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What Is CRM?
The following is an excerpt from RE Technology's latest Success Guide: Unless you have been a salesperson in a prior career, CRM or Customer Relationship Management may be a new concept to you. The idea behind having CRM software as a sales professional is that it organizes your contacts, tasks, and calendar for all customer activities in a single place. This allows you to plan your work and work your plan so that no customer opportunity is ever missed.
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Real Estate Smartphone Tricks: Using Your Phone's Contacts as a CRM
I want you to think about something--where do you keep the most up-to-date list of your contacts? Yes, your phone! You meet somebody and the first thing you do is share your contact information. Where is it stored? Yes, your phone! What is easier: moving the new contact to a customer relationship management (CRM) platform or working the contact from your phone? Yes, your phone! During my speaking career, I have met so many agents who have signed up for a CRM with all good intentions, but barely use it. (I wish I had a penny for every Customer Relationship Management program sold to REALTORS over the past 20 years, and a nickel for each one not being used today.) You pay for a CRM program or use your phone's contacts, which is free—which makes the most sense to use? Yes, your phone! Before we move forward, let's clean up the contacts on your phone. Go to your text messaging app and scroll down looking for phone numbers without names. Find any, hit the button and add a new contact if you know who it is. Next go to your phone app and recent calls and do the same thing. If you're not sure about a contact, make a mental note and try to add to either an existing contact or save as new. Next, it's time to visit your email. Great thing about our email programs—if you tap on the email address, you have the choice of creating a new contact or adding to an existing contact. Have any pieces of paper or business cards laying around? Enter them. Now, you need to go to your contacts on your phone and do some housekeeping. Review to see if you have an email and phone number for each contact. Many of your contacts have left your life for many reasons—it doesn't hurt to leave them in your contacts, but I am sure there are some you can delete. Remember, we don't give rewards for the most contacts! After you finish what I listed above, let's convert your contacts app into your free CRM. For years, I have been running around the country and writing about my F.O.R.D contact management system, so let's put it to work. First let me explain the F.O.R.D. system. It's so simple: F – Family, names of spouse, siblings, grandkids, family pet(s) O – Organizations, church, civic groups, social clubs R – Recreation, golf, bowling, going to the gym, sailing, camping D – Dreams, retire to a tropical island, cruise the world Imagine having a few of these facts on contacts you want to advance from lead to prospect to friend to closing to commission. Call them ice breakers or anything you want, but when you drop any of the F.O.R.D. facts, the contact will be impressed you care enough to know that information. It gets better—if you hit the search feature and put in a name of a spouse or anything listed on F.O.R.D., it finds the contact. Following the instructions from article one on Text Replacement, add F.O.R.D. as a phrase with the shortcut ford. Go to any contact, and under Notes, type ford, then click on F.O.R.D. Using the return button on your keyboard, move each letter to a new line. Now you have a place to record and add information about the contact. We have more that comes up later about adding information about a contact. Check out my article posted earlier about the F.O.R.D. system to learn more. We have a long way to go in this series. Each step builds on skills we are covering in detail. Not to worry—I would not tell you that you can run your business with a smartphone without discussing much more. Our next subject is your phone's calendar, for which you will need to have your contacts cleaned up and mastered Text Replacement. I plan on covering email marketing and drip campaigns, social networking, information and document storage, video conferencing, and camera—which will include photos and scanners—and much more. This was the second technique article on running your real estate business business with a smartphone! My first topic was Text Replacement; if you missed it, please go back and read it now. Dick Betts is a national speaker, trainer and consultant. Learn more at www.DickBetts.com.
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The 6 Trends We're Seeing in Top Real Estate CRMs
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Make 2020 Your Best Year Ever with the Best CRM
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 at 10:00 AM PST The new year is fast approaching us and within a few weeks, we will be in a brand-new decade. With 2020 right around the corner, you want to start the year off right and why not do this with the best tools to help you succeed in your real estate business. On December 10th, RE Technology will team up with Sales Director of IXACT Contact, Shannon McGee, to show you how to excel as a real estate agent in 2020, using the best next-generation real estate CRM and marketing tool! During this one-hour webinar, you will learn how to: Organize and Manage All Your Contacts Keep in Touch and Get More Referrals Nurture and Convert Leads into Clients Plan for Success with New Goal Setting and Tracking Features Double Your Business with Marketing Automation and Lead Management Generate more repeat and referrals business IXACT Contact Real Estate CRM and Marketing Automation Software is the ultimate, all-in-one tool to helping you succeed in your real estate business and kick-start 2020 on the right foot! Register now!
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Why Lead Follow-up Is So Important
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What Makes a Great CRM?
When looking for a CRM for the first time, we recommend developing a checklist of features and a ranking system for each of those features. Try this criterion: Feature Importance to Me Ease of Use Here's a brief walkthrough of how you might rank a feature.
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5 Reasons You Need a Real Estate CRM
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Success Story: San Diego Team Triples Their Transactions with Software Switch
We're back with the second entry in our "Success Story" series. This week: Scaling your business with the help of the right technology. The "right technology" is what made the difference for Kyle Whissel and his team. One year after changing software, the team nearly tripled their number of closed transactions. What caused the need for the tech change, and which platform did the Whissel Realty Group switch to? Read on to find out!
