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If blogging is the sizzle, C.R.M. is the steak!



Almost every company knows that it is more expensive to acquire a new customer than to service an existing one. I say almost, because there are plenty of companies out there who don’t seem to understand this principle at all. Well, either that or they simply don’t care.

Empty memoryIn real estate you need to not only have repeat customers, but you need to generate referral business from past clients. Many seem to find this a tall order and so focus only on obtaining new ones. Maybe that is why there is a sudden explosion in real estate blogging. However, in today’s world staying in front of your past clients and referral partners is not that hard. From a purely effort perspective I think it’s a lot easier than blogging!

Real estate is a people business. People have short term memory. They are constantly bombarded with new and irrelevant information. You could be Superman and they will forget you after you whisked them away as they were falling from a burning skyscraper. That is why it is so important to consistently stay in front of people. In fact your relationship with your clients can be the foundation to your future success. How you manage these relationship is more likely to determine your future sales volume than any amount of blogging.

From personal experience I have found that long term customer loyalty is not simply earned by the level of service you provide your customers. You can walk your buyer (borrower) through one of the most amazing closings they have ever been through, but if you don’t have a means for them to reach you, then it means nothing in terms of future business. Nada, no-thing. You will not get any referrals from them. Maybe you’ll receive one referral that first month but after that you’re history. That is where an effective CRM system comes in.

Car SalesJust think of the last great car salesman you ever worked with. You may have felt you received the best darn service, price, everything that fine sunny day when peace prevailed and all was well with the world. But do you have his number today? Can you pick up the phone right now and get a hold of him? The most likely answer is “no”. If that is how you’re running your business, then you’re spinning your wheels and leaving thousands of dollars on the table

A complete customer relationship management (CRM) system does not need to be expensive and complicated. It just needs to be consistent, accurate and organized. Here are the main features of a good CRM for the real estate business:

1. Prospect campaign: Here you enter the basic contact information for any prospect you receive. Do not forget to obtain a valid e-mail address. Then depending on the budget you’re working with you can then run a postcard, e-mail or newsletter campaign. I suggest 8-10 touches a year. I do a rapid fire 8 week e-campaign to win their business right away. If things do not materialize right away then I settle for a slow drip by sending a quarterly hard copy newsletter and 4 e-mail newsletters a year.

2. Transaction management: This is where you shine. You set up an alert in your CRM to notify the borrower/buyer of major milestones during the transaction. Call them a day before the inspection period is over, call them when the appraisal comes in. Send them a post card with a last minute checklist four days before the closing. I suggest a standard program for all clients, so that when they refer someone they know the kind of service their referral will receive.

3. Past client campaign: The whole darn enchilada lives here. A thank you card and gift several days after the close is a must. However, beyond that I suggest 8-10 touches a year. I have set up my CRM to send four seasonal post cards, four holiday postcards and four quarterly newsletters. I also send an e-newsletter from time to time. That’s a lot of touches, but I think in today’s climate it is necessary.

4. Business referral management: Referral partners include those professionals who send you referral business. It could be the HR mangers you work with, RE attorneys, Estate Planners, CPA’s etc. In know as a mortgage professional this component of relationship management is very important to me. With so many lenders going out of business I need to let all my business referral partners know that I’m still here. I suggest you stay in touch with your referral partners at least once a month.

Last weekend, we received a call from a past prospect. In late 2004, while working on a loan prequalification, they had decided to move out of state. We kept in touch with them over the years. They ended up moving back to Arizona this summer. As soon as they were in a position to buy, they called us. It’s as if we picked up right where we had left off. That is the power of an effective CRM system and to this day blogging hasn’t done the same thing for my business – just yet!

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  1. Benn Rosales

    October 16, 2007 at 2:21 am

    This sort of system is exactly what web2.0 says is a no no- harassing consumers is what they call it and exactly what I meant in my previous post “The age of empowerment” The literal meaning of a seller not selling is out of business and relationships do require it. I have friends I’ve kept in touch with since high school, and then there are those I’ve never once contacted. I would gander that your business is much the same way- those you touch, still know you, those you do not touch have no idea who you are.

    Great post.

  2. Toronto realtor

    October 16, 2007 at 4:13 pm

    I don’t think you’re right. The type of business Shailesh has described has nothing to do with harassing costumers. In fact, constumers do like the system of by referral only. Trust me, my real estate business works by referral only, and since we rely on client referrals for all future business, it is very important for us that our clients be satisfied.
    This is quite far from harassing costumers, don’t you think so?

