Walk into an office and there’s a good chance the employees are using Microsoft Outlook as their primary work email provider. And for good reason! It’s a wonderful email service; we even use it as an email provider at IXACT Contact. However, Microsoft Outlook is not functional as a real estate CRM.
Maybe you’re considering using Microsoft Outlook for real estate contact management, or perhaps you’re already using it and have discovered that Outlook just doesn’t cut it. A true real estate CRM is specifically designed to help you build a referrals-based business by making it easy to keep in touch with everyone in your database, build stronger relationships, and stay organized and in control of your business. Outlook is simply missing key features and functionality that are available in a contact management for Agents like IXACT Contact.
In this post, I’ll explore the reasons why real estate contact management and Microsoft Outlook are very different software. I’ll explain the key features Agents require in a CRM that Outlook simply can’t provide.
Contact Management for Agents
Effective contact management for Agents is much easier when you use a true real estate contact management system. For instance, categorizing contacts in to groups is a function critical for your business that you can do within a proper CRM. You can also search your database across a number of different criteria including the date someone was added to your contact list, when a call was logged with a specific contact, the last time a client was represented by you in a transaction, and more. IXACT Contact even includes various useful reports that give you important insight into your business.
Outlook is sufficient when it comes to sending and receiving emails, but when it comes to email marketing, it simply doesn’t make the cut. A true real estate contact management system comes with a library of real estate specific email and letter templates. A real estate CRM is better suited for email marketing because it can easily handle large distribution lists, whereas Outlook cannot. And don’t even think about personalizing your mass emails, doing drip marketing campaigns, or tracking clicks, opens, and bounce-backs in Outlook! Agents can benefit greatly from many reporting insights that Outlook simply doesn’t provide.
Now, think about transaction management. Can you manage and organize your listings, showings, third parties, commissions, and transaction documents in Outlook? Can you generate service reports? The answer is no. A real estate CRM like IXACT Contact includes listing and closing Activity Plans that prompt you every step of the way to ensure no detail is missed when you’re listing or closing a home.
Mobility and Synchronization
As an Agent, you’re always on the road and may not have access to your computer. With a cloud-based real estate CRM, you can access your database from wherever you happen to be, and whatever computer or tablet you happen to be using, provided you have an internet connection. A good system can even sync to your smartphone and Google Apps. So whether you’re in the office or on the road, you’ll always have access to the most current contact information, calendar, and tasks.
It’s still a great choice to continue using Outlook for your everyday email correspondence. The best real estate CRMs wirelessly sync with your Outlook contacts, calendar and task information in real time. Since your contact list in your CRM is always available in Outlook, there’s no need to manage two separate address books!
Automated Lead Capture
Automatically capturing leads is a powerful function that Outlook simply doesn’t have. With a real estate CRM like IXACT Contact, your leads are transferred automatically into your database where you can further qualify and categorize them. The Automated Lead Capture can also generate email alerts for immediate follow-up and auto-assign new leads to a drip email campaign or your monthly e-Newsletter.
There you have it. Microsoft Outlook is built to function solely as an email provider and it is a good one. But it lacks the functionality that real estate agents require to manage their business. Instead of treating Outlook as a CRM, leverage the power of a true real estate contact management system like IXACT Contact. Try it FREE for 5 weeks now!