Free Real Estate CRM from Your Office?

Don't make the mistake of using a free real estate CRM from your brokerageHere’s the scenario.  Your brokerage or office provides you with a real estate contact management (CRM) system for free.  What a sweet deal, right?

Not so fast.  If you go this route, you may be setting yourself up for serious headaches and a potential disaster down the road.  Here’s why.

The first challenge is that if you ever decide to change brokerages, you’ll have to move your data over from your office system to a brand new system. Can you easily export your data out of the system and are the fields set up so they can easily transfer over?

Secondly, you’ll have to re-learn another real estate CRM – an entirely new system. Your processes and routines will also have to change. Your daily work routines will have to be altered due to the design, layout, and limitations of the new system. And that’s anything but fun!

Thirdly, and perhaps most critical of all, should you move to another brokerage, will your former employer transfer all your clients to another Agent? If so, it’ll likely be a hungry newbie who’ll be more than happy to prospect all your clients aggressively (think of the movie Jerry Maguire).

Should this happen, the potential cost to your business will far outweigh the benefit of having had a “free” CRM from your brokerage.  Your client database is your single most valuable asset as an Agent.  Protect it accordingly.

Lastly, it’s important to understand that most office systems are not as user-friendly or feature-rich as the systems built by true real estate CRM companies. The reason is quite simple:  brokerages are not software companies, they’re real estate companies. They don’t live and breathe software design, development and support every day like a real estate CRM software firm does. The result is that they lack the expertise to create and continually enhance a truly exceptional real estate CRM.

Here’s the bottom line. Think very carefully before responding to the siren song of a “free” CRM from your office or brokerage.  The short-term gain could end up being very small compared to the long-term pain.

P.S. Investing in a real estate contact management system is without a doubt one of the best investments you can make in your real estate sales career. A recent study found that a real estate CRM software was key to the success of the highest performing real estate agents. It also found that successful agents invest six times as much in technology as poor real estate agents.

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We want to know: Are you using a free system from your office? How is it working out for you?