Blog / Business / business automation

Does Contactually Fit Your Real Estate Business?

  • Rating — 5 (3 votes)
  • by Ksenija Kolomiiets
  • Updated on October 26, 2020
  • Read —
    15-16 minutes

The number of satisfied customers determines the success of any business. But making one successful deal is often not enough because customers must come back to you again and again. For this, it is crucial to be in tune with clients and share useful information with them. A suitable tool for building lasting customer relationships is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

CRM is of great benefit to any business, and real estate one is not an exception. Each buyer is inherently unique as they have a specific vision of what they want and the needs that must be met by the property. The real estate agent’s role is to identify all the client’s needs and meet them within the allocated budget. CRM is just needed to remember all the client’s requests, clearly understand his desires and, of course, store contact information, and much more.

Approaching the choice of such a system, the first thing to do is make a list of the functionality you are looking for and then study the solutions on the market. With a high degree of probability, you will miss something in out-of-the-box solutions. You should not abandon using such a system altogether if you have not found a suitable one. Be sure to consider a custom solution.

The benefits of CRM in business are apparent. It saves time and headaches, helps manage your client base, and keeps pace with the expectations of today’s home buyers and sellers. We have collected CRM statistics that can support the above facts. CRM for real estate helps:

  • increase sales by 29%, sales productivity by 34%, and sales accuracy by 42%;
  • increase conversion up to 300%; and
  • reduce sales cycles by 8-14%.

Alas, in reality, only about 36% of real estate companies have not yet applied this system to their business. Still, those who have implemented ready-made CRM systems faced some challenges. Sometimes real estate agencies refuse to use CRM because they do not find the necessary functionality in them.

Analysis of CRM challenges in real estate

There is not enough information about the needs to be addressed and the functions that CRM can perform for a real estate business. There is also a problem or difficulty or lack of ability to integrate the system with other digital solutions that the company uses.

Today the software market offers many ready CRMs, which further confuses potential users.

reasons why companies don't use CRM

Those who use CRM for business purposes admitted that they face problems with customizing their CRM system (56%), lack of functionality (42%), as well as integration with other vital technologies (49%).

problems that real estate company faces when customizing out-of-the-shelf CRM system

It is a common practice when a ready-made solution is quite enough at the beginning of business development. Still, as the company grows, the existing software functions are insufficient, and work processes suffer. Previously, such solutions were used by large business players, but today companies of all sizes use software that helps them promote their products and services on the market.

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Are you looking for CRM that can meet all needs of your company?

Most popular real estate CRMs

Let’s look at ready-made solutions to their advantages and disadvantages, and then consider the situations when it is still worth developing a custom CRM.

#1 Contactually

This CRM system was designed specifically for those working in the real estate industry. This decision comes first because the solution is believed to be easy to implement and use.

The solution’s primary goal is to keep potential customers’ contacts and help you convert them into real ones. Below we describe the pros and cons of the system.

Pros:

  • Contactually CRM helps you focus on your core business by offering small but relatively simple features.
  • the primary function is one – to carry out everyday contacts.

Cons:

  • the richness of the information makes it challenging to create custom messages.
  • if there is not enough information, then it is challenging to create a funnel from user posts.

# 2 Wise Agent

The CRM system is explicitly designed for real estate professionals, mostly focused on email newsletters. Undoubtedly, this is a significant advantage, as a lot of calls, meetings take place during the day, but you either don’t want to study or don’t have enough time. Below we examined the pros and cons of the Wise Agent CRM system.

Pros:

  • Wise Agent brings your email, calendar, and tasks together in one place. Now you don’t have to switch between multiple digital solutions, which means you can work more with clients to lead them to a deal.
  • you can create a chain of letters for both sellers and buyers. Templates are provided for this case.

Cons:

  • Wise Agent marketing materials seem outdated. This fact can
  • scare off, potential partners and customers.

#3 HubSpot

Cloud-based CRM helping companies track and nurture leads while analyzing business metrics.

Pros:

  • the free option allows you to try it out first
  • easy to use and customizable
  • great automation and integration features
  • useful marketing capabilities

Cons:

  • some of the upgrades can be expensive
  • reporting functionality is lacking
  • too many features and possibilities can get confusing
  • user interface isn’t as intuitive as it could be

#4 Follow Up Boss

It is a system that is designed to help real estate teams spread information and connect with potential clients.

One of the most compelling features of Followup Boss is the ability to see where your leads are coming from: an essential feature to help you determine where to target your marketing efforts.

