Setting up a CRM

(Glenn Lehman) #1

Okay I am a little strange (<-- understatement) and tend to think out loud as I work.

I am in the process of setting up my CRM and I wanted to journal my thoughts as I went though this process. Sorry if you find this too open, please though feel free to say things like why would you do that or oh don’t do that. I am in fact just trying to get this correct.


  • I want the Perfect CRM
  • I want all the information I might ever imaging at my finger tips
  • I want a system people will actually use
  • I want something that has a good ROI
  • I want much more
  • I cannot get everything I want


  • I have selected a CRM system
  • I do not have a solid sales process (more of a seat of my pants/trousers)
  • My pants/trousers are worn out :roll_eyes:
  • I close a lot of sales - but I could always do better

Step 1 will be in the reply.

(Glenn Lehman) #2

Step 1

After much looking (3 days off and on) I figure that if I do not define my sales process first then my CRM system will not get used.

I had found this video that discussed this process.

since I am only starting does anyone have any sales process tips for me. specifically i am looking for the following:

How do you pre-qualify tenants, owners, vendors or potential employees?
(I figure I market for all of them)

SO as usual my first step on this journey is more questions then answers.

(Ashley Giles) #3

@glenn I love that you are sharing this jouirney… Its fantastic being a fly on the wall of your office!

If I can add a couple of thoughts, your right about CRM, the best tool is the one that everyone uses! Design your processes first, align and then the tech will flow.

RE: qualifying, you would be wise to reach out to @jodie.stainton who has a great system of pre-qualifying potential owners. & @phil who is very big on the tenant experience, (he is working on software which will help the tenants pre-qualify, and take their records with them after they leave your business etc)

Also, @ashley (not me!) from Ailo our sister company spent an enormous amount of time on our CRM processes he would be a good one to chat to also.

I hope this helps, and look forward to sharing your journey.

(Jodie Stainton) #4

Hi Glen
We have a BDM pamp that goes to the owner during prelist that has the survey within it to try to gain an understanding of the type of client. I would prefer to be able to measure where they spent time on the website but at the moment our website is really crap. I call it a client needs analysis (which I flogged from when I worked at a financial services company). If the client doesn’t fill it out, we do it in person with them or during the listing presentation.
I found it helpful to map out our sales process on a real time board. We still don’t have it right but it’s something I’ll be focusing on heavily over the next couple of months.

(Marine Funfrock) #5

Hello Glen, Jodie

Are any of you using facebook groups to pre-qualify?

Same as my experience with bots, I’m in a lot of Branding and Marketing groups at the moment (I found this subject and storyselling fascinating) and here is what they do:

  • They get people in a group
  • they get them to get other people in a group too
  • they share their knowledge and expertise and they poll them directly on what people want them to share (market insights, way to invest, is air bnb better… you pick the subject).
  • They can then assess the trend and what the “warm” people are in need of.
  • Then they create a product that meets people’s requirement. The product is usually an entry kind of product and priced accordingly. But if you have a pool of people that bought in, it’s easier to get them to buy in again because they know you. it is also easier this way to have social proof which means more opportunity to sell.

What I mean to say with this is I’m not sure how necessary a CRM is in this day and age because if you pool your leads in a place and talk to them direct then they will always be warm and you will always have a great insight as to their needs on a pooled basis which will be a better indicator of market analysis.

I’m probably going against the trend here but my thinking is this:

  • if you start from a place of authority and knowing your Ideal Client, then do you really want to waste your valuable time following up on every lead?
  • with the abundance of social networks, I really think that it is not how much you know about someone that is important but how well the story you give aligns to their deepest aspiration.
  • the inbox of everyone is overflowing with surveys every day from every business asking for people’s time and attention.

How does this apply to real estate?

well my view on this is: I receive a lot of newsletters about properties on the market, I receive paper mails weekly on how this agent sold a property in my street. This shows me that there is absolutely no consideration about who I am as a person and what my story, my fears, my aspirations are so everything goes into the bin. And for me the first question should be: What could make me sell my house? How would this be a good plan? and this is not something you can see on a CRM, it would be too time consuming to put this in and to keep track of all the stories.

therefore, I think it is important to start with your brand, your story and how it talks to your ideal client (that means that you need to discover who your ideal client is). The cool thing in doing that is that you could have a sales rep really close to millennials needs, another more for people preparing their retirement ect. If they live and breath their story, it would be so much easier to target correctly and be known for how well you align with your client without a survey.

I used to be all for having a CRM, collecting info, number of kids, birthdays ect but eventually that’s cool to remember the birthdays but if I look at how I consume and spend money, it’s not what makes the difference. It’s how sellers are taking me from where I am now and opening the door to what my future could look like. And if they do their work right, I buy and I become a fan of what they do and so I buy more from them and I never ask for discounts.

this message was a lot longer than intended, if you have any question please don’t hesitate :slight_smile:

Happy New Year to you all!

