Are you struggling to keep in touch with current and past clients? Do you find yourself feeling disorganized and pressed for time? Or perhaps you despise calling those in your sphere of influence (SOI) because you simply don’t know what to talk about. I speak with Realtors every day who share these sentiments but are unsure of what they’re doing wrong.
If you can relate, chances are you’re doing a poor job of contact management. One sign of this is having data scattered all over the place (on your smartphone, notepad and mail client for, example). Another indicator is the inability to find the information you need, when you need it. When this information is found, if it’s found at all, it’s often inaccurate or incomplete. Have you ever felt embarrassed because you missed an appointment or forgot key details about a past client? This is yet another indicator of poor contact management.
What does it mean to practice good contact management? It means storing contact information in one consolidated place. It’s about being able to recall the exact details of your last conversation with a prospect or client. It means feeling comfortable calling your SOI because you have something relevant to talk about. Not only that, a sales rep who practices good contact management has clients taking the initiative to call them between transactions because they are viewed as an expert on home-related services. This same sales rep frowns at batch and blast emails, and instead sends mass emails that are personalized and targeted to specific groups or segments.
The answer and key to good contact management is adopting an easy-to-use, real estate specific contact management solution into your business. A good real estate customer relationship management (CRM) system will help you ensure that you never forget to follow up or keep in touch with someone in your SOI. You’ll be able to easily pull up important profile information and know the last time you spoke with a client or prospect, and the details of the conversation. You will feel in control of your business and become empowered.
You’re going to want a CRM that will allow you to set up automatic prompts to remind you to send a newsletter, email, letter, or make a phone call. By doing this, you’re making certain that you never miss an opportunity to build loyal relationships. It’s also vital to have an integrated to-do list so you can track your progress on a listing or a new marketing plan, for example, and constantly be aware of what still has to be done and what has already been completed.
In addition to the standard contact details, record interests, hobbies, birthdays and information about a client’s partner and children. This data allows you to have more meaningful and relevant conversations with your SOI and wow them. You’ll be able to send show tickets to Mary on her birthday, for example, because you know that she and her husband enjoy the theatre. What’s more, you won’t dread calling a past client because this time, you’ll be able to start the conversation with a topic that is applicable or significant to their life.
So far, all this might sound great, but as a Realtor, you’re always on the road. You want to have the ability to update pertinent client information from your smartphone and have the changes wirelessly synced to your real estate contact management system. You use your calendar too so you’ll want to ensure both your calendar and your smartphone are wirelessly synced. This ensures nothing is forgotten or falls through the cracks.
Above all, a CRM system must be easy to learn and use, because if it’s not, nothing else matters. You should use a real estate CRM every day, and personally speaking, I know I wouldn’t consistently use any software unless it was easy to work with.
By taking a contact management approach, your business will flourish and you’ll have more free time to focus on non-business related matters. Using a real estate CRM might seem like a large time commitment, but it only takes about 10 to 15 minutes per day to be effective and the payoff is tremendous. It’s all about relationship building in this industry. Focus on your SOI, grow the existing relationships that you have, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what you’ll see happening.
Matthew Collis is the sales and marketing manager at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with Realtors to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. He has written a wide array of articles, news releases and blog posts on contact management strategies and implementation. Email [email protected].