  3. Shailes Ghimire

    October 16, 2007 at 4:22 pm

    Benn – I don’t think this really harasses customers. There is a very easy opt-out method in our CRM and many people do in fact opt out. I don’t think Web2.0 and CRM are mutually exclusive. They work hand in hand. If you’ve got a blog and all these web2.0 systems setup what better way to get your self established than through your CRM. Cross-marketing as they say in the off-line world.

    I just went back and read your empowerment post. I’m not sure how CRM would conflict???

    Looks like Tornoto realtor and I are on the same page.

  4. Benn Rosales

    October 16, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Web2.0 says crm is a no no. 2.0 says if a buyer wants to buy you, they will, otherwise leave them to wander around the store and browse until they come to you.

    I’m agreeing with you, I’m linking the argument against crm to this saying you should balance both. Do not give in to those who say you should not touch those who have shown interest in you. You should reach out.

  5. Toronto realtor

    October 22, 2007 at 1:51 pm

    “Your relationship with your clients can be the foundation to your future success”, says Shailesh Ghimire. And he is 100% right. I also applause his point when he says how important it is to consistently stay in front of people. This is way too far from harassing your potential costumers. Web2.0 and CRM do work hand in hand.

  6. Benn Rosales

    October 22, 2007 at 2:00 pm


    As I’ve already said, I do not disagree with crm. Shailesh is correct.

  7. Aria Schoenfelt, Austin Real Estate

    March 24, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I like these suggestions and find these types of contacts simple and effective. I hate being bombarded but do like when someone sends me an occasional update letting me know that they still know who I am. I treat my prospects and clients the same way I would want to be treated. None of these heavy-hitting drip email campaigns, I always unsubscribe from those myself. Just friendly updates and reminders. Contact is an art, not a science. Find what works with your style and your clients.

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Business Marketing

Use nostalgia as a marketing niche for your business today

(MARKETING) A market that is making waves is found in the form of entertainment nostalgia. Everyone has memories and attachments, why not speak to them?




Is it just me or does it seem like there is something for everything nowadays? Let me clarify, as that is a rather broad question…

With the way communicating through technology has advanced, it’s become much easier to connect with those who have shared interests. This has become especially evident with interests in the entertainment community.

Entertainment nostalgia

It now seems like there is an event for every bit of nostalgia you can imagine. Autograph shows, meet and greets, and memorabilia collections of all kinds are held in convention halls all around the world. (To give you an idea of how deep this thing goes, there was a “Grease 2” reunion convention sometime within the last five years. Being that I’m the only person I’ve ever met who likes that movie, it’s amazing that it found an audience.)

This idea of marketing by use of nostalgia is something that is becoming smartly tapped and there are a variety of directions it can go in.

For example, the new Domino’s ads feature dead-on tributes to “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”

What’s your niche?

If you’re a fan of anything, it’s likely that you can find an event to suit your needs.

And, if you want to take it a step further, you can think outside the box and use nostalgia as a marketing tool.

I recently began dabbling in social media gigs that have brought me to a few different fan conventions. One was a throwback 80s and 90s convention that featured everyone from Alan Thicke to the members of N*SYNC. Another is a recurring convention that brings together fans of sci-fi, horror, and everything under that umbrella.

I was amazed by the number of people that came out to these events and the amount of money that was spent on the day’s activities (autographs, photo ops, etc.). I was energized by the fact that you can take something you have a great appreciation for and bring together others who share that feeling. Watching people meet some of their favorite celebrities is something that is priceless.

Hop onboard the nostalgia train

If you’re a fan of something, you don’t have to look too far to find what you’d enjoy – going back to the aforementioned “Ferris Bueller” example, there is a first-ever John Hughes fan event taking place in Chicago next month that will bring fans to their favorite Brat Pack members.

In the same thought, if you have an idea, now is the time to find others who share that interest and execute your vision.

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Business Marketing

5 tips to help you craft consistently high-converting email marketing

(MARKETING) Email may seem too old to be effective but surprisingly it’s not, so how can you get the most out of your email marketing? Try these tips.



Email marketing

Email marketing might seem archaic in comparison to modern mediums like social media, blogging, and podcasting; however, it actually remains one of the highest converting options marketers and small businesses have at their disposal.

But Why Email?

Hopefully, you believe in email as an effective marketing channel, but in case you have doubts, let’s hit the reset button. Here’s why email marketing is worth investing in:

  • Email is one of the few marketing channels that you have total control over. Unlike a social media audience, which can disappear if the platform decides you violate their terms, you own your email list.
  • Email is considered very personal. When someone gives you access to their inbox, they’re telling you that you can send them messages.
  • From a pure analytics perspective, email gives you the ability to track behaviors, study what works, and get familiar with the techniques that don’t.
  • The ROI of email marketing is incredibly high. It can deliver as much as $44 in value for every $1 spent.