(Glenn Lehman) #6

Interesting points my social media foot print is substantial I think. Here is the breakdown:

  • We do participate in many discussion groups (Like this one)
  • FB 5,000 Friends
  • Business pages One with 1200 followers, another with 300. (I am not trying to make these numbers huge
  • Linked in 4800 connections
  • Instagram Small foot print
  • Youtube Small foot print.
  • We are in 3 PM groups
  • We are in 2 investor Groups
  • 5 meetup groups that require physical attendance
  • Have 4 websites
  • Very involved in industry organizations (LPMA, NARPM, NAA, CAI, etc)
  • Very involved in business community (6 regional chambers, various online groups)
  • and a bunch more

So why get a CRM. For the life of me I could not tell you which of these things produce what.

The CRM system we are looking at has to allow 100% customization to fit our sales process.

  • I also do not care what your dogs name is, of if you kid play football (had to pick the hard one as football is two different games :smiley:)
  • To be honest I would not recognize most of my clients on the street, unless I am expecting to see them.
  • Keeping data about your family is way to fake for my style

So I want a CRM to source my leads, help improve sales conversation ratios and help me follow up on the people who said no the first time without having to remember to do that.

I understand the over filled email box. I though can take a list of people meet at a meet and greet and with about 5 to 10 minutes of simple prep time know who I have already meet before.

In the sales process a lead must be classified and prequalified early. This gets them out of my pipeline if they are junk.

You do have some great points about lead development that will help us to improve our sales process, but I think I need the CRM to track it.

Thanks - Glenn

BTW - I am deleting the field for storing the dog’s name.

(Marine Funfrock) #7

Ahahah! yep dog’s name won’t get you anywhere! :slight_smile:

Anyway the figures are impressive and I can see the need to keep track of things… but (why is there always a but?) and this is my financial side talking here would it not be easier to focus your effort in one area, set up the process, then develop into another ect?

here is where I’m coming from:

Facebook: it’s a great tool but you need to get engagement to touch people, know their trigger points and grow your reach organically. However, business pages will not give you that engagement because FB algorhythm want you to pay for that (your a business so you can pay… FB is still a business after all).

FB Groups will give you engagement if you have your own and if you have somewhere a video for them to look at that was initially set up onto your business page then you can use the info from your group member to set up your facebook ads for instance and reach the same leads that you know are interested in what you do and say (because they watched the video initially).

Your own personal facebook can be a funnel to your group or your page depending on what you want to use it for. The idea behind it is this: you interact in other groups like the multiple Dave Ramsey’s one and help out all these guys on baby step #4 (or is it 5? can’t remember) to understand how real estate investment works. People love what you say and get nosy and check out who is behind this advice: either you have your group (or page, again it depends on what you want to do with them) mentioned in your cover picture and the side picture with links everywhere and a couple of well designed posts/lives on real estate showing that you live and breath what you tell people to do, or your personal facebook page doesn’t show anything but links ect.

In the first case, people coming into your net will browse and decide to come closer into your network, they will carry on looking at what you do and end up subscribing to your group/page and look at all the videos (that in your wisdom you will use to put yourself in front of them via your ads) and reach out to you. Or in the 2nd, they won’t know, won’t see and after 3second you’ll have lost them forever and you’ll have to start again all your hard works.

The other thing I learn with Facebook, and you probably know that already is that you won’t reach a lot of people if you share links and videos from another platform. Facebook wants people to stay on Facebook so they won’t help you with this. the only way around is to put the links in the comment section.

Instagram works differently and you can work your way up with different hashtags (that’s the limit of my knowledge there) However, what I found was that it was cheaper and reach was greater when you put an ad there compared to Facebook.

What I mean to say is that every platform has its rules and its vocabulary so you can’t use copy and paste because people are interacting differently on each platform. This is probably why you have so much trouble finding out which platform works best for you.

I like when a business is financially efficient. If you have a look at your profit and loss and especially in the software section, you will find that over the course of the last 10years, this expense has grown exponentially, because we think that every single task can be done better and faster in a software and at some point the mental agility it takes people to use all the suit of software means that they are only using the surface of each of them. The thing is that adding softwares may hurt your bottom line more than decreasing and focusing on one area, find out what works and what doesn’t. Get your story right. take the time to set up a freebie or a product that has a very low price range to qualify people, then get them into a sales process via messenger bot if you decide that facebook is where your leads are and take them from where they are to where you want them to go.

you can even outsource that task to a marketing VA that will make sure the process run smoothly and on automation on a part time basis.

What you want is automation. this is what will bring you the best ROI. I’m not sure a CRM will provide you with that. I feel that it will add another layer, which will take time for your managers to process and thus hurt your bottom line even more.