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7 Reasons Why Real Estate Video Marketing Is a Wise Choice for You
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Success Story: Exploring How Agents Choose Real Estate Technology
Selecting a new real estate technology product can be intimidating. In addition to a dizzying array of apps and platforms to choose from, agents and brokers have to evaluate if a product has the features they need, if it fits their budget, if it can adapt easily to their workflow, among other criteria. Helping real estate pros find the right technology for their business is our mission here at RE Technology. It's why we created our Product and Company Directories, and why we publish helpful, educational content every weekday. Today, we're introducing a new weekly feature to further help our readers decide if a technology product is right for them. "Success Story" highlights the real-life stories of agents and brokers who found the technology that fits their business. Each week, we'll explore how and why they made their decision, and how the tech they chose transformed their business. Our series kicks off with a deep, multi-week look into BoomTown, a CRM and marketing automation platform, through the eyes of its real-life customers. Want to see how BoomTown works for yourself? Check out the product tour here. Introducing Brandon Prewitt Our first Success Story starts with an age-old problem in real estate tech: software that's feature-dense, but difficult to use. In 2011, Columbus, Ohio-based Realtor Brandon Prewitt was searching for a real estate technology platform that would help him scale his business and manage his rapidly growing database of leads. He eventually settled on Commissions, INC. (CINC) because it fit his budget and had a lot of "bells and whistles" that he was excited to try. But Brandon only ended up using about 10% of the system's features because the user interface was clunky and a struggle to use. CINC's lackluster support only compounded the problem—there was nowhere for Brandon to learn how to use the system even though he wanted to. "With Commissions INC., support was really lacking. When I signed on with them, there was no onboarding. There was no, 'Here's what you do to be successful using our system.' It was, 'Here's your username. Here's your password. Good luck,'" says Brandon. Making the Switch to a New Platform Frustrated by the user experience and lack of support, Brandon sought out another technology platform. He eventually decided on BoomTown. Why? "It comes down to simplicity," says Brandon. "BoomTown is easier to navigate, and it's just all around more user-friendly. At the end of the day, all of those buttons that CINC had were just noise." Here's a look at the specific features of BoomTown that changed the game for Brandon: Advanced Lead Filters Brandon needed a way to categorize his leads, not just get them all into one spot. For a busy agent, ease of use is important. Brandon wanted to sort through leads by simply clicking a button and seeing which leads are 3-6 months out from buying a home or 6+ months out. "I don't need to have all of these complicated algorithms or labeling mechanisms to be able to filter down all this information," says Brandon. "I just want to click a button and see all those people. That's it." BoomTown made this possible. Brandon finally had a system that could turn his 4,000+ leads into workable lists. In addition, BoomTown's expert support staff and user-friendly platform meant that Brandon had a technology partner that would help him drive the success of his business. Mobile App As an agent who's always on the go, Brandon finds that BoomTown's Now Mobile App is an invaluable tool. "I like to be able to just see who's on there. Who's on the site? Who do I need to call? What are my to-dos for the day? I appreciate the simplicity. It's not just a ton of information in your face. It's just: call, email, or leave a note on their profile." Success Achieved: The Results of Switching Platforms Ease-of-use is one thing, but how did switching platforms actually improve Brandon's business? Well, since signing up with BoomTown, Brandon has: Increased his follow-up with leads Increased his lead conversions Stayed on top of conversations with leads that may have previously fallen through the cracks Regular phone calls with a BoomTown success manager have kept Brandon focused on his business goals. During his onboarding, the "bulk import" of his 4,000+ lead database was naturally a stressful day. "But I knew I had someone, a live person, my own specialist that I could call and talk to. We were in it together." Want to see which BoomTown product is right for you? Compare packages.
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5 Signs You're Doing Real Estate Contact Management the Right Way
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How Kyle Whissel became the #1 Team in San Diego
Kyle Whissel, with The Whissel Realty Group, is doing something right. Actually, he's doing a lot of things right. His business, The Whissel Realty Group, has been ranked the #1 team in San Diego and #76 team in the country! So what is the secret sauce behind this success? Step 1: invest in real estate technology that functions as a partner in your success. For Kyle Whissel, BoomTown is the only choice. "We initially got BoomTown in 2012. That first year that we implemented BoomTown, we went from 82 to 242 transactions... so that was a huge quantum leap for us!" A System that's Scalable The most successful businesses are built from a model that is (A) repeatable and (B) scalable. When Kyle's team began to see more and more listings, they knew that they had to take advantage of those listings to generate leads. But without a technology system in place that could support the level of transactions they were hoping to reach, they were leaving money on the table. "We needed to leverage those listings to get more leads. And then when we had more leads, we needed more people. The system we were on previously was not built to scale that up… so we went to BoomTown." With BoomTown, Whissel Realty Group was able to: Manage a large database of leads Generate a healthy pipeline of new leads Manage follow-up and long-term lead nurture Hold agents accountable and track performance "When you take a business that's on the right track, but when you actually implement systems in place that help you manage all of that, that's what takes you to the next level." The Best of the Best in Technology Think about your favorite car. Or the toothpaste brand you use. Those names (Mercedes, Ford, Crest, Colgate), they evoke a sense of familiarity and trust because they've been around for decades. BoomTown has been powering real estate professionals for over 10 years. With its beginnings in the Great Recession in 2008, BoomTown's technology and people have proven that they can adapt, grow, and continue to drive success for real estate teams. (And we're not slowing down!) For Kyle, it's all about working with a leader in technology. He doesn't have time for a platform that is playing "catch up" and working out the kinks. He trusts the company that powers 40% of the REAL Trends top 250 teams. "You can't catch up to what BoomTown has done in 10+ years. They are innovating at a really fast pace at BoomTown and you don't want to get left in the dust with something that's behind the times, because it's probably never going to catch up." Let's Talk Dollars and Sense Kyle Whissel is great at selling real estate. And he's even better at running a business. He knows that if you want to run a business that is scalable, efficient, and built for long-term success, you need to invest in the right infrastructure and processes. Sometimes that means not cutting corners and using the best possible technology available. "The saying holds true… you get what you pay for. You can get produce from a 99¢ store, but do you?" He compares it to when his team works with a FSBO. They let the seller know that the reason they should work with the Whissel Realty Group is that they're going to put the most money possible in your pocket. It takes more of an investment up front, but at the end of the day what matters is the "money in the pocket" AKA the ROI. Choosing the Right CRM So what should you consider when investing in a real estate technology partner? Your CRM should do the following: Hold Agents Accountable: For brokers, the accountability tools in a CRM can be invaluable. Track agent performance by making sure they're staying on top of lead follow-up and prospecting. Capture More Opportunities: With an organized database of leads (tags and segments), it is easier to keep track of where your leads are in the pipeline. Agents are alerted when follow-ups are needed, so no lead gets left behind. Generate More Leads: With a team of expert digital marketers, your brand is highlighted in the best quality advertisements on Google and Facebook, generating high-quality leads. Reduce Busy Work: One of the most important benefits of a CRM is that it can automate busy work, like emailing and texting new prospects. This frees up time for agents to expand their sphere, spend more quality time with clients, or even just take a vacation. Be Smarter with Prospecting: At BoomTown, we like to encourage "Smart Prospecting." This means organizing your lead database into workable lists. You're not just blindly scrolling through a Rolodex of numbers; you're working with targeted leads and you know what they want. Sync with Other Tools: There is no "one size fits all" tool in real estate. The best CRM will offer different packages that can better fit your needs, but even then, there are other tools outside of the CRM that you'll likely still want to use. This is why it's important to have a CRM that integrates with other technology. BoomTown seamlessly integrates with companies like dotloop (transaction management software). Improve Agent Experience: At the end of the day, real estate is all about providing an excellent customer experience. A good CRM will assist agents in providing this experience, but will go even further and improve the agent experience as well. A CRM should be intuitive, easy and enjoyable to use. And the provider should include excellent training as well as customer support. To view the original article, visit the BoomTown blog.
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6 Quick Tips For Real Estate Contact Management
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Friday Freebie: Holiday Weekend Freedom Edition
A Friday Freebie that talks about freedom? That's a lot of "free" mentions--and for good reason. Not only is this week's Friday Freebie free to try--as in no cost, gratis--its primary benefit is to free up your time so that you can earn more money and convert more leads. Ready to find out more? Read on to unveil this week's offer.
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How Healthy Is Your Database?
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Got a CRM? If So, You Need a F.O.R.D.
Leads turn into Prospects turn into Clients turn into Closings turn into Commissions Sounds so simple when you look at sales with the above formula, but we all know it's really not that simple! Many things have to happen from the time you get that lead until you finally get the commission. I believe it's not contact relationship management, but rather relationship marketing.
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Spring Cleaning for Your Real Estate CRM
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7 Do's and Dont's of Handling Client Relationships
Let's start with the acronym "CRM." Do you define it has "Contact Relationship Management" or "Customer Relationship Management"? Here's what I call it: "Customer Relationship Marketing." Having a list of names with phone numbers and email addresses is not a CRM, it's a phone book—and in many cases, an outdated phone book. If you want to move from Contact Relationship Management to Customer Relationship Marketing, you need to both understand and practice the four Cs and the three Fs.
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Contact Management Is a Contact Sport
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Leveraging Insights to Drive Higher Lead Conversions
No lead left behind! Stop missing out on opportunities to convert. First things first--a real estate lead isn't complicated. It's simply the name and contact information for someone who is potentially a future client. A single email address can be a lead, a phone number, even someone who registers as Mickey Mouse (or something much more offensive). Regardless of fake names, all leads that have a legitimate way to contact them are viable. Even the address-only ones. Even the bogus names. Even the ones that say "no." In order to convert these fledgling prospects, you've got to have the right process in place to successfully nurture them, and within that process, you've got to know the right information to convert them into clients.
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Top Tips for Dominating Your Local Market this Spring
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5 Habits that Make You a Less Productive Agent
Productivity is a popular subject these days and rightfully so! We fight more distractions in our work day than any cohort of working adults before us. Are you maximizing your productivity as a real estate agent? Or, rather, is it a constant battle for you to work smart and complete your tasks each day? A productive day may help you sleep better at night, compared to an unproductive day, which can also be frustrating. Here is a list of five habits that interfere with productivity, along with some suggestions on how you can turn them around to be a more productive agent.
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Why the Top Agents Leverage Success Metrics in a Shifting Market
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The Secret to Success with Prospects Pro
Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 10:00 AM PDT Get a full head start! In addition to all of the basic CRM functionalities, the Pro subscription offers a wide array of management, communication and development tools that will enable you to go beyond your objectives. These tools have been developed in collaboration with real estate brokers intent on providing impeccable service to an ever-demanding clientele. Which Prospects CRM features will be covered: Match CMA Facebook Publishing Tool Hotsheet Prospecting tools Register now!
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Everything You Need to Know About Setting Up and Using a CRM
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Getting New Business from Old Clients
We spend so much time talking about the importance of repeat business and referral business, but the reality is that MOST agents have still not come up with the right way to keep in touch naturally over the long-term. The result? Will your clients hire you the next time you buy or sell your home? Are you sure? After closing, 70 percent of sellers say they would "definitely" use their agent again — but only 25 percent of repeat buyers and sellers actually do. We aren't here to lecture you. Creating one client for life relationship is tricky enough, and aiming to keep in close touch with every client you've ever had is nearly impossible. Still, there are a few low key ways to ensure that you don't break a bond that could end up paying off — both in business and in friendship — after you walk away from the closing table. Below are four tactics you can employ to create more long-term, business-boosting client relationships. 1. Rank your clients You ask for reviews and testimonials after you close, but do you ever bother to ask yourself how much YOU liked working with a client? If you want to focus on creating "clients for life," then the first step is to wean out the clients who you've loved to work with. Not only will you be excited to keep in touch with them over the years, these people are also more likely to recommend other like-minded friends and family members to you in the future. Consider adding a "Client Rapport" ranking to your CRM. After each closing, rank the client from 1-5. Anyone who scores at a 4 or 5 should be who you focus on as you create your "Client for Life" relationships. 2. Offer special treatment You can continue to send the same refrigerator magnet to every person in your sphere but think about upping the ante for the "4 and 5-ranked" contacts in your database. Consider hosting a VIP wine and cheese event for past clients who love to mix and mingle, send young families a coupon to the local Six Flags, offer up a gift certificate to your past buyer's new favorite neighborhood restaurant on the one-year anniversary of their home purchase. By showing you care about them, remember their interests and are willing to spend money or time on them after the sale, you'll be reinforcing a bond that can continue to grow even as you move further and further away from their initial transaction. 3. Watch for social cues and keep in touch with personal outreach Many (and maybe even most) clients hire you as they are on the cusp of major life changes. Whether they are prepping to expand their family, downsizing after the kids move away or simply shifting to a neighborhood that better suits their long-term needs, the reason for their move can act as the primary way you keep in touch for the first few years after the sale. Comment on their baby announcement on Facebook (or better yet, drop by with a branded swaddle blanket or onesie after they have settled into parenthood). Call to ask how their kids are enjoying the teachers in their new school. If you see that a coffee shop has opened up in their new condo building, ask if they would like to meet up for a cup of joe, then ask how they're settling into their new neighborhood. As the years go by and you get to know more about them than just their reason for moving, you can settle into a more natural conversation groove. But for the first few months or years after you work with them, don't worry about focusing on the "safest" conversation topic around — their reason for moving (and hiring you) and how that decision is working out. 4. Give them an easy way to review and refer you Many agents are afraid to ask for referrals directly because it can feel awkward and aggressive if not done in the right way. And while most have a way to generate testimonials or reviews, a lot of the platforms that promise to "syndicate" these reviews are clunky; they require an ironclad login and clients may feel turned off having to sign up for a site they never plan to use again. In the age of cybersecurity threats, not many people want to open up new accounts that require their email and other contact information. When it comes to asking for reviews and referrals, it can be helpful for agents to ask for client feedback that: Doesn't require a login Can be syndicated across the web Can be used to generate a review, testimonial or one-to-one referral Is sent on behalf of the agent, but doesn't come directly from the agent's email address Agents who need such a service can peek at Reach150, a client feedback and referral management system that automates your requests for referrals and reviews and can turn your positive testimonials into marketing content. To view the original article, visit the SmartZip blog.
