How to transform your client relationships with a CRM tool

In luxury real estate, customer relationships are everything — so it’s no surprise that many leading companies are implementing customer relationship management (CRM) systems. If you’re considering adding CRM to your mix, here are five things to know.

It’s not just a software, it’s a strategy

A CRM system lets you enter everything you know about your clients, serving as both a database and an automatic reminder. “It’s like having a personal assistant for a fraction of the cost,” says JR Suppa, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s a no-brainer.”

Having said that, a CRM solution is more than a handy tool; rather, it’s a complete transformation of your day-to-day operations. Maintaining one requires a shift in mindset: you’ll be in much more regular contact with your clients, and you’ll need to proactively manage your data. After all, your CRM system can’t read your mind. It’s only as good as the information that goes into it.

Make LIFO easier for everyone

CRM systems generally let you group your contacts into categories — for instance, your current clients, past clients, new leads, and sphere of influence — and select how often you want to connect with them. The CRM system will then send you notifications on your phone, email, and dashboard to ensure you’re not letting anyone slip through the cracks.

We’ve all heard of LIFO — last in, first out. “Most people know more than one real estate agent,” explains Suppa. “So when the time comes where they need a real estate professional, often they are going to choose the one they spoke to last or the one that comes to their mind first.” The right CRM solution can help ensure that professional is you.

No detail is too small

Along with your clients’ contact information, it’s a great idea to get granular with your CRM: add how you met them, the properties you’ve helped them purchase or sell, the holidays they celebrate and notes about their children and family members. This will allow you to fine-tune your messages so that you can stay top of mind without seeming like a robot.

“The luxury market is one where the time frames are typically longer, and consistent CRM touches adds to the likelihood of getting business,” says Randi Robinowitz, Associate Real Estate Broker with William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty. “I believe that we need to differentiate ourselves, and consistent, professional communication is key.”

Keep the data clean

It’s worth repeating: when you’re adding information to your CRM system, make sure it’s 100 percent accurate. It doesn’t matter if you’re recording the date of your most recent meeting, or whether your client prefers americanos or lattes: precision is key. When companies are dissatisfied with their CRM systems, it’s usually because the data uploaded was low-quality, leading to headaches down the line.

Learn from the best

When your company is choosing a CRM system, be sure to pick one where training is a part of the package. Some CRM providers offer complimentary courses to help you understand how to use the software.

Of course, you can also take initiative. “A serious CRM user should watch videos on different modules and then implement them,” suggests Robinowitz. “Especially helpful is to listen to webinars to get best ‘real world’ practices from successful agents. These adept individuals explain the benefits they derive from their specific implementation.”

The right CRM system can help you boost your leads, conversions, and referrals. But more than that, it provides today’s luxury real estate customer with the technologically-sophisticated — and meaningfully human — experience they’re looking for when purchasing their next home.


About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC

Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty® network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services. The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 22,000 affiliated independent sales associates located in over 960 offices in 72 countries and territories worldwide. In 2017, the brand achieved a record global sales volume of $ 108 billion USD. Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website. In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, each brokerage firm and its clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs. Each office is independently owned and operated.

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