It’s easy for me to sit here and say that it would behoove every commercial real estate broker to implement a CRM. CRMs not only provide a foundation for staying organized, but also help companies maintain the competitive edge in today’s rapidly changing industry. However, my opinion only means so much. What about the people that are out there every day, working long hours and trying to close deals? The ones who have seen the industry evolve and witnessed new top players emerge on the scene? What do they really think?
Below you’ll hear from five brokers around the country who possess a wealth of experience and provided their insights about modern technology and marketing strategies in today’s CRE industry.
Michael Navarro, Associate | MMG Equity Partners
"CRE is an industry built upon relationships. Customer relationship management software (CRM) is a critical tool to organize and manage contact data to build stronger relationships over time. A CRM can be used out of the box or customized to meet these needs. It can act as a central address book, ensuring contact info is up to date across the organization.
Important information can be noted for these contacts such as whether they are interested in selling a property, what tenants they represent, or what their favorite sports team is. Being diligent to log interactions with contacts, the CRM can display the last time you connected with someone and even alert you if you have gone a long time without connecting. Investing in a CRM will help foster your relationships with the end goal of driving more deals."
Mike McKiernan, Sales Manager | Cawley Chicago
"Presently, technology is replacing the majority of informational based broker activities. The broker’s role is evolving into a knowledge-based consulting role specializing in understanding the market dynamics, the tenant’s unique requirements, and the landlords ability to meet those requirements.
Knowledge of both the tenant demands and landlord ability to meet these demands have replaced basic information formats. Brokers now get paid for adding value. The only way to manage, sort and focus this required knowledge is through a database the enables the broker to accumulate multiple pieces of information that is landlord and tenant specific on a large scale, by definition, a CRM."
Phil Ginexi, Managing Director | The Multifamily Firm
"Effectively leveraging new technology has made it more possible than ever for boutique brokerage firms to compete with the big boys in the multifamily segment! Contract negotiations and execution, for example, have changed dramatically over the last few years. What took several days, possibly weeks, in the past by an office assistant, can now be done within a couple hours, WITHOUT the overhead of an office assistant, by utilizing a product like DocuSign!
Another great example would be our marketing process. In the past, a prospect would inquire through a marketing channel and an office assistant would then send them a PDF version of a confidentiality agreement. You would wait for the party to send it back, then send them the offering memorandum. Now, all our listings are set up with a confidential deal vault that enables a prospect to access the offering memorandum at ANY time by executing an electronic confidentiality agreement—right on our property website. This automatically captures that prospect's contact info and immediately notifies our team with that info!
All of this technology enables The Multifamily Firm to keep overhead low, stay continually dialed in, and provide an extremely high and efficient level of brokerage services!"
Karly Iacono, Vice President Investments | Marcus & Millichap
"As a broker, achieving maximum visibility for our active listings is crucial to reach the widest buyer pool possible. This includes leveraging social media, email marketing, and listing sites, along with our own internal networks and team website. There is a lot of noise in both online and email marketing now, however, so being clear and concise while reaching a targeted audience is key.
Once a transaction has begun, managing deal flow through a document-sharing site is imperative. Finally, staying in touch with our extensive database of investors would not be possible without a CRM built for commercial real estate."
Kevin Olson, Senior Advisor | Nordlund Associates
"Technology is ever-evolving and has a great effect on our brokerage industry. Today, clients expect more information quicker than ever, and want to have access to this information easily at their fingertips.
It is imperative for CRE professionals and our firm to use technology to leverage our time and expertise to be effective and competitive in this industry. We utilize multiple tools to streamline reporting, distribution of marketing materials on various platforms, and setting schedules, as well as tracking important updates for our clients and prospective clients."
Haven’t yet invested in a commercial real estate CRM? Get ahead of the competition and request a demo of Apto today!