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5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
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8 Steps to Reconnecting with Real Estate Clients
It's interesting to look at how we've evolved and grown through our lives, to see how our priorities shift, our friend groups expand, how geography separates us. It can almost feel impossible to keep in touch with those we've met along our journey. Despite the incredible advancements in technology making it easy to connect with people, we still let ourselves feel so disconnected. "Let's keep in touch" has unfortunately become a throwaway comment we say to one another as a conclusion to a conversation – but how often do we actually follow through? Getting caught up in the moment with an old colleague or client can leave us with genuine feelings of wanting to keep in touch, but the rigours of everyday life can override those priorities and put it on the backburner.
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Anatomy of a Successful Real Estate Agent
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Don't Let Your Contacts Fall Through the Cracks
At Contactually, we work with thousands of real estate agents. We know it takes multiple touch-points to convert a lead, to reach a current client, and to stay connected to your sphere. Leads and clients go cold for many reasons: they might have found another agent, decided not to sell/buy, were only available at times that didn't fit with your schedule — or maybe you simply waited too long to get back to them! Don't let your contacts fall through the cracks. Stay top of mind by setting follow-up reminders and sending personalized, automated campaigns to keep in touch.
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Five Simple Ways to Become the Go-To Agent in Your Community
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4 Surefire Ways Your CRM Will Help You Grow Your Business
A customer relationship management system (CRM) is a critical tool for any real estate agent. Yet, so many agents both new and experienced lack a system to keep a detailed record of their customers and business efforts. A CRM is more than an address book. The information you collect from your transactions will help you run a more efficient and profitable business. If you are not using a CRM, or if you are not using your CRM to its full potential, here are four surefire ways your CRM will help you grow your business:
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The 4 Most Efficient Ways to Organize Client Contacts
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The Most Important Part of Your CRM
Do you remember the homebuyer who contacted you six months ago? Do you remember what you talked about and what kind of properties he/she was interested in? ...can't remember? Don't worry, you're not alone! It's not easy remembering small details from days/weeks/months in the past. But if you want to be successful in real estate, remembering little details about your leads can make all the difference. The average buyer cycle is about 10 weeks. Most online leads take even longer than that, so you've got months (possibly even years) of conversations that you need to remember in order to keep your leads coming back to you. This is why your lead profile is the most important part of your CRM.
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6 Tips for Nurturing Leads in Real Estate
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How to Choose the Best Real Estate CRM
If you're shopping for a CRM based on features and price, stop. People are like moths attracted to light. We love shiny new features, and we love a good deal. Is that healthy for your business? No. Definitely not. Hell no. It's how you get stuck with a real estate CRM containing bloated features. Ones you're paying for, but not using. It's how you frustrate team members. Agents don't need dashboards if they're not generating leads. Choosing the best real estate CRM starts with four main categories. These should be the checkboxes you cross off as you shop for a CRM.
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Six Ways to Engage with Your Sphere This Fall
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Keeping Your Sphere of Influence Warm When the Real Estate Market Cools
As certain as geese flying south for the winter, you can depend on the real estate market slowing down after a busy spring and summer. Kids go back to school, the weather cools, and before you know it, the holidays arrive; buying or selling isn't on the forefront of most people's minds. So what can you do as a real estate professional during the slow season to make sure you stay top of mind to your leads and prospects for when things really pick up again in the spring? Here are a few tips to ensure that your sphere of influence does not freeze this winter.
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5 Fun Ways to Engage with Your Sphere
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Filling Your Pipeline: Origination vs. Order Taking
Many sales agents have a love/hate relationship with their database. Often it is because they have never mastered the art of origination. They are still managing their pipeline like they are taking short cook orders at a diner, just processing the customers that are in front of them. Even experienced pros can struggle with walking the fine line between generating business and managing the existing business that they have. Where can one find a healthy balance? The proof is in learning how to originate a steady stream of customers to network with. Defining Origination Origination at its core is creating new relationships for your business. It can come in two forms: building new relationships with people that already have a connection with you but have never used your services, or creating entirely new relationships. People Who Know You But Have Never Used Your Services If there are individuals in your Sphere of Influence (SOI) that you have not worked with yet, there are three things to consider. Are you sure they know you are licensed and where you work? If they are working with a different agent, do you know why? Have you offered them anything of value? You would be surprised how many family members, friends, and former coworkers are confused about how licensing, commission, and referrals work. They might think you only work with buyers, sellers, or in a specific area. They may also think you are too busy to help them, based on what your narrative is in your marketing. If you want your SOI to take you seriously, you need to show them that you are an educated agent with the skill set to help them. People Who Have No Idea Who You Are Take a moment and think about how busy your daily life is. How many emails, texts, phone calls, letters, flyers, memos, and commercials do you think you absorb during your day? In September of 2017, The Business Journal reported that the average American could be subjected to up to 4,000 advertisements a day. Let that sink in. Remember that one postcard you sent out a few months ago and never received any leads from? The postcard did not fail, but the way you interacted with the prospect did. If your marketing systems have failed in the past, you need to consider three things: How are you conversion/follow-up skills? Does your audience know that you are trying to reach them? When they are contacting you, are they contacting you from a specific call to action? Advertising is becoming more challenging every day. Consumers do not wish to be bothered with countless flyers and advertisements. Time is a priceless commodity. If they identify your message as something that WASTES their time, instead of saving it, your message will fail. We live in an instant gratification culture. People want their goods quickly, effortlessly, and to be able to review and hold the seller/service provider accountable for their personal experience. Can you offer a smooth and efficient transaction? The Two Biggest Mistakes Agents Make with Origination Assumption and vanity. Do you assume that everyone knows how great or professional you are? Is your message one of vanity? And the worst combination of these two mistakes: Do you believe because someone hired you once, that they will hire you again? Keep these errors top of mind when you are building any part of your business plan that deals with customer interaction. Wrapping Up If you have decided to make a full-time career in real estate, origination tasks will need to be part of your schedule every day. Your pipeline (stream of business) will not remain full if origination is not a primary focus. Origination is an art form. You will need to study, practice, fail and then start the cycle over again to figure out what works. Keep working, keep evolving, stop being a short order cook, and become a master at building relationships for the long term. To view the original article, visit the Realtor.com Hub.
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Friday Freebie: Slip into Fall with a 60-day Trial of this CRM
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10 Questions to Ask About Real Estate CRMs
So you think it is time to invest in a real estate CRM for your business, but you aren't sure what exactly to look for. It can be an intimidating process, but if you ask these 10 simple questions of each product you look at, you'll get the answers you need to make your choice. Remember that a real estate CRM should be able to help you in every facet of your business, and these questions address them all.
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What's Your Client Management IQ? 3 Questions to Ask
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4 Strategies for Building Your Real Estate Database
As a real estate agent, there are a lot of things you "should" do that you hear over and over again. You should keep in touch with past clients. You should have a responsive website. You should up your database. But that isn't very helpful if no one is telling you how or why. So we're going to help you with that last one.
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3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Close a Deal
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5 Agent Best Practices to Dust Off Your Sphere this Spring
Spring's here – dust off your sphere! Your sphere of influence (SOI) is more than just a catalog of people you've met. It's the lifeblood of your business—where everything from referrals to listing opportunities and buyer leads can come from. You need to keep your sphere engaged in order to realize its true benefits. Agents are taught to constantly focus on growing their sphere, but the size of your SOI alone does not necessarily equate to success. To ensure your sphere is the gift that keeps on giving, try these tips to give your SOI a shot in the arm.
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The Useful versus the Detailed Real Estate CRM
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Artificial Intelligence: What It Is, What It Isn't, and How It Benefits Your Business
If you've paid even a little bit of attention to technology or real estate industry news, you've heard this term a lot lately: Artificial Intelligence, or AI. So why the sudden interest in this topic, and what exactly do people mean when they say artificial intelligence? Machines that think? Cars that drive themselves? And what does all of this mean for my real estate business? Those are just some of the AI-related questions that we'll be answering next Tuesday. Join us on April 10 for a FREE, live webinar that explores what AI is, where it's going, and how it can benefit your real estate team. Here's a peek at the agenda: The Basics: What AI is, and what it is NOT The varying degrees of AI, from simple to advanced Real examples inside real estate How to get started with AI LIVE demo of AI used for real estate Will your business suffer if your competition is using it and you aren't? Artificial Intelligence 101 If you've ever wondered about artificial intelligence, Tuesday's webinar is like a freshman survey course on the topic. Here's a quick summary of the more in-depth information we'll be covering: What is AI? There are about as many definitions of AI as researchers developing the technology, according to Inside Real Estate, our webinar co-hosts. It's part of now-familiar digital assistants like Siri and Google Home. It includes Spotify's ability to learn your music preferences, and Amazon's uncanny ability to suggest just the product you need. At its heart, AI is a machine-based intelligence that learns patterns from data inputs and actions. Like all intelligence, artificial intelligence exists on a spectrum. There are simple AIs, like smart thermostats, and advanced AIs like Alexa, Siri, and the broader Internet of Things (IoT). AI is not a type of software, nor feature of software (like automate marketing). It is not something like automated marketing or drip campaigns, which is based on scheduled or triggered events. It's not here to take over the world. (It's true. Just ask "Okay Google, are you Skynet?" and see what happens.) And it's not going to go away. "...strategic use of data and artificial intelligence are not fads," according Steve Murray, President of REAL Trends. "That would be like saying that Billy Beane and Paul DePodesta of Moneyball fame were just data geeks. Except, they showed how using data could change an entire industry forever." AI and Real Estate Now that we understand AI in a broad sense, let's focus in on how artificial intelligence is used in real estate. Here are a few examples: Chatbots helping buyers search for homes on your website A CRM that rates and scores leads, then suggests which to follow up with Predicting which leads that are most likely to transact soon Intelligent lead follow-up that takes action on your behalf In addition, artificial intelligence can help you map out sales goals and evaluate the effectiveness of your lead generation and nurturing strategy. Want to learn more? Register for Out-closing the Competition with Artificial Intelligence, a FREE, live webinar coming next Tuesday, April 10 at 1pm ET/10am PT.    
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Friday Freebie: 100 Ways to Segment and Market to Your Sphere
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3 Ways You Aren't Using Your Real Estate CRM (and Should Be)
I often point out that the number one most important thing about choosing the real estate CRM that is right for you is to make sure you choose the one you are most comfortable using. The more comfortable you are with your CRM, the more frequently and regularly you are going to use it. In order to have a successful go at getting your business organized with a CRM, regular and consistent use of the system is CRITICAL. That still remains my number one suggestion to any Realtor that is looking for a CRM. My number two suggestion is actually pointing out three ways that I find agents mostly don't use their CRM, but really should be. Today, I'll share these with you.
