Want more business? Contactually CRM for the Win

January is a great time to reflect on the past year, make resolutions and plans for the New Year. In the real estate business, this is a great time to work on communication and marketing plans. Of course, with any good plan, the only way to know if it is working is to track and measure the results. What has always puzzled me is when I ask agents if they use a Contactually or another CRM to manage client communication, often they say they just use their email, a spreadsheet, or some say they don’t use anything at all, they just remember.

How can a busy real estate agent remember every single person on their client list and what they sent to them? When you consider most people in real estate have hundreds of people in their database, it would be impossible to remember every single marketing piece or communication sent. Organizing the database is the first step in creating a viable communication plan and one of the most important tools for any agent is a CRM (client relationship management).
Our company, Coldwell Banker Bain Seal invested in our agent’s success by providing Contactually to all our agents at no cost. We did this because we know how important an agent’s database is to their business. Two years ago when we began teaching our agents how to use Contactually, many of them discovered they were leaving business on the table because of a lack of communication and follow-up with some of their clients. When you use a CRM such as Contactually this doesn’t happen. With daily reminders about who to contact, you can’t forget anyone.

Benefits of using Contactually:

• Daily contact reminders so no one is forgotten
• Reminders for special occasion such as birthday, anniversary, holiday
• Customized approach to marketing and communication
• Article Sharing
• Robust template library
• Group or individual communication
• Email tracking for open and click rates
• Record of your most recent communication with each person in your database

Now that our company has some history with Contactually, we have been looking at the results for our agents who have been actively using Contactually. Here is what we have found.

We have several workshops coming up for Contactually and look forward to helping you get started.

CB Bain Seal Training Calendar

We encourage you to get your database organized, by harnessing the power of Contactually and we know you will see more business this year!

Emma email marketing launches to CB Bain Seal brokers

My Emma email marketing platformColdwell Banker Bain | Seal provides you, our brokers, with the best and most comprehensive set of tools to assist in building, growing and maintaining your real estate business.  We know how important email marketing is and we wanted to provide a robust platform so that you can create, send, and track the results.  To that end, the Emma platform is launching to all of our brokers.

We reviewed many email platforms and chose My Emma for its ease of use, beautiful mobile friendly templates, support, and analytics. With Emma, you can create and send beautiful email marketing pieces which your clients will enjoy receiving.  The analytics will allow you to judge the effectiveness of your marketing. In addition to all that Emma offers, our marketing creative team has been developing Coldwell Banker Bain and Seal branded templates for you to use.

Smart marketers understand that email is one of the most effective tools for marketing. For every dollar spent on email marketing, the return on investment is $44.00. Compare a 28% effective rate for email marketing versus 7% for direct mail and it is easy to see why more people are using email for their marketing mainstay.

Your training and education team is very excited to present and teach you how to use My Emma. We hope you will join us for one of our in-person workshops.  In order to make the most of your workshop, come prepared with a CSV file of your database and we will help you prepare your first email marketing piece and send it out.

A list of Webinars and live classes is in Eventbrite as well as Bluehive on the Emma resource page. We know this is a busy time for brokers, selling homes and getting listings ready,  so don’t worry, additional workshops will be scheduled throughout the summer.

Sign up for a workshop or Webinar today!

Get Set for Success with Contactually

It has been a full year since our company, Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal launched Contactually to all of our brokers. As with any tool, it takes some time to get people on board, trained and in the habit of using a new system.

Contactually brokers vs MLS (revised)We decided to assess the effectiveness of Contactually. We looked at year-to-date  (through October) production numbers, the units and volume sold by our brokers using Contactually compared to those brokers in the same office who were not using Contactually. As you can see by the chart, the brokers using Contactually realized a higher units and volume.

It seems to me it would be worth taking the time to set up, learn and implement Contactually to manage your database and to help you build those relationships. We all think that we are staying in touch with the people in our sphere but what many brokers discovered as they were organizing their contacts in Contactually was they actually were missing people.

During a recent training workshop, one of our brokers shared with me that he is doing a good job of staying in touch with his sphere but he realized while organizing contacts that he had actually dropped the ball on some new business because he didn’t have a good follow up system for web leads and listing inquiries. Now that he is using Contactually that won’t happen this year.

If you are not using a follow-up, relationship building program, what are you waiting for?

Your Coldwell Banker Bain | Seal training team is looking forward to seeing you in a workshop, we want to help you get set up for success in 2016.

If you are using Contactually we would love to have you share a success story in the comments.

Ready, Set, Go… with Contactually in 2015

Ready, Set, Go…with Contactually!

The prime home buying and selling season is right around the corner so now is a very good time to organize your contact list to be ready and set to go in 2015.

Address BookWhile preparing your holiday cards and letters you can also update your contacts/database. Not sending a holiday mailing this year? How about setting aside some time to pick up the phone and give your clients a call to wish them Happy Holidays, and  verify you have their current contact information?

Managing your database is no small task but it is one of the most important systems you can have in place to ensure the success of your business.  We know that many agents/brokers don’t have a formal system to keep track of their clients and important contacts. As you know, the best source of business has always been referrals from people who you know. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 40% of buyers in 2014 found their agent through a referral and for first-time home buyers (think Millennials) it was 52%. I can’t think of a better reason than that to stay in touch with the people in your sphere.

We understand how important keeping track of your database and a follow-up system is to your success. In February of 2015, CB Bain | Seal will be launching company-wide the Contactually CRM program. Contactually is a contact relationship management (CRM) program which will assist you in following up with your most important clients and your sphere of influence so you remain top of mind when people have a home buying or selling need.

downloadHow will you learn to use Contactually?  We’ve got you covered.  The first week of February we will have in-person training workshops with the Contactually staff in each region to get you started. Our education team, the Principal Managing Brokers and branch staff will be extensively trained so they can assist you in getting up and running.  In addition, we have a series of 12 webinars scheduled for you to learn how to use the program and to learn best follow-up practices.  The CB Bain | Seal Eventbrite channel will have the dates and times of all of the events.

Contactually graphicNow I bet you are wondering how much all this will cost? Normally Contactually would cost $39.95 per month but the best part of all, as a CB Bain Seal broker there is no cost to you. However you may want to spend some time to get your database organized, even though  Contactually will  gather and merge your contacts from several sources:  Gmail, Yahoo mail, Outlook, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter to name a few.  We are confident that once your are setup and running with Contactually, you will see a dramatic increase in your business; so confident that we were willing in invest in Contactually and you!

Professionally Speaking: We Are Not Commodities

From the Desk of Mark Schedler

Professionally speaking, our common enemy is the notion that we can be replaced by an entertaining website.   We have competitors who don’t offer our professional level of service but they want our clients.  They feed the notion that our professions are really commodities – one broker is the same as another so the cheapest is best.   The best lawyer has the lowest hourly rate or the free initial interview.  Our challenge is to deliver our full service message in everything we do.   One way is to help clients identify the professionalism that makes the difference in title, lending, escrow, law, inspections and the other services you refer.   Show them how experience, commitment, training and commitment are worth the price they’re paying.  If you refer these services based on price you’ll be telling your clients you’re a commodity, too.