How To Get The Most Out Of Your Commercial Real Estate CRM

Get The Most Out Of Your Commercial Real Estate CRM

How To Get The Most Out Of Your Commercial Real Estate CRM

Garbage in, garbage out. It’s an old adage we’ve all heard before, but nowhere is it more applicable than with your commercial real estate CRM software. Your CRM is one of your most valuable business assets, but it’s a give and take relationship – you get out of it what you put into it. It’s easy to dump a bunch of incomplete data into your system, or to fail to update (or weed out) contacts over the years – but you are doing yourself a disservice by not keeping your data clean and accurate.

Value of importing data

ClientLook CRM allows you to import your existing data, such as contacts that you have been keeping for years in some other format and properties (with or without links to their owners) that you track personally or acquired from another data source.  There is a lot of value in having all this data in one place and linked together. You can import a list of properties, their owners, and have all the properties related back to the single contact record for the owner. From the owner’s record, you can see a list of all the properties they own in one place. Being able to import this data, rather than manually inputting it all, saves you a huge amount of time and allows you to start working those prospective deals immediately.

Garbage in, garbage out

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a broker’s office and they tell me proudly “I’ve got 20,000 contacts in my CRM!”. I’ll ask them how many of those they have contacted personally in the last 12 months. That’s usually a tiny fraction of the total, and its closer to the real number of “actual” contacts they have. If you haven’t talked to a prospect in 12 months, then they are talking to one of your competitors who found their information on CoStar, Loopnet, ProspectNow or another data service. They are getting a dozen calls a week – why isn’t one of them from you?

It also amazes me how many people have contacts like “Joe 555-1212”. That’s fine if Joe is your brother – otherwise you should be inputting the rest of his contact information. Everything you know about someone should be on their record where you can easily recall it when needed.

It’s also really important to make sure that you proofread what you enter into your CRM. After you’re done entering the phone number and email address, just spend a couple seconds to make sure you didn’t make a mistake. When you try to call or email that prospect and find out that you captured the wrong information, you will wish you had double checked.

Maintaining, moving along and moving out

Another common mistake I see frequently is allowing data to get stale. When you get an email indicating that a fellow broker has moved to another firm, do you update his record in your CRM with the new company, address, phone and email? How about that prospect you marked as a “Hot lead” two years ago and then never did anything with – and he’s still in your “Hot leads” group in ClientLook? Or, how about the guy you couldn’t establish any rapport with, you know you will never do a deal with the guy but he’s still in your system. You need to continually be updating, contacting, cleaning and yes – sometimes throwing out the trash.

Pro tip: Send updates like this to the ClientLook Virtual Assistant team for processing. They’re great at this kind of stuff.

Avoiding duplicates

Avoiding duplicates in your database is simple; CHECK before entering a new contact. It takes 2 seconds to type a portion of a contact name into the Fast Search Bar at the top of every ClientLook page, and you will instantly know if someone is already in the system. Of course, if all you are tracking is “Joe 555-1212” it will make that task more challenging – yet another reason to flesh out your data.

Nothing in, nothing out

Your CRM is only as good as the data you feed it. ClientLook has the memory of an elephant – put your information in, and we’ll make sure you can find it when you need it. But if you don’t spend a few seconds to jot down what you know about someone, don’t expect to be able to find it when you need it.

ClientLook allows you to search your data in limitless ways that allow you to mine the gold you’ve been accumulating. I can tell it to find all prospects in the downtown sub-market who currently occupy 5-10k SF of class “A” office space with leases that expire in the next 12 months. Bang – here is my first list of prospects for that great vacancy in that beautiful signature building downtown. But if you knew that Brett Jones was in 10k SF and you never entered that into your CRM, he will be missing from the list and you may lose a great opportunity to do a deal because you won’t contact him.

We even allow you to search every update you have ever created in the system for a particular word or phrase. So if you can remember nothing about a prospect except that he mentioned having a German Shepherd – and you added that to the note you took after your discussion – we can search for that phrase and find him for you in a few seconds.

Your commercial real estate CRM will be the best assistant you’ll ever have as long as you feed it often. Just like that German Shepherd, it requires daily attention and grooming, but the payoff will be huge.

ClientLook is the only all-in-one CRM built specifically for the commercial real estate industry. We invite you to schedule a complimentary demo or sign up for our free 21-day trial to see how our CRM can help you save time, increase your productivity, and make more money.

About the Author

Chuck Cutler, MICP

Vice President, Customer Support

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