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Top Apps for Real Estate Agents in 2018
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Triple Your Leads with Better List Segmentation
Just what is a real estate prospect? That's starting with an easy question, as we all know that it's someone who wants to buy or sell real estate. Staying with this big picture viewpoint, many real estate CRM systems break down their prospects into buyers and sellers. There may also be an investors category, but for the most part, those are the three that you'll see in the top navigation of many real estate websites. Idea #1: Stop Thinking Simple
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How a Real Estate CRM can Help Convert Referrals to Clients
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Friday Freebie: An Extra Long Trial of a Favorite Real Estate CRM (plus Bonus Goodies)
One great thing about the arrival of a new year is the slew of technology bargains that get tossed your way in the name of "starting the new year off on the right foot." And why not? You've probably already nailed down your goals and business plan for the year ahead, so why not jump at an offer that may help you achieve your objectives in 2018? If nurturing client and lead relationships is atop your to-do list this year, this week's Friday Freebie may be just the new year's bargain for you. Extended 60-Day Free Trial (plus Bonus Extras) of IXACT Contact
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CRM Best Practices for Real Estate Agents
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4 Powerful Reasons Why a CRM Will Improve Your Real Estate Business
The hub of a successful real estate agent's business often starts with a customer relationship management (CRM) tool. Real estate is a business of relationships. Rather than running your business without a plan, a CRM can help you manage your business relationships with intent and care. Not sold on the benefits of a CRM? Consider these four powerful reasons why a CRM will improve your real estate business.
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Boyenga Team Delivers Online Excellence through Chime
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Get More from Your Database: 6 Ways to Boost Referral and Repeat Business!
For most real estate professionals, repeat and referral business makes up a significant portion of our businesses. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors, on average 60 percent and 70 percent of a real estate professional's business comes from repeat and referral business. But chances are, you're not doing everything you can to truly maximize that business stream. Are you staying in touch? Are you staying in touch often enough? If so, are you providing value? Are you reaching them where they are?
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Quick Tech Hack! Export Your Facebook Contacts to Your CRM
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How to Grow Your Real Estate Database
One common thing we encounter when speaking with someone brand new to real estate is that they have no database set up. This is not good. Having a database to get started with is CRITICAL for taking a new agent from "secret agent" to "known agent in the marketplace." Quite often, we find that it's not for lack of trying on the part of the new agent. It turns out that they don't have a database because nobody has given them guidance on how to do this. With that in mind, today I'll share some tips on how to create the perfect database.
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10 Segmentation Strategies for Your Client Database
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20 Years of Staying in Touch Leads to Multiple Transactions
Leah Goldstein is a successful agent with Ebby Halliday Realtors in Dallas, Texas. She's been in the real estate game for 20 years and has been using Top Producer CRM for each and every one of those years. We asked Leah to reflect on the long term implications of having the discipline to keep up with customers in this system and whether this translated into bigger rewards over time.
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LinkedIn hack! Export the email addresses of all your LinkedIn contacts
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Create a Conversion Funnel to Turn More Facebook Leads into Clients
In a 2016 interview, Matthew Nicolas and Reid Boles shared how they use Top Producer® CRM and StreetText to stay ahead of their competition by generating high quality leads on Facebook and implementing systems to turn those leads into clients. One year later, Stephen Whiting of StreetText sat down with Matthew to discuss their results and the Facebook lead gen strategy that is making them stand out.
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4 Ways to Build More 'Client for Life' Relationships
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Do This One Thing, and You'll Double Your Business Next Year
Research tells real estate agents that they already have the best leads and often don't even realize it. It turns out that leads from an agent's sphere of influence—past clients and referrals—offer the best return on investments compared to any of the online leads an agent can buy, according to a study that surveyed nearly 300 real estate broker-owners and franchise leaders nationwide.
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Friday Freebie: Take Your Business to the Head of the Class with this CRM
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4 Ways to Supercharge Your Closing Activity Plans
It's the home stretch of the home-buying process. All the back and forth and hard work in the trenches has paid off and just a few John Hancocks stand in the way of all parties walking away happy. However, now isn't the time to take your eyes off the ball and start celebrating an early victory. Think of it as a marathon and you're in the last 100-meter sprint – and instead of mailing in the last little bit, it's important to stay focused right through to the finish line to make sure nothing catches up to you. You never want to let any details fall through the cracks – so supercharge your closing activity plan to cover all of your bases.
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Don't Be 'That' Agent! Remember Your Sphere
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How to Balance CRM Data with Your Natural Gut Instincts
Humans have followed our gut instincts for as long as we have existed. Intuition is a key survival mechanism. According to Melody Wilding, a professor of human behavior, what we call our "gut" is really the collection of all our subconscious experiences. We may not be aware of all the insights that our gut holds, but that doesn't mean it is not a powerful ally that deserves to be listened to. One byproduct of the digital age is that our gut instincts seem to waste away from disuse. We rely on Google Maps to get us where we need to go, Tinder to tell us who to date, and Yelp to decide where to eat. Following our intuition has been replaced by data-driven suggestions. While data can help us make better decisions and be more efficient, it can be a mistake to rely on data alone. Whether you are considering what movie to watch or how to best approach a potential customer in business, balancing data with natural gut instincts will yield the best results.
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Win More Business from Your Sphere: 3 Ways to Tweak Your Marketing
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5 Steps to a Healthy Repeat and Referral Business
To say you're in for a treat is an understatement, as successful agent Leah Goldstein shares the secrets to how she keeps her repeat and referral business thriving. Leah's strategy is so easy to implement and effective that you'll begin seeing results right away. From finding out what makes your clients tick by sending a survey, to using that knowledge to provide the exceptional service and thoughtful surprises that will win them over, her strategy is nothing short of brilliant. Here's how she does it.
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10 Must-Have Business Relationships for Realtors
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How Healthy Is Your Sphere? 10 Tough Questions to Ask Yourself
In real estate, we talk a lot about the potential of your sphere. But we almost never talk about the individual contacts that comprise your sphere. Within the typical agent's sphere is a broad spectrum of close friends, random acquaintances and even online leads that perhaps only have the name and email address populated within a CRM. As automated "touch points" prevail over the more personal methods of truly keeping in touch, many agents are finding that their sphere isn't generating them much business any more. Could it be because we're treating all our contacts the same, when, in fact, they have very different potential to bring us business?
