When you first came aboard your brokerage, the company probably provided you with a real estate CRM (customer relationship management software) to use. Maybe it's software they developed in-house; maybe it's a third-party service they chose to partner with. Either way, the key word here is they.
They own the software.
They have access to your client and lead data.
They dictate the types of technology features you have access to.
When you use your broker's CRM, you are not in control of the way you do business. In this post, learn 7 reasons why your broker-provided CRM could be detrimental to your success as a real estate agent.
1) When you switch brokers, your CRM doesn't move with you.
It's tempting to resist a free broker-provided CRM, especially if you're new to the real estate business. But there's a catch: that CRM doesn't come with you when you leave.
The automation you programmed, the way you organized your contacts, any other customization you added—all gone. You'll have to start from scratch with your new CRM.
How are you ever supposed to grow if your technology is holding you back?
2) You aren't the sole owner of your data.
When you move on to a new (or your own) brokerage, your data stays behind.
Sure, it's not gone. You can export your leads and clients and put them into your new CRM—but your old brokerage still has the data.
Every lead in your old database is up for grabs, and soon you'll be competing for their attention against your former colleagues.
3) You have no flexibility.
Most CRMs provided by brokerages are pretty rigid in how they’re set up to manage leads and coordinate transactions. If the process defined by your broker’s CRM doesn’t align with your process—well, you’re out of luck.
4) Your broker can go over your head to communicate with your leads.
An agent once told us a story about being reprimanded by a client for her incessant weekly delivery of doorknob flyers. Flustered and embarrassed, she was forced to admit, “It wasn’t me, it was my brokerage.”
5) There's a serious lack of customer insight.
While some third-party CRMs (like Realvolve) allow agents to measure the strength of their relationships and identify individuals who could use some additional nurturing, most broker-provided CRMs fail to provide this level of meaningful insight.
Learn more: How Realvolve's 'Contact Cross Section' Works
6) Weak automation.
Most CRMs available to real estate agents have very limited automation. A lead comes in, it triggers a text message—and that’s it.
No reminder for you to follow up with a phone call. No automated workflows for lead nurturing (which is far more important than lead gen), or for the actual transaction, or for the long-term past-client followup. Nothing.
7) An in-house CRM is never going to be as good as a CRM built by a technology company.
When it comes to developing software, real estate brokerages rarely have the same level of resources as technology companies. Fewer technology staff and lower tech budget means longer waits between updates, low-quality support, and a less-robust software platform.
Ask yourself: Do I want to be an employee...or an entrepreneur?
If you don't have any plans to grow—if you're content to let your broker take the lead and define the way you do business—then you'll be fine sticking with your company-provided CRM.
But that's not you, is it?
No, you're an entrepreneur. You want the flexibility to define your own processes. You want the ability to advance to more prestigious brokerages—or maybe even open your own brokerage—and take your entire database with you. You want the most powerful technology available to real estate agents—a CRM that automates the busywork, provides valuable client insight, and scales with you as your business grows.
Do your own CRM research. Ask colleagues for recommendations. Maybe even start your search here at Realvolve.
Free Ebook: Learn why Realvolve is the smarter CRM choice
To learn more about the benefits of using Realvolve over your broker-provided CRM, download our free ebook!
In this ebook, we don't just outline the downsides of using your broker's software—we also introduce the upsides of Realvolve: more control, increased flexibility, powerful automation, and so much more.
This blog post was originally published on October 16, 2019. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.