Category : Condo Sales Software

How to Get Useful Data from your CRM System

How to Get Useful Data from Your CRM

This article originally appeared on the Lasso CRM Blog.

We’ve heard the saying, “Garbage in, garbage out.” It has numerous applications, but is especially true of CRM systems. Having a CRM that’s been implemented according to your specific business needs can save your sales team time and increase your profits, but only if information is entered consistently and accurately.

When it comes to online leads, much of the grunt work is done for you. In the case of Lasso, leads from your website and listing directories are instantly imported in the database, and you can set up an automated sales process with tasks and reminders. But once you’ve got an engaged prospect, it’s critical to record as much detailed information as possible in order to help you win the sale.

Here are the types of useful data that can be pulled from your CRM database that will facilitate your sales and marketing processes.

Lists Sorted by Criteria

This is immensely helpful for targeted marketing. You can pull lists with very specific criteria – such as all A and B prospects who visited the sales center in the last three months who had a home to sell – and create a marketing campaign speaking directly to their needs.

Activity Reports

In an easy-to-read format, view the last date and type of communication to figure out next steps of the sales process (or if your process needs to be adjusted due to lack of response/engagement).

Mass Mail Summary

Understand the types of emails that have the most traction. Know who has opened your email, which links they’re clicking on, the subjects that prompt action, and to whom to send follow-up emails.

Registrant Traffic

Home buying is increasingly moving to an online experience, but we know that walk-in traffic is gold. Understand the demographics of who’s coming into your sales center, where they’re coming from, and what their interests/timing/needs are.

Website Analytics

Receive real-time notifications when a prospect is on your website, see which pages they’re visiting, and use that information for extremely targeted and relevant follow-up. This is also a great tool to evaluate which pages are performing best with your target audience.

Prospect/Purchaser Analysis

Understand the prospect characteristics and trends that lead to “purchaser” status.

Outside REALTORS®

Don’t underestimate the power of REALTOR® relationships! Know which outside agents bring in the most qualified prospects and purchasers and show your appreciation!

This information can only be extracted from your CRM if the data is entered systematically and completely. It may seem like a lot, but it’s really about thorough follow-through. Once your sales team sees the value of these types of analytics, and understands that knowledge equals sales power, entering data will become second nature.

If you’d like more information on implementing an effective CRM for new home sales, please contact sales@lassocrm.com.

Managing Condo Inventory with CRM

Mosaic on Hermann Park Condomimium

Mosaic on Hermann Park, Houston, TX (Photo source: mosaichouston.com)

Selling a condominium community can be lots of fun. Often, condo buildings are located in bustling urban centers and present opportunities for creative sales and marketing techniques.  Selling condos also presents a unique set of challenges, particularly when it comes to managing inventory.

Given the physical structure of a condo building (and often the sheer number of homes), tracking inventory on Excel-based spreadsheets can be overwhelming and frustrating. It’s difficult to see sales patterns based on stacks, which often determines how the building is priced. For example, sales of the downtown-facing ‘A’ stack may be outpacing those of the parking lot-facing ‘B’ stack, and it’s helpful to see those patterns to determine pricing and release strategy.  Using a spreadsheet to manually manage price adjustments, upgrade packages, availability and deal status can easily lead to costly errors.

With a home builder CRM solution with built-in inventory functions, it’s easy to manage one condo tower, or a hundred. With Lasso CRM, inventory is uploaded only once and a graphical stacking plan with real-time pricing and availability is immediately generated. Inventory is color-coded by status for easy reading, and it can be exported as a list or Excel file if necessary. Availability boards can be printed directly from the CRM system, or sent in an automatic email that is distributed to the sales team a certain time each day. Here are some additional inventory features:

  • Price Revisions
  • Mass Updates
  • Inventory Search
  • Commission Calculation
  • Document Storage
  • Storage and Parking Space Assignments
  • Sales Projections
  • Advanced Reporting

Let us help you better manage your condo or multi-family inventory with a CRM solution. Contact Lasso to learn more.

10 Tips to Personalize Communication to Prospective Homebuyers

Originally posted on the Lasso CRM Blog.

