You may never have heard of it before, but the CRM Maturity model is a concept and has become a useful tool in many industries struggling to differentiate their customer engagements. On its own, it serves as a conversation starter and point of reference for agency owners. However, when put to use, it can help real estate agencies of all shapes and sizes uncover significant opportunities to improve their business – opportunities that are often overlooked because agencies are intrinsically focused.
If you want to see for yourself you take our custom assessment here and we’ll deliver you scores on four dimensions all wrapped up in a personalised report. This will help you better understand your agency’s strengths and weaknesses, and tell you where your agency sits on the maturity scale. Then, read the below to understand more about your maturity level.
The term “maturity” refers to the degree of formality and optimisation of processes in your real estate agency. The maturity analysis mode that we are using has 4 phases: Innovative, Proactive, Reactive and Static.
Innovative agencies are at the top of the CRM Maturity scale. They are the agencies strategically using automation to allow their agents to spend time doing the thing that matters most: building relationships.
All organisational leaders in an Innovative agency share a vision for the business, and there is clear accountability and responsibility for tasks required to achieve that vision – including plans for succession and transition.
Innovative agencies have a culture of learning. These businesses are uncovering new client needs. Performance is tracked and progression towards goals is transparent. Staff in Innovative agencies have a shared understanding that real estate is a fast-paced industry and are committed to their own development to further the business's success.
In terms of strategy, key metrics aren’t just tracked – they are reported, analysed and acted on. These agencies have a validated understanding of the market. Because of this, the whole agency is on board with the strategy. Processes are well-defined, but continuously improved - and there’s a consistent investment in staff and volunteer development.
Business owners of Proactive agencies respond to changes in a more informed and thoughtful manner than agencies lower on the CRM Maturity scale. As the name suggests, attempts are made to uncover needs that aren’t readily apparent.
Proactive agencies differentiate themselves from Reactive agencies by periodically assessing the market and their competition. Doing so allows them to get ahead and prepare for changes that may occur as a result of rapid technological development, shorter economic cycles, market shifts, etc. And, because Proactive agencies have invested in resources to not only support their current needs but also their emerging needs, they’re in a position to pivot quickly.
In terms of agency management, there is a shared understanding of how agency–wide and personal performance will be sustained and improved. Staff are aware of the wider strategy for growth and can track this via metrics that are communicated by management.
Training and staff investment are a priority for proactive agencies, and key processes are documented. This is one of the biggest differentiators between Proactive agencies and those lower on the scale.
The main cause of agencies being stuck in the Reactive phase is having resources that are adequate for their current needs, but insufficient for growth. Often, a reactive agency will have a strategy and a vision – but there is a lack of widespread buy-in.
Agencies in the Reactive stage tend to respond to vocal minorities rather than a validated understanding of the market. Instead of being focussed on growing deep relationships, they are largely transactional.
Additional hallmarks of a Reactive agency include:
- Ad hoc training
- Anecdotal measurement of customer satisfaction
- Inconsistent communication with contacts via various, un-tracked channels
The first stage is Static. At this stage, agencies are focused on maintaining the status quo. Business owners of agencies stuck in the Static stage tend to think along the lines of: “We’ve always done it this way”.
In a static agency, objectives – both agency-wide and personal – are usually unclear and poorly articulated, if articulated at all.Training is non-existent. There are limited attempts to adapt to changing customer needs and no clear vision for the future.
In terms of capacity, Static agencies are likely to feel they lack resources and have poorly defined or no processes. Customer experience isn’t a priority. Simply put, real estate agencies in this section are going through the motions.
Where does your agency sit?
Where do you want to sit?
Evaluating the maturity of your approach to Customer Relationship Management is key to moving your agency forward. Refer back to your assessment report and use the tips to successfully graduate to the next level on the maturity scale.