Updated: Nov 16, 2020
All estate and letting agencies understand that clients and customers make-or-break their business. But between the limited time and resources at their disposal, too many are allowing extremely valuable relationships to slip through the cracks.
This is why CRM is so important – especially today, where resources are stretched, time is limited and competition for new clients is increasingly tough.
According to Nucleus Research’s meta-analysis, the average ROI for CRM systems is roughly £7 for every £1 spent. And in this article, we’re going to explore three ways CRM systems generate this value.
But first, we need to understand exactly what CRM actually is.
What is CRM?
Put simply, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a software-driven method of tracking, analysing and optimising a business’s interactions with its customers.
The goal, fundamentally, is to manage your relationships so that customers feel personally cared for - minimising pain points and maximising the impact of communications to ultimately increase retention and drive sales growth.
A CRM system is the means through which CRM is done: it compiles data about customers from various interactions– emails, social media, websites, phone calls – and turns that data into valuable insights which can be used to understand your customers and optimise your communications with them.
While the concept of CRM has been around since the 1970s, it’s only been in the last decade or so that CRM software has begun to realise its potential – and today, over 90% of companies with over 10 employees have used some form of CRM.
Three ways CRM systems generate value
1. Keeping existing customers happy
CRM helps agencies focus on an often-neglected area of value: customer retention.
Businesses of all kinds – and this very much includes estate and letting agents – tend to focus heavily on generating leads and winning new clients at the expense of caring for their existing customers. But on average, it costs five times as much to reach new customers as it does to retain your existing ones.
The result of this neglect is 68% of customers decide to leave a business due to perceived indifference towards them – which might, ironically, explain why so many businesses are desperate to snap up new customers at any cost.
By sending relevant messages to customers, responding to their queries quickly and making them feel genuinely important, agencies can ensure that they make the most of their most valuable assets – their existing customers.
Finding such under-attended avenues of growth and value generation is key to making it through this challenging economic moment, and CRM systems are a vital tool for doing so.
2. Managing and prioritising leads
No matter how much manual effort is put into generating and nurturing leads, few agencies are able to successfully convert the majority of their potential customers, meaning growth is never quite as high as it could be.
Part of the reason for this is leads are difficult to gauge and prioritise in a traditional agency setting: you can’t keep up with exactly where different individuals are in the funnel, or figure out a means for properly targeting, persuading and ultimately converting them.
This is where CRM comes in, because it allows agents to easily track and understand the nuances of a specific customer journey – from how quickly they open emails to how long it’s been since their last contact.
Such insight makes it easier to allocate resources and make more of your existing leads – ultimately driving far higher conversions with far less manual effort and embarrassing error.
3. Saving agents’ time
The best CRM systems are not just effective – they’re also easy to use, allowing users to save time which might otherwise be used manually attempting to work on existing relationships. And in recent years, CRM systems have become increasingly automated, which makes them even more user-friendly, time-saving, and effective at timing messages.
Mobile-based platforms – which can be operated from your phone, wherever you are in the world – make managing and optimising sales and customer retention as easy as a few clicks of a button, which is particularly valuable today as many agencies are forced to decrease staff and look for more agile ways to make their efforts count.
Conclusion | Choosing the right CRM system
Clearly, CRM can provide exceptional value and the means of improving growth. But that doesn’t mean any old CRM system will do.
The truth is, over a third of CRM projects fail, and in large part that is because the systems businesses use are not designed specifically for their needs.
With Active Agent, we wanted to create something which would provide the specific services estate and lettings agencies need.
Our automated CRM system was initially built to use ourselves – to tackle the specific customer relationship challenges that we, as estate agents, faced, without any of the unnecessary complications and baggage that ‘one-size-fits-all’ platforms bring with them.
If you’d like to see what that looked like, click here to book your free demo today.