Couple looking at computer.In this age of media overload, it’s more important than ever to create meaningful marketing pieces that are able to cut through the clutter, particularly with email marketing. The average corporate user sends and receives 112 emails a day, and in the real estate industry, roughly 80 percent of emails are never opened. Of those opened, about 35 percent are not even read. The challenges are apparent; the goal is to create email that gets opened AND read. Along with appealing design and thoughtful content, email personalization is a great way to encourage prospects to engage with your email content.

Here are 10 ways home builders can personalize communication to prospective buyers.

1.     Segment Your Lists – By segmenting your database, you are able to send groups of people information that is most relevant to them. Studies have shown that marketers who segment their lists experience higher open rates. For example: Prospects with pets would be interested in features of the nearby dog park.

2.     Create Buyer Personas – By creating 2-3 personas of members of your target audience, you are able to craft marketing messages that are specifically in line with their interests. For example, information for an investor may be presented in a different way than information for a couple seeking to downsize.

3.     Ask the Right Questions on Your Web Forms – And in your sales presentations. Make sure the answers are populating to your CRM system and use that information to match email content to the prospect.

4.     Use Merge Fields – This may be the simplest way to personalize a marketing email. Start off your emails with “Dear Allison” rather than no salutation at all.

5.     Send from a Person, Not a Company – Pay careful attention to which name is in the “From” field. Consumers are more likely to open an email from someone they recognize – like a sales agent or manager they’ve worked with.

6.     Include Personal Information – Use the fields provided in your real estate CRM system to segment lists by last visit date, then begin a follow-up email with, “Thanks for visiting the sales center last week.” The same applies for event attendees: “Thanks for attending our grand opening last week!” This is a memory trigger for the prospect and gets him or her thinking about your community.

7.     Communicate between Departments – Be sure your marketing team communicates to the sales team all marketing pieces that are going out. If a prospect calls a sales agent and references a recent email, the sales agent should not be caught off guard! (With email marketing, simply add the sales team to your list.)

8.     Resend Email – Closely monitor the open rates through your CRM system and resend an email to those who did not open it. Perhaps change the subject to give the email a different tone.

9.     Don’t Forget to Write – Nothing screams “personal” like a hand-written note that someone has taken the time to write, stamp and mail. It may be “old school” but people really do appreciate it.

10.    Engage and Interact – This one applies to social media. Don’t be afraid to interact! If someone posts a comment on your community’s Facebook page, engage with them, even if it’s as simple as a “Like.” Show that human beings are behind your social media efforts and you’re not just posting statuses because marketing experts say you should. This is your opportunity to foster a sense of community, albeit online.

Take a moment and think about the types of emails and marketing pieces you respond best to. It’s usually something that strikes a cord with you, or connects with your interests. It seems genuine and true. That is the goal when creating your own marketing content. Personalization may take a bit more time, but it pays off (literally!) in the long run.

Why You Should Manage Duplicate Registrants

Paper dollsAs a sales professional who uses a home builder CRM system, you’ve undoubtedly heard the request time and time again to clean up your duplicate registrants. It sounds like a lot of work, but done routinely, managing duplicate files can become part of your everyday CRM use. So, aside from having a clean database, have you ever pondered the specific reasons why this task is so important? Well, today you get answers!

Keep notes, history and activities all in one place: If your colleague happens to assist your prospect on your day off, it’s important that there is one file where he or she can enter notes and next steps. Also, as prospects may register on your website multiple times, it’s important to consistently check for duplicates so that multiple agents are not following up with the same lead and assigning repetitive sales activities or automated emails.

Reduce mass mail inefficiencies: Lasso CRM software is smart. It will search for duplicates for you and send a mass mail to only one of the addresses. (Otherwise, if a sender tries sending two emails to one address simultaneously, if could negatively influence your sender rating with email providers.) However, sending email to duplicate addresses will impact your Mass Mail reports by marking the duplicates as ‘Not Sent.’ This skews your reporting and makes it impossible to know your true email marketing success or how to plan your next campaign. Also, merging duplicates beforehand will save you the time of going through your ‘Not Sent’ emails, only to discover they are dupes!

Send emails faster: As mentioned above, the Lasso system will automatically search for duplicate emails prior to sending a mass mail. The software also searches your database for registrants who have opted-out, emails that have hard bounced, and records with no email address. This takes time and as a result, your email takes longer to be sent compared to a clean email list. This is especially important if you send multiple mass emails in a day to a segmented list.

