- How does a CRM help me close more deals?
In real estate, you are dealing with lots of clients at any given time when times are good. You have ongoing conversations with these clients, and they are answering questions and giving important information that will not only make your job easier, but will also allow you to be successful at fulfilling their needs. Our job is to ultimately make our clients happy and we are dealing with the largest purchase of their lives in most cases. Any software or device that can make us more effective at our jobs and increase our bottom line is a necessary tool for this industry.
Licensed real estate agents have several different forms of reminders and note taking to make sure you get your job done. Some people use date books, some use their outlook or google calendar, then there are some who use a CRM. A CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software, is designed to maintain the relationship you have with your client more efficiently by storing all of the data that is pertaining to that client all in one place. They are used in just about every type of sales job and that is because it makes the data searchable and easily accessible. So when you receive a call, email, or other form of contact, you can pull their file and speak as though you remember who they are and anticipate their needs in a faster manner than having to make them wait for you to pull up some calendar or notepad and flip through or find where you kept those notes which are often not in the same place.
So how does this make me more money? Other than being more efficient at your job which allows you to, market more, work more clients, and just give you more overall flexibility with your schedule, you can also set reminders which will notify you of important follow-up dates, like birthday’s, settled in, tax time, etc… This will assist in setting up referral bases along with just following up with your clients when you tell them you are going to is what makes you different than most of the other real estate agents. By collecting all of the important information and storing it in one place is going to save you time while trying to get your clients into the place they are looking for.
There are several CRM options out there that can meet these needs. Some are free and some cost subscription or licensing fees. The trick is to find one that will work the way you need so that you can be more effective with it. If they make you a more effective closer, then the cost is easily covered. There is nothing worse than struggling with a CRM while trying to take care of your clients which can actually make you worse off, but do understand that there is a transition period while you are getting used to it. It should be simply designed and once you get used to using a CRM you will wonder why you hadn’t started before
Here are Spirit Real Estate Group we have a proprietary CRM that was designed for apartment locators in mind. It flows well, has built in lease verifications, and customizable email forms, along with a very easy to read income sheet. You are able to track the status of your clients from new prospect all the way to paid out, and if you didn’t see it on the main page, we do all of the invoicing and payouts for you. You confirm the lease and we will take it from there.
- Help, I’m an apartment locator, and I am stuck!
If you were lucky enough to get into apartment locating during the boom in the 90’s and afterward, then you are familiar with the structure of the more successful firms. You have the broker or brokers who own the firm. They generate a very large amount of leads and then distribute them to the agents to work. From those leads the client would get after either a free move or rebate incentive, then you would basically end up with somewhere around 25% of the commission you worked very hard for. Their job was to provide a steady stream of leads regardless of the quality accompanied with unrealistic expectations. Once the month is over, rinse and repeat, month-in and month-out, over, and over, and over with no end in sight, just like staring down the never ending path of tracks.
As a locator, there really are not a lot of opportunities for advancement in that organizational structure. In most situations, you are exactly where the broker wants you to be, working their leads. You are just an expense to them otherwise, and unless you want to make less being an admin, then your only other option is to strike out on your own and become a broker.
The great news is the broker sponsorship is a happy medium. You can use it as a means to be your own boss, or you can use it as a stepping stone to becoming a broker. Here at Spirit Real Estate Group, I believe in providing opportunities for advancement and more earning potential. If you are good at recruiting or generating leads, you have more income avenues by earning off of other agents within the company. This is a benefit of a broker without needing a broker’s license. You will have the unique opportunity to grow your own business, and build up for yourself other income producing avenues that will continue to earn while you are not working. Entrepreneurship at its finest and you have it at your fingertips without the need for more schooling are broker’s exams.
- How does the 100% commission work for a broker sponsor?
There are various ways 100% commission works for a broker sponsorship. The basic premise is that you pay reoccurring dues, usually monthly, but it can be quarterly or annually, and then often times there is a small transaction fee. The commission can be paid directly to the agent in residential sales from the title company with a commission disbursement authorization (CDA). However, with apartment locating, you are doing business under a LLC brokerage, and the payment is sent most often to the brokerage and then disbursed to the agent.
Remax, Keller Williams, and other large brokerage firms are franchises and you will not be able to get this type of broker split from them. The broker who is franchised has to pay a monthly franchise fee back to the parent company, and they typically are required to have a brick and mortar location. These costs are passed down to the agents. In contrast, the 100% commission brokerages are not franchises and you are working directly for the broker who does not have any franchise fees. Some may offer office space at your request, but there would be a cost associated, but overall you are putting a lot more money in your pocket from your sales.
The dues can range from a annual flat fee to monthly dues well over $100. However, much the dues are what the brokerage needs to cover their costs in some way. So a lower flat fee may be accompanied with a higher transaction fee, and vice versa. Even though the independent broker doesn’t have to pay a franchise fee, they still have some overhead, and this overhead is passed on to the agents. Insurance, licensing, management, and other services are covered by your regular payments to the brokerage.
The good and the bad of it is that as an agent you have unrestricted income potential with higher splits and no oversight, but the brokerage will earn income whether you do or not. You may be your own boss, but your income rests solely on you, so if you do not have the work ethic then your earning potential is not very high. It can be a very lucrative model for someone aspiring to be their own boss with a stream of leads and a strong work ethic.