5 Tips for High-Converting Emails

If you’ve been using email, but haven’t gotten the results you’d like to, it’s probably because you’re using it ineffectively.

Here are a few very practical tips for high-converting emails that generate results:

  1. Write Better Subject Lines: Think about email marketing from the side of the recipient. (Considering that you probably receive hundreds of emails per week, this isn’t hard to do.) What’s going to make you engage with an email? It’s the subject line, right?If you’re going to focus a large portion of your time and energy on one element of email marketing, subject lines should be it.The best subject lines are the ones that convey a sense of urgency or curiosity, present an offer, personalize to the recipient, are relevant and timely, feature name recognition, or reference cool stories.
  2. Nail the Intro”: Never take for granted the fact that someone will open your email, and read to the second paragraph. Some will – but most will scan the first couple of lines, and then make a decision on how to proceed.It’s critically important that you get the intro right. You have maybe five seconds to hook people in, and get them excited. This is not a time to slowly build up. Give your best stuff away first!
  3. Use Video: Email might be personal, but individual emails aren’t necessarily viewed as special. That’s because people get so many of them on a daily basis.According to Blue Water Marketing, “The average person receives more than 84 emails each day! So how do you separate your emails from everyone else? Embed videos in your emails can increase your conversion rates by over 21 percent!”This speaks to a larger trend of making emails visually stimulating. The more you use compelling visuals, the more engaging and memorable the content will be.
  4. Keep Eyes Moving: The goal is to keep people engaging with your email content throughout. While it’ll inevitably happen with a certain percentage of recipients, you want to prevent people from dropping off as they read.One of the best ways to keep sustained engagement is to keep eyes effortlessly moving down the page with short and succinct copy.One-liners, small paragraphs, and lots of spacing signal a degree of approachability and simplicity. Use this style as much as you can.
  5. Don’t Ask Too Much: It can be difficult to convey everything you want to say in a single email, but it’s important that you stay as focused as possible – particularly when it comes to CTAs and requests.Always stick to one CTA per email. Never ask multiple questions or present different offers. (It’ll just overwhelm and confuse.) You can present the same CTA in multiple places – like at the beginning, middle, and end of the email – but it needs to be the same call. That’s how you keep people focused and on-task.

Give Your Email Marketing Strategy a Makeover

Most businesses have some sort of email lists. Few businesses leverage these lists as well as they should. Hopefully, this article has provided you with some practical and actionable tips that can be used to boost engagement and produce more conversions. Give them a try and see what sticks.

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Business Marketing

Here’s how one employer was able beat an age discrimination lawsuit

(MARKETING) Age discrimination is a rare occurrence but still something to be battled. It’s good practice to keep your house in order to be on the right side.



Jewel age discrimination

In January, the EEOC released its annual accounting for reports of discrimination in the previous year. Allegations of retaliation were the most frequently filed charge, which disability coming in second. Age discrimination cases accounted for 21.4% of filed charges. As we’ve reported before, not all age discrimination complaints rise to the level of illegal discrimination. In Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores, Inc., the federal court dismissed the claims of age discrimination, even though seven (7) plaintiffs made similar claims against the grocery store.

What Cesario v. Jewel Food Stores was about

In Cesario, all but one of the seven plaintiffs had spent years with Jewel Food building their careers. When Jewel went through some financial troubles, the plaintiffs allege that they began to “experience significant pressure at work… (and) were eventually forced out or terminated because of their age or disability.” Jewel Food requested summary judgment to dismiss the claims.

The seven plaintiffs made the same type of complaints. Beginning in 2014, store directors were under pressure to improve metrics and customer satisfaction. Cesario alleges that the Jewel district manager asked about his age. Another director alleges that younger store directors were transferred to stores with less difficulties. One plaintiff alleged that Jewel Food managers asked him about his retirement. The EEOC complaints began in late 2015. The plaintiffs retired or were fired and subsequently filed a lawsuit against their company.

Age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, (ADEA). The ADEA prevents disparate treatment based on age for workers over 40 years old. However, plaintiffs who allege disparate treatment must establish that the adverse reactions wouldn’t have occurred but for age. Because none of the plaintiffs could specifically point to age as the only determination of their case, the court dismissed the case.

A word to wise businesses

Jewel Food was able to demonstrate their own actions in the case through careful documentation. Although there was no evidence that age played a factor in any discharge decision, Jewel Food could document their personnel decisions across the board. The plaintiffs also didn’t exhaust all administrative remedies. This led to the case being dropped.

Lesson learned – Make perssonel decisions based on performance and evidence. Don’t use age as a factor. Keep documentation to support your decisions.

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