In a previous article, The Importance of CRM for Real Estate Investing, we discussed the importance of tracking and following up on all your leads with a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. We mentioned that people use CRM systems ranging from an expensive off-the-shelf system for large corporations, to a simple spreadsheet for people just starting on their own.
There’s a big reason large corporations use very robust (and expensive) CRM programs. They have a lot of leads to track. Spreadsheets may work when you are first starting out. And spreadsheets are free. But they are probably not the best solution long term.
As your real estate investing business grows, you will probably find that the spreadsheet system costs you in other ways – especially time. Spreadsheets are very manual. You have to enter in everything yourself. Even if you have a virtual assistant, you have to pay them to enter everything in manually. And in many cases you have to provide them with the information. Then you have to review the spreadsheet on a regular basis to make sure you are not missing any contacts or meetings. All of this takes time or money (if you pay someone to do it).
Having lots of leads is a good problem to have. When your business reaches the level where leads are starting to consistently come in, it’s time to think about upgrading your CRM. Don’t wait until you have lots of leads because then you’re playing catch up. Be proactive and put that CRM in place before you need it. If you delay, leads will likely fall through the cracks before you are up and running with a solid system.
Take some time to think about what you want in a CRM system for your business. Here are some benefits of a CRM system that can help prevent leads from slipping away, while freeing up your time to do more deals:
- Calendar Sync – CRM systems keep track of your appointments and follow-up requirements. Think of them more as a proactive calendar that sets a schedule for you.
- Lead Capture – Rather than transcribing manually all the information from a lead contact into a spreadsheet, CRM programs can automate the data entry and organization of your leads. Then you can use your CRM program to help you with your direct mail and other advertising campaigns.
- Contacts Tracking – You can tell how often you have been in contact with a lead and what you discussed with each contact. That way you won’t repeat yourself or confuse one lead with another.
Can you imagine how helpful all this information would be in your efforts to market to and follow up with your leads? Automating all of these processes also saves you time or money. These programs can replace employees or incorporate virtual assistants when done right – which are a fraction of the cost of most employees. That’s why it’s a no-brainer to utilize a good CRM program as soon as your business gains some traction.