This is my view though, happy to be proven wrong.

If you want to have a look at how 20 something do to pull up multiple 7 figures business with a team of 3-4, you can check out Arne Giske on Facebook and his FB group : Millennial Entrepreneur Community :earth_americas:#Builders :hammer_and_wrench:

I think you can subscribe to his messenger bot and experience how he is doing it. I find this fascinating to be honest.

Otherwise The DotCom Secrets from Russel Brunson is also a good place to start

There is no one size fits all. but for me what’s important is not what you do with the information you get but making sure that you only work on information that is relevant for your business. And that means focusing on the start of the chain: who do you market to the most efficiently (80/20 law), where do they hang out, what’s their pain points ect then craft posts that only cover your market and only get leads that meet your requirements.

my personal motto is work smarter not harder. it’s not that easy to follow but it pays to focus on something and then expand.

keen to know your thoughts because I really enjoy expanding my horizons!


P.S. I’m not affiliated with any of the above people I mentioned, but I found the way they approach their marketing strategy to be quite seamless and not salesy at all which suits me completely. And in the book they give all the scripts and email marketing like a soap opera. As I said, fascinating!

(Glenn Lehman) #8

Just one question for you on the financial side. To pull it out you said:

“and this is my financial side talking here would it not be easier to focus your effort in one area, set up the process, then develop into another etc?”

Without a CRM how do you make an informed financial decision? Specifically about what is effective?

(Glenn Lehman) #9

@Marine Can you make a separate post in a separate thread about how you used this information and how it benefited you?

Sometime I have a hard time understanding what people did correctly and what they got wrong.

I track my engagement on every post we make. I consider how it is made (schedule, directly, etc.) and compare the results to 5 management companies of similar size in the US. We adjust posting habits accordingly.

I was though in looking at the process of setting up a CRM and documenting it. To get feedback on that to see if I am making mistakes.

I am not sure how we ended up talking about facebook marketing and lead generating. Leads generation is a very small part of the sales process, as is branding an many of the of items you have shared.

(Marine Funfrock) #10

Well, the thing is that what I’m looking at is the equity side of the balance sheet and thus the bottom line.

setting up a CRM will cost you the software itself which is a software as a service most of the time now so won’t be reflected in your asset side because you do not hold the IP for it and the 3-6 months intensive work for at least one person and your time to oversee this work to customize it to work for you. So if this cost you 50-80k just to get it to work, how many sales do you need to make to get that money back and start actually making more money? bear in mind that the software will need to be paid on a monthly basis and there will still be labour costs to operate it and to make sure that it has the data you need. In that sense, your gross margin on sales will reduce.

this is my reasoning.

The reason why I diverged onto lead generation and social media is that even if you put aside the cost of the CRM you will still need to have a branding strategy, consistency in how you post on social media to get these leads to come into your CRM. and then I assume that you would follow up people and again that’s time consuming.

if you use social media, blogging or vlogging to attract leads, then your insight is going to be how people engage with your content, with likes, comments ect. if your story is on point and attractive to the right people and you build your authority consistently then you will never have to follow people up. I’d rather be followed by people than follow up people because then my costs are reduced to the time spent on my entry point in the market. Do you see what I mean?

If I’m being followed and give appropriate CTAs or have a word of mouth strategy then people will reach out and follow up.

I know your initial post was on how to set up a CRM ect but my question is do you actually need a CRM and if you do when will it be financially beneficial? Don’t get me wrong, I’m really happy to be proven wrong on anything I say, it’s just that from a financial point of view it’s a substantial investment that is added without an asset line in the balance sheet and if you are considering an exit at any point in time this is not something that is going to increase the purchase price.

Again I really enjoy discussing this from multiple standpoints because it makes us take better decisions. :grinning:

(Glenn Lehman) #11

@marine - I am bothered by your post and have rewritten my reply 3 times now.

  1. I have no desire to prove you wrong.
  2. I have reread the post multiple times and I think this is why.

I came to this conversation to discuss. The method of communications, name dropping and insistence that I was wrong to even think I needed a CRM real well went against what I believe is sharing. I am pretty sure if is off Topic. If you want to show me I am wrong then you can ask questions and help me discover that.

That in itself is sales, it is what I would use a CRM to track, analysis and train my people to use.

If you want to talk about why you feel have a CRM system is a waste of money then please start your own topic.

I am sorry if this is blunt.

(Marine Funfrock) #12

Sorry Glenn, It wasn’t my intent at all.

I do apologise. I’m sure I need to learn a lot on this and I really do appreciate all the information you did share. I’m really sorry I came across as insistent it was absolutely not what I wanted at all.

I really do apologize.

thanks heaps for sharing your feedback. I’ll be sure to take this on board

(Glenn Lehman) #13

No problem. I am sure I am just over sensitive.:grinning: