As originally published on RISMedia.com.

As the saying goes in real estate, the three most important things are location, location, location. But for brokers and agents, it’s actually leads, leads, leads. Brokerages everywhere are dealing with tighter margins, so agents can’t miss a single opportunity: more leads equal more listings. There’s nothing more important for your brokerage than a robust lead funnel and the ability to track, assign, and follow-up on every single lead. Investing in new technology, like brokerage CRM tools, helps agents action every lead fast to win more business. The faster they follow up, the more likely the lead will convert. According to Gartner, a lead is ten times more likely to convert if they are responded to in less than five minutes.

Despite the proven effectiveness of CRM tools, only about half of real estate companies provide them to their brokers and agents, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group. What’s more, 35% of agents wished their brokers provided a CRM tool, and research has found that realtors earning $100,000+ in gross commission income are more than twice as likely to be using technology like a CRM application than those who earn less.

Given how useful they are and the potential for strong returns, brokerage CRMs are clearly a valuable asset. Let’s look at the six key features that every brokerage CRM should have to derive the most value, convert the most leads, and see the best ROI.

  1. Mobile compatibility

Last year, the National Association of REALTORS® Research Group found that 95% of real estate professionals use a smartphone with internet access on a daily basis to do their work. According to sales strategist and bestselling author Mark Wayshak, 41% of salespeople say that the phone is the most effective sales tool at their disposal. Your CRM tool should therefore have a mobile version, either in the form of a mobile site or an app, that allows users to access, input, and sync data seamlessly. Having a good desktop CRM is great, but it doesn’t align with how agents work today. We’re all on the go, and if your agents can only use your CRM on a computer, they probably won’t.

  1. Easy to use

The National Association of REALTORS® Research Group also found that 46% of brokers say that keeping up with technology is the biggest challenge their agents face. Adopting new technology is hard, which is why your CRM needs to be intuitive, easy to use, and require minimal training. Otherwise, your agents won’t use it.

  1. Visibility into agent activity

All too often, brokers have no way to measure how well agents are using the technology at their disposal. Your CRM should be able to report on which agents are using it, how often, and how well. You can use agent data to recognize top performers and coach those who need more help. Poor follow-up means lost opportunity and money down the drain.

  1. Automated customized lead routing

When a lead fills out a contact form, they expect to hear from someone fast. There is nothing worse than a new lead getting stuck into lead assignment purgatory, waiting for someone to respond. Your CRM needs to be able to route and assign leads automatically as soon as they come in. Better yet, it will allow you to choose how leads are routed based on location, budget, agent availability and expertise, and more, to make sure the right agents are responding to the right leads.

  1. Lead follow-up time tracking

The importance of lead follow-up time is no secret. According to two recent studies from Velocify® by Ellie Mae®, leads that receive a follow-up call within one minute of the initial inquiry are 391% more likely to convert. If you give your agents a powerful CRM tool but can’t see how long they take to follow up, it’s a missed opportunity. The best brokerage CRMs not only track lead follow-up time, they help agents stay on top of leads with clear follow-up steps and prompts to improve conversion.

  1. Lead snapshots

Understanding who your leads are and what they need is crucial for providing strong, value-added service. Your CRM should be able to provide a holistic view of all your leads (for example, with a special report or a dashboard) to track key data about where they currently live, the number and price range of the listings they are interacting with, and how frequently they visit your site. This kind of snapshot will allow you to better understand who your leads are and make sure none of them fall through the cracks.

In today’s increasingly competitive real estate market, nothing beats speed, experience, and ease of use. Your CRM must be optimized for real estate so that agents can move from conversation to conversion quickly. Whoever does this best will win the business. Agents are hungry for better contact management resources, and as real estate tech continues to advance, so will available CRMs.

To learn more about how to assess your brokerage’s CRM needs and improve lead response time, download our guide.Download the CRM Guide

If you’re ready for a better CRM experience, book your personal tour of Constellation1 CRM today.