Making the switch – Upgrading your CRM in 2020

Picture of Iain French
Iain French


Your Real Estate CRM is arguably your most valuable business asset. It enables you to communicate and build lasting relationships, systemize your workflows and manage the day-to-day tasks within your agency. It’s the nucleus of your business. On top of this, a well-managed Real Estate CRM can be your biggest lead source – generating listings and sales faster, cheaper and easier than any other pipeline.

For those that get it right, the results are astounding. For example, leading real estate coach Aaron Shiner in his peak year won 216 listings – with 184 of those coming directly from his database. That is over 85% of all listings won that year, from one single system.

He was able to build trust through consistent communication via follow-up plans, ensuring he had a pipeline of sellers that knew him as a household name and made him their first agent to call.

Anyone can achieve these results with a bit of effort and the right systems. However, not all Real Estate CRM’s are created equal. Many agents are stuck using a real estate CRM that, rather than boosting their career, is holding them back. They are using clunky, outdated software that doesn’t have the tools and features they need to prospect and market effectively.

So… you just need to make the switch to a new Real Estate CRM, right? For many agents, changing CRM’s can be a daunting process – so daunting for some in fact, that they would rather remain stuck in their ‘bad software marriage’ and carry on with lackluster results, instead of taking the plunge and moving to a system that can dramatically improve their career.

But changing your CRM can be easy. The whole process can be quite streamlined and made much easier than people think, with a few tips and tricks. Here’s what you need to look for in a CRM, and how you can streamline the transfer process.

What you need in a CRM

While many real estate CRM’s have similar features, each has their own unique user experience and way of executing key tasks and processes. Here are the must-haves for any CRM.

Easy to use

The most important feature in a CRM is how easy it is to use. Go for a solution with a clean User Interface (UI) and workflow – something you will enjoy using every day and enables you to get things done. Completing bulk database actions, managing your database and administering your team should be a breeze.

Searching and targeting

Having the ability to segment your clients and properties to target exactly the people you need is vital. This allows you to set tasks and send bulk marketing that is targeted to the right people, at the right time.

Automated tasks and action plans

This is the key feature for any CRM. Ensure you can create and set detailed follow-up plans that include phone calls, email, SMS and letter communication. These plans should be automated (set-and-forget), meaning the CRM will send marketing for you at the right time. Take the time to build these plans (or download pre-built plans from your provider) and tweak them as needed. Maintaining consistent contact with your clients is the number one rule when using a CRM. If done right, this can keep your listing pipeline full.

Bulk marketing and reporting

Make sure your CRM has extensive marketing and follow-up tools inbuilt. A fully featured email builder with data merging (such as merging matching properties into a bulk email automatically) along with detailed reporting tools (open rates, click-throughs etc.) will let you know who to contact first. With a 97% open rate, SMS is another fantastic way to reach your customers, and having a bulk letter merge feature on hand means you can get letters out quick and easy too.

Process leads from portals

It’s vital your CRM can sync with your lead sources, such as Realestate.com.au and Domain. This will drastically reduce your workload, cut down on data entry and keep your database clean for the future.

Take it on the road

Make sure your CRM has a functional, easy-to-use mobile app for when you need to access your data on the road

Industry leading support

For when you need some help, make sure your new provider has industry leading support. Live Chat with their support team and responsive phone / email support will make sure any questions you have can be solved quickly, so you can keep listing and selling.

Making the switch

Once you’ve chosen your preferred CRM solution, now is the time to prepare for the move. This does take some effort, but with some simple preparation and assistance, you can be up and running with your new CRM in no time.

Ensure your database is clean

Over time, your CRM can become cluttered with incorrect and unnecessary data. Take this opportunity to clean up your database and make sure your data is relevant and ready to use. This includes cleaning up phone numbers and email addresses, and deleting contacts where necessary. A clean database is an effective database.

Organise your data for transfer

Speak with your old CRM provider and ask them for an export of your data. How this is completed depends on your provider, but generally they will supply you with an Excel file containing your data.

Prepare your data for import

The next step is to convert your exported data, ready for the new CRM. Speak with your new provider on their requirements for importing data from another CRM. They should be able to provide assistance in preparing and importing your data.

Get a virtual assistant

ShoreAgents real estate virtual assistants are experienced in all things CRM – from cleaning data to preparing imports and exports. If at any point you are feeling overwhelmed by the process, speak with ShoreAgents and arrange for someone to help you with each step.

It’s worth the effort 

It’s common that people are reluctant to make the switch to a new CRM. Make no mistake, it will take some work. But it’s easier than people think, and the results are worth it. When you can finally start utilizing cutting-edge features from your new industry-leading CRM, you will be glad you made the switch.

About LockedOn

LockedOn is a real estate CRM platform designed for agents to win more listings and make more sales. Super easy to use and packed with powerful features, LockedOn enables you to automate your client follow-up, create beautiful marketing campaigns, and manage your agency like never before. Find out more at lockedon.com.


  • Easy to use interface– bells and whistles are great, but your CRM needs to be easy (and fun) to use. Get more done with LockedOn’s simple workflows and UI, so you can focus on listing and selling
  • Manage your clients and property data– from prospect to settled, LockedOn tracks client and property activity, groups, buyer criteria and matching, marketing information and more
  • Create and assign automated action plans– set out your task-based action plans with reoccurring tasks, fall-back options and more to systemise your career
  • Know exactly what you need to do every day in Tasks– view and complete your current and overdue tasks, and supercharge your call list with LockedOn Hitlist
  • Process your leads– sync LockedOn with REA and Domain leads to easily update your database and ensure no-one falls through the cracks
  • Target your database and send bulk marketing in seconds – find exactly who you need to contact (whether it be a search, group, home open activity, email activity or more) and reach out with emails, SMS or letters – from your template library or create your own on the fly
  • Bulk actions– assign groups, change details or edit data to multiple clients or properties is a breeze
  • Install pre-build action plans and templates– in a single click, download battle-tested resources created by top agents with LockedOn Packs
  • Create and send beautiful, mobile-friendly emails– with LockedOn’s drag-and-drop email builder, featuring advanced merge functions to suit every occasion, and detailed email reporting metrics
  • Powerful mail merge engine– send print letters to targeted clients in minutes, with a full library of merge options
  • Upload your listings to all major property websites– including your own website
  • Team and data management– easily add new users, create Teams, and set who (and how) your agents can view / access data based on your agency requirements
  • Generate reports– create reports based around your requirements and get a full view of your agency
  • Third party integrations– link seamlessly with your favourite tools including Homepass, Activepipe, InspectRealEstate and more
  • LockedOn’s mobile app– take your CRM on the road. Complete your tasks with Call Flow, search and update your client and property data and know who’s contacting you with LockedOn Caller ID
  • Built on rock-solid cloud-based infrastructure– using the very latest technology stack in the real estate industry. Get up and running in minutes – we take care of all your back-ups and data security

“Love using LockedOn. So easy to learn and a nice, clean, user-friendly interface which just ‘makes sense’. The mass marketing features are awesome and tracking clients and buyers is a breeze. Great to finally use a piece of software designed by someone who really understands agents needs and requirements.”
– Lee Knutson – House Property Agents

About the Author

Iain French

Co-founder & Director – LockedOn Real Estate Software

LockedOn – a powerful, easy-to-use real estate CRM platform that makes listing and selling simple. With over 15 years in software development experience in the real estate industry, Iain has helped create software solutions that have enabled thousands of agents create lasting relationships with their customers.

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