Losing clients and listings isn’t fun, but it’s something every real estate agent experiences. Sometimes it’s beyond your control—maybe the client is just utterly unreasonable (one agent lost a client because she couldn’t be available on her wedding day!) or maybe they’re best buds with another agent.
Sometimes, though, it’s on you. (I know, I know, harsh!)
It’s true, though—we all make mistakes. It’s what makes us so delightfully human and interesting. It’s how we learn how to do things better. As Napoleon Hill said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
Many of the mistakes that lead to the loss of a listing or client can be solved by one tool: a real estate customer relationship management (CRM) system. When combined with the right strategy, using a CRM system can really drive success for your real estate business.There’s a great article on Inman News that lists reasons why agents lose deals. Let’s take a look at some of these common mistakes and talk about how a real estate CRM could help you avoid making them in the future.
Mistake #1: You were a salesperson, not an adviser.
To succeed in real estate, you must focus first on serving your client, second on getting paid. Your job is to be a trusted adviser who provides information to your clients about the real estate market and trends. If you fail to provide value, you might find yourself losing clients.
First, make sure you’re staying up to date with the real estate market. Subscribe to NAR newsletters and follow your local board of REALTORS blog.
Then, armed with valuable information, you can use several tools within your CRM to serve as a trusted adviser to your clients:
- Write a series of emails that share valuable insights into the home buying/selling process and the local real estate market. Automate these emails to send once a week (you can do this in Realvolve using workflows).
- Set up reminders to share interesting, relevant articles to your social media profiles.
- Create a workflow that reminds you to make weekly client care phone calls. Within this workflow, create a checklist so you have an agenda for the call. In addition to items like last week’s updates and next steps, you can include checklist items such as encourage them to ask questions, give them a market update, or share a helpful tip.
Mistake #2: You have too many clients and not enough resources.
When you have too many clients, you don’t have enough time or energy to properly serve all of them. They won’t all get that one-on-one face time that is so important for building a relationship.
If you aren’t using a CRM, that’s your first issue. Managing all of your clients on paper just won’t work. Start using a CRM so you can automate all of those pesky administrative tasks and set up task reminders—you’ll have more time to spend on clients, and you’ll never miss an appointment again.
It might also be time to scale your business. This could mean hiring an administrative assistant (if you’re a solo agent) or adding more agents to your team. The great thing about using a CRM is that, once your entire process is written out in workflows, training new staff will be a breeze. They’ll really only need to learn the software; then they’ll just follow the steps you’ve written for them.
Mistake #3: Your team is out of sync.
If your team isn’t working in harmony, it’s not much of a team. Maybe one of your agents isn’t staying on process, or maybe they failed to communicate a next step to their teammate. This kind of discord within a real estate business isn’t sustainable.
Use workflows within your CRM to document every single process for your business. Provide detailed descriptions of each activity so everyone in the company knows exactly what they should be doing at every step in the process. Everyone stays on the same page, and the client gets a consistent experience from start to close.
Mistake #4: You weren’t available when your client needed you.
Now, let’s be clear—sometimes clients will be unreasonable and expect you to be available at even the most ridiculous times (the morning of your wedding, while your wife is in labor, etc.).
But other times, clients will have perfectly reasonable expectations—for instance, if they called you at 10 AM and you didn’t get back to them until the next day. When you’re crazy busy, things like that slip through the cracks...but they don’t have to.
Use your CRM to automate as many things as you possibly can so you can be less busy and have more time to be there for your clients.
And for those unreasonable clients, set expectations early in the relationship. Let them know your hours of availability (be as flexible as possible!) and give them plenty of notice prior to any vacations or major life events you have coming up.
Have a backup plan in case of emergencies. Make sure you have someone who can cover for you if you have to suddenly fly home or pick up your sick kid from school (this is another time when having your process spelled out in CRM workflows is truly invaluable). Assure your clients that they won’t be abandoned—let them know who they can reach out to or expect to hear from if you become unavailable without warning.
Want to stop losing listings? Start using a CRM!
You’d be surprised how many agents make the four mistakes listed in this article. Don’t let yourself be one of them! Focus on being a trusted adviser, make sure you have the resources needed to provide a great experience to all of your clients, keep your team on the same page and working in harmony, and don’t leave your clients hanging when they need you.
The smartest way to accomplish all of this is to use a real estate CRM (and, of course, to implement a solid strategy for using this tool).
With a CRM, you can easily automate time-consuming, repetitive tasks, freeing up your schedule for more face-to-face interaction and other important client experience/relationship-building activities. A CRM will also keep your team on process, and it will allow anyone to cover your responsibilities if you happen to miss a day of work.
To learn more about the benefits of using a CRM, check out some of our other resources: