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3 things you might not know about contact management systems

Many professionals use sub-par tools and keep their businesses duct taped together, but it’s not necessary. Know these three things about contact management to make sure you’re not losing out on opportunities.

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Contact management is a way of doing business

Contact management is more than just a list of names, phone numbers, and email addresses. It’s actually an approach, a mindset, and a way of doing business. It’s the commitment to learn about your contacts over time, build relationships with them, and keep in touch. A contact management system (or CRM) is the technology tool that lets you practice effective contact management.

In this article, I’ll address three things you might not know about contact management systems.

1. Microsoft Outlook Just Doesn’t Cut It

Outlook is a great email client, sure. But is it an effective contact management system or CRM? Not exactly. With Outlook, you can’t search and filter your contacts across multiple groups, easily send out personalized mass emails, view email analytics, and/ or automate your email marketing. For a busy business professional, Outlook has a lot of shortcomings.

If you’re refusing to pay for a CRM because you believe Outlook is sufficient, you may want to think again because a CRM will prove extremely valuable to your business. In fact, the return on investment (ROI) is tremendous.

Let’s say you’re a REALTOR®. In order to grow your business, you need to keep in touch with everyone in your database. You also need to stay organized and proactive.

Keeping in touch involves perhaps sending out a monthly real estate newsletter, setting your contacts up on drip email marketing campaigns, and scheduling phone calls and face to face meetings. Staying organized involves managing your listings and buyers from one place, viewing tasks and appointments related to a specific contact or listing, and following Listing and Closing Activity Plans (or Action Plans). All of this is hard or impossible to do with Microsoft Outlook alone.

2. Email Marketing is a Critical Component

Great contact management systems have powerful email marketing capabilities built-in. When people think of a CRM, they often think of names in a database and being able to filter and group those names.

But it’s much more than that. It’s the ability to send out beautiful monthly real estate newsletters via email, convert leads into customers with pre-designed, highly effective marketing campaigns, and generate awareness of your services by sending out Just Listed and Just Sold e-Cards and e-Flyers.
And one of the best things about it all is that you are not designing the newsletters, e-cards, e-flyers, and marketing campaigns. It’s all done for you, which means no time or extra cost commitment.

3. Your Only Tangible Asset

For many professionals, such as Realtors, their contacts database is their only tangible asset. Successful agents making six figures can sell a well-managed contacts database upon retirement for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you’re nurturing the clients and leads in your database and building strong relationships with them over time, you’ll get clients coming back to use your services time and again and referrals will flow your way. You can say goodbye to cold calling and prospecting all day.

The takeaway

If you’re serious about growing and managing your career properly, you’ll want to adopt a CRM into your business. It’ll help you get that “easy business” or “low-hanging fruit” – referrals and repeat transactions from past clients. If you weren’t well informed on what contact management systems are all about before reading this article, I hope you now have some food for thought.

Matthew Collis is part of the Sales and Marketing Team 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. IXACT Contact is a web-based real estate contact management and marketing system that helps REALTORS® better manage and grow their business. The system includes powerful email marketing capabilities and a professionally designed and written monthly e-Newsletter.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Maxyuf12

    September 5, 2012 at 1:16 pm

  2. estate_chase

    September 6, 2012 at 10:36 am

    @CENTURY21 @AGBeat See our new search real estate search for DFW at https://t.co/Mwu55YV5 or LIKE us at https://t.co/hwSrSipe

  3. Roland Estrada

    September 6, 2012 at 10:59 am

    These blatant advertisements masquerading as posts are really starting to get annoying. An why it’s particular product? I believe the emperor has no clothes.

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Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.

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Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

Continue reading…

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We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.

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Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

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WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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