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Client success - 6 min READ

Putting customers first in a real estate market that keeps getting wilder

How a CRM can help

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Author photo: Christina Scannapiego

Christina Scannapiego

Director, Content Marketing

If you’re like many real estate professionals, you’re probably wondering how to nurture real estate leads in such a wild market. With all of the normal challenges facing home buyers still compounded by Covid, including tightened housing supplies and rising interest rates, 73% of buyers and sellers say inflation has changed their plans. Some have delayed home purchases and others have downsized after selling.

And these market conditions won’t go away overnight. This landscape makes real estate lead nurturing even more important to business than it was when the market was stable and buyers were less wary. Winning the sale means being the first person clients think of when they are finally ready to pull the trigger.

But staying in front of your list is no longer as simple as holding a wine mixer or sending the standard holiday gift. In addition to feeling wary, people are looking for more meaningful human connection. It isn’t enough to start an email with their first name anymore; showing that you care about them as individuals, and expressing empathy for whatever challenges they’re facing as Covid continues — whether it’s income loss, illness, kids moving home — strengthens your bond. It’s important to meet them with understanding, first. When you build trust, the sale will come with time.

So how exactly do you stay connected to your prospective clients in a meaningful and empathetic way… without getting bogged down in a flood of daily calls and emails?

The key to real estate lead nurturing in a volatile market

The answer for many real estate leaders is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform. A cornerstone for staying connected with customers or clients, it helps you keep critical data like leads, contacts, account details, emails and more in one place. Plus, you can build out customized processes to track everything you need along the real estate sales funnel — MLS postings, presale construction upgrades, staging hires and open house schedules.

The rush of pandemic-frenzied home buying has started to wane, with several factors to blame. The lowest housing supply ever recorded combined with home buyers shifting their priorities around what they need in a home (size, location, cost), have led many people to wait until the market cools down to buy. When your buyer who was red-hot last week suddenly turns lukewarm and starts considering relocating to another city, it’s important to have other warm leads ready to engage. The easiest, and most cost-effective, place to turn is to the client relationships you already have.

Plus, with the average home only on the market for 15 days last year, connecting quickly with the right clients is a must. Since a CRM can give you the power to communicate with the right people in the right way at the right time using customized pipelines and workflow automation, among other features, you can move quickly.

Real estate client retention strategies using a CRM

Waiting for a market cooldown doesn’t mean you can’t keep your prospects warm. In real estate, where the need for housing is universal but sales are comparatively few and far between, you’ll want client retention strategies that’ll keep your customers close and help your business scale.

When building a relationship with your customer base, your biggest competition isn’t necessarily other real estate agencies — oftentimes, it’s a search engine. Buyers who called a real estate agent searched on their own for three weeks before making that call, and most start the process by searching online. But finding an agent you can trust online isn’t easy, and at the end of the day, buyers are looking for a real human-being they can talk to and put their faith in.

With a good CRM and effective nurture campaigns, you can personalize your communication, establish trust, and deliver valuable information across the entire customer journey that will help you edge out the competition. The majority (56%) of American home buyers cite excellent customer service skills as one of the most important qualities for an agent to possess, including keeping in touch, explaining things well, and making themselves readily available.

Here are some ways you can use a CRM like Copper to foster an exceptional customer–agent relationship.

1 - Educate prospects with nurture campaigns

In 2021, 31% of all home buyers were first-time buyers. They could need your expertise as a real estate agent. Draw on your knowledge of important real estate trends and the home-buying process to engage your clients with an educational nurture campaign that highlights key steps in buying a home, like getting a mortgage or setting a budget.

Educational nurtures are critical to building a long-term relationship with customers because it allows you to provide value — in this case, feed them useful, relevant information — without asking for anything in return. Get creative with how you segment and target your customers to create unique, informative nurture campaigns that stand out. Tailor your message to first-time buyers or empty nesters, for example.

2 - Make happy buyers happy sellers

A positive buying experience can lead to another listing years down the line. Use long-term nurtures to keep your company top-of-mind when your happy buyers are ready to sell their home. Share your insider knowledge of the market by periodically highlighting the value of their current home or sending them exciting new listings in their area. An occasional email can go a long way in maintaining the relationship until the client is ready to sell.

3 - Celebrate important moments with your customers

Building a relationship with your clients means ditching a transactional frame of mind. With email templates and automation, you can easily send birthday wishes or holiday greetings. Or, build a workflow to trigger a check-in email a month after closing a sale with recommendations of great restaurants and sights in the area to show the buyers you’re still looking out for them. With the right CRM, you have incredible flexibility about the many ways in which you can build and maintain your customer relationships.

3 must-have attributes to consider in your CRM

CRMs are the backbone of a modern real estate business, but not all platforms provide support and flexibility in equal measure. To find a CRM that enables you to build rapport with your customers, look for the following platform attributes:

It needs to work where you work

Implementing a CRM in your business can seem like a hassle because you have all of your customer contacts in other systems already, like in your email inbox, spreadsheets or contact list.

When Reali, a technology-driven real estate agency, set out to find a new CRM, their agents’ experiences were at the forefront of their decision. ​​“Our criteria for choosing a new CRM was to make sure it (a) is easy to use, and (b) gives our team maximum visibility,” reflects Kim Taba DeRose, a member of Reali’s customer success team, on their decision to onboard Copper.

Choose a CRM that integrates deeply with the email system and productivity suite you already use, whether you’re a one-person team or a large brokerage. The fewer systems and platforms you’re flipping between, the easier it will be to build consistent habits that stick, which will help make building long-term relationships much easier. Similarly, a CRM with a mobile app can go a long way to help keep data up-to-date while you’re on the go.

It can strike a balance between automation and personalization

When online brokerage Houwzer’s leadership team chose a CRM, they wanted to automate as much of the real estate lead nurturing process for agents as possible. By integrating their CRM with over 30 other software tools to automate repetitive workflows, Houwzer was not only able to grow their team and selling territory, they were also able to build stronger customer relationships. With the recent addition of an ActivePipe integration, they’re able to seamlessly feed CRM data into the email marketing tool to power extremely targeted nurture journeys based on buyer intent.

Since workflow automation reduces the volume of admin work, from logging calls to typing emails, it helps free up time to focus on growing your business.

It instills confidence in your team

As a real estate professional, you shouldn’t have to be a tech wizard to keep tabs on your real estate lead conversion. Choose a CRM that’s fast to set up, easy to use, and lets you work where and how you want to, no matter how big or small your team is.

Try Copper free for 14 days and see for yourself why real estate leaders love us.

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