Chime’s chief marketing officer Matt Murphy on what to look for in a customer relationship management software system.

Key takeaways:

• Not all customer relationship management software systems are the same.

• The best CRMs are organized, actionable and allows the user to enter communication sequences.

• Consider a real estate-specific CRM, which offers features specific to meeting how your real estate agents run their businesses.

Chime bills itself as a lead generation and customer relationship management solution for real estate professionals with an emphasis on mobile-first technology. OnCourse Learning Real Estate spoke with Matt Murphy, the chief marketing officer and one of the founders of Chime Technologies, based in Salt Lake City, who discussed how he helps real estate professionals choose the right CRM software system.

OnCourse Learning: What is the most important variable when deciding what kind of CRM system you should buy for your real estate company?

Matt Murphy: I give a talk on this exact topic. I joke and set up the conversation with “The most important thing about a CRM out there is one you actually use.” You can have the most expensive one or the one that’s ranked the highest, but if you don’t put the time into it, the value received back is just not there. We go through a checklist of items that I walk agents through. What to look for is a tool you understand, that’s easy for you to use.

OCL: What are some other important factors that need to be considered?

Murphy: The next thing to look at is whether the client is a single agent, a broker, is part of or leading a team or is building a team. There are various tools for each of those cases. My follow-up questions include the following: What are you trying to achieve with this tool? What are the core things you are trying to solve?  Do you want to become more organized? Are you running a lead generation campaign and need help communicating about and nurturing the campaign? Do you have a huge sphere already and need reminders on what to follow up with? Have you hired a new person on your team and now need a CRM workflow system to help you work together and better manage and grow the business? All of these are important factors to consider.

“You can have the most expensive one or the one that’s ranked the highest, but if you don’t put the time into it, the value received back is just not there.”

OCL: If somebody doesn’t quite know how to answer those questions, how do you help them decide what things to look for?

Murphy: A lot of single agents out there – when I say single agents, I’m referring to small business owners —  don’t have an assistant. They’re not part of a team. They’ve been in real estate for five years, 10 years, 15 years and they have a database, and lot of times that database is Excel or maybe it’s their address book within their email client. I’d say probably 70% of the time that’s what I find when I’m out networking and mingling with these agents.

I tell them having a database is great, but you want that database to be organized, and you want it to be actionable, and you want it to remind you of various coming events. Actionable means being able to set up action plans and enter communication sequences. You want those emails or text messages or reminders to be tied into your database as well. By doing that, you can achieve more things each day because you’re using technology to automate your workflows and your communications streams to really nurture your leads. Once these leads are nurtured and they raise their hands, you can then jump in.

“I tell them having a database is great, but you want that database to be organized, and you want it to be actionable…” — Matt Murphy, Chime 

If they say yes to all those things, then it comes down to: Are you looking to do lead generation? Are you looking to build a team or are you just comfortable with creating actionable items? If they’re comfortable with that, there are various grades of systems out there.

OCL: What is the reason someone would want to get a real estate-specific CRM system?

Murphy: The benefit of real estate-specific CRMs is they have features that are specific to how you run your business. For example, they have standard drip campaigns where you can go in and choose drip emails that other agents have used or uploaded to the system. They have property alerts built directly into the CRM system. A lot of the form fields when you’re filling out a lead record – address, how many bedrooms you’re looking for, bathroom location ­– a lot of those are standard form fields a real estate CRM would have but a non-real estate CRM would not.

“The benefit of real estate-specific CRMs is they have features that are specific to how you run your business.” 

OCL: Can you explain the importance of having a CRM system that has a mobile app?

Of all the real estate CRM systems, there are not many that have a mobile app. The ones that do are able to tap into a lot of the data functionality of the phone. So, for example, one click to call a lead, one click to email, once click to text and logging of those actions. Without native access to the phone by a native app, you have to manually log those, so it doesn’t really save you time.

The other thing about mobile is of all the agents I know, none like being behind a desk. They don’t like sitting behind a computer. They want to be out in the market with their customers helping them find a dream home, so mobile just fits in their day-to-day lifestyle.

What do you think about these tips? Let us know in the comments below!