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5 Ultimate Real Estate Contact Management and Marketing Tips

Real estate contact management and CRM tipsIn this blog post I’m going to outline five excellent real estate contact management and marketing tips that will help you build stronger relationships with your sphere, benefit from a consistent stream of referrals and repeat business, and become a more successful agent both short and long term.

1.  Send targeted and personalized emails to stay in touch with your sphere and take a multi-channel communications approach

The “Dear Valued Client” approach or addressing  your clients and prospects with a “Hello” comes across as impersonal and has generic, batch and blast email written all over it. Use your Realtor CRM or email real estate marketing software to personalize your emails so each one is addressed to the recipient’s name.

As well, be sure to send different emails to the different groups of people in your database to ensure relevancy. Your marketing email to a group of first time buyers will be different than the one you send to a longtime client. Remember, it’s all about providing value and growing the relationships with your sphere. Emails that don’t clearly provide any value, help, or benefit to your recipients shouldn’t be sent.

It’s also advisable to supplement your real estate email marketing with face-to-face meetings, direct mail, and phone calls. The best approach is to stay in touch in a variety of ways. Here is a good article that explains how to develop an effective, multi-channel communications plan.

Heather, a customer of ours, gets great results with her email marketing because she follows a number of key best practices. Before she begins, she understands the goal she has for the email, such as to keep clients informed on the real estate market or to get some new leads by offering a free home value consultation.

She then sends the email to the right group(s) of people and often has different variations that go to different segments to ensure relevancy. Heather makes sure all her emails pass the “WIIFM” test, which stands for “What’s in it for me?” If there’s not clear value in the email to whom she’s sending it to, she won’t send it.

All of her emails have calls-to-action (CTAs), so at the end of them, she is sure to ask the recipient to take an action (such as filling out a form or giving her a call).

Heather’s emails are also always interesting and visually appealing. She uses images and breaks up content into small paragraphs or bullet points/ numbered lists so the emails are easy to read. After all, people skim, not read, emails these days.

Lastly, she measures the results of her email marketing by using her real estate CRM’s Email Campaign Reporting dashboard to view information like open rate and click through rate. She then updates or deletes all emails that hard bounced (where the email address is no longer valid).

Heather knows that an effective email will have a good open rate and click through rate. Of course, if she notices that certain people are reading and/ or clicking on a particular email multiple times, she’ll give them a call to see if they’d like more information.

2. Identify the hot leads hiding in your database with Email Campaign Reporting

Email Campaign ReportingRegardless of the size of your real estate database, there are naturally going to be some hot leads and others… well… not so hot.  Without Email Campaign Reporting, it can be difficult to know which leads are the ones you need to engage with right away (the hot ones). After all, you can send a Just Listed e-Flyer to your database and even though some motivated leads may see it, they may not get around to calling you.

Here’s how Email Campaign Reporting helps: Ryan, a REALTOR® based out of the Newark area, sent an email to his database about a property he just listed. He then was able to see that a handful of people in his real estate CRM read his email multiple times, forwarded it on to someone else, and clicked on the links. As they seemed like engaged leads, he called them up to see if they’d like more information. One of them did, and even though they didn’t put an offer on the property Ryan just listed, Ryan did end up finding them a great home in their preferred area.

Too many Realtors market themselves with their blinders on. When you’re marketing in the dark, it’s hard to understand what types of marketing resonates with people and what doesn’t. That’s why so many agents give up on email marketing after just a short time. With email Campaign Reporting, you’re no longer in the dark.

3. Follow best practices for getting client testimonials

John, another IXACT Contact customer, gets a lot of testimonials regularly. In fact, after each transaction, he usually captures a great one that he will then use in his marketing.  John has a blurb in his email signature letting his clients know he values testimonials. But in addition to doing that (which a lot of Realtors do these days but they don’t accomplish a whole lot on  their own), he does a number of other things that are really effective for him:

– He shares his previous testimonials with all his clients and makes sure they know he’s proud each time he gets one.

– He has a script he uses to ask for testimonials. The script sounds natural and has been proven to work well for him.

– He regularly touches base with his clients to see how well he’s doing and if he can improve in any way to provide even better service. Often times, clients will say nice things about John during these conversations.

– He stays “top of mind” with all his past clients by keeping in touch (he’s a big fan of sending a monthly real estate newsletter). This often leads to referrals, repeat business, or a great testimonial.

