By Maddie Jostol, Marketing Manager
As seen in Mile 62 eMagazine.
Agents rely on their brokerage for coaching and guidance. Your brokerage tools and resources directly contribute to their success and are what make them feel like their career is supported. As you and your managers coach agents on the importance of a CRM and how they should best utilize such a system, guidance has to be specific. The first step to using any CRM is to get your database of contacts cleaned up and uploaded. So, how many contacts should they have in there?
Simply put, the bigger your sphere of influence, the more people within your sphere who will be buying or selling a home. Growing their sphere of influence is vital for growing a sustainable business. For agents, growing a real estate career means growing your sphere of influence. It’s all about making connections and being known in your area as the trusted, go-to person for real estate. Leads are getting scarce as the competitive market continues to heat up. Agents need a sustainable book of business filled with opportunities for repeat and referral business. So, when it comes to contacts in your CRM, how many is enough?
Historically an agents’ database was a list of contacts kept in their phone. Those days are long gone. While this is a fantastic start, an agent’s book of business requires and deserves more care than that. Those contacts should be synced with a system that enables the agent to truly engage with those people as well as organize and grow their business.
Having contacts organized and loaded into a CRM enables agents to truly nurture those contacts. They can automate touchpoints to stay top of mind, segment their database as necessary, and keep track of conversations they’ve had and the history of their relationship with each person.
So, what’s the magic number? We recommend agents have a bare minimum of 100 contacts in their CRM. Once you hit 100, your sphere likely extends past close friends and family to include contacts you can market to and generate leads from. It’s a large enough pool to ensure growth, with people who are not only part of your closest spheres, but have their own groups of friends and acquaintances to refer you to. You sphere is constantly expanding – as people in your sphere communicate with their own sphere, your reach increases.
We recently looked at user data for our Moxi Engage CRM – focusing on users with at least 100 contacts, three or more sales flow conversions, and three or more contacts in an automated marketing programs. We found that these users typically close 31% more sides than users who aren’t leveraging the system in such a way.
At the heart of the sphere-selling methodology is relationships. Each person in an agent’s database represents a relationship that will contribute to their success. Referrals are the highest quality leads you can get other than repeat business. A strong sphere is the number one way to generate referral leads, as long as that database is well taken care of.
By Tiana Baur, Content Marketing Manager
#1 way to reap CRM benefits: Move people through your CRM sales flow!
The number one thing you can do with your CRM is to do what it was meant for: Convert, convert, convert, by moving people through that sales flow. It sounds like a no-brainer, but there are tons of agents out there that don’t even use a CRM.
Your sphere is everything. Not those cold leads you got from Zillow, not those contacts where you don’t even know how they got into your phone. Your repeats, your referrals, those that will all list with you at some point in the next ten years. Moving these gems through the sales flow is a sure bet to getting the job done and that contract signed.
If you don’t believe us, we’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. Those that actually did this, did 42% more business in 2017 – at least with our CRM, Moxi Engage.
#2 way to reap CRM benefits: Automation isn’t the enemy.
We’ve been hearing and reading some things that say auto-marketing isn’t the way to go. While the sentiment makes sense that auto-marketing is not enough by itself (and that’s true), it is still a vital touchpoint and there’s really no excuse to not take advantage of it. I mean, it’s automatic!
By no means are we suggesting “set and forget” auto-marketing is the only marketing you should be doing, but since you only have to sign everyone up one time and it can be extremely effective, it would be ridiculous not to take advantage of this kind of marketing.
Take Neighborhood News for example. This tool lets you send market snapshots to your sphere automagically AND it’s hyperlocal info, for whatever zip code you sign them up with (they can change the zip code themselves if they wish to). Utilize it, embrace it, love it.
#3 way to reap CRM benefits: Take lot of notes.
A contact database with no context is relatively useless. Even if it’s your own database, even if you have a great memory. Chances are, there are contacts in there like we mentioned above, and you have no idea whatsoever who they are. So, when you’re adding new people or learn new info or just have a spare minute waiting at the doctor’s office, update those notes! You might have a great memory, but we guarantee you won’t remember all of their birthdays or their favorite hobbies or drinks right off the top of your head. No one can remember everything. If you want to hear from a pro why this note taking is so important, look no further.
