2015 CRM Solutions: Shopping Tips

Keep these things in mind as you try different products.

August 25, 2015

Start with what you have: Look for an easy upgrade path from whatever CRM you’re using now. You’ll save considerable time because you’ll be able to import as many of your current records as possible to the upgraded system.

Look for productive gains: CRMs offer an ambitious mix of features and functions, but the ones that matter most are the ones you will actually use. Prioritize the essential features: those that improve organization, use of time, communications with clients, and marketing for your listings and services.

CRM or a suite of services: If you already rely on particular services for marketing and management, you may only need a core CRM solution compatible with those systems. If you’re looking for a total management solution, CRM is just one of many components to consider in a suite of services.

Trial run: Take advantage of vendors’ offers to test the service before subscribing. Explore the full range of features: user interface, database, calendar and scheduling, report functions, marketing capabilities, integration, customization, and mobile access. Test customer support, too. Any product is only as good and reliable as the company behind it.

A long-term commitment: CRM is a system for nurturing and maintaining the relationships critical to success in real estate. You’re entrusting the future of your career to that system. Don’t skimp on price or features. Take the time to find a system that will help you grow your business and adapt to your changing needs.

Beware of free solutions: Carefully evaluate any “free” CRM system provided by a team leader or broker. You want to ask these key questions: Who owns the data you enter into that system? Can you take your records with you if you leave your company?