Lasso makes duplicate management easy by searching and finding all duplicate registrants within a community, or merging duplicates across multiple projects. If you would like more information on managing duplicates within Lasso, please contact your client representative or email support@mylasso.com.

Automating Sales? Ponder These As You Prepare…

These days we automate everything. From banking online to email at our fingertips we are tuned in and up to the minute with our reactions. We know that just about everything we encounter in our daily lives means, “there’s an app for that.”

With so much automation, smart builders are focusing on technology to simplify their sales process as well. Technology makes selling real estate easier, right? Believe me, I’m all for this – after all, CRM software is our livelihood here at Lasso!

Without a doubt real estate CRM software provides a plethora of pros. CRM for real estate:
• Sells projects faster
• Provides a structured approach to lead capture
• Creates a framework for prospect follow up and communication
• Offers visibility to management
• Allows for better coaching opportunities
• Makes marketing decisions easier and more informed
A lead management system can be the solution to many common sales issues you encounter, but here’s a few things to think about when realizing the full potential of your CRM and garner the results you expect.

Technology and CRM cannot solve the whole problem – Without ownership and commitment by everyone involved the desired results may fall short of the mark. While CRM provides the framework for the discipline process, leaders need to make sure the training needed to create the desired change is implemented, while instilling enthusiasm for the implementation. Through proper leadership, coaching and motivation an organization can create the desired climate for change.

Day-to-day administration is a key to CRM success – Whether by placing one individual in charge of the tool or by asking your CRM provider to offer a system admin as an aspect of their service – giving your team easy access to problem solving and training will help integrate these project marketing tools into the daily culture of your organization.

Rinse and repeat – Developing processes that can be duplicated and repeated are the secret to success with an effective lead management program. With a framework that includes a qualification system, along with both a lead follow up and a prospect nurturing program – and yes there is a difference – you begin to create a formula for success. As your system advances, a homebuyer referral program can be defined in a CRM process as well.

Use the K.I.S.S. Principal and you’ll never go wrong – If you complicate the process and expect a perfect scenario you will almost always find yourself back at square one with your team. Members will revert to old ways, which were what needed fixing in the first place and brought you to the CRM.

Always remember that implementing a CRM system should make it easier to sell. It’s not supposed to slow down the frontline sales and marketing team with administrivia. CRM makes it easier for your team to succeed while creating a window into the marketing and sales process. This win-win combination is the true advantage of technology and automation.

Part 3: Lead Registration Pages – Tips and Tricks for Effective Registration Pages

We previously talked about the different schools of thought in gathering lead registration information, and we talked about the pros and cons of the various approaches.  Here at Lasso, we help hundreds of clients find the right balance on their registration pages to process pertinent information into their real estate CRM and condo sales software databases. Continue Reading

Part 2: Lead Registration Pages – Is There a Right or Wrong Approach?

Recently we talked about the two different methodologies for gathering information from your leads on a lead registration page. One theory is to ask just for the basics, the other is to include a series of qualifying questions. While there are two schools of thought, is there a right or a wrong approach when enticing perspective leads to engage with you on your website?

It depends. A very important aspect of lead gathering is to ask yourself, if you were in your buyers’ shoes, how would you want to be engaged? Would you want to fill out endless questions on your home search? Or would you like to give the basics and see how the following customer service makes you feel? The other aspect to look at with your request forms is how easy are they to find, and how easy and quick are they to fill out? Remember, everyone’s time is at a premium.

By gathering name, email and phone number you’ve gotten the most important information to engage your lead. After that any questions you ask should be important, concise, consistent across all your communities, and don’t need to be required fields. Security codes to avoid spammers often can be a turn off if it’s difficult to translate, and can turn away prospects.

If you’re using CRM software that allows multiple fields for qualifying questions, remember that asking too many questions can stop your potential buyer before you ever have a chance to talk with them. Again would you fill out endless questions regarding your search before you’ve even developed a rapport with the company from which you are inquiring information? Remember that these types of questions are great ice-breakers for your online sales counselor or sales professional when they make their first phone call or send their first email.  This will help build a relationship while you build the prospective buyers profile.

While there is no right or wrong approach, by modifying the way you think about lead registration pages and putting the trust in both your follow up process and your sales professionals, you will be able to gather just the right amount of information. A proper amount of data will avoid irritating prospective home and condo owners, and create the perfect conditions for nurturing leads and creating sales.

