I am trying to work on a good way to figure this out for my Real Estate business. I need a flow that works as follows:
- Find a lead
- Convert to prospect
- Start working with prospect to buy or sell a home
- Sell a seller’s house or represent a buyer for a new house.
- Recycle them back as a prospect for future business.
The best I can come up with is to use the “Accounts” module for pending deals (A seller signs a contract to list their house, or I am showing buyers houses they are interested in). Once I sell their house (or a buyer buys a house with my representation) then I would delete the account.
The problem is that I would need the Accounts module to be optional. I would only want to create an Account (I would probably rename the module as well) if the seller agrees to let me list their house, or if I am actively showing buyers houses.
What do ya’ll think? Has anybody done a customization like this?
I would recommend something along these lines (which is based on my impression of what the modules were designed for, and trying to stick closely to that):
Start with entities:
Contacts are for people you deal with closely (typically customers)
Accounts are for impersonal entities you deal with closely (typically customer companies)
Leads are an intermediate level before becoming Contacts or Accounts, if you think you need that
Targets are a third level for this. Don’t use them unless you need all these levels; avoid unnecessarily complicating your processes.
Now, we introduce the notion of action surrounding those entities:
Cases are a group of interactions. You could use them for Sales, or for support cases.
Oportunities might be a better option for your Sales. You can attach Documents, list a price, use several stages, etc
Thanks for the input. The problem I am having is trying to retrofit a B2B CRM into a B2C scenario. This is even more problematic since there are two different types of transactions that each work differently (selling a house, and buying a house).
The thing is, I don’t really need the typical “Accounts” module, at least not as it comes configured out of the box. In a typical real estate transaction, there is no ongoing business, and there isn’t a “company” at all. Generally you acquire your lead, nurture them, sell their house (or represent them if they are trying to buy a house) and that’s the end of the transaction. There is no implication of future business, and you are basically done with that person once the deal is over (though you hope to get future business, typically years down the road).
I wouldn’t call SuiteCRM a “B2B CRM”. It’s commonly used both for B2B and B2C.
Don’t use Accounts if you don’t need them. Contacts will likely be your main module.
Some of the things you’re mentioning are good to implement with simple field changes. I mean, instead of having a different module for those clients that you already closed the deal with, or instead of deleting their records, you can just mark them in some way with a “type” field or something, so that they don’t appear in your main list views (using filters), but you can still use them later for those campaigns trying to generate new business from old contacts.
The same goes for the different kinds of business (selling vs buying), you might just need some extra fields to record the different details. You can add those from Studio.
For your issue regarding Accounts you can make them not required.
I agree using Opportunities might be a better option. I worked with a mortgage company before and that was how they organized their CRM.
Please see this post for implementing. Make Accounts not a required entry in a new opportunity
I am actually working with real estate businesses using both SuiteCRM and other solutions (such as Property Base / Salesforce). So, it can be done!
Accounts are still useful since a home owner or buyer might have different points of contact and different type of transactions, which can be linked to the account. It is also nice to differentiate between a person or entity you are actually working with and the rest of the contacts on the CRM.
These solutions usually keep registry of properties and/or listings within the CRM as custom modules/objects.
An opportunity is a good starting point to keep track of a possible transactions.
However, the “deal” itself should be considered another type of entity/object, maybe based on the opportunity, which would be equivalent to a sale, linked to everyone involved and maybe keeping track of requirements to close the deal (such as tasks).
These modules could be customized with fields
As pgr mentioned, a lot of this stuff can be done within the SuiteCRM’s Studio.
Out of the Box CRM can be adjusted to your Custom Business requirements. If you read @pgr’s response above you can understand the terminologies and Rename to what suites your business.