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CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

adiosSo, through out the years that you have spent in this business you have accumulated (with out a doubt) a huge database of names, numbers, addresses and e-mails.  Guess what me too, and to that I say “So what.”

Think about the time, money and effort put into the system.  Can you really…really…. justify it?  Now let’s not start the whole “we’ve had this in place for X years and it’s proven itself because of blah, blah, blah” conversation.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, the basis for CRM on the surface is very good.  I’ve done a little old skool breakdown on the finer points.

Prospecting Get suspects, turn them into prospects, and turn them into sales, by knowing who they are, what they want, and when they want it, all in significant detail, and by being reminded to capitalize on that information automatically.

Lead source tracking Knowing where your business is coming from and spending your marketing time and money accordingly/wisely.

Referral tracking Knowing who is referring you the most business, so you know who to do more for them in return.

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Communications documentation Also known as History, there is a place where it all comes together. Tasks, phone calls, e-mails, letters, post cards, fliers, and appointments. A record of everything that has happened with that contact or transaction.

Contact management That means everyone. Prospects; clients, vendors, friends relatives, neighbors. Knowing how to find any information on anyone, even from many years ago, with a few clicks instantly.

E-mail management How many e-mails are in your inbox? They should be with your contacts, or with the property, where you can find them, quickly.

Mail merge­ do all print or e-mail merging from within the CRM eliminating redundant external databases.

Document management Store all documents and photographs relevant to a transaction with the transaction record and/or the contact record. Having a complete paper trail all in one location is invaluable.

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Appointment management – The ability to not only track when and where you had an appointment with someone, but also the ability to note the substance of that appointment.

Listing coordination The biggest complaint lodged against Real Estate agents has always been poor communication. A comprehensive, automatically executed listing plan enables you to show the property owner your comprehensive plan.

Closing coordination Even the best paper list and file methods are rife with bottlenecks and inconsistencies. Having all the information you need in one place and a to-do list automatically posted on your calendar makes your job far easier and more stress free.

Time management Having automated to-do lists, and organized methods of consistent follow-up. Decide what you want to do, once, and automatically follow up that way every time.

Risk reduction Knowledge is power. If you use a CRM properly and consistently, you will automatically gravitate towards centralizing the huge volume of detail with which you work every day. A CRM can easily and automatically organize you. Having complete records of; phone calls, letters, e-mails, appointments, etc., insures that you will use that data to service they client base you spent so much time creating.

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Post closing follow-up/client retention not staying in touch with past clients is one of the single biggest causes of loss of income in the Real Estate sales industry. Never lose another referral due to your failure to stay in touch.

Staff training and accountability Personnel retention is a problem that never goes away. Having a system in place with notes built into the CRM task lists significantly diminishes the impact of a lost staff person.  Additionally, it provides a clear picture of exactly who is doing what each day with regards to each individual’s responsibilities.

Now take a look at some of the CRM providers out there today.


How many of you use a CRM program today.  It is in use everyday?  I find myself falling further and further away.  It is because of the ability to connect with people online?  Is the information already there for me to use at no cost, time or effort?  Can I get thru a post with out mentioning the mighty Google?  Is it time to wave goodbye?

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Written By

Broker/Owner in Lafayette, IN, whose passion is Commercial Real Estate with focus on Technology, Social Media, and Networking.



  1. Justin Boland

    March 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

    Duke, I’m confused — you wrote up a list of all the strongest arguments for using a CRM system, but I’m not seeing any reasons, upon re-reading, why it’s “Time to Move On.” Is there an in-joke I’m not getting or are there missing chunks that didn’t get posted?

    • Duke Long

      March 3, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Justin, Thanks for the comment.
      The very strong reasons I state for the use of CRM are just that. Stated reasons I have basically stopped using any CRM program at all I had previously used GoRea It became my phone book Markets change, clients needs and wants change,e-mails change,jobs change or don’t even exist. So, you put it in a little file….for what .Drip mail,touches,newsletter lists .I want real people ready to do business Now. Think Facebook,Linkedin, etc…they are alive and talking to me NOW. Tell me how active your CRM list is right now. Why waste time creating a e-mail/phone book database? Hey, Justin ..just a few thoughts…how about yours!!! Again, thanks for the input. Oh, and thanks for asking:)

      • Justin Boland

        March 3, 2010 at 4:59 pm

        Thanks for the clarification and I definitely agree. Through jobs in multiple industries now, I’ve only seen a few businesses who are really maximizing the CRM solutions they paid for. If it’s not being adopted by everyone on staff, that becomes a problem fairly quickly.

        Excellent point about the “Other CRM” that’s right in front of us every day. Personally, I work on the cutting edge of Mead notebook technology because I have never really trusted the cloud. I’m not 30 yet but I’ve twice that many computers into the ground already. My notebooks survive.

  2. WP Agent

    March 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm

    CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

  3. Ken Brand

    March 4, 2010 at 12:58 am

    CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On? /This is healthy perspective.

  4. Ron Furman

    March 4, 2010 at 1:27 am

    CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

  5. Commercial Money

    March 4, 2010 at 9:21 am

    "CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?" Looking for Investment Money?

  6. Greg Hollander

    March 4, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    @agentgenius CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

  7. CREBarCamp

    March 5, 2010 at 11:15 am

    RT @SPACEPLACEnet: @agentgenius CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

  8. Comm & Invest Prop

    March 5, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    RT @CREBarCamp: RT @SPACEPLACEnet: @agentgenius CRM For Commercial Real Estate. Is It Time To Move On?

  9. Erica Ramus

    March 7, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I have struggled to find the perfect CRM database for years. I tried Top Producer twice and hated it both times. I had to force myself to use it.
    I use a blackberry and a paper planner, and just have not been able to find one CRM solution for me.

    • Duke Long

      March 7, 2010 at 3:43 pm

      Do a little google search for CRE and CRM. At least it will give you some ideas. I use outlook. Simple and it works !!!

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