The age of Excel is over — at least when it comes to real estate agencies. Spreadsheets revolutionised agency processes back in the 1980s, and freed us from the inefficiencies of paper-based administration. While they may continue to add value for some time, growth-minded businesses are looking to the improved efficiencies and increased profit margins that real estate CRMs offer.
Here are 5 ways a real estate CRM trumps spreadsheets, and why it’s fast becoming the new benchmark in real estate technology.
Real estate CRMs are less prone to error
According to Forbes, an estimated 88% of spreadsheets include mistakes. Whether it’s during data entry, or when sourcing information for your reports, errors can be costly or damage your business reputation. For example, a broken formula or outdated data in hidden cells could result in rent or revenue calculations that are way off the mark.
Real estate CRMs are less susceptible to input errors, and are maintained by the vendor. This minimises the risk of data corruption, and guarantees you’ll always work with software that’s up-to-date and keeps the risks of human error low through automation. Take listings, for example: real estate CRMs have portal pushing capability, and can link listings on all external sites to one, centralised database. While this saves you time, it also minimises the risk of unintended errors.
They’re easy for teams to use and have individual permission settings
In the 1980s and 90s, real estate teams had to overcome any possible blocks they had against using spreadsheets if they hoped to remain competitive. Today, businesses face the same challenge with real estate CRMs. Today, agencies may gather around a spreadsheet for their weekly reviews — confirming which properties were assigned to which agent, sharing how close the property was to being sold, identifying cross-selling opportunities and so on. What a waste of time! More than half of these administrative tasks and team conversations can be automated, and shared via a real estate CRM.
Luckily, real estate CRMs are built with teams and collaboration in mind. Intuitive interfaces make even complex calculations easy to set up and follow, while automatic reporting takes raw data and applies proven formulas to create error-free insights, and one centralised platform serves the needs of all your teams — from sales, to rentals and admin.
And if you’re worried about restricting access as your business grows? While you could lock entire spreadsheets, real estate CRMs come with permission settings that limit data on an individual basis, even if everyone is logging onto the same platform. In this way, everyone collaborates on one platform, but accesses only what they need to know.
Real estate CRMs can do more than spreadsheets can
A purpose-built real estate CRM helps you complete all real estate tasks efficiently from one convenient platform. Think of a spreadsheet as a watch — it’s a single-function device. Real estate CRMs are the smartphones to the spreadsheet’s watch — telling time just as accurately, but also helping you make calls, keep notes, play music and browse the internet.
From one platform you can manage your contact records and easily update them from prospect to client, from seller to tenant and so on, while automated campaigns keep lead nurture alive in the background. Let technology do more than store your records — moving from spreadsheets to a real estate CRM optimises how you work with those records to close sales, manage listings and tenants and manage leads.
Related: Learn more about the best CRM automation strategies for growth with our resource, Real Estate CRM Automation Strategies for Growth-Driven Businesses.
You get accurate, holistic business insights through automatically generated reports
Real estate CRMs have built-in analytics functions that give you a holistic overview of your business, and its marketing, sales and administrative processes. User-friendly dashboards and automatic report generation mean you get error-free insights at the touch of a button.
Your team can also benefit from automated reporting that saves time and improves customer experience. For example, vendors and landlords are increasingly demanding near-instant updates on the marketing, enquiries and inspections on their property. A real estate CRM can help you generate these quickly, pulling the information you need automatically from the centralised database at its core. Find out how in our blog post, Moving Towards Online Owner Reports.
Real estate CRMs are specialised software platforms
Spreadsheets are for everyone. While a quick Google may lead you to a free, downloadable real estate template or two, a real estate CRM is built with your industry in mind. This makes it easier to sync with a real estate agency’s operations and processes.
The time and cost savings of CRMs, and their ability to help real estate teams do more than the average spreadsheet will be essential to their future success. But businesses don’t have to go in blind — there’s always the question of when, and how, and demos and trials are there to help.
Schedule a demo with the Eagle Software team to see how a real estate CRM works in real time. It’s a no-obligation way to feel out how a CRM can work in your business, and when might be the right time to bring it on board.
Marketing · 03 October 2017
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