Pros:

  • you can automate some operations using this system instead of wasting your time manually contacting all of your contacts. 
  • there are automatic text and email notifications for agents assigned to a lead.
  • the product allows you to see the source where the lead comes from, which is essential when drawing up a marketing strategy.
  • there is the possibility of integration with Zillow, Trulia and Redfin.

Cons:

  • high subscription cost, so only suitable for large companies with a team of real estate agents.
  • does not integrate with other types of software within the company.

Think deeply about the CRM system you need for your real estate business. Are you new to this business? If so, you probably want a CRM system with easy connection and low start-up costs, such as Wise Agent or HubSpot. Are you busy with dozens of leads and need to automate your tasks? Followup Boss may be the best CRM system for you.

Of course, most pre-built systems have customization options. But the necessary changes can be much more costly and time-consuming than building a CRM system from scratch. Many of the features available on such systems are added by plugins, which means you have to hire specialists to modify them, which can be challenging.

Based on this review and our own experience, we have identified six prominent cases where a “standard” solution is not the best option, and you should consider creating a custom real estate CRM. You need to understand that each case is of a recommendation nature and is optional. Before implementing a digital solution, you need to analyze your business.

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6 cases when you should think about an individual solution for your real estate company

Case 1. You cannot choose between several solutions since each of them has functions that others do not have. You understand that you need unique functionality that solves exactly your problems and matches your workflows. Precisely because it is not possible to find a perfect solution, companies are considering custom CRM development.

Most out-of-box solutions have a wide range of features that can solve common problems, but they don’t consider the specifics of your niche. An individual approach can guarantee that the application created for your business will contain only the functions you need. It means that you will not have to pay for additional features that you are unlikely ever to use. And the most important thing is that when developing software specifically for your business, you will always supplement it with functions if the need arises.

Our client, Soljets Expectations, which is engaged in the selection and sale of aircraft, is needed to automate searching and preparing an offer to potential clients. Here are the problems we needed to solve:

  •       About 80% of the time was spent on the aircraft market’s research and all details about jets.
  •       The data was collected manually, and offer placement took weeks.
  •       The existing data was organized not well enough.
  •       The same work on offer preparation was done twice by different sales managers because there was no unified jets database.

There were no ready-made solutions that could cope with the assigned tasks. Our client decided to build a custom digital solution with unique functionality. After the discovery phase was over, all the requirements were drawn up. We began developing critical features that started. We added:

  • catalogs of jets sorted according to models
  • specifications for each aircraft model conveniently organized in tables
  •  advanced comparison tool with range mapping option possible thanks to the integration of Google Maps and Places. 

And then we created a tool able to pull the data from various sources, analyze and organize it into one database. This tool is able to:

  • collect the data on each aircraft,
  • compare the jets taking into account their prices and specs,
  • gather and store sales and estimation reports,
  • compare the internal sales data with the collected ones. 

Case 2: Your company has achieved certain heights, and your business can be called medium or large. We believe there is a relationship between business size and CRM functionality. For small companies, a turnkey solution may well be suitable. But if your company grows, the processes get complicated. Then you probably need system flexibility.

As your team grows, the difficulties in sharing information and coordinating processes become more tangible. There is a need for CRM solutions for large real estate enterprises. But there are also problems here.

The cost of such products can be relatively high. Most of these are SaaS products that are paid for by subscription. The price depends on the number of users and the features available. It means that any growth in your company will result in a corresponding increase in CRM costs.

It is highly likely that the ready-made solution will have functions that will not be in demand in your company since they will not correspond to the current processes, but you still have to pay for them. Building your own CRM solution isn’t cheap, but you pay for functionality important to your particular company. It will be easier for employees to adapt to innovations since the functions correspond to the company’s work processes.

💡
When trying to make changes to an existing CRM solution, you may find it difficult to contact the vendor for improvement. This is because most out-of-the-box CRM systems are more product-oriented than customer-oriented.

Case 3: You are planning to use multiple integrations with multiple systems. CRM integration means that your system can be connected to either your web application or a third-party service to exchange data. It can increase the productivity of all departments of your real estate company. Among the most demanded services for CRM integration are Google applications, various accounting applications, time attendance services, project management applications, and email services.

most requested services to integrate with a CRM

To integrate your CRM system with similar solutions, you will need the services of an experienced developer with in-depth integration knowledge. However, this is compounded by the fact that not all “standard” solutions provide free API integration. Most often, these options are available in more expensive packages. For example, in Salesforce, this feature is available for $ 150 per month per employee.

For example, in custom development, we use an API-oriented approach. Which significantly draws integration with other applications in the future.

Case 4: You want to replace many small decisions with one useful tool. The software market is overflowing with specialized solutions for the real estate market and solutions for general use.

