Assistants Tell All: CRM
Imagine this scenario:
You stroll into the office around 9 a.m., coffee in hand. Your Assistant greets you and hands you a list of 25 people you need to call today. These are a combination of past clients who have reached the anniversary of their home purchase, active leads, and people from your Sphere of Influence, who you like to reach out to four times per year.
Your call list includes details about your last correspondence with each person so that it is easy for you to start a conversation with them. Without even turning on your computer, or getting sucked into your email inbox, you pick up the phone and start dialing. You write notes in the margin for each contact:
“They just had a baby boy. Send a card.”
“Left vm. Make note for me to call next week.”
“Gary’s oldest son was accepted to Stanford!”
It is now 10:30 a.m., you hand your notes over to your Assistant who will update the database and send out the card for you. Then you open your inbox and move on with your day.
Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
Customer Relationship Manager (CRM).
An acronym that puts dread in many agent’s hearts, and a flutter of affection in the hearts of most assistants. For many agents, the best way to utilize their CRM is to never touch it and to leave it to their assistant to manage.
We reached out to several of our top assistant placements to get their feedback on what CRM they use, and what they like (or dislike) about them.
The most consistent feedback we received was that any database is better than no database. “Not having anything is a huge struggle,” one assistant we spoke to for this article said. “My employer actually does not have a CRM which has been pretty challenging,” another top assistant said. “Hours upon hours are wasted when you don't have everything organized, categorized and updated.”
The two most popular databases among the assistants we interviewed were Wise Agent and Top Producer. This was mostly due to the high level of detail that each database offers. Interestingly, this is the number one complaint many agents have with these same systems!
“People appreciate the little things and appreciate being remembered,” Elizabeth M. in Los Angeles said. “In Wise Agent, you can be crazy specific.” With this CRM, along with a handful of others, agents can view an email from 2010 or a note a past assistant added to the client’s profile.
The other common feedback was that consistency is key. “You have to maintain it and keep it updated,” Lori W. in San Francisco said. “Labeling every client is also very important, as well as notes. Notes are so critical because you may not remember every little detail about that client, but if you took good notes then you simply go back in and read your notes before calling your client to check in.”
Most of the assistants we spoke to agreed that the cost associated with purchasing the software and the time involved in setting it up far outweighed the benefits of having it. “Without a great CRM it takes me hours to find something that should take a few minutes,” says Meghan K. in Atlanta. “In my honest opinion, it is the biggest waste of time not to have a CRM.”
We want to hear from you! What CRM system do you use and why? If you don't use one, what is holding you back? Let's continue the conversation. We will share the feedback we receive in a future blog post.
Contact us if you or your assistant wants to know more about how other teams are using CRMs to grow their businesses.