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Building the Foundation of Your Database
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How to Reconnect with Past Clients
Life has an interesting way of separating people. Busy lifestyles, personal commitments, growing families, and geography all play a role in pushing people apart. We've all experienced that moment when you run into someone and you both agree on getting caught up in the near future. The problem is that we typically fall back into the same patterns and don't follow through on these promises. Reconnecting with friends, acquaintances, and clients has a unique way of opening new doors, new ideas, and new opportunities to us – if only we take the time to open it. Why you should reconnect with past clients in the first place
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How a Real Estate CRM Can Build Your Customer Advocacy Program
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The Art of Planning Client Appreciation Events
One of the best ways to nurture your relationship with your database is to hold periodic customer appreciation events. It's a great way to have everyone come together and, at the same time, offer something different. There are two advantages to this approach for customer appreciation events: It gives you a chance to provide added value to your customers and mingle with them socially. You can suggest that they "bring a friend," which will then allow you to add them to your database and expand your numbers for future follow-up. Beyond just putting an event date in your calendar, your CRM makes it easy for you to plan and manage all the tasks that need to be done in order to pull off a successful customer appreciation event. Starting with creating and sending all event-related correspondence including invitation emails, direct mail, event reminders, and follow-up communications to your event – similar to how you would manage all of your listing and closing activity plans. Here are some ideas that have been successful for many of my coaching clients. Sleigh ride or hay-wagon ride Farm visit at Thanksgiving – pumpkin carving Movie showing Saturday morning for children at a theater Evening boat cruise Christmas festival in the local park Skating party Family picnic Potluck supper event
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Get in Touch with Past Contacts with this Quick LinkedIn Hack
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The 5 Types of Real Estate Clients You Need to Understand
In the "Age of the Customer," any business looking to survive puts their client at the center of their operation. Today, it's the consumer, not businesses, who are driving business decisions, which means that it's vital for real estate agents to understand their clients on a deeper level in order to make the sale. Don't assume you know what your clients want Anticipating what your clients want before they do is more important now than ever before due to the speed at which clients can conduct online research and receive referrals with just one simple social media post. Buying or selling isn't just about profit, function and timelines – it's connected to strong social and emotional factors that influence every client you serve. The most successful real estate agents don't assume that they know their client's needs; they spend the time to understand the world through their client's perspective. In the business of moving lives from one location to another, agents need to keep up with new behaviors that are emerging in the marketplace. Below are five types of real estate clients, and tips for agents to build an effective relationship with each one. 1. The "forever" home buyer Fast fact: Views their home as the foundation of their life. Attitudes: Knowledgeable and specific about what their "must haves" are, like location. Looking for: A memorable experience while buying their home. Agent tip: It's all about the relationship with this type of client. Use your CRM to build a rich contact profile and keep track of important information like family members and birthdays.
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Six Guidelines for Growing Your Database
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Five Steps to Getting Back in the Groove, Fast
If you want to jumpstart the approaching selling season, the best place to start is with a massive "reach out" program. Here are five steps to implementing a reach out program for guaranteed results. Step #1: Decide "Who you gonna call?" Unless the Ghostbusters are looking for a new clubhouse, it's probably not them. Try these people instead: People in your database (past sellers, buyers, strategic alliances) Old and new leads People who recently reached out to you on social media, text or email Next, gather the contact details for these people ideally from your CRM, or add them to your CRM or create a spreadsheet to stay organized. Step #2: Schedule two hours every day, five days a week to reach out. Generating business is the single most important use of your time as an agent. Create an appointment for this on your phone or calendar and keep your appointment every day.
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Top Producer: Ask Us Anything!
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9 Signs You're Doing Real Estate Contact Management Right
Managing your real estate contacts is the foundation to a successful career as a real estate professional. When you properly care for your database, you save time and energy that you can dedicate to other important aspects of your career and even your personal life. Ultimately, using a real estate CRM will help you to stay more organized and get more out of your workday. If you are you looking for a real estate CRM, these nine items can help you choose one that's right for you. Already using a CRM? How many of these nine items are you already doing? 1. You have birthdays and move-in anniversary dates for the majority of your contacts in your real estate database and wish them a Happy Birthday or happy home anniversary when the time comes. 2. You are familiar with your real estate leads and past clients' hobbies or interests. This lets you connect with your contacts better on a one-on-one level and build stronger relationships. 3. You send a monthly real estate newsletter. 4. You feel organized and in-control because all of your contact information, transactions, tasks and "to-do's" are in your real estate contact management software and you get reminders when key dates and activities arise.
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Contact Your Real Estate Customers in Small Bites
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Propel the Sales Cycle Forward with Integrated, Intuitive Broker Tools
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 at 10:00 AM PST In this webinar, gain valuable insights into how the Top Producer® suite of products can help you build a thriving business. Learn: Tactics for generating more social media leads How to beat the competition at lead response How mobile-first tech helps your agents close the conversion gap About integrations that fuel agent success while offering you full transparency Register now!
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4 Ways Your CRM Can Take Lead Conversion to the Next Level
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Build Your Real Estate CRM Database with 4 Easy Steps
A real estate agent's CRM database is one of their most prized processions. It's the backbone of a sales professional's business, being the source of repeat and referral business. The more quality contacts in your CRM database, the more repeat client transactions and referrals will likely come your way. No wonder most real estate agents are always interested in building their list as quickly as possible. Perhaps you're a rookie real estate agent and don't have a large sphere of influence (SOI) yet. Or, maybe you've been in the business a while but don't have as many contacts (leads, clients, business-to-business referral sources, etc.) as you'd like. Some agents choose to purchase leads from online services, which can be a hit or miss strategy. Instead of gambling with your funds by buying leads, why not build up your list organically? Here are four ways to build your real estate CRM database: 1. Take inventory of your personal and professional networks. Spend some time jotting down everyone you know who are not currently in your database. You'll likely realize that you know a lot more people than you think! Consider your friends, colleagues, neighbors, family members, and business professionals you've come in contact with, such as contractors, mortgage brokers, attorneys, florists, and so on. Then, add them to your real estate CRM, where appropriate. Remember that your real estate CRM acts like your own personal assistant, reminding you of tasks, appointments, and even your contacts' birthdays. By including your friends and family in the CRM, not only are you keeping them in the loop for your real estate business, but you'll never forget an important birthday again!
