Mythbusters: CRM Systems

Boy, the things we hear. You wouldn’t believe it – or maybe you would. Customer Relation Management (CRM) systems may be THE most misunderstood tool in any real estate agent’s toolkit.

From the mundane – they’re too expensive! – to the weird – conspiracy theory: you’re being spied on! – myths about these super-useful systems abound. We ’re here to bust the myths and give you a couple of toplines on why you should focus on facts when checking out a system.

Myth #1:  CRMs cost too much. Like any technology in its early stages, there was a time when CRM was pricey, but that day has passed. While there are a couple of market leaders, if you are on a limited budget or have a small operation, look at other CRM providers. The technology has diffused to the point there’s a CRM provider and system for all levels of business, so don’t let cost keep you out of the market.

Myth #2: Entering data in a CRM is too time-consuming. Nobody wants to take time away from selling to enter data. But the fact is, many systems allow for importing and uploading contact spreadsheets to simply the centralizing of your contacts. Even if you do have to spend time entering data from business cards and random scraps of paper, the advantages of having a consolidated database once you are done far outweighs the pain of initial data entry.

Myth #3: CRM is way too complex for me. As with many myths, this has a grain of truth.  Early CRM DID require pretty extensive training and interaction with a skilled IT person or department. But just as the cost has come down, so has the level of technical skill to implement a system. Today, most systems are geared to be user-friendly and most of us have enough computer savvy to figure them out.

Myth #4: CRMs tie me to my computer. You guys heard of Google Maps? The application integrates nicely with most CRMs but if this is a major concern, check it out before investing in a system. CRM developers realized agents need to access their systems on the go and have evolved to accommodate mobile applications.

Myth #5: Psst. I’m being watched.  The popular Motown song “Somebody’s Watching Me” presaged our fears of government and big biz monitoring (aptly, in 1984) but let’s get real: brokers have far more important things to do than track the movements of their agents on an hourly basis. Yes, one function of a CRM is to track efficiency and streamline operations. For instance, a system can be set to show how long it takes an agent to respond to a customer but it’s grossly simplistic at best to assume heavy-handed oversight is a primary function.

Despite all the myths, the reality is that you are missing out on one of the most efficient and helpful tools to manage your client base should you choose to not invest in a CRM. The time you spend researching and setting up your system will prove well worth the investment, no matter the size of your team or business.

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