As a real estate agent, you prosper or languish by how well you turn leads into clients. Customer relationship management (CRM) software can give you an advantage. With CRM software, you can record and track leads, contacts and information. Some of the best real estate CRM software also analyzes leads to give you insights you can use. Here are five ways to use real estate CRM programs to convert leads into clients:

Have your clients' information handy any time. You have multiple clients with unique needs. CRM real estate software lets you keep track of all the notes, emails and records of phone calls so you can go back and double check details, like children's ages or kitchen preferences, which can help you find the best home choices for clients and re-establish rapport when you meet again.

Respond to leads immediately. Half of all home buyers say they go with the first agent that responds to their query, so quick replies are essential. However, that's not easy to do when you are out of the office working with another client. Real estate CRM software can record the information and send a quick reply that you can customize. For example, "I'm showing houses to someone right now, but I wanted you to know I got your message." In fact, with cloud storage offered by many real estate customer relationship software programs, you can use your tablet or smartphone to check in and make quick personal contacts while your current clients are in the yard discussing a prospective house.

Schedule "touch base" follow-ups. Real estate relies on repeat business and referrals. According to one survey, 88 percent of home buyers say they would use their past agent again, but only 12 percent do so. Some of this can be explained by their moving out your area, but many times, the home buyer simply loses your contact information and forgets. Using CRM software, you can not only mark special occasions for touching base, but actually prepare and schedule emails to be sent out on those days. For example:

  • One-year anniversary of the purchase date. Use the information in the CRM software to comment on something specific – did they take out the wall they talked about? Are they enjoying the fireplace?
  • Birthdays, anniversaries. A simple card or email keeps your name fresh on their minds.
  • Moving date. If the buyer is in the military or has mentioned that they are in a job that moves, contact them a few months before their anticipated move time to offer your services. If there's an average time in your area for people changing homes, such as three years, you can send something at that anniversary too.

Email marketing. Less expensive and easier than a direct marketing campaign, email marketing is becoming a staple for real estate. One survey of real estate agents showed 63 percent use online marketing, with 22 percent saying they plan to use it in the future. With real estate CRM software, you can easily gather potential clients, segment them by demographics or interest, and create targeted campaigns that are more likely to get results. In addition, most CRM software makes it easy to track things like email openings and other responses so you can determine which campaigns were the most successful. 

Research. When you are busy buying and selling homes with your clients, it's hard to see the overall real estate landscape. With CRM for real estate, you can run an analysis on your clients to check for customer satisfaction, commonalities, shared preferences or growing trends you might have missed. For example, you may find you have more success with a certain buyer demographic. Knowing that can help you to direct your efforts toward certain leads or spur you to discover how to better serve people outside that target audience.

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