Trevor Bragg·Database·02 January 2020

Start cranking up your CRM for 2020 and beyond

Want to get your more out of your CRM in 2020 and beyond?

If so, the question is - where do we start?

Do you blow the dust off the existing CRM and get the team and yourself re-trained? 

Or, do you start from scratch with a new and easier to use software solution?

Either way, it’s important to concentrate on a few key areas to make sure you and your team are getting the most out of your CRM in 2020 and well into this new decade.

Recently I’ve noticed that many real estate CRM’s are a mishmash of contacts and groups that have been burgeoning since the day of “go live”. These CRM’s overtime have become congested and unusable. Little forethought was given at the beginning into how the office would keep the database clean and tidy.

So, before embarking on your “new 2020 CRM”, I have outlined below the initial key areas to start focussing on. In future posts, I will explore more in-depth strategies but it’s essential to get the basics right. 

Correct CRM Setup

It’s vital you set up your CRM correctly and make it specific to your business. Every real estate office is different and there is no rule of thumb that applies for all. The main parts of the setup to consider are;

Number of Users - who needs access to the CRM?

If you want your team to use the CRM, you need to give them proper access. Don't be too thrifty with your subscription. Make sure everyone who is expected to be using the CRM has their own user login. 

For Administration Roles - sharing of logins is possible but even then issues arise over access and assigning of tasks. 

For Selling Real Estate Agents - they need to have their own user access. This is important for reporting of appraisals, sales, contracts and commissions. Also in many states, the legislation requires that client conversations need to be recorded by way of a file note.

For Property Management - Leasing or Business Development Managers also require their own access for logging of communications, booking appointments and tracking of activity.

User Permissions - who can access what in the CRM?

Once we have identified who the users are, we need to then determine what areas of the CRM they have access to.

  • Can they manage groups? 
  • Can they access the Sales Trust or Commissions? 
  • Can they delete contacts? 
  • Can they portal push? 
  • Can they download data? 
  • Do we share contacts ie; have an open database or do we only see our own contacts?

These are questions only you and your team can answer. The best way to determine the answers is to have an open and honest conversation with your team and be fully transparent on what is expected of everyone in how we use the “office” CRM.  For more on this, see CRM Rules below. 

Start Clean or Import Existing Data?

Do we want all our data imported from our old system or do we want to start afresh with a nice clean database? Retaining historic data is worthwhile ONLY if this data has been kept clean in the previous system. 

If you have current and past client data (names, emails, addresses and mobile phone numbers), this is definitely worthwhile bringing into the new CRM. It’s important to remain in contact with past and current clients to build on that relationship. 

Aside from this, any other data that might have been kept BUT not nurtured, might as well be left out of the new CRM. Alternatively, you could employ a campaign to re-engage with old contact data to see if those people would be interested in hearing from you. Positive responders could then be added to the new CRM. 

Many agencies bite the bullet and decide that a clean database is the way forward for the future! Starting with “a clean slate” gives many agents peace of mind knowing they can build their database properly this time around! 

Group Management - what groups should we set up and who can control the groups?

One of the major problems that exist in many real estate CRM’s is that there are too many contact groups. If you can imagine an office with 5 sales agents and a scenario where every agent in the office wants to have their own groups. Let’s say they all want their own groups for Past Clients, Prospective Sellers and Current Buyers. This now expands the CRM groups by 15. This is additional to the original 3 office groups. 

Also, if contacts are not being added to the MAIN office groups - then they can potentially miss out on communications that are being sent by the office. There needs to be a collaborative approach when looking at groups for the office CRM. 

Rule #1 - No Personal Groups - Office Groups Only 

The Solution. Your CRM should allow agents to search, filter and sort contacts from the main groups so they can access the information quickly and easily. If an agent needs to send a targetted Email, SMS or Letter campaign, your CRM should be able to run the filter to then deliver the data for the send. There’s no need to continually store individual groups in the office CRM. This ever-expanding group creation just adds confusion and duplication to the CRM.

Office CRM Rulebook

One idea is to have rules around the use of the Office CRM. What I’ve noticed are offices that have open, transparent rules and policies around the CRM work the best. When there is doubt, secrecy and suspicion, the CRM becomes unworkable with duplication and missing data. 

Some of the rules you and your team will need to decide on include; 

  • Do we share contacts? 
  • How do we check for duplicates?
  • Who owns a contact? 
  • How long does a contact remain with an agent without contact?
  • What groups do we need as a team?
  • What direct Email, SMS or Letter campaigns will be sent by the office on behalf of agents? 
  • What automations will apply for the team for various scenarios?
  • What happens to the contact ownership if follow up tasks are not completed?
  • Do we enter all appraisals into the database?
  • What’s our policy on the deletion of notes in the CRM?
  • What’s our policy on creation of new groups or automations agents might like to add?
  • What’s our policy on who can download data?
  • What minimum level of data is required to be entered for Management Reporting? Calls, meetings, appointments etc.
  • What legislative requirements do we have to meet for record-keeping within the CRM?

The list above is just a start and can be expanded. 

If you are considering implementing a new CRM for the office and would like more information on how to get started or what to consider, please call our office on +61 3 9016 0444 or visit us at 

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