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CRM: Cheaper to Keep ‘Em

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By Verl Workman

Sometimes when you network, you run across truly great people. Meet Bob Corcoran. I’ve known Bob for several years and I couldn’t be happier to have access to his expertise and professionalism so I can share it with you. Bob is, without question, one of the best real estate coaches in the country. I sat down with him recently to discuss a critical topic for today’s real estate agents and brokers: CRM – customer relationship management.

Verl Workman: What exactly is CRM, and why should agents and brokers be concerned with it?

Bob Corcoran: CRM is more than just a database or Microsoft’s Outlook. CRM is a system that lets you store all of your contact information, and the best ones let you launch action plans with repeatable activities like house-buying anniversaries, birthdays, etc. CRMs let you categorize your contacts so you can quickly find and communicate with specific individuals or groups. As for why agents need to be concerned with CRM, you were right when you used the word critical. It’s five times cheaper to keep a client than to find a new one. NAR says 85 percent of agents quit communicating with contacts after six months. That’s just unbelievable. So it’s like the saying, “It’s cheaper to keep ’em.”

VW: What are the key elements of action plans?

BC: Action plans revolve around connecting with contacts. Real estate is, and always will be, a people business. So I’m talking about action plans for your sphere of influence, your past clients and all prospects. And the type of contact needs to encompass phone calls, letters, postcards, emails, direct mail or a combination of any of those.

VW: How often should agents call through their CRM?

BC: It depends on how big it is. If it’s a size where you can call all of them, do that. If you can’t, identify the customers who’ll give you the most referrals. I also recommend calling five people every day.

VW: What are the biggest struggles or challenges agents face with CRM?

BC: Most don’t make preserving relationships they’ve already developed a priority. We like to identify what we call the director of raving fan service. Putting a person in charge of CRM is vital. Then hold them accountable. You have to inspect what you expect. Great delegation is great follow through.

VW: You mentioned preserving relationships. That’s really what it’s all about, isn’t it?

BC: Yes. Think about when you retire. What value will you have to a prospective buyer who’s looking at your real estate business? If you make CRM a priority, you can show that buyer trackable business—actual people who you know and who know you and who will do business with you. Now that’s value.

Verl Workman is a speaker, coach, business consultant and president of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network®. To hire Verl to speak, consult or work with your company, email Coach@VerlWorkman.com or visit VerlWorkman.com for more information.

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker, author and founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc., an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.

For more information, visit CorcoranCoaching.com.

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