Tom Ferry’s Coach Simplifies Agent List of Technical Systems Agents Need

There are many systems out there for real estate agents – lead generation, lead management, deal management, business intelligence – to name a few.

As real estate agents, our lives are filled with technological systems. Statistics indicate that the average agent uses between three and nine systems just to juggle their day-to-day business. I would say that the statistics severely underestimate this figure.

It looks like a housecleaning is in order. Whether you’re a solo agent or part of a large team, it’s time to assess the kinds of tools you’ll really need to succeed over the next five years.

Start with your CRM

When creating a system for your systems, you should of course start with your CRM. This is your personal Rolodex, the place where you store:

  • Tracks
  • Contractors
  • Escrow and Closing Companies
  • Local and out-of-area agents
  • Former customers
  • Your sphere

Your CRM is more than an organizer or an assistant. It is your base of operations that will directly generate income.

This brings us to the question: which CRM should you use?

This is the part where I answer a simple question with a series of complicated questions.

The first and most important question to ask when buying a CRM is the same thing you should ask yourself repeatedly when shopping at whole foods“Am I really going to use it?” It might have all the best features and be the most advanced system in the world, but if it’s not making your life easier, it’s not doing you any favors.

Other questions you need to ask yourself are:

  • What is my budget? These systems range from $150/year to thousands of dollars per month.
  • Do I need a standalone system or one that includes a lead-generating website?
  • What is my two-year growth plan? Should I buy for the team I want or for the team I have?
  • Does my broker offer one? If so, would it be possible to export my data if I changed brokerage?

Once you’ve gone through each of these points and narrowed down your options, it’s time to demo some systems to figure out which one you like best. This brings us back to that first question. “Am I really going to use it?” It’s so important that you enjoy using your CRM, because then you actually will.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Manager, so clearly they help you manage your relationships. But what about direct selling?

In 2022, most CRMs are multidimensional systems that include a lead management system. These will help you route leads to other agents on your team and follow up leads via text, email, calls, and video, right from the program or app. They handle automated tasks (reminders, tasks), online marketing, lead generation, and the best ones even offer artificial intelligence (AI) and dynamic registration.

Coming back to the question of which CRM to choose, check if it is automatically integrated with a lead management system. It’s all about finding what’s right for you.

Here is a list of systems I recommend:

  • Boomtown ROI (website and CRM combined)
  • ylopo (standalone lead generation website that can be combined with multiple CRM backend systems)
  • follow-up boss (standalone CRM that integrates with many front-end website products)
  • Close
  • Real estate juggler
  • Carillon

So you have your CRM, you have your lead management system. Now, how does your administrative staff communicate with buyers and sellers under contract?

Transaction management

The 30-60 days in which a client buys or sells a home are some of the most stressful and confusing days, and sadly, that’s often when an agent sets it and forgets it!

The real estate industry needs to do a better job of communicating during this critical transaction period. Wondering where your transaction task lists are stored? On paper? Manila records? Nowhere?

If this is you, then it’s time to enter 2022.

Automating to-do lists within a human-supervised technical system will take your customer experience to the next level. Why? Because systems don’t let things slip through the cracks like our memories do!

When asked “What is your transaction management system?” many agents will respond with what their broker uses.

Your broker’s system is primarily for broker compliance. If you, as a brokerage agent, cannot create your own personal task lists in the system, then the system is not yours. I highly recommend using something your assistant can customize to give you consistency in every transaction.

I recommend these options:

You should choose a system that “plays in the sandbox with others”. In other words, it has an API or integration capability to communicate with other systems. Why? Because there is no single system that will allow an agent to manage all aspects of their business. Remember how many systems the average agent uses daily?

Customize your tech stack

Customizing your technology stack is critical to the success and scalability of your business. If you are a solo agent, start here. If you have a team or are developing a team, start by doing an audit of what you already have to find gaps and weak points.

Finally, although you must choose wisely, I advise you not to be bound by the outcome. Products will change. Some of these companies will be bought out and disappear. Some will stop innovating and become dinosaurs. Be open to change. As long as you back up your data, it can be exported to any other system you decide to migrate to.

Yvonne Arnold is a business coach and national speaker at Ferry International.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial department of RealTrends and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Yvonne Arnold at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Tracey Velt at [email protected]

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