Customer relationship management (CRM) is a critical key to success in commercial real estate.  Yet according to an executive survey by Merkle, up to 60% of CRM systems will fail. After surveying 352 senior level executives in organizations worth one billion dollars or more, Merkle reported that companies that fail to see the importance of CRM are consistently low-growth.  Additionally, high-growth companies were 50% more likely to recognize the strategic value of CRM system implementation.  One could conclude that a CRM system for CRE is one of the top resources that drive growth in a successful brokerage.

Yet, CRMs repeatedly fail to be successfully adopted.  In our experience, this is usually caused by a few simple factors: lack of organization, lack of adaptability, and lack of technical support.

One way to avoid these potential pitfalls is by choosing a CRM system for CRE using a strategy first laid out by Fred Thiel, former CEO of local.com, with his 6 key dimensions of innovation framework.

To be implemented successfully into a commercial real estate business, a CRM system should:

1. Automate

If any tasks can be handled automatically, your CRM should be able to perform them.  It should comfortably handle repetitive tasks such as data entry and other basic functions in an efficient manner.  Add your personal touch, but let the computer do the menial work and save you time for the more important task of driving growth.

2. Accelerate

Templates can significantly help accelerate manual data entry. This reduces time and keystrokes spent by brokers, which means you’re producing work much faster. Knowing the control keys for the programs that you most often use, and utilizing them will greatly reduce time spent inputting data and increase efficiency.

 

3. Anticipate

Your CRM should be thinking several moves ahead of you.  The foresight of a great CRM will massively simplify your schedule by organizing communication, meetings, followups, etc.  If your CRM can effectively anticipate your tasks, you can dedicate your efforts to preparation instead of planning.  

4. Adapt

CRM developers can never fully anticipate the nuances and peculiarities that your business will confront.  This is why a great CRM must be flexible and malleable to whatever your individual needs may be.  If a CRM is rigid and static, it doesn’t matter how many features it has.  The moment it doesn’t allow for the specific use that your business needs that CRM is useless.

5. Amaze

If your CRM has been successfully achieving the 4 previous goals of innovation, you should rightfully feel more efficient and free to focus on the more creative aspects of your job.  Your work routine should be made much easier and more pleasant by a great CRM.

6. Activate

Lastly, once you have experienced the support and collaboration of a great CRM, you should feel compelled to promote the service to others.  Not only are you certain that the CRM has streamlined your workflow, but you’re certain that it can do the same for others.

Not sure which CRM you should choose?

Check out Massimo’s Great CRM Debate to see the best commercial real estate CRMs battle it out here:

Great CRM Debate


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