Why Don’t CRE Brokers Like Using CRM?

May 31, 2023
8 min

As a company with a 26-year experience in CRM consulting, we’ve heard every possible excuse from brokers for not using CRM in their CRE business. Some swear that Excel spreadsheets do the trick, while others say notepads and spreadsheets are just as sufficient.

No matter what the reasons are, the bottom line remains the same: “if I’ve never needed much technology to do my business before, why would I need a CRM now?”

This article is my attempt to bring some light to this question. But first, let’s uncover some of the widely cited reasons keeping brokers wary of using CRM.

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5 Common Reasons That Keep Brokers Wary of CRM

“CRM is expensive for me”

Pricing is one of the most common objections brokers have toward implementing CRM in their brokerage. Many times, brokers told us: “CRM implementation is a tough economy. I’m not getting a lot of new real estate leads and clients, and so paying another monthly fee for yet another product/service just doesn’t seem doable right now.”

But as the saying goes, “you’ve got to spend money to get money.” By investing in CRM software for brokerage, you’ll:

  • Organize and securely store data about clients, deals, assets, tenants, partners, leases, deals, inquiries, and commissions in one place, and not have to worry about data leakage;
  • Automate repetitive task in the real estate transaction process and focus on high-priority objectives;
  • Strategize follow-up and email campaigns with a systematic approach;
  • Track relationships between Clients, Contacts, Property, Deals, etc.

Ultimately, having your data organized and tasks automated, you will more easily identify new opportunities for growth and revenue generation – all thanks to a single CRM platform in place.

Nothing from the list above can be done in notepads or Excel spreadsheets. Instead, your investment in getting a CRM will pay off in spades by streamlining your processes, increasing your efficiency, and ultimately driving more profits to your bottom line.

“I don’t see the value in getting a CRM”

Another reason why brokers resist CRM is a misunderstanding of its value towards their productivity.

It typically happens when real estate professionals are prejudiced against the CRM system based on myths about CRM complexity, tricky onboarding, and high price. “What a waste of time!” “What a waste of money!” and “It’ll take me ages to learn this” are likely to be thoughts about the CRM some brokers may have.

Of course, if you don’t see the value of CRM, it is much easier to look at a CRM as a threat rather than a helpful tool.

However, as CRM consultants, we know for 100% that CRM is a valuable teammate. Not every broker has an assistant. Not every broker has a marketing department. And more important, not every broker has a marketing department that they trust. But every broker can have a CRM that will deliver long-term valuable results to the business.

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“I don’t want to share my database with others”

Brokers have a lot of data, which they store during their work, and they don’t want to share it with others because it is their money. If brokers work for the company, and when the company initiates leveraging CRM tool, many concerns arise regarding who, when and how will be able to access specific data.

However, having a single centralized system benefits both sides and almost always outweighs the risks.

From the company’s perspective, it allows management to track pipelines and understand progress on both an individual broker and a company level. CRM also allows making more accurate forecasts and better business decisions.

From the broker’s perspective, the CRM system provides a robust database. You have more comps, more potential contacts, more property information, and what is even more important, you have organized and up-to-date data that can be accessed at any time.

“CRM is a Big Brother that will watch me”

Along with tracking blasts of data and deals pipelines, CRM also tracks the activity you perform during the day, your working hours, number of calls and emails you send.

Moreover, the system notifies your management if you don’t meet the deadlines, e.g., if you process the lead for too long or don’t call back in time. Of course, in some time, the dissatisfaction overweights the real benefits CRM brings to brokers’ workflow, and the feeling that Big Brother is watching you gets more vigorous.

While it’s understandable to feel wary about this level of oversight, it’s worth considering the potential upside: with regular insights and reminders at your fingertips, you can take a proactive approach to your work and ensure that you’re meeting your goals on time and on target.

So don’t be discouraged by the idea of being watched – with the right tools and mindset, you can turn that monitoring into a powerful asset for your career.

“CRM onboarding is time-consuming and complicated for me”

A CRM system requires time and effort to set up and maintain. Some brokers consider this an unnecessary distraction from their primary job of finding clients and closing deals.

Additionally, some brokers may be uncomfortable with technology or lack the necessary skills to use a CRM system effectively. It can make them hesitant to adopt new tools that they don’t feel confident using.

As brokers try to work in the new CRM, they face incomprehensible interfaces that seem to be overloaded with fields and dashboards and no transparent workflows. It’s no wonder that they boil over and boycott CRM onboarding, which ultimately becomes a reason why so many CRM implementations fail.

However, with the right partner by your side, CRM onboarding and adoption can be a smooth and effective process that won’t disrupt your main primary workflows.

We at Ascendix have been helping brokers adopt and implement CRM systems for 25+ years. With our help, you can overcome the adoption problems and take advantage of all the benefits that CRM has to offer.

