Between easy consumer access to tons of data, better tools for targeting prospects, and the culture of instant gratification on the internet, real estate has never been more competitive. Consumer loyalty is also harder to come by these days: while the vast majority of young homebuyers are still working with agents, they’re less likely than older buyers to sign a buyer representation agreement.
That’s why being at the right place, at the right time for your real estate leads is so important—after all, if you don’t stay in touch, someone else will. So how do you get through to your prospects—track their journey, craft the best message, time it just right, and deliver it where they’re spending their time? It all starts with a great customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Chances are you’re currently using a CRM to keep track of current and prospective clients. The real question, however, is whether you’re using your CRM correctly. For Allen Bonde, Vice President of Marketing at Placester, answering that question means understanding that CRM isn’t just about pushing people toward a transaction.
“The best relationships develop over many years, and they have ebbs and flows,” Allen told us. “I think we’d all agree that, ultimately, we’re trying to optimize the lifetime value of our customers, not just any one thing that they buy from us.”
One of the best ways to do this is by using “small data” from your CRM to create content that’s valuable to your audience. Whereas big data employs billions of data points and sophisticated software, small data takes “a more of a user-centric approach,” Allen explained. “[It] invites us to get back to basics with the data that we’re already gathering, whether that’s surveys or references or things like that. And, man, if we can provide easy ways to get to that…there’s huge value that doesn’t require huge investments in technology.”
At the end of the day, Allen reminded us, CRM and small data aren’t just short-term tools: they provide insights that can make you a more effective real estate agent far into the future. “If you’re helpful, you’re going to advance the conversation, you’re going to create trust, and then people will come back when they’re ready to buy,” he pointed out.
Allen has spent decades working with CRM technology, first as an engineer in corporate research and development, then as a marketer and marketing consultant for several highly successful companies. In this interview, Allen explains how your CRM can help you gather “small data” insights, stretch your real estate content, and generate a lifetime of value from your clients.
- Matt & Seth