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Busy professionals in the real estate field know that customer relationship management (CRM) software is the key to increasing efficiency. The best CRM for real estate will depend on what a particular agency specializes in, its throughput and how it prefers to contact clients. These four qualities should be present in the best CRM for real estate agencies.

1. Duplicate Record Removal

Duplicate record removal is a key feature for all types of software, but it is especially important for customer relationship management tools. By eliminating duplicate records, the software is able to ensure that all of a client's interactions or transactions are collated properly. This makes it easier to analyze the data and make contact with the client. Duplicate record removal also allows a real estate professional to avoid sending too many of the same messages to his or her customers.

2. Automatic Error Checking and Data Cleaning

The customer relationship management software should have built-in error checking and data cleaning systems. For example, if a zip code were entered as "43212" but the state was entered as "OK," this is an error that the system should correct. The software might compare past transactions to the line with the error in it or refer for manual cleaning when an automated process cannot determine which part of the data is wrong.

3. Ability to Import Multiple File and Record Types

Most real estate agencies have some sort of a database or spreadsheet of client information. A good piece of customer relationship management software should allow for the importing of different record types and file types. This is especially important if a real estate agency has merged with another or if an independent agent has joined an agency and wants to bring his or her clients into the larger practice. The importing process should be associated with the automatic error checking, data cleaning and duplicate record removal features.

4. Automated Points of Contact

One of the most useful aspects of customer relationship management software is the ability to have multiple points of contact. For example, the system could be set up to trigger an email or text to a person looking to buy a home when one in his or her price range, zip code, size and number of bedrooms is newly listed. Automated points of contact could also be helpful for alerting customers when it is a good time to sell, when mortgage rates are going down or when the average price of a home in the area has had a considerable increase. Points of contact could also take place for seasonal changes and updates with the real estate agency.

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