For example, Zillow is used as a real estate database, DocuSign is used to exchange and sign documents, and there is an opportunity to use innovations that are more relevant than ever during a pandemic, such as VR / AR tours of real estate.

Each solution costs a lot of money, and in order not to be scattered, the optimal solution will be to trust a specialized development company that can do it for your custom CRM upon request.

Case 5. Your company needs more in-depth analytics of all processes. Most of the software that is aimed at sales automation and sales optimization has analytical tools. Despite this, they are unable to conduct an in-depth analysis of your customers and work processes. In comparison, with personalized tools, analytics are generated based on your specific priorities.

Customizable CRM analytics enable you to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and sales.

🧐
Customizable CRM analytics enable you to make informed decisions about your marketing strategy and sales.

As an example, in a custom digital solution, you can set up personalized analytics vital to you during this period. It can be an algorithm that will analyze the real estate value on the market in a specific area and with a set of specific criteria.

We have a CRM system for real estate, which is developed from scratch. There can be an unlimited number of possibilities. Extensive and easy-to-analyze reports based on unconventional metrics such as the number of schools, libraries, or gyms within walking distance of the site will give you an edge in your decision making.

Case 6: Data security is essential to you. On the one hand, most of the ready-made CRM solutions are cloud-based, making it possible to work with the application from anywhere in the world. On the other hand, the provider company’s security system may result in the loss of your confidential data.

Of course, provider companies take measures to ensure security, but as practice shows, even the most popular solutions suffer from data leaks. Leaking even 1% of information can harm your business and the reputation of your company in particular.

In the case of custom development, CRM provides better security. The solution is hosted on your server, and only you and the developer company have access. Even if hackers try to break into your database, they are unlikely to be able to steal something, as we use encryption and tokenization of confidential data and other reliable methods.

How much does the CRM system development cost?

The cost of developing a web application often depends on the complexity and the number of functions it needs to perform. This can be a long and complicated process, so it will take three months or more and require the development team’s efforts.

Here is a list of things to look out for when developing your software, determining the development cost:

  • Variety and complexity of functions and functions
  • Design features
  • Number of services
  • Technologies and frameworks
  • Development team experience, knowledge level, capabilities, location, and pricing

To get started building web applications, you need to find and hire a team of experienced professionals. The crucial step is to create an appropriate business strategy to develop and promote your solution.

All in all, you will need a team of professionals who already have a wealth of experience in developing web applications from scratch and have an in-depth knowledge of your industry. These are the following:

SPECIALIST HOURS
Business analyst 120-150
UX/UI Design 70-90
Front-end developers 240-300
Admin 10-16
Back-end developers 300-400
QA specialists 210-260
HTML/CSS 80-100
Average cost $29 775

Please note that the assessment is not final, as when developing a custom solution, individual tasks are solved. To find out a more accurate cost, we propose to conduct a Discovery phase and make a list of tasks that the solution should perform. It is also worth considering the integration of the solution with the company’s internal systems and other factors.

A real estate CRM system helps a company to interact with potential and existing clients. This system’s database stores information about customers: what purchases the customer made, phone calls, and online correspondence. CRM is designed to help realtors automate routine tasks and help them keep all information about customers at hand. Simply put, think of modern CRM software as a unique system for customer relationship management.
The first step is to understand what you want the system to do. What are the features critical to you? Do you want all your customer contacts to be stored in one place? Do you need a CRM to build your email marketing campaigns? In real estate CRM, data entry is automatic. For example, when a customer fills out a form on your site, their details are automatically loaded into your CRM. Any further communication will be tracked from the moment of your first contact. The program automates the entire sales funnel, from requesting to transferring house keys.
Improving efficiency and organization is what you get in the first place when using CRM. Also, this system helps realtors to accelerate the development of the company. But in fact, there are many more advantages to implementing the system. Here are a few of them: 1. Better reporting 2. It’s easier to segment leads 3. Follow-up automatically 4. More detailed analytics, and much more.

To conclude:

A customized CRM solution will bring huge profits in the long run as it saves time and resources. It will also simplify the management of all data from transactions to leads and listings. All information will be centrally available to all team members through various devices such as mobile phones and desktop computers. To implement a custom CRM for your retail business, you can contact us.

A custom solution’s main benefit is that everything from user interface design to implementation details such as receiving notifications such as text messages, emails, or social media can be tailored to suit your business needs.

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Are you ready to start a custom CRM development to automate your business processes?
Ksenija Kolomiiets Expert & Evangelist in business optimization tools like fintech, logistics, on-demand services apps who will help you to understand the core ideas of the outlined themes by my articles. I also have great expertise in social media and education platforms so let me know "in comments" if you want me to describe a theme you're interested in.

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