In the ever-evolving world of estate agency, estate agents have long relied on customer relationship management (CRM) systems to streamline their operations and enhance customer interactions. Traditionally, CRMs in the real estate industry have been focused on the properties themselves, enabling agents to organise listings, track sales, and manage transactions. However, the ever-increasing expectations of customers for personalised and intelligent service, has only quickened the rise of big data and caused a shift in how estate agents should be working.
Let’s discuss why using a CRM that focuses on the property instead of the contact is hurting your business and how big data is revolutionising the way agents engage with their clients.
Historically, estate agent CRMs have primarily focused on property data. These systems excel at storing property information, including listings, property details, photographs, and transaction histories. The problem is the information about the client is kept but not engaged with through any technology and the property cannot reply to you, cannot build a relationship with you and cannot give you future business. While this old-fashioned approach has been instrumental in property management, it often falls short when it comes to nurturing and building strong relationships with clients.
With 88% of customers saying that in making their decision to buy services, experience matters as much as the service offered (Salesforce – State of the Connected Customer Report), it’s no surprise the old way does not work any longer. In traditional CRMs, the information very often goes into a drawer to die and follow up is near impossible with an over-worked staff and a busy market. This leaves potential customers looking for their own answers and it is often elsewhere that they find them. Clients binge your content, search out your social media and scour your website looking for answers to their questions at 1am.
Clients are begging for a relationship – to know, like and trust you and it is your job to build that relationship with them.
As real estate professionals increasingly recognise the importance of building long-term relationships with their clients, the focus of CRMs has begun to shift towards a contact-centric approach. Rather than solely centring on property data, the new generation of CRMs emphasises capturing and analysing vast amounts of client information to gain valuable insights. It’s important to remember that when selling your services, it is not the house you are selling to. The house could have many owners over its lifetime. It is the person who makes the choice to sell or let with you and it is the person who will choose who their estate agency is in the future.
With a contact-centric CRM powered by big data, estate agents can engage with their clients in a more meaningful and personalised manner.
By understanding client preferences, agents can proactively provide property recommendations that align with their needs, preferences, and budgets. Moreover, big data analytics can help agents anticipate client requirements and identify opportunities – for example this buyer has a property to sell that isn’t on the market or this vendor is reading content about being a landlord.
By leveraging big data insights, estate agents can optimise their communication and marketing efforts. Understanding client preferences and behaviours allows agents to deliver targeted and relevant content, whether it's through email campaigns, social media outreach, or personalised property alerts. This tailored approach increases the likelihood of client engagement and conversion, ultimately leading to more successful sales.
As the real estate industry continues to evolve, estate agents must recognise the importance of a contact-centric CRM strategy empowered by big data. By shifting the focus from properties to contacts, agents can create personalised experiences, enhance client engagement, and build long-lasting relationships. Leveraging big data insights allows agents to understand client preferences, anticipate needs, and tailor their offerings accordingly. With the right CRM tools and data-driven approach, estate agents can thrive in the modern real estate landscape and differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive market.