Let’s face it, change is uncomfortable. We are creatures of habit. Sometimes, even when we know there’s a better way of doing things, we get stuck in our ways – doing things “the way they’ve always been done” because it’s comfortable.
If you’re reading this, you’ve at least entertained the idea of changing real estate systems. That’s the first step. Read on to find out what to do next to make the transition as simple and streamlined as possible.
This one’s obvious – a CRM adoption is successful only if staff actually use the system. Buy-in from senior members is crucial; studies show lack of support from those at the top is one of the most common causes of failed adoption.
Those in management positions often drive the opinions and culture of your agency. Getting their buy-in early will cause a ripple effect through your entire business and set you up for a successful CRM onboard.
Good intentions can go out the window when life gets in the way. To make sure you get value from the change, you need to decide what you want to get out of your new system and then regularly check to see whether it’s being delivered.
You might want:
- more robust reporting
- a place to manage all your referral networks
- to become a data-driven business
- your team to follow a defined sales process
- to manage marketing efforts in the CRM
- to integrate with the other software your agency uses
Whatever the case, make a note of what a successful CRM onboard looks like to you so you have something to reflect back on in six or twelve months’ time.
Set up internal usage guidelines and templates
The data inside your CRM is your agency’s most valuable asset – but if your agents don’t know how to access and use it, it’s practically useless.
First and foremost, you’ll need guidelines for entering and storing data so that:
- everything in the system is consistent
- you, other agents and admin staff can access records easily
- agents can track their sales pipeline
- reports are accurate
Another thing you should consider early are the templates staff use. Humans are wired to take the path of least resistance, so if you’ve got branded templates built-in to the system – your agents are going to use them. This helps all staff ‘speak’ in your agency’s tone of voice and give your customers a more consistent customer experience.
Make sure all of the CRM usage guidelines and templates are accessible and clearly state what, when and how needs to be done in the CRM system.
Set your staff up for success
Before making the switch, set aside time to get everyone in your agency to meet and learn the software together. Make sure there is enough time to walk through the software and to answer questions.
Even if they’re not going to be one of the main users (for example, their assistant will use the CRM for them) they still need to know how to get information out of the system to make informed decisions. You may need to carve out time for one-on-one training with employees who are still struggling with the change.
Choose a project manager and a super user
These are the two most important roles when it comes to switching CRMs.
The project manager will be in charge of making sure things happen when they should, all necessary steps are taken on time and goals are met. They’ll be the one in contact with your CRM provider to make sure all the data is in the system, ready to go, when things switch over.
The super user is not the same as your project manager. This will be the know-it-all person; they love your new CRM and want to test drive everything in it.
When staff have problems or need help, this is the internal go-to person who is there to lend a hand. The super-user is also often the CRM supplier’s point of contact and will be the first to get information about product releases, software updates, bugs, etc. They’ll make sure you’re using the system to its full extent.
The most important thing to remember is that CRM is not a plug-and-play tool that you simply add to your tech stack. When used correctly, it can save your agency thousands of hours every year (which is dollars saved for you, as a business owner).
Follow the above steps to make sure you’re getting the most value from the system.