The real estate industry is built on relationships and utilizing a solid customer relationship management system is crucial to the success of your business. 

“Your ability to make money is tied up in your ability to follow up with the people that you’re ultimately trying to serve.” – Travis Robertson

First, let’s get a working definition going: Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, is a system that manages all of your past, current and future relationships and interactions with clients. Real estate is one of the few industries that relies entirely on its relationships and, especially in today’s digital world, knowing how to cultivate and maximize those relationships is your bread and butter. Your contact database may be the most valuable piece of your business; it should always be well kept and maintained. 

With that, let’s walk through real estate CRM best practices and tips.

Choose a system that fits your specific business needs.

Take a minute to think about your business and what your specific needs are.

More likely than not, managing your contacts, having a customizable website with MLS listings, and tools for marketing are among your top five business needs. Having a CRM that supports your business is key. We recommend a platform that tracks lead behavior and automatically updates your contact database with new leads as they come into your funnel – whether they’re coming from your website, from third party sources like social media, or referrals.

Having a system that offers the above solutions in one place is best for efficiency and seamlessness. A lot of companies fragment these real estate tools and sell each product separately- if you choose a fragmented approach to your CRM system, always make sure each component is compatible with and will complement the others. The last thing you want is a website form that records new leads but doesn’t sync with your CRM, right? There’s no shortage of relationship management solutions out there, take all of your business needs into consideration and be sure your tools are compatible with each other. Whenever possible, look for solutions that were created specifically for your industry and offer a suite of all the tools you need. You’re likely to find more efficient tools and processes that are specific to your business. 

Utilize automation.

Most CRM systems come with the ability to automate repetitive tasks and marketing communications, like sending a follow up email to a new lead with listings they just saved on your website. Automation can do a lot of heavy lifting for you, when done correctly. For instance, the ability to respond quickly with automated texts and emails puts you light years ahead of an agent who’s still writing contact information on paper or, even worse, the back of a business card.

You can create automated campaigns to start nurturing leads in your funnel by sending them emails with resources and local housing reports, or continue engagement with past clients by sending postcards on holidays or birthdays to wish them well.

Track your lead’s activity on your website and engage with them accordingly.

An intuitive CRM system that can track your lead’s activity is going to put you in the position to speak directly to their interests and activities in a way that’s neither invasive or creepy. In today’s digital world, customers are targeted by intuitive technology that track their online activity- allowing you to speak to them, wherever they are in their customer journey. Once you know what your leads are searching for and interested in, you can cultivate personalized messaging to engage them, build trust, and earn their business. 

Know when to take your communication offline.

This is a big one. CRM systems and marketing centers are great for managing relationships and tracking activity, but should never take the place of real-life interaction. Knowing when to pick up the phone or meet in person is just as important as anything else we’ve discussed. While having an intuitive system to automate tasks and sync your connections is crucial for a successful CRM system, knowing when to take your communications offline is critical to actually converting leads. Never underestimate the value of human interaction.

The best way to connect with your leads is to meet them offline when they’re ready. If they start to ask questions about listings, your Farm, or your background, always suggest meeting face-to-face. 

A solid CRM should make managing your relationships more efficient by streamlining your communications, automating tasks, tracking your lead’s behavior, and allowing you to focus more energy on those closer to converting.


Market Leader offers one intuitive system for agents and teams to generate and convert leads, including a customizable IDX website, mobile and desktop contact relationship manager, and a fully integrated marketing design center. LEARN MORE >>