5 essentials when evaluating CRE CRM
What if you could easily search information from every single notebook, email, conversation, contract, and activity of every deal you've done? Would this help you acquire, retain or close current and future deals? What if every single task that you needed to accomplish during each day was in a checklist accessible from your computer or mobile device? Would that help you manage more deals, keep your clients happy and make your life easier?
This is exactly what a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is designed to do. Having personally spent time with 100s of CRE professionals and seeing how their information existed in notebooks and emails correspondences, I am always amazed at how much easier business becomes with a little organization.
Recently, I received a call from a broker who said "thanks, I am finally able to sleep at night!". When I asked why, he explained that he knew exactly where his checklist of to-dos activities stood on every deal, what deals needed attention and what his team needed to get done without having to spend his valuable time trying to pry it out of their mouths.
So how do you pick a CRM that is right for your business? There are literally 100s of CRMs in the market. Most are very slick and configurable and some are designed for certain industries. Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the right CRM for your commercial real estate business...
Make sure when you choose a CRM you are prepared to invest time. Make sure the data migration capabilities fit with your legacy data. For example, if you are currently in a CRM that is not meeting your needs, make sure you can export and import the data easily. If you are starting from scratch, make sure you are able to easily import your contacts, calendar, emails, documents and other information that will be stored and accessed from your CRM.
- If you are using Google Apps for business for your email, contacts, calendar, docs, etc., then make sure the CRM is integrated. This will make your life great!
- If you are using Microsoft 365 for your email, contacts, and calendar then make sure the CRM is integrated. This will make your life great too!
Make sure the CRM supports how you run your business. For a commercial real estate professional the CRM should support your deal process throughout CRE specific lifecycles like:
- Leasing and selling properties
- Tenant and buyer representation
- Lease renewal and options
- Raising Debt and/or Equity
- Make sure the CRM makes it simple to receive, capture, categorize, assign and alert team members of opportunities. The CRM should support capturing relevant information to the contact like:
- A property or properties
- SF Requirements
- Investment Amounts
- Lease Expirations
- Business Types
- Contact Types
- Make sure the CRM is integrated with and makes it simple to store, track and share:
- Calendar Events
- Property information
- Finally, make sure you have secure access from any device including your desktop, mobile device, tablet or other connected device. In addition, make sure it performs nightly back-ups for disaster recovery and a recovery plan just in case something bad happens.
Outside of it being fast, that is about all you'll need to begin evaluating a commercial real estate CRM that will make a huge impact on your business and hopefully allow you to sleep better.