If you run your own business, there are a wide range of technologies available to help you manage it, from generic software for accountancy and payroll to industry-specific programs such as point of sale and CIS management. A relative latecomer to the business management software arena, CRM software is also now a common choice for businesses. What is it, and which is the best type for a property business?

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What is a CRM system?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. This type of software gives businesses the ability to collate all interactions and information about their customers is a single place, providing a joined-up view of each client.

Historically, this information was held by different departments in a rolodex or perhaps a spreadsheet, but it often meant that everyone had a different view of the customer. As a result, the sales team might think a customer is great because they always buy the latest upgrade, but in credit control, this same customer might also be flagged as a consistently late payer. Joining up the cross-departmental view of each customer allows businesses to make more informed decisions.

If you’re holding customer data, you must comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The Information Commissioner’s Office provides businesses with a range of tools to help you comply. Most providers of CRM software will hold their own statement of compliance.

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What is the best type of CRM for property businesses?

CRM for property management is slightly different from standard CRM systems as it allows you have both a customer and property database. Companies like Property Deck provide a CRM for property management.

Having both of these databases is critical so you can manage your business efficiently, but you also need to be able to categorise customers and properties easily. For example, your customers might include tenants, investors, buyers or sellers, while your properties might be for short- or long-term let or for sale.

You will also want to be able to add details about properties, such as the number of bedrooms and whether it has parking, a garden or a garage. These additional details will allow you to more easily match prospective clients with the right types of properties and thus be able to tailor your communications more effectively.