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The Guide to Real Estate Holiday Cards
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Leveraging Your CRM to Produce Clients-for-Life
Imagine this: You meet a buyer at an open house, add them as a prospect to your digital rolodex, do an MLS search on their criteria, shoot them an email with the results, and put them on your automated notifications list. Time-consuming, right? Even worse, you don't know how many other agents are providing them with the same tired "service." But the right CRM, as shown in our online Technology Guide, can be leveraged to effectively convert leads and achieve a true client-for-life strategy. While the core of every CRM is a contact manager with calendar functions, CRMs with select additional features and interfaces foster a deeper partnership between agents and their clients. The best CRMs enable Realtors to give clients the information they value while keeping them engaged in the decision-making processes. For instance, Listingbook relies on a client opt-in approach that engages only home buyers and sellers that are actively looking for local real estate market information. By connecting to the service through a local Realtor, prospects can 'search like an agent' and access up-to-date reports on property details, valuation changes, neighborhood activity, and local real estate trends. The map overlay feature allows buyers and sellers to obtain information on schools, local points of interest, and real-time market conditions. Listingbook's reports include not just active listings sent to MLSs and third parties, but also sold data going back three years and pending listings.
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5 Mistakes that Ruin Real Estate Relationships Before They Start
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The Ultimate "Clean Up Your CRM" Checklist
Having a good approach to client relationships can completely alter the way you do business—and utilizing a good CRM is key to this success. But, if your contacts and notes are disorganized or out of date, it can negatively affect the way you move forward with current clients and prospective clients. Get your CRM system back on track with the ultimate clean up your CRM checklist. QUARTERLY Get Rid of Duplicates Duplicate records will cause confusion, especially if notes are being divided between duplicates. For example, if an agent on your team has a great interaction with a client and they log the details in a duplicate record that gets lost, when someone else looks at this information, they will have to sift through these duplicate records to find the correct one. You should consolidate all information on one client into one record and get rid of any duplicates. Removing these redundant records will save time, hassle and will reduce errors.
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5 Ways to Find NEW Business in Your Existing CRM
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Growing Agents' CRM with Solutions from Homes.com
There's a significant opportunity gap for agents to grow their CRM through online real estate sites. The statistics are in: While almost half of buyers find their home online, 89% still use a real estate agent or broker to seal the deal. That's why advertising on a real estate site can do wonders for creating a robust agent CRM for agents—IF the agent understands how online marketing works to secure more traffic, leads, and clients. There are many online marketing options, but Homes.com ranks no. 1 in terms of lead quality and they offer a range of solutions for building a pipeline of potential clients. Successful agents know a strong CRM depends on never missing an opportunity to place crucial business driving links to their personal website; Homes.com makes an online prospect's decision to connect with an agent a simple click away. For instance, the Local Connect program highlights the registered agent's contact information alongside an inquiry form just under the listing agent's information. The Featured Agent program works similarly, but takes the shape of a prominent banner ad featuring an agent's listed properties. Since these programs are only offered to a select number of agents within any given city or zip code, they effectively decrease online competition for regional CRM expansion. Of course, agents can side-step all of the advertising competition by signing on as a Preferred Agent, which enables sole placement of their profile alongside their listing bundle. But while maximizing links to an agent's contact information and website are fundamental for CRM lead generation, it's critical to respond to them quickly. One industry study discovered that while 89% of consumers feel response time is a very important factor in selecting their agent, 45% of inquiries generated from real estate websites went unanswered.
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Top Producer: Ask Us Anything! (9/21)
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3 Things You're Neglecting Today That You'll Regret in 5 Years
As a real estate agent, you have a lot on your mind each day. I'm guessing you don't have time to worry about potential future regrets. But what if there are a few relationship building things you could adjust in your business today that would help you avoid the pain of remorse in the future? It makes perfect sense to focus on motivated leads that are looking to make a move immediately. But it's also important to have an effective plan for long-term lead generation. You'll reap what you sow in real estate leads! I want to share with you three easy things you can incorporate into your real estate business now that will ensure your business is booming and regret-free in five years' time. Here are the three things you may be neglecting today that might cause you to feel regret in the future: Sending a Monthly e-Newsletter This has the potential to be one of the simplest things you can do now that you'll benefit from in years to come. Sending a monthly e-Newsletter to your contacts helps you stay top of mind, establishes you as an expert on all things real estate-related, and reminds your contacts how to get in touch with you.
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Reesio Training (9/14)
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Four ways to NOT think about your sphere of influence
"My list is a mess." This is the most common response we hear when we introduce our new Sphere ads. As soon as we start to explain the part about uploading a list to target the digital ad, many agents slump in their seats and sigh heavily. Whether you call it a list, a database, a network or your sphere, this is a vitally important group of people. Because over 66% of your business comes from repeats and referrals. However, an informal survey shows that each of us knows around three different real estate agents. So it's not just that I know you, or that you keep me in a database. You need to remind me that I know you — and why. You need to demonstrate to me that you're active in business. And you need to stay top of mind for that moment when I meet someone who might need an agent. That's when nurturing our relationship pays off. There are plenty of suggestions for what to do when it comes to nurturing your sphere. But when you're thinking about your list, we suggest you don't do any of the following: 1. Don't panic. You are not alone, noted Chad Hyams, successful agent, real estate thought leader and the Voice of Reason for Ember Seminars. Not many agents have a perfectly groomed list ready to go at all times. And there's a reason for that. "Most people in real estate have a sales drive, but not an administrative drive to keep a well functioning database that is organized, accessible, and up to date." But most agents do know they need a list and have various lists they can access. It's just a matter of getting started.
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Propelling the Sales Cycle Forward with Broker Tools from Top Producer (9/13)
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Introducing Wise Agent (9/13)
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 at 10:00 AM PDT Join us for an introduction to Wise Agent. This webinar will show you how you can organize and manage every aspect of your real estate business with the Wise Agent CRM system. We will cover: Contact Management Transaction Management Marketing Tools And more! WiseAgent is the solution to ALL your real estate business management needs, with a free trial, training and 24/7 customer support. General overview followed by a question and answer session. Register now!
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