Lessons in CRM From a Small Business Owner

Published 7. 8. 2019

Customer relationship management (CRM) is essential for every small business, especially those in the real estate sector.


It is not enough to merely have a CRM program in place. The subtleties of your CRM strategy matter a great deal. Let's take a quick look at a few CRM tips that will help small business owners accumulate earned media and make the most of their relationships with customers.


Spend carefully on CRM

As a small business, your budget is inherently limited.  It is awfully easy to overspend on CRM and end up having to make cuts in other areas down the line.  Nearly half of CRM is sold in the form of software as a service or SaaS for short. The logic in subscribing to a CRM service instead of owning it is subscribing costs comparably less.

Those who opt for the CRM as a cloud-based service do not have to spend for brand new hardware or the personnel necessary to keep it operating as intended. Minimize your CRM spending by subscribing to a service and you can gradually upgrade/scale as necessary down the line to ensure your costs are kept under control.


Choose CRM software with a slight learning curve

There is no sense spending for and attempting to master CRM software that is overly-challenging.  CRM tools are not all the same.  Certain CRM tools are uber-complex while others are comparably simple.  Though it is tempting to pay for advanced CRM software with a bevy of bells and whistles, there is a chance this decision will backfire by chewing up an abundance of your time.

The better approach is to select CRM software that is comparably simple and helps your business expand. Ideally, the CRM software will help your real estate team tap into the information they need in a nearly instantaneous manner.  Combining CRM information with mail marketing and other marketing efforts to hike sales should prove easy and quick. Otherwise, you run the risk of wasting your time, effort and money.


Study your clients

In order to manage client relationships, you must make a concerted effort to understand them.  Figure out who, exactly, buys/sells/leases through your real estate group and the frequency of those transactions.  Be sure to keep a record of each client's full name, contact information and transaction history. This information makes it that much easier to identify business trends and perform effective outreaches.

Once you understand your clients and their unique preferences, it will be that much easier to time your communications just right.  Furthermore, in-depth client analysis will also help you determine what each client is truly worth to your real estate business.

A thorough understanding of your clients also ameliorates the challenge of identifying new customers.  Use your current client data as a point of reference when looking for new clients, bring similar prospects into the fold and your business will enjoy an uptick in activity sooner rather than later.


Make CRM a part of your routine

There is no sense paying for CRM if it is not a part of your regular work routine.  It is imperative that you update your company's CRM in a timely manner. At a bare minimum, you should implement CRM updates as a component of your weekly or monthly administrative routine.

If necessary, mark your calendar to designate time for these uber-important updates. Otherwise, you run the risk of forgetting or simply leaving CRM on the back burner for so long that it proves ineffective.


CRM is just as important for small businesses as large ones

The moral of the story is clear: small business owners who overlook the subtleties of CRM will be at a competitive disadvantage.  Your small business needs savvy CRM just as much as the big boys in the real estate industry.

Turn CRM into a strength with the tips detailed above and the playing field with the industry stalwarts will level in due time.


Corey Tyner is the owner of Phoenix Fast Sell Home Buyers. He is one of the top real estate investors in Arizona with over a decade of experience. His work has been featured on Bigger Pockets, Real Estate Agent Magazine, and several other real estate investor publications.