The technology available for customer relationship management (CRM) has ballooned in the last decade. Today, few successful businesses are operating without some sort of technological framework that organizes and simplifies the many tasks that go into working with clients.

The boost in efficiency that comes from good CRM software enables companies to provide the responsive service that’s expected by customers in the digital age. There are hundreds of choices, some of which may be general-purpose, while most are designed for specific industries. One of the fastest growing types of CRM software provides products developed specifically for CRE.

This is important to know, because it makes sense to choose the product that most closely fits your needs. While most CRM platforms include some features that would be useful for a broker or agent in CRE, the way to get the most bang for your buck is to seek out those that are tailor-made for the industry.

Here are 9 features of CRM that should be on your shopping list.

1. No setup, downloads, etc.

With the availability of Cloud computing, there is absolutely no reason to bother with an application that requires you to do any downloading, installing, or updating.  Your CRM solution should be housed (and maintained) elsewhere, not on your hard drive.

2. Cross-device functionality

Along the same lines, the software is only truly useful if it can function on any device, from desktop to tablet to phone.

3. Data integration and analytic reporting

Your CRM should put relevant data at your fingertips and make it easy for you to quickly generate easy to understand reports.

4. Collaboration network (partners, clients, team members)

Part of CRM is maintaining contacts and facilitating communication, so a platform that provides space for collaboration and document sharing is a must in CRE.

5. Ability to generate common documents within the platform

The best systems allow users to write up proposals, contracts, invoices and other paperwork online.

6. Manage leads, contacts, and opportunities

Keeping track of contacts and leads can be a complex task, and it’s a critical function of a good CRM tool.  Categorize leads, create contact lists and networks, and track the progress of deals more efficiently by choosing a solid CRM product.

7. Automated marketing

CRM tools can offer ways to put marketing on autopilot, like drip email campaigns. Boost your responsiveness and save time in the bargain.

8. Scheduling and workflow management

Having everything on an integrated platform lets you see the big picture, and CRM software won’t let you double-book yourself. It helps to ensure that your schedule is workable and nothing’s falling between the cracks.

9. Integration of tools

A good CRM platform becomes your virtual headquarters. Comprehensive dashboards sync up your various personas – different email addresses, social media accounts- and lay them all out in front of you.

Keep these features in mind to choose a CRM platform that suits the industry and the work you do. There is no reason to compromise.