And in addition to the above best practices, John does a few other activities that I believe are quite unique (more Realtors should be doing these things):

– He scans the web and sets up Google Alerts so if someone mentions his name on the internet, he is alerted right away. In many cases, these mentions are former clients writing something positive about him. He reaches out to the client, thanks them, and asks if he can use that comment as a testimonial.

– At the end of each transaction, he sends his clients a survey asking for feedback.

– He looks out for positive comments via email exchanges and social media sites and asks if he can use those comments as a testimonial. He has received many LinkedIn and Facebook recommendations that he uses in his marketing.

4. Follow best practices for getting referrals

Get more real estate referrals by practising effective contact management If you provide a really memorable service experience, you can get referrals. But a good Realtor doesn’t just wait for referrals to come to them, they take certain actions to make it easy for people to refer them and, in the process, increase their chances of getting those highly coveted referrals. To improve your likelihood of getting a lot of referrals, you need to ask, schedule, reward, communicate, sponsor, and introduce:

1. Ask for referrals from those around you. Mention the types of people who might benefit from your services and give examples of people who they can refer you to.

Example: “I can be a big help to empty nesters at our church looking to downsize.”

2. Schedule keep in touch calls and direct mail to go out to your best clients.

Tip: Direct mail can have a very big impact because it shows you put money into keeping in touch in a way a lot of other agents don’t.

3. Reward those who refer you; send them a card, and, if your board allows it, a meaningful gift to show your appreciation.

Tip: when the referee feels you haven’t really paid attention (or don’t really care) about those they’ve referred, you can be assured they won’t refer you again.

4. Communicate to those who referred you about the outcome of the referral. Be sure to keep them in the loop.

5. Sponsor local teams or organizations to generate goodwill in your community and get your name out there.  It won’t be long before word of mouth about you will start to make its rounds community-wide.

Tip: This is a fairly inexpensive way to get a lot of exposure. And it’s unique. How many other Realtors do you know that sponsor events or organizations in the community?

6. Introduce yourself to a minimum of one new referral source per week.

Examples: mortgage brokers, attorneys, home stagers and interior designers.

Tip: Recommend reputable service providers to your clients. When you recommend these professionals, they’ll reciprocate and refer you to their clients.

5. Plan Loyalty-Building Events

Client appreciation nights, home expert seminars, BBQ get-togethers, Easter egg hunts, pumpkin carving contests, and other types of events can be outstanding loyalty-builders.  And of course, they are yet another opportunity to stay in touch and remain top of mind with your sphere. Let me illustrate the power of an event, like a home expert seminar:

Susanne, a Realtor in Phoenix, plans a home expert seminar every month. She uses her real estate contact management software to organize the events and get reminded for every task she needs to do leading up to it. Last month, she brought in a Hardwood Flooring Specialist to speak in front of her clients about different flooring options. Her clients were encouraged to bring their friends and family members along to the event. So Susanne met a lot of new people, many of those potentially motivated leads. And so did the Hardwood Flooring Specialist. Next month she is bringing in an Interior Designer to talk about inexpensive kitchen and living room remodels.

Although these events take up time, Susanne finds that they are a great way to build invaluable loyalty with her past clients and get a good amount of new leads. And the “home experts” she brings in are usually more than happy to speak in front of her clients for free because it usually means leads – and sales – for them.

I hope I’ve provided you with some useful real estate contact management and marketing tips that you can put into practice right away. If you do, they’ll give your business a boost and help you reach that next plateau in your career.

About Matthew Collis

Matthew Collis is the Marketing Manager at IXACT Contact Solutions Inc., a leading North American real estate CRM firm. In addition to overseeing many of IXACT Contact’s key sales and marketing programs, Matthew works with Realtors to help them achieve their real estate goals through effective contact management and relationship marketing. 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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  • Matthew, I have been been looking at different CRMs and trying to decide the best way to follow-up on our leads.

    It sounds like you know a lot about this. Are you able to talk to perspective clients on the phone so I can give you my situation and you can suggest some solutions?

    • Hi Bryn, sure! Give me a call at 1-866-665-0018 and we can chat 🙂

    • rolandestrada

      If you sign up for Reesio before June 30th you can get it for $15 per month. They are rolling out their full CRM/Transaction Management suite on August 15th.

