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This episode, with Chris Linsell, covers one of real estate's most popular topics: CRMs. Chris is an expert reviewer of customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, the organizational tool that all real estate professionals need to have in some form. He discusses how to use a CRM, why you should use one, and the benefits of having this system in your business. Chris and Monica discuss many important tools for real estate professionals, including broker-centric systems that many of you have access to in your brokerage firm, as well as their favorite independent systems for you to consider.

Listen in for timely expertise on CRMs and more office tech.

Announcement: The Center for REALTOR® Development has migrated all of its educational tools to one website: Learning.REALTOR.

[1:51] Chris Linsell is an expert and reviewer for customer relationship management systems.

[4:09] As a consultant, Chris stays up with tech and real estate trends; he needs to know a lot about a lot of things.

[8:18] We all must manage customers and relationships. Most agents think of a CRM as difficult technology and software. Technology provides the tools we use to create the business that we want. Those tools are often based on the internet. But don't overcomplicate things.

[11:01] If you want to scale, you are going to need better technology. You cannot share a spiral notebook or an Excel sheet with your associates. Agents need to keep up with leads and current clients, their deals, and their client database.

[14:21] Chris's top CRM recommendations for real estate professionals.
[23:56] Compared to general-purpose CRMs, these real-estate-based CRMs give you an amazing number of tools in one piece of software, Chris explains how CRMs substitute for tech stacks.

[27:22] What are CRM best practices?

[31:30] Chris advises Monica to commit to one consistent place to enter contacts, so she will have all her contacts together. Also, get tech support. Your brokerage may offer you a CRM, but have an exit plan in case you leave.

[37:11] Chris always coaches agents considering a CRM to ask themselves three questions: Can they commit to it for at least one year of subscription? It takes time for a CRM to build value. Does this tool solve one major problem? Does this tool provide the opportunity to effectively exit it if needed?

[39:53] The software is constantly upgrading.

[42:38] More best practices for CRM use.

[50:35] Additional tasks:

  • Set up an automated branded text messaging and email message combination for new contacts.
  • Look at how your CRM integrates with other tools, like ringless voicemail drops. The CRM has a list of tools that can be used.

[54:14] A CRM is only as valuable as the time you put in on it. In the beginning, you will put more time into it while you learn to use it.

[55:17] What do agents need to know about predictive analytics? Predictive analytics is the use of big data to understand better and make better predictions about what's going to happen next. Chris shares an example of predictive analytics for lead generation for the next 12 months.

[57:50] Big data sells predictive analytics to real estate companies; small companies can access the same insights as large corporations. Chris gives an example of how you have already used predictive analytics over small sets of data. Predictive analytics tools use larger data sets for greater accuracy.

[59:44] Chris lists some predictive analytics tools for real estate agents. He predicts that predictive analytics will be pretty mainstream within a year. Monica has been watching the vendors for a while!

[1:04:00] Chris's final word of advice!

[1:05:21] Monica thanks Chris Linsell for bringing his wisdom, experience, and a willingness to call her out for the flaws in her systems! Who is helping you learn and level up in areas of your life? Every day is an opportunity to learn something new in business or life. Are you looking for those nuggets and the people who will share them with you?

About Chris Linsell

Chris Linsell is a REALTOR®, real estate coach, writer, technology analyst, and content strategist based in the United States. He is a hands-on real estate professional with more than 10 years of experience buying and selling anything from modest starter homes to massive waterside compounds. As a digital and content strategist, he's worked with teams (real estate and non-real estate alike) to realize their lead generation and overall business goals by finding new ways to demonstrate their expertise and authority in their local markets.

Chris is a Writer and Technology Analyst for The Close, the internet's leading source of actionable, strategic insight for and by industry professionals. At The Close, his job is to be up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology platforms, real estate strategies, and best practices that the leaders of our industry are using to buy and sell more homes every year. He is a thought leader in the real estate space, regularly hosting webinars and group coaching calls, as well as being a featured speaker at events like the National Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference. Linsell is also a contributor to publications like Apartment Therapy, Bank Rate, The Simple Dollar, EOE Journal, Mashvisor, and Constant Contact. He is also a regular contributor to industry-leading media like the Keeping It Real Real Estate Podcast.