|While zipForm Standard is no longer a benefit to members, you are still able to access your account online at www.zipFormPlus.com. Only transactions up to 14 months old will show up in zipForm Plus. Anything older than that, you will need to download and save before uninstalling the Standard software.
Your CRM should be the hub of all things technology in your brokerage. It should be the glue that ties your sales associates to your firm and provides so much value that sales associates aren’t afraid to share their contacts. Most importantly, having a feature-rich CRM positions sales associates and teams for growth.
By REAL Trends Tech Team
When it comes to brokerages, there are ways to consider using a CRM:
1. Full Solution. Using a full real estate solution that is tied to your website. This typically consists of websites, agent sites, CRM, email marketing and lead routing.
Pros: Having everything integrated is exceptional for data control, accuracy and overall accountability. It makes training and adoption easier and allows for the brokerage to track lead sources, ROI and reporting and be transparent. Marketing has greater control of the content and brand standards and can support sales associates with their CRM/marketing endeavors.
Cons: To get a full solution, you must be willing to spend the money. And, if you’re spending so much on the solution, you’ll want to ensure buy-in by your sales associates and a long-term commitment from your vendor.
2. Tied-in to Other Tools. Many firms have contracted with a local- or website-specific vendor. To this tool, they add-on a real estate specific CRM.
Pros: With this option, you get a world-class CRM with all the bells and whistles. New features are typically commonplace and frequent. A strong API allows you to integrate with your website and other systems. Sales associates like these systems because they usually have robust social tools, email contact and calendar integrations.
Cons: Broker support is tough because many of these CRM companies don’t have the staff and resources to support a larger brokerage. Reporting and marketing functions are isolated and individual to the sales associates. Leaving the agents to do everything is difficult for busy sales associates.
3. The DIY model. Firms promote a specific CRM vendor and give the CRM partner a license to sell to your organization in exchange for a small discount.
Pros: The obvious pros are cost and commitment. It’s the ultimate low-risk solution for a brokerage. Some of these systems are powerful and low cost for the sales associates. This strategy separates the broker and agent technology strategies. Some sales associates like the DIY type, but it also allows for the broker to drive their brand and lead generation through separate digital marketing tactics. This system takes the brokerage agnostic in the CRM adoption conversation.
Cons: The broker loses some control. Thus, the agent is portable and can take their CRM and the business they’ve built anywhere. In the end, this solution is giving the sales associate much more than they can get for themselves on their own. The brokerage has virtually no control, insight, marketing capabilities or connection.
REAL Trends recommends you choose a CRM from options No. 1 and 2. This is due to the long-term and future implications. Option No. 3 is fairly short sighted for a large brokerage with growth aspirations.
This article originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2017