Over the past few months we have seen an upward trend in the real estate market as residential and commercial properties have begun to move. The increase in sales has prompted many agencies to begin investing in customer relationship management (CRM) systems or tools. Two of the most popular CRM systems are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. The common goal of CRM systems is to help realtors drive more sales by staying organized and staying relevant with their contacts. In order to accomplish this the realtor inputs their contacts’ information into the system and then tracks correspondence and engagement over time. These systems are great until it is time for a relator to move to a new agency and the realtor realizes they do not own, or do not have access to, their data.
A real estate agent’s well-being is determined by how many sales they are able to close each year. Like other sales people in today’s world the use of contact management, correspondence management and relationship management applications is becoming a necessity in the real estate industry. Despite all of the money being invested in online advertising and marketing the majority of real estate sales are still based on human to human interaction. Because the human to human interaction is still the key to driving sales the correspondence and contact data that a realtor is building over time has tremendous value.
Every real estate agent deals with the same challenges of managing referral sources, prospects and existing clients as they develop their business. From a data standpoint the key information is the current contact information of the individual, the correspondence history with the person, and the dates for reminders of when the agent needs to visit with the person. Tracking this data requires a person to take a long term perspective on these relationships. A client may purchase a home and not need the services of the agent for more than ten years. For an agent this is a prospect, but if the agent moves between agencies during the ten years and does not have complete control of their data then the prospect will most likely be lost. Every agent should take control of their data and protect themselves from possible data loss over the course of their career.
For realtors, or sales people in any industry, the protection from data loss can be accomplished by learning how to use basic Microsoft Office tools such as Outlook and OneNote. Setting up the proper Office 365 account and knowing how to use the applications can ensure a realtor is always in possession of their most valuable data no matter where their license is hung. The data can be captured and built over a career to ensure prospects, clients and referral sources are properly managed.