Do I need a CRM(Podio) in the beginning stages?

14 Replies

Hello everyone,

I have a quick question.  I have sent my first yellow letter campaign out a few days ago and have gotten a few calls from tire kickers.  I'm wondering if I should get a CRM set up or just simply track my results from a spreadsheet for now?

Thank you very much

P.s. Looking at Podio, it seem a bit overwhelming... Maybe because I've been looking at my simple little excel spreadsheet a lot.

Hi Benjamin,  

I'm a beginner too. I've done a couple of campaigns and I did not have a system in place and I regret that, because now I am playing catch up as far as my follow up is concerned. I agree that Podio can be overwhelming because it was for me, so I actually enrolled in a CRM system called REI blackbook. And while REI blackbook is a great system, the monthly fee could be spent on marketing.

So, now I am considering investing the time necessary to learn Podio and transfer all of my information but, I have a phone number connected to REI blackbook and I run the risk of losing those leads if I cannot transfer that number to a different answering system. The basic Podio system is free so I highly recommend that you take the time at the front end to learn it and set it up to work the way you want to just to get your leads in order and set up a follow up system. Then later if you find something else that you want to pay for once you've done some deals then do that.

To your success

Val

Hey @Valerie Fulford thanks a lot for your input.  It seems like the logical thing to do would be to learn it right now like you said.  I would hate to fall behind and have to do it in the future.  I will be creating an account today.  Thanks a lot for your advice.

How is your business going btw?

Here's a list of CRM alternatives

I'm noticing the CRM and Project Management software are intertwined - - the concepts are not and they are quite different in needs and data requirements.

Strongly suggest that if you need a CRM(Customer Relations Management) tool, get one built explicitly for that task.

Howdy!!

Agree completely with getting a decent CRM system. If you fail to follow up with a single lead and lose 5 to 25 thousand on a lost opportunity you will kick yourself. Set yourself up for success.

Good Hunting,

Larry F

@Benjamin Blackburn Short answer no. If anything maybe a system like Infusionsoft to store all your clients and hit them with email blasts but initially this is not at all needed. Use a google doc if you have to. Rule #1 capital preservation is key. Save your money and dont get something until you need it. 

Infusionsoft is a great automated marketing system that I use and Mail Chimp is similar and even free I think.

Also to find cash buyers and do mailers I highly recommend Freedomsoft. I cant stand the pitch guy for the software but it is worth its weight in gold for finding cash buyers and funds. 

Benjamin,  

Unfortunately, due to my lack of a follow-up system, I lost a deal. I'm still working on putting everything in place. My greatest challenge is that I'm just not good with all the technology, including REI Blackbook, but I'm working on overcoming that. Can't sop now though, slow and steady is the key.

To your success. 

Val

I've been thinking about this topic as well.

I currently just use Google Calendar and Google Docs / spread sheets to the fullest extent. It takes more sweat equity but works for lower volume.

Originally posted by @Carl Dean :

@Benjamin Blackburn Short answer no. If anything maybe a system like Infusionsoft to store all your clients and hit them with email blasts but initially this is not at all needed. Use a google doc if you have to. Rule #1 capital preservation is key. Save your money and dont get something until you need it. 

Infusionsoft is a great automated marketing system that I use and Mail Chimp is similar and even free I think.

Also to find cash buyers and do mailers I highly recommend Freedomsoft. I cant stand the pitch guy for the software but it is worth its weight in gold for finding cash buyers and funds. 

 Carl,  I checked out their page and it looks like an all-in-one package, which sounds nice! I'm curious to hear, what are some things you don't like about it?  I know many times with a do-it-all product, it'll get you going but may have short comings in certain particular areas when getting more advanced (example: flexibility of website lay out/ videos/ linking to social media and blogs?)

Thanks.

No.  Until you get a BUNCH of legit leads, you can track your leads on a whiteboard or Google doc.

Sure CRM is great, it's a matter of focus.  People that start focusing too much on websites or implementing CRMs etc at the beginning tend to be putting off the business of actually doing real estate.  Don't fall into that trap.

And I like Podio - but you're right, it needs a lot of time invested to make it work.  There is a guy that offers a version of podio set up for RE investors & wholesalers.  See that here:

http://www.realautomation.biz/  (I have no association with this business.  One of our guys uses this and likes it....)

Several of our guys use Top Producer which is tailored to real estate (focused on agents of course) and really not that expensive ($85/mo) once you get to the level where you actually need a CRM.

But honestly, one of our guys will do several hundred grand this year and they have no CRM.  Don't make this something that delays you from getting out there and doing real estate...  Wish you the best!

@John Ma Assuming you are talking about the Infusionsoft software? I wouldn't say there are things I don't like about it really. Mail Chimp is similar and free but not as good in my opinion and offers less. 

I only use the sales and marketing automation portions for the most part. So all my leads that come in from our site or an affiliate site that opt in through a form fill-able add box (created in the Infusionsoft and prints out the java or HTML for any website) go into the system and are tagged based on how they opted in. I then have 12 emails put together with good market content and videos that will be sent out to them automatically over the period of 3 months. I can also go in to the system and create an email to send to the whole list or specific groups based on the tag. The one I purchased I got for $1,000 up front and $300 a month. It is great for just staying relevant to clients over a period of time and we get good feedback and conversion rates when we send out the "deal of the month" email to our groups. 

I cant tell you much about the layout and in depth stuff because my marketing director runs the system here at my office and I just know enough to oversee it. I did start it myself and do blasts myself at first, and after the basic training courses it was a very user friendly service. 

If you are referring to the Freedomsoft I have truly only used it for 1 thing ever. Searching for cash buyers when I was starting out and looking for funds to source properties to. It will give you the purchasing name or LLC, addresses they purchased int he last 6 months, total amount of homes, and price points for each. Basically outlines the buying structure for many funds. The tricky part is they always buy in different LLC's with secret names. You have to search to find the singer for the LLC, then look that person up and see what business he or she is affiliated with and then try and find the acquisitions person for the company on LinkedIn. This has worked for me and made me more than I care to boast about. The negative to this one from my experience is just that it does not update as much as it should but can still point you in the right direction.

@Benjamin Blackburn

Hope this helps guys. 

FYI -- Infusionsoft is crazy expensive for a small business with simple needs - several times the monthly cost of Top Producer (which is several times the cost of Podio).

We use Infusionsoft for our corporate email drip campaigns.  It's hard to learn and implement.  I don't recommend it to investors.

So I've tried using Podio, but, found it in my opinion too time consuming to configure and difficult to understand and I'm a computer technician. With all the recent discussion about how it works well for investors, what makes it different than some of the other apps that are already setup and ready to go once you import/sync your data to it.

Thank you all very much for your input.  It has definitely got my mind turning.  I'm really leaning towards keeping it as simple as possible by using a Google Spreadsheet... At least in the beginning.  Once a BUNCH of legit leads start coming in I will then invest the hours to learning a CRM and then incorporate it in my business.

Thanks again to you all! Have a great weekend!