Everybody’s talking about it and there are some big, publicly-traded companies that specialize in Customer Relations Management (CRM). I had no idea how big of a topic this was until my associates at Casey Research brought me up to date. Today it’s a part of the software tools that all proactive business use to thrive.
The team at Casey Research told me that, “… it wasn’t until the ’90s that the phrase “customer relationship management” was coined, and more comprehensive versions of the software were written. Everything that could be automated was.”
CRM, however, is not just about technology. As it has evolved, it has also become more complex, more of a two-way street. While gathering information for the purpose of decision-making remained primary in order to drive increasing profits, companies also put some effort into building strong, enduring relationships with their clients in order to build loyalty. That’s why it fits so well with the property management business.
Customer support, integrated into a CRM system, became more solid, even as machines were taking over much of the heavy lifting. Management began to treat the old saw, “the customer is always right,” with greater respect. That was more difficult before the computer revolution. Now it’s a cinch.
When customers (residents or owners) complain, their grievances can be handled quickly and efficiently, on an individual basis. And the mistakes that caused the problem can immediately be corrected so that they don’t happen again.
Vacancies can be filled expeditiously, and once they are they can be logged into the database and tracked. They can be cross-referenced to any number of other areas, and analysis can proceed from different angles. Residents and prospective renters’ interests and preferences can be identified.
With CRM a property manager can look at a specific age demographic and determine what kind of residential housing they’re most likely to be looking for. Clues about the features, amenities and even the color schemes for rental houses and apartments that attract this group can be identified.
Can you imagine how that can empower the owner-clients’ decisions concerning maintenance and upkeep of their properties? Property managers can have direct access to information that allows personalization of the renter’s experience.
Electronic sifting of sales data can help drive planning and marketing in the most productive direction. And prospective client and resident follow-ups can be generated automatically, according to any criteria desired. Welcome to the second decade of the 21st century of relationship management!
More insight and a complete overview of CRM can be accessed by clicking on this article. It covers the topic of designing a custom-tailored CRM for your business, and the differences between operational CRM and collaborative CRM.
For example, Collaborative CRM involves all the interactions a business makes with its clients and residents. It breaks down the pros and cons of how you do business with people– either face to face or through electronic means such as telephone and Internet.
Remember, it’s not about high tech as much as it is about the personal touch. Clients and renters must be provided not only with satisfying services, but with whatever assistance and information they may require. Satisfied clients stay with you and they bring others to you as well.
CRM can use multiple technologies to make this happen and to keep your property management business in the forefront of your profession. CRM is not just another tool or technology. It is a way for even a small property management company to handle a large number of clients and keep those clients coming back for more of what you offer.