A CRM can be a powerful tool for every broker. With the right features, you can use it to accelerate prospecting, forge stronger relationships, and lock in more deals.
Despite this, brokers reported in our annual DNA of #CRE survey that the features they need for a truly CRE-specific CRM are still missing from the tech landscape.
Small brokerages face even more challenges with CRMs than just missing features—like multiple rounds of data entry and a lack of integration rendering systems unusable.
Here are the most common CRM challenges for small brokerages
Let’s take a closer look at each of these challenges and what your brokerage can do to overcome them.
Having one location for your property data, contacts, activities, notes, and more means you can operate in confidence that you’re always leaning on your most up-to-date information.
When it’s readily accessible in the conversations that need it most, every one of your insights becomes more valuable.
Centralizing your data helps you prove yourself as an expert resource in your market and remember the smallest details to delight the person on the other end of your calls and ultimately deliver more value to every contact in your database.
Your data is likely all over the place. Between your notes, contacts, and property information—nothing is stored in one location.
In order to track down the data you need to inform your deals and relationships, you have to bounce between Outlook, spreadsheets, your CRM, and maybe more.
Without a centralized location for all of this information, you’re forced to spend extra time tracking it down and then reentering it where you need it. You don’t want to spend more time managing your information than you spend using it.
Pick one location to house all of your most important data.
Store your contacts in Outlook and include past meetings and activities together on each contact record’s notes. But Outlook doesn’t have an internal system built for housing your property data in relation to your contacts.
Instead, try Google Sheets. Its features can be used to store property and contact data in a way that allows for live collaboration with your team and flexible organization—but at the cost of a lot of manual setup and maintenance.
If you’re balancing both Google Sheets and Outlook for your different types of data, add redirect links to the notes section of your Outlook records for quick access to your spreadsheets.
Each tab in Google Sheets has a unique URL you can leverage to cut down on your time searching for associated property data.
Still, centralizing this data can be difficult with tools not built for CRE. It’s possible to handle this with much less effort and a single tool—Buildout Elite.
Individual contacts, companies, comps, and research properties all live together in Buildout Elite’s CRM alongside call lists and task management features.
Created exclusively for CRE, Buildout Elite helps you use your data the way brokers need. Associate contact records with properties, select a portion of your map to see all your data in that area, and leverage custom organization options with tags and groups.
Plus, because Buildout Elite links your CRM to your brokerage’s marketing and back office, you can hand off data across the stages of a deal without redundant entry or loss of integrity.
A CRM needs to be more than just storage for your contacts.
Your CRM should support how you nurture current relationships and establish new ones. That means easy-to-use toolsets so the act of setting a reminder doesn’t take more work than actually following up.
Whether you’re looking to acquire new listings or close existing ones, you’re asking yourself one key question.
Who can I contact to seal the deal?
Now, you need to search your current CRM, build a call list, and send out emails. But you have hundreds of contacts in your CRM—organizing your call lists alone will take hours.
On top of this, you need to stay on top of your regular communication. You likely need to set reminders for yourself on your phone or in your Outlook to follow up or reach out.
You need to be able to take all your data, activities, and notes, and organize them so you don’t lose sight of your work.
Create a system that encourages and streamlines your relationship management.
If you’re using Outlook, every time you reach out to a prospect or client, you can set flag reminders to follow up on the date you specify.
You can also organize your contacts in spreadsheets with tabs dedicated to an overarching theme. For example, build a list of investors interested in multifamily—this way the next time you get a multifamily listing, it’s easy to reach out to your prospect list.
Ideally, you’re keeping your notes about these contacts in the same place as well. This will keep you organized and allow you to easily reference historical data.
But these solutions are not ideal—you’re still using multiple tools that are taking extra time from your day.
Buildout Elite’s CRM centralizes all of your contact and property data, and lets you search and organize the data in the way that’s most useful to you.
To help you manage your contacts, you can easily organize them using our tags. This allows you to build lists for outreach with the simple click of a button.
And to encourage centralizing all of your data, you can use Buildout’s BCC email address to log emails you send in Outlook back to your CRM. This makes it easy to refer to past communications with clients and prospects, without digging through your Outlook for emails.
You can also create tasks to remind yourself to follow up with contacts. This way, nothing slips through the cracks and you can keep track of your outstanding work.
Using a shared CRM at your brokerage allows you to centralize and streamline data sharing.
But CRE is a competitive field—you need the option to keep some data to yourself.
A listing is about to become available—you're the first to know and you’d like to keep it that way.
Using a shared CRM at your brokerage makes it difficult to keep this type of information private. To avoid sharing private data, most brokers end up storing notes in Outlook, spreadsheets, or even buying their own CRM.
But these pose their own challenges—you’re sacrificing your ability to centralize data, spending more time managing this information, and likely accruing extra cost for additional tools.
You need the option to be able to keep some data close to the vest and privately house your exclusive information.
Buildout Elite directly combats this challenge.
Our CRM offers privacy options within your brokerage wide CRM so you can easily keep private notes about your activities, insights, properties, contacts, companies, and more.
And unlike most CRMs, you have the option to keep data to yourself.
If you’re recruiting, brokers will be more enticed by your firm knowing they can bring their hard-earned data to your brokerage, without sacrificing their privacy.
And if anyone leaves the firm, Buildout Elite makes it easy for brokers to take their data with them and power it up at their next Buildout-enabled brokerage.
Lastly, just because your data was once private in the CRM, doesn’t mean it always has to be. You have the option to copy your private records to the shared CRM so everyone on your team can access, or pass only necessary information to Marketing for the next phases of your deal.
This gives you the flexibility you need to maintain your data and privacy.
No matter where you’re at in your deal flow, you need to be able to easily share your property data with your team.
This allows you to move your property through every phase of your work—from prospecting to marketing to back office—without manually reentering information at each point.
You store all of your property data and insights in your CRM.
And when you’re ready to build a proposal, you now need to reenter the data into a new tool to create it. This process is not only time-consuming but can slow down your ability to pitch new business.
And this problem continues through every phase of your deal.
In marketing, it hinders your speed to market and creation of collateral, and with back office, it hinders your ability to finalize the transaction and generate vouchers or invoices.
But because your CRM doesn’t integrate with other tools, you’re having to do everything multiple times. Not only is this time consuming but it’s also primed for errors.
You need a system that allows you to seamlessly share accurate data with your team.
Rely on a tool that integrates your CRM with all of your tools for a seamless data flow.
Buildout Elite was built to enable you to manage your deal—start to finish—all in one place. All of your shared data in your CRM is automatically accessible to everyone at your brokerage.
For example, if you’re ready to start marketing a listing, your marketing person or team will already have access to the information they need to build the marketing flyers, emails, websites, and more with the click of a button.
And with single entry data sharing, you’ll eliminate errors.
You can rely on the fact that everything you do will be accurate and professional because everyone is working off one centralized database.
With easy access to the data you and your team need at every phase of your deal, you can spend time focusing on what matters most, building relationships and closing deals.
You’re not alone. We build technology that helps brokerages like you around the country overcome these challenges. If your brokerage could benefit from an integrated CRM like Buildout Elite, reach out to our team.
We can help you simplify and streamline your processes with a CRM built for CRE.