How agents can get more out of their CRMs in 2024

Prospecting in the digital age presents agents with a huge range of opportunities, but it can be complicated to navigate getting the best out of the tools available. 

CoreLogic’s recent Decoding 2024: Real Estate’s Trends and Goals report found that more than two-thirds of agents want to better use the data in their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software this year.

So how can that be achieved? 

Whether you’re looking to build a solid database foundation, explore more effective digital marketing practices, or embrace cutting-edge AI to maximise your prospecting potential, here are some practical ways you can get more out of your CRM this year.

Why the importance of your CRM shouldn’t be overlooked

Firstly, it’s key to remember just how vital an agency’s database is to lead generation and future growth. 

“It’s easy to focus on the sale in front of you, but the longer-term game is important to nurture too,” OpenAgent Senior Product Manager Guy Manno notes.

Good agencies know their database is one of their most valuable assets but they may not be using it to its full potential, he says. 

“You know a certain number of people in that database are going to sell each year. How do you know which ones are going to transact so you can be proactive?” Guy asks.

Iain French, co-founder of real estate CRM LockedOn, says a well-kept database is critical to an agent’s success and presents a huge opportunity for lead generation. 

“It provides a steady stream of appraisals and listing appointments on autopilot, at the lowest cost-of-acquisition of any other source,” he explains. 

“Simply put, if you don’t have an effective database system in real estate, you will never reach your potential as a real estate agent.

“The upshot is that it’s much easier to get started than you might think.”

Level 1: Laying the foundations for growth

Starting from square one, the vast opportunities that a modern CRM presents can’t be unlocked without quality data. 

A name and phone number for a potential client can only get you so far.

An email address and some more descriptive information about a person’s circumstances will open the door to far more sophisticated digital marketing opportunities. 

Guy suggests that collecting email addresses at open homes and engaging in SMS marketing are good first steps towards expanding those basic customer profiles. 

When it comes to maximising the potential of that profile data, Iain highlights the importance of being clean and consistent. 

“Take time each day to manage your data and cleanse your database,” he says.

“A name and number written on the back of a business card is useless — unless it’s in your CRM.

“So many agents aren’t consistent with maintaining their database, so it’s vital to build habits that will pay dividends in the long run – it’s short-term pain for long-term gain.”

He also encourages building up systems like templates, follow-up plans, enquiry auto-responses, and other automation features things that are commonly baked into CRMs. 

“A good CRM can make thousands of points of contact for you every month on autopilot, taking care of the ‘busy work’ for you,” Iain says.

“If you’re not embracing automation in your business, the agents that are will leave you in the dust.”

Lastly, he stresses the importance of regular contact, be it via SMS, email, letter, or a scheduled phone call, all of which can be automated. 

“Contact builds trust and with time, you will become a household name,” he says.

Level 2: Maximising all avenues of communication

If you’re at the point where you’ve got good-quality data in your database and you’re incorporating regular communications like email newsletters and automated follow-ups, it may be time to start casting a wider net. 

Iain points to social media as a prospecting avenue that’s growing in importance every day. 

“Marketing through social media is a great way to attract new leads and is becoming more accessible to agents,” he says.

Creating lead-generating ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a process that can be automated with tools like Zapier, which can create a bridge between your CRM and social media sites, taking some of the manual challenge out of ad targeting. 

Engaging video content on socials that leads to landing pages or digital pre-listing kits is a proven method of upping conversion rates and helps to build trust before you step foot in the seller’s home.

“An online agent profile site that is designed to convert leads is another important piece of your digital strategy,” Iain adds, referring to key portals like and Domain. 

“This digital agent profile should be automatically updated from your CRM to include your current listings, latest results, news articles and testimonials – as well as a strong call to action that links directly into your CRM.

“Getting more leads is all well and good – but unless you’re actively nurturing them in your database, all that time and money spent acquiring leads is lost.

“All these systems need to act as part of a sales funnel – with the end goal to get your leads into your CRM.”

Level 3: Looking to the future with AI

Since tools like ChatGPT have turned the digital world on its head in the past 18 months, the race has been on to leverage the rapidly-growing power of AI in virtually every industry. 

“With the evolution of automation and AI, there are now more tools than ever to help agents convert leads into listings,” Iain says.

Beyond things like content creation, video editing and an on-site digital concierge, AI can be an incredibly useful companion to your CRM 

CoreLogic recently acquired RiTA, an AI-powered digital assistant designed to prospect on your behalf, which serves as an example of how AI can integrate with your current CRM. 

CoreLogic General Manager for Real Estate and Consumer Product Dirk Miller outlines that “In a scenario where a property manager oversees 1200 property owners, our data says approximately 97.5 per cent may not have had meaningful interaction with the agency in over a year.”

By linking your CRM up with AI, that system can “Identify the best prospects in your database, creating personalised call lists for agents to speak to every day”.

It can also generate conversation topics relevant to a particular lead by analysing notes and conversation histories, or even starting correspondence over SMS and escalating to a human when required. 

“This empowers real estate agents to dedicate more time to authentic conversations with customers, as the system handles processing, analysis, and information prioritisation,” Dirk says.

He summarises by saying that AI assistance “helps take the guesswork out of who to call and what to talk about, enhancing the quality of your conversations”.

We’re still in the relatively early stages of AI adoption and development, but already it’s proving to be an exceptionally powerful tool in the world of real estate. 

Those who get on board early are likely to enjoy a major advantage moving forward, while agents who come late to the party may find themselves having to play catch-up in the years ahead. 

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