We are all on the go.
I know I am, especially as a busy real estate agent. Often I don’t have time to sit down at a real computer (laptop or desktop). When a client calls and wants to see a house, I don’t just jump, but leap! In the Austin market, homes sell very quickly, and to be able to get the ones my clients want I have to act immediately. I need all my information immediately, and everywhere I go. And I don’t want to have to worry about it being outdated or backed up.
When I started as a Realtor, I really didn’t know how important it was keeping track of everything. Who is interested in which neighborhood? Who is flying in from California next weekend? Who needs to get a contract signed. No longer is it just my phone that is ringing. I get emails all day long, am constantly texting, and as you know I’m all over Facebook and Twitter.
How does one handle it all?
I rely on technology. Around the office, I’m known at one of the most techie guys around. Of course we have a full time computer specialist on staff, as well as a person handling all of the social media for our company. But we are all independent business people here. Even though we all work for a broker (or are a broker), we have to get and grow our own business.
It seems like everybody does something a little differently. And it seems like there isn’t a single solution either.
What is a CRM
Simply put CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It’s a way to organize and communicate with all your leads, buyers, sellers, investors, and even renters. It is a way to track their name, email, phone number, house address, and more – whatever you enter. I usually start with basic business card information, and add stuff as I go.
In the last century everybody would run around with these little file-o-faxes, or day planners. But now everything is digital.
Basically it’s my little black book, but all digital. I store everything about my clients there, birthdays, favorite wines, kids names, you get the idea.
Why do I need a CRM?
I need a CRM because I sometimes have a hard time keeping track of everything. I may be driving on my way to a listing appointment and thinking about that when my phone rings and it’s a different client about a different property.
If you are like me, when your phone rings the first thing you do is check your caller ID to see who is calling. If it is just a number sometimes I have a hard time associating the name with the number. One feature of the CRM is it associates the client’s name with their number so when they call I get that information right away.
Plus I need more. I need access to my calendar. I need directions. I need everything. Immediately. And I’m on a budget.
Some CRM for Real Estate
I didn’t have time to write real estate crm reviews for all these products, but I have tried a lot of them out
- REA Real Estate Assistant
A lot of these companies/programs have been around for a long time, and I’m sure they all have their benefits and drawbacks. All I know is when I started selling houses, I needed something FAST. I didn’t have a lot of money to invest, and I didn’t want to spend a lot of time learning a system that I wasn’t sure was going to work for me in the long run.
One thing I kept running into with these out of the box CRM solutions was that they either had a bunch of features I didn’t need, or they didn’t have the features I really wanted. I hated being forced to do things their way, instead of my way.
What is the best real estate CRM?
For me, the best CRM is platform independent I can use it on a Mac, PC, Tablet, or Phone. It does automatic backups, because I never remember to do that. It has a calendar, contacts, notes, document storage, and a to do list. It is easy to set-up, and has lots of documentation in case I run into a problem. Plus it’s low cost, or even free.
- Platform independent
- Automatic Backups
- Lots of features
- Easy to use
- Low cost
Google for Real Estate
Enter Google, and their suite of business apps.
They have lots of support on-line that teaches me how to use the different programs when I get stuck and need help.
Since the apps live in the cloud, I never need to worry about backing everything up.
The best part is it is free, and since it is Google I don’t have to worry about them going out of business.
There are lots of different features, too. The parts of Google that I use for managing my real estate business:
Over the next week I’ll be writing extensively how I use each of these features. Mostly I just have the regular set-ups for each of them, but the way I use them is a bit specific to real estate, and hopefully you will find that helpful.
Most likely you already have an account with Google, so the set-up is almost nil, and unless you have tons and tons of emails, the cost is free. I know you get 15 Giga-bytes of storage for free, and the next level is 100 GB, for only $4.95/month. That’s cheap!
Each of the different apps is linked to each other, too, so I can schedule a meeting right from my mail program, and then link it to the people who I’ll be meeting with on contacts. I can also share and collaborate with documents using Google Drive,
It’s really easy! I suggest you try it out!