Why I created CRM for Property Success.

I’m Steven Lai, today I am the founder of Super Developments and creator of CRM for Property Success, but back in 2003, I started a full-time sales job at a tech start-up.

It was hard work and good fun (think table tennis!), and it’s where I first started to think and behave like an entrepreneur.

Typically, as with many businesses, keeping track of our research, proposals and contract documentation started to become a nightmare.

We quickly became overwhelmed with endless emails, calls and meetings. We were spending more time fire-fighting than closing deals.

The benefits of CRM software.

This is when I first realised introducing a CRM to the business could make a huge difference.

CRM transformed how we worked by becoming the single point of truth for everyone we were building relationships with, for researching, for analysis, for tracking and closing deals and ultimately making money.

Something had to change.

Unfortunately, as the start-up ‘grew up’ it became more corporate and a lot less fun. My job had become a simple numbers game, and that didn’t align with what I wanted to do or whom I wanted to be. At about the same time, my son was born. Suddenly the early morning commutes and rush to get home for bath time, only to miss it, made me realise something had to change.

Being an accidental landlord with a couple of serviced accommodation units, I knew property was the answer. However, first, I wanted to get properly property educated. I learnt about several strategies like Buy to let, Service Accommodation and Commercial Conversions.

After meeting and talking to seasoned property entrepreneurs, I realised that no matter which strategies I focussed on, two core activities would be fundamental to my success — networking and finding deals.

Learning to network.

Networking can be awkward; I’m sure I am not the only one that found it difficult when I started out. I didn’t know what questions to ask, what details to capture or what to share. I didn’t know how to qualify if the person standing in front of me was a good or bad fit for me and my business.

I started using a simple technique to make networking pain free and using my CRM to capture and follow-up with people. This helped me quickly build strong relationships with investors, estate agents, refurb teams and create a power team of property professionals I could rely on.

Managing deals.

Next, I had to tackle deal analysis; it’s really time-consuming!

Typically I was analysing 40 – 50 deals to find one that stacked up. Each deal was generating a lot of documents, spreadsheets and emails that I needed to be able to track, and it was a time-consuming and laborious process. I knew that a CRM is built for efficiently managing this type of activity.

By mapping out my deal analysis workflow, I was able to build out a pipeline – a set of repeatable stages, e.g. ‘Initial Analysis’ > ‘Viewing’ > ‘Offer’, with each stage containing multiple activities, such as tasks, meetings, phone calls etc.

The result?

I had taken my knowledge and experience of CRM applied it to my property knowledge and built a CRM configured to accelerate these processes for myself.

It was only when I started talking about this to my peers that I discovered many didn’t understand what a CRM is, or how a CRM can be configured specifically for property to make things easier.

In 2016, I left my day job and became a full-time property entrepreneur. Now I’m able to support my family using only my property investments, and I want to help others do the same.

Steven Lai

About the author

Steven Lai is a property investor, founder of Super Developments and creator of CRM for Property Success. He is a CRM expert with over 12 years commercial experience of managing sales teams.

Join the CRM for Property Success Facebook Group to ask him anything (about CRM, property or 80's trivia!).

Super Developments

© Super Developments Ltd. All rights reserved. Company registered in England & Wales, No. 10470912

© Super Developments Ltd. All rights reserved. Company registered in England & Wales, No. 10470912.