It’s worth noting that these are not universal reasons why all commercial real estate brokers may not like using a CRM system. Many brokers do use CRM systems and find them helpful in managing their client relationships and closing deals. For example, here is what our clients from JLL say after we’ve implemented a CRM solution for them:

JLL is working smarter by taking our approach to buy and then build from the AscendixRE platform. From the get-go, we were able to quickly match up tenants/buyers with available space. We were able to segment and target marketing campaigns based on previous interests. In addition, our data intelligence team was able to forecast better which gave us a competitive advantage. We can now look at opportunity information for trend analysis and prediction. We also have future plans to reward users for adding key data that assist with forecasting.

- Pushpa Gowda, Executive Director, Global Technology Engagement, JLL

Why Do You Need a CRM in Your Brokerage?

Brokers in commercial real estate can benefit significantly from using a CRM system in their brokerage for several reasons:

  • Centralized Client and Property Data

A CRM system helps brokers to organize and centralize their client and property data in one place, making it easier to track leads, properties, and deals and to share information among team members. Integrated with other critical business systems, a CRM reduces the need to switch between different systems and copy data between them constantly.

  • Automation of administrative tasks

CRM automates many tasks and processes, such as scheduling appointments, sending reminders, and tracking leads. It helps brokers to be more productive and efficient in their daily work.

  • Deal management

Using a CRM system, brokers can manage their deals more effectively. They can track deals’ progress, set follow-up activities reminders, and collaborate with team members more easily.

  • Accurate tracking of valuable data

Here we mean commission calculations, tracking of lease expiration dates, properties, listings, sales, preferences, and capital sources tracking.

  • Flyers, reports, and brochure generation

Some industry-tailored CRMs include a built-in report generation tool that allows brokers to create marketing collateral without leaving a system in a few clicks. Data is pulled from a CRM and is organized into visually appealing reports, brochures, or property flyers.

  • Marketing automation

Within a CRM, it is possible to create targeted marketing campaigns, track their effectiveness, and manage social media presence. It allows brokers to tailor their marketing efforts to the specific needs and interests of their clients.

  • Data analysis

A CRM system provides brokers valuable data about their clients, such as their preferences, buying history, and demographics. This data can be used to identify trends and patterns and to make more informed business decisions.

Reduce manual work and focus on meaningful activities

AscendixRE is a simple yet powerful CRM that helps CRE brokers increase their efficiency.

What Brokerages Use CRM?

Most commercial real estate companies use CRM to manage their sales, marketing, and customer data. Here are just a few examples of commercial real estate companies that use CRM systems on a regular basis:

  1. JLL: JLL is a large commercial real estate company that uses Salesforce and Salesforce-based solutions to make better forecasting, extend marketing capabilities, conduct robust map searches, and more. With the help of our CRM consulting experts, JLL managed to increase CRM adoption by 6 times.
  2. Colliers International: Colliers International uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM to manage its customer data, sales pipelines, and marketing campaigns.
  3. Trademark Property Co: Uses AscendixRE CRM to track and aggregate tenants in a deal portfolio for their team and the leasing team management. Moreover, Trademark Property Co gained more visibility into Deals, Spaces, Budgets, and Leases for their specific Properties.
  4. Transwestern Development Company: The company uses Microsoft Dynamics 365 that helps them to provide explicit management, leasing, and consulting services for clients as well as bring interaction with the clients to the next level.
  5. CBRE: Being one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world, CBRE uses Salesforce CRM to track all the account’s leases (e.g., property address, square footage, lease expiration date), generate reports on upcoming expiring leases and query properties that fit a client’s criteria, and much more.

Why use a CRM for your brokerage?

Contact Ascendix team to get an exploratory conversation about all ins and outs of implementing a CRM for your firm.

Still Asking Yourself “Do I Need a CRM”?

In this article, we tried to provide bulletproof reasons to use a CRM within your brokerage. Here is a small recap to ensure you that CRM is worth it:

  • With the right CRM system, you can close more deals and make customers happy by intelligently storing and managing info about your clients and prospects.
  • A powerful, industry-oriented CRM solution keeps your business connected end to end with minimal IT involvement and sets you on the path to major growth. So, everything is on the same page when it comes to knowing and finding prospects. No need to switch over disparate systems – everything is securely stored in one place.
  • CRM lets brokers work smarter, not harder. It saves money and the most valuable resource in CRE – time. CRM assists you in automating almost all your tasks and lets you focus on want you can do best- sell commercial real estate.

Contact our team if you’re still looking for reasons to use a CRM. Ascendix has a unique offering: we are both a product company and a services company in the CRM realm for commercial real estate.

We speak brokers’ language and know the challenges you face. Based on our deep knowledge of the commercial real estate industry, we created AscendixRE CRM – a powerful assistant every broker should have. It is an industry-tailored solution that doesn’t contain features you don’t use – everything that is included in AscendixRE CRM is a result of our 26 years of close cooperation with CRE brokers and agents.

Talk to our sales team to learn more about how AscendixRE CRM works within our suite of features, including marketing and back office, and how you can get started using it at your brokerage.

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