Have you ever gotten off the phone with a client and jotted down a quick note about your conversation or maybe something you need to follow up with, then a week later realize you’ve completely forgot about what you jotted down or lost the note completely? Do you have spreadsheet upon spreadsheet of contacts that you try to organize with important information, yet still feel your not reaching your clients to the best of your ability? Do you use 3, 4, or 5 programs to help you manage and run your email, online marketing, website, and social media outreach? If you said yes to any of the above take a second to read this blog and see how CRM is the answer to all of your problems and is essential to helping organize, manage, and build your business.
CRM is an acronym for Customer Relationship Management a system that stores and manages information about any and all contact made within your business. Whether you own a local dog grooming business or you’re a real estate investor like me, CRM is the key to your success.
We began using a CRM system to help our real estate investment business run more efficiently and effectively about a month ago. We were tired of keeping track of phone calls, contact information, marketing emails, and the constant “to-do’s”. The system we had in place simply wasn’t working, and with our business growing at a rapid rate we knew something had to change.
Although CRM offers a number of solutions which can be seen above, the two components of CRM that I like the most are the Marketing and Sales components. These two components are crucial to our businesses success and in my opinion are the easiest to neglect or misuse without an efficient system in place.
The sales feature helps manage your client relationships, build profiles and keep track of your relationship as it grows. Profiles are built for each of your contacts and can be organized into various groups to help you manage your relationships. For example, I have 3 main groups; buyers, sellers, and partnering investors. Their individual profiles have their contact information, states what they are interested in purchasing/selling, where they are interested in purchasing/selling, and amount of capital they have to work with. You can also keep track of how often you contact them, how you contacted them, and what was discussed. This helps you keep record of the mandatory “3 points of contact” from the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). It also helps you target your leads and track your opportunities.
The second feature I find most useful is Marketing. CRM does a great job of encompassing all of the components to an effective marketing campaign and automatically managing it without constant support. You can create automatic emails to be sent (drip campaigns) such as monthly newsletters, monthly inventory request emails, or squeeze page responses. For example, prior to using Zoho CRM we were using the website host, Weebly to manage our website. We had a squeeze page on there that helped us capture interested clients information. We would receive in email to our gmail business account then have to send an email campaign from a third party marketing website, MailChimp. If we did not stay on top of this process, any leads that were generated from our squeeze page would be lost. In addition, we would need to keep a record of our new contact on an excel spreadsheet (profile) stating how we contacted them, their contact information, and anything else we felt was relevant. That’s a lot of work for only one lead!
CRM helps bring all of the aspects into one automated motion. If someone fills in their contact information into our squeeze page (now generated by Zoho CRM that has been inserted onto our website) an automated email replies to them immediately after being filled out. In addition it automatically creates a profile for them that can be updated at any time if any pertinent information is communicated after.
The best part of our CRM system is that it’s created for real estate investors. I can set automated emails to the sellers after 30 days, and also receive reminders to send 2nd, 3rd, or 4th mail campaign letters or postcards to specific leads. In addition, I can store as much information on the person or the note/property as I need including; Current Market Value, After Repair Value, Estimated Repairs, Property Appraiser Link, Back Taxes or Liens, and any other information I would find useful. I can also auto calculate my offer price using a formula within the system, so once the UPB or CMV/ARV is entered it automatically gives me an “offer price” and keeps track of when I submitted an offer or last contacted the seller.
I can also organize my contacts into different fields and subgroups, making my marketing drip campaigns deliberate and effective. For example if I have a deal in California I can locate my “buyers” group and send an email to only the buyers that have indicated they like to purchase in California. I can target my efforts to only those who are interested. The marketing system also keeps track of who my most active clients are. It tracks how involved they are with our business via drip campaign adds, personal or email contact, and rates them to help you better target your interested clients.
In addition, many of these systems offer additional resources like finance integration with QuickBooks, calendar management, reminders for “to-do’s”, automated follow up tasks, and tracking tools to see how your mailing campaigns, lead conversions, and closure rates are doing per month or per campaign.
If your tired of trying to keep track of who you spoke to and when, how often you stay in contact with various clients, or who is interested in purchasing what and where, I highly suggest looking into different CRM programs. Start helping your business grow by using an effective system that capitalizes on your relationships. After comparing various CRM programs, we decided to go with ZohoCRM because it best suited our businesses needs and we were working with the company, Only For Investors, which created a back end to make the CRM completely user friendly for real estate investors. There are a number of other great resources that I suggest you explore before choosing your CRM system. Here are a few we explored before moving forward; InfusionSoft, SalesForce, HubSpot, Sage CRM, Green Rope. Most companies have a 30 day free trial that lets you explore their features and see what programs works best for you.