    • rolandestrada

      Do yourself a favor and go for Reesio. You can skip IXACT. It’s functional but the user interface looks like it was designed 14 years ago. You can tell it’s badly coded. I’ve just started using Reesio and I LOVE it. These guys are extremely tech savvy. I spoke to the CEO and asked him how it is coded. That alone impressed the hell out of me. Most of the tech out there for real estate is horrendous and way behind modern coding – Particularly, HTML5 and scripting languages. Try using Sharper Agent and you want to rip your hair out.

      Go look at Apple’s iWork office productivity suite through iCloud. If you don’t have an iCloud account, you can get one if you own a Mac, iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. Their iCloud web applications function just like desktop applications including drag and drop. This type of tech is where real estate tech is very slowly heading. Those that don’t adapt will be left in the dust in puddle of tears.

      • Do you have any financial interest in Reesio?

        This appears very much like competitor bashing.

        I’ll leave this comment up, but anything further will be deleted.

        • rolandestrada

          I have no financial interest in Reesio at all. I do however an high interest in real estate tech. I picked up that interest in 2004 when I found out I couldn’t use Firefox with Tempo MLS. I was livid. That was when i was still using Windows. When I switched to a Mac in 2006 I found the problem even worse when i came to real estate tech vendors.

          Shaper Agent for instance just switched over from IE only support to cross-browser support a couple of years ago. But when they switched I noticed they are using Silverlight as a platform. Silverlight isn’t even supported any longer. That’s the problem when developers use platforms as a base for their online services. It might be easier but they doom themselves to being boxed in to that one platform.

          It wasn’t until last year that zipForms started to phase out Java a platform. what bag of hurt that was. Similarly, Digital Ink uses some platform that relies on an Adobe platform. I just sent an email to zipForms support the other day because an agent sent me documents signed with Digital Ink. The signatures were blank when I opened the documents in Apples Preview app. They actually responded and tried to it off on me using a Mac and Apple’s Preview app not supporting Adobe’s Acrobat standard.

          My criticism it valid. If you take an honest look at any real estate online solutions you can tell if they coded well or not. They ether look and function like Windows XP or they look like Apple’s iCloud version iWork or Mail Chimp just name a couple of examples.

          I don’t know why, but as agents we have put up with a lot of bad UI and UX over the last ten years. We shouldn’t and need to express our discontent with anything product that uses less that modern code and scripting languages.

          • Hi Roland, it’s too bad you don’t like how our interface looks – I’m sorry about that. You are not in our database so it looks like you never signed up for our free trial. Have you ever tried IXACT Contact?

          • rolandestrada

            I have actually been able to play with it extensively for the last year. A friend asked me to help with some general real estate tech including recommending a CRM. I had him use IXACT because I had seen it around and it was relatively inexpensive. IXACT works but needs a rewrite.

            UI and the underlying code is everything these days. Real estate vendors can get along using dated tech for a while but not for ever. Eventually someone comes along with a better mouse trap.

          • I definitely appreciate your perspective. While some people, such as yourself, do feel that “UI and underlying code is everything,” others feel that functionality and results – how a CRM helps them manage and grow their business – are more important factors than UI and underlying tech.

            IXACT Contact has become one of the fastest growing real estate CRMs in the world because the system is quick to learn, easy to use, and help agents stay organized and top of mind with their sphere. For a large majority of agents, this is what matters most.

            From a technology perspective, IXACT Contact is actually built on a very modern and robust Microsoft .NET and SQL Server platform. The system is amazingly reliable and scalable. In addition, we’ve built in advanced functionality such as our “set it and forget it” monthly e-Newsletter and our Email Campaign Reporting that other real estate CRMs simply can’t match.

            The bottom line, in my opinion, is that the best real estate CRM is the one that a) you’ll actually use, and b) will help you better manage and grow your business.

  • daly

    Hi everyone, i have been looking for a CRM that is adapted to Dubai market for few months now as i dont like what is offered here in the local market, i would like to know if there is any good CRM out there that is very simple to use (any new/exp agent can use from the first week) that will be automated (following up clients giving ideas…) I really appreciate your help guys. Daly@propertyssimo.com

  • Thanks Matthew Collis, Its informative & Well Written But sometimes I feel confuse my to find out referrals online So I have question Which is the best resources to get online referrals ??

  • harish kumar

    Hi guys… I am sorry if I am in wrong place.
    Can you people help me how to promote my business to real estate people.
    We do project based on AR (augmented reality)
    I need some help or idea how to or whom to contact in order to present my project.

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