You already have a fully-functioning CRM in your hand—and it’s free.

Many mortgage brokers spend endless hours, days, weeks and even months trying to identify the right customer relationship management (CRM) system for their business. But while most mortgage origination platforms offer decent CRM functionality, the data often resides within the platform and can’t be easily exported. Plus, this just isn’t very convenient—who really wants to have to log into their mortgage origination software just to access important information about their client?

So, what makes a CRM different, and what is it intended to do? First off, a CRM holds all the critical information about your client. It provides all necessary information about your deals and business opportunities, and assists in managing tasks and reminders. (And yes, there are endless bells and whistles, too, like SMS and email drip marketing, but these don’t necessarily enhance the relationship with your client. They probably just make you indistinguishable from an online brokerage or the bank.)

If, like so many mortgage brokers, you’ve been searching for just the right CRM system and can’t seem to find anything that works exactly the way you need it to, I’ll let you in on a little secret: You’re likely holding a fully-functioning CRM in your hand right now.

It’s true! If you have an iPhone or Android (Samsung, Pixel, etc.) device, your contacts and calendar are likely already set up to sync with your email or webmail client (Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, etc.) Did you know you can also sync all the critical information from a mortgage/client to your existing device, without any additional cost?

This is where Zapier comes in. This product makes it easy to integrate all the apps you use in your daily work—it currently works with upwards of 4,000 different apps—and automate your workflow. Even the good old traditional spreadsheet—which is still very popular among Canada’s most successful mortgage brokers—is zappable! Using Zapier’s “free forever” plan, you can simply zap the information from one app to another.

Here are 5 easy Zapier zaps to create a free CRM:

  1. On Application Started: Create Contact
  2. On Application Submitted by Borrower: Update Contact (spouse, etc.)
  3. On Deal Submitted to Lender: Update Contact (subject property address, mortgage anniversary “event date,” associated Realtor, etc.)
  4. On Deal Submitted to Lender: Add Event to calendar (closing date reminder)
  5. On Deal Submitted to Lender: Add Event to calendar (mortgage renewal date reminder)

At the time of writing, Zapier is supported by a number of popular mortgage origination platforms, including Scarlett DOS (also known as CENTUM’s Piper), Finmo (Lendesk) DLC’s Newton Velocity, MortgageBoss (M3) and BrokrBindr.

Once your CRM data resides in your Gmail, Outlook or iCloud contacts and calendar, it can easily sync to your mobile device, allowing you to truly manage your client relationships from your hand or desktop without requiring you to learn additional programs or incur more monthly costs. You can also easily export the contacts data for use in email marketing and for other purposes by using the group/label filter in your contacts application to send marketing emails, SMS and more.

When you use contact/calendar zaps in conjunction with a basic deal status/stage dropdown menu or toggle/filter in your mortgage origination platform, you essentially have all the necessary information and tools you need to effectively run your mortgage business. And that elusive perfect CRM you’ve been searching for? It ends with Zapier.

by Adrian Schulz