In 2016, many consultants and directors are continuing to discuss whether they should use a CRM or not? Driving this discussion are elements they perceive to be a hindrance, including:
- “We’re not very technical”
- “It’s extra work”
- “It takes time”
- “I am already successful and this may detract from me making sales”
It’s very important to note that CRM and centralising your customer data within your organisation is not about whether it takes more time or is easy to complete. Implementing a CRM is everything to do with future proofing your business - whether you operate as a single agent or run an office with 200 consultants.
2016 presents a new challenge and it’s not about technology or web portals; it is indeed about you – the agent - collecting meaningful business content and intelligence.
What is business content and intelligence?
Initially you may think that this means listings content and company performance financials. Wrong. The most valuable business content and intelligence that you have and can monetise (in the right way) is your customer metadata.
What is customer metadata?
Customer metadata is where, how and who your customers have dealt with in the process of engaging with your brand, product or service. This is the new frontier in real estate - not your listings content and not your company performance financials.
The new paradigm is ‘who has the relationship with the customer’. Your metadata defines this. And this is what other third parties want to acquire from your business in order to invade your commission fees.
Two new entrants in the industry demonstrate this:
- Inspection apps (for managing buyers and tenants at inspections)
- Agent selection services (finding local agents for buyers)
Protecting your most valuable assets
The value of metadata is that it encapsulates all the hours, hard work and relationships you've built up with your customers. So why hand it over?
The most important element of managing your metadata and using it to your benefit is to remember that it's highly valuable in terms of insights into your customer’s preferences and needs.
Like anything, when in the hands of the wrong party this data may corrode your capacity to retain your full commission. Always protect your customer metadata and at the same time, your relationships.