If you’d like to see a few tips in tricks when putting together a registration page, and ideas how to capture different information with different forms stay tuned for the third and final article on lead registration pages.

Image source: ©PhotoXpress.com

Part 1: Lead Registration Pages – Too Little, Too Much, or Just Right

Marketing professionals are often split on what information you should request from your web leads. There is a fine line between asking too many questions and not enough from your potential home buyers. How do you determine the sweet spot that will get your prospects to commit to filling out a request? There are two schools of thought in creating web lead forms with your real estate CRM and condo sales software.

The first group believes that in today’s market where leads are more scarce and competition is stiff many marketing professionals feel that it’s important to get the basics: Name, email address and phone number. Once this information is gathered you can use project marketing tools to create a strong well thought out follow-up plan to nurture and qualify the lead. Then you can gauge the level of interest as you engage your leads, and get more buy in as you move them through the sales process. With this method you may receive more leads, but less of those leads may actually be interested enough to communicate with you after their initial inquiry.

The other perspective is that if you ask lots of questions, then you will more fully qualify your lead and get more buy in from your lead upfront. In many cases this school of thought believes that only the highly interested leads will stay on your page and take the time to fill out the fields hence creating only strongly qualified prospects coming through your internet door. While with this method you may receive more information from the start, you will most likely receive fewer leads.  The theory that you’d only be getting those that were truly interested is slightly skewed. After all how many times do you, yourself, search for information on a product only to have a lengthy questionnaire turn you in the direction of looking for that same item somewhere else? You may have initially been interested, but the questionnaire can be a turn off.

Is there a right or wrong approach? What do you think? In part two we will delve deeper into the pros and cons of these methodologies.

Real Estate Software CRM – Convert Return on Marketing

The acronym CRM gets thrown around a lot when talking about project marketing tools and condo sales software. The actual meaning of CRM is Customer Relationship Management. Homebuilders in today’s market may look at CRM as a way to Convert Return on Marketing.

Consider the following:

  1. After speaking with several of our homebuilder clients their feedback confirms the typical average cost of a lead walking through the door is $230-300 per lead. This does not include all leads, only those that actually pay a visit to the model homes and sales centers.
  2. Studies continue to show that most sales are made between the fifth and the twelfth contact.
  3. Three ‘shopping’ reports, conducted in an eighteen month time span targeting homebuilders across the US found that on average, only about 50% of prospects get an email follow up and about 20% receive a phone follow up call from an agent.

We already know that since 90% of home shoppers begin their search online, an effective website is the cornerstone to a homebuilder’s marketing and sales strategy. This reaffirms the need to invest marketing dollars into both online and offline campaigns. But the best way to covert prospects to buyers and get a return on your marketing investment is to adopt a CRM system like Lasso that can manage valuable leads. Real estate CRM software enables a repeatable, coachable, trackable sales process.

 

Using Condo Sales Software for Performance Based Coaching

Condo Sales Software, Real Estate CRMIn today’s real estate sales market a primary challenge for management is to maximize results for every lead by making certain all sales activities are consistent and done with a high degree of quality. The question is, how do you achieve these results?

Gone are the days when people lined up to sign purchase agreements. Being successful today requires several key factors:

  • Hire the right people
  • Provide the right sales training
  • Organize your team
  • Provide top notch sales tools
  • Coach your sales team to success

Through the effective use of a CRM system for real estate you can set up standard sales processes that incorporate activity expectations for your sales agents so that the CRM becomes a coaching tool for your staff.

Most progressive leaders and managers hire and train right. By establishing definitive expectations and leading the process and activities they set up a results-driven team with goals set toward better performance. By implementing tools, like their condo sales software, they establish and reinforce a defined process, including follow up routines and communication expectations for their trained team to follow.

In addition to training their staff to use the CRM, more and more leaders are using the CRM system daily themselves.  It becomes a part of their business routine. Because a CRM can be so robust and allow for information input on all aspects of sales, marketing, building and managing the process in new real estate developments the best managers leverage information to help coach future performance instead of monitoring the past.  By coaching through the use of CRM real estate software one can instill accountability whereby the right people will be rewarded and, when necessary, it becomes more rapidly apparent when to de-hire the wrong people.