionality enables brokers to communicate with each other right inside their CRM. Agents can assign tasks to other team members, @ mention their colleagues, and add notes. The team inbox feature helps agents to archive threads when they’ve responded to everyone and snooze low-priority conversations, so they don’t get overwhelmed with tons of messages and alerts. This functionality not only fosters collaboration, but also helps agents stay up-to-date on a deal, which eventually results in faster service to every lead.
Team inbox feature
Integration with third-party tools
Real estate agents use a great variety of technology systems in their work, like Gmail, Google Calendar, social media, and such. With that said, it’s a good idea to partner with top tech companies, so that real estate agents can access necessary tools within your CRM system. As an example, you can partner with Cloud CMA to allow your users to send a customer market analysis without the need to ever leave your CRM tool. A well-designed CRM should also include the integration menu page, so that brokers can easily view all integration options they have and sync with other tools in a matter of seconds.
Follow Up Boss integration with Google Sheets
Real estate CRM pricing models
Once you know how to build a more competitive product, you’ll probably start wondering what models you can use to set the right price for using your CRM. Nowadays, there are three common CRM pricing models: flat-rate, per-user, and freemium.
Flat-rate pricing model requires users to pay a fixed fee on a monthly or annual basis. Flat-rate pricing will make it easier for you to predict your revenues. This approach, however, is mainly suitable for CRMs that have basic features only. If you want to add more custom options under this pricing model, you’ll need to consider offering multiple subscription packages. Otherwise, agents who don’t use custom functionalities would simply refuse to pay the full price.
A well-known CRM company, HubSpot, utilizes a flat-rate approach. Instead of charging per user, the provider has a predetermined monthly commision with the maximum and minimum number of required users for different plans of subscription.
HubSpot flat-rate pricing model
Per-user pricing model presupposes setting a price based on the number of real estate agents using the system. This model will help you to offer more flexibility to your clients, so they can define how many users they need to start with and then add more agents as needed. Similar to the flat-rate model, for this type of pricing it’s better to incorporate different subscription options, offering agents additional functionality for higher price. Otherwise, some users might not need access to all features and thus may consider such CRM highly overpriced.
On-point example here is Zoho CRM. The real estate business has per-user pricing with four subscription options. The price of each subscription package varies depending on the features needed by the real estate agencies.
Zoho per-user pricing model
Some real estate companies offer free-to-use CRMs with paid subscription options. A free-forever plan allows clients to try your software first before spending any money on additional features. With no regrets, they can stop using the CRM if it doesn’t meet their business needs. The freemium model is also appealing to many customers, because they can easily upgrade their packages as their real estate business scales and agents need more additional features.
Freshsales makes a good example of a company that offers a freemium pricing model. The CRM tool has free-to-use communication features, like email, chat, and phone calls, as well as robust contact management functionality. In case agencies need more features or want to add more users, they can always opt for a higher subscription tier.
Freshsales freemium pricing model
CRMs are now widely used by real estate agents to streamline their performance and build a rapport with their clients. With CRM systems, agents no longer struggle to structure their data, get buried under thousands of emails, or waste precious minutes to find necessary information. Today, high-quality CRMs offer unique solutions to agent’s problems, successfully competing in a dynamic marketplace.
To build a profitable custom real estate CRM, you’ll need to partner with a competent software development company. JatApp has completed more than 200 software projects and can boast of 99% of satisfied customers from all around the world.
Our company can cut your costs down by using cloud infrastructure, ensure agility by enabling CRM features upgrades, and offer scalable microservice architecture for faster product development. Having adopted the DevOps methodology, we ensure increased team productivity and frequent release of feature-rich products with no development hiccups. Our software engineers can also assist you in building tailored mobile and web CRM apps that meet high security standards and integrate third-party tools.
Want to know more about us? Don’t hesitate to contact us.