Psst – you’ll also notice if you click that link that a strong database is a priceless ticket to retirement. And by priceless, we mean it could actually be very lucrative if you’ve curated it diligently and thoughtfully, so the next owner of your book of business can use it properly.
So please, do yourselves a mega ultra-favor and take care of that CRM! Use it the way it was meant to be used, like the third arm you never had.
By Maddie Jostol
First of all… yes, you need a CRM. If you haven’t onboarded a standard agent CRM for your brokerage, then 2018 is the year to do so. A CRM (customer relationship management system) is where all of your agents keep and nurture their contacts, market to their sphere, manage their sales flow, track their goals, and much more. The CRM glues everything together.
What impact could a CRM have on your business? Here are a few quick facts:
- ” 74% of businesses using a CRM report improved customer relationships (Annuitas Group).
- ” Conversion rates can improve by 300% with a CRM in place (Cloudswave).
- ” Lead cost is reduced by 23% with a CRM in place (Cloudswave).
Vetting technologies can be challenging and complicated, especially a system as robust as a CRM. So, what should you be looking for in a CRM for your agents? Below are our recommendations for what you should consider when it comes to a CRM for your brokerage.
Your CRM should ‘understand’ the real estate business.
In general, CRMs should be intuitive. The system’s sales flow, prompts, and coaching should align with your business process. The home sales process is a unique one compared to other businesses. When considering an agent CRM, make sure the system makes sense for this sales process, taking into consideration sphere marketing, a long sales cycle, GCI goals, the transaction process, etc.
It must support your sphere-selling efforts.
The sphere-selling methodology is the way of the future. When agents strategically leverage their spheres of influence, their businesses grow in a sustainable way. In a competitive landscape, where all markets are thirsty for leads, an agent’s sphere is their power.
If you’ve invested in training and coaching to encourage your agents to leverage sphere-selling, they should be using a CRM that supports those efforts. What’s this look like? It means having your CRM integrated with your other contact databases, relevant segmentation options, and aggregated public data to keep up with the people in your sphere.
Integration will power your business.
Integration powers your business. In a sea of ad hoc tools, we’re all left attempting to remember passwords and experiencing tool fatigue. Select technology solutions for your brokerage that integrate with each other. This means that an agent can use all of their tools with a single sign-on and a cohesive flow.
Take lead generation, for example. When leads are generated – whether they’re from the agent’s website, or purchased from a lead provider, they should immediately appear in the agent’s CRM, and the agent should be prompted to follow up. This is bare minimum for a CRM. When it comes to sales enablement, guiding an agent through the necessary tasks from lead generation all the way through closing is key.
Integration goes far beyond lead generation. With Moxi Engage CRM, for example, an agents’ leads flow straight into their CRM, but they can also purchase client gifts, advertise on Facebook, execute print marketing campaigns, manage transactions, and much more, directly from their Engage account.
It must have live MLS data.
When it comes to a CRM in real estate, MLS integration is a must-have. When agents win listings, those listings automatically with their CRM, enabling them to truly manage the transaction from start to finish. It means agents never have to manually enter property data, saving time, and negating errors.
It should improve agent productivity.
When we talk about CRMs, we often talk about “tasks” and “actions” which, for some, can feel like the system is adding work. That’s just not true. The tasks that your CRM prompts should be actions that agents are already taking (and if they aren’t, then it’s even more reason to get a system in place). What the CRM does is streamline these tasks and remind the agent, so they don’t miss a beat.
Logging into your CRM and seeing everything you need to accomplish that day will change an agent’s workflow for the better. They always know what they need to do in order to reach their goals. They’ll be able to see who in their sphere they should reach out to, and be reminded to follow up with that one lead they talked to last week. They’ll be able to look back and see when they last spoke with so-and-so, and be reminded to send Mr. and Mrs. Smith a gift for their house-versary.
This increase in productivity all comes back to your business. Agents are not only able to accomplish more, closing more deals, but they also find better work/life balance, improving retention at your brokerage. Improved productivity adds up to revenue, having a nice effect on your business’ bottom line.
It’s a component of your open platform.
Your agent CRM is a (vital) piece of a larger puzzle. Your brokerage platform is the ecosystem where all of your technology tools and services live, integrate, and share data. Powering that is the CRM, hosting agent databases, consumer data, property data, and driving business results.
To learn more about the Moxi Engage CRM and the Moxi Cloud open platform, reach out to us to talk to a member of our team.