CRM Drip Campaigns – Just a start

If all you are doing to follow up with prospects and past clients is email drip campaigns, you’re only realizing a portion of your potential income.

When I started in real estate sales in 1987, there was no Internet and no email. I had to prospect and follow up with people the good old fashioned way. I called them and I even door knocked. I mailed post cards and fliers. I spent money. But it was an investment that paid off many times over. Then came the internet and email. You can reach out and touch everyone in your database – for free! Woohooo! Does it get any better?

But wait. What about the phone calls, fliers and post cards? If all you’re doing is sending email drip campaigns, do you know how many people are actually getting them? Do you know how many people are reading them or clicking on links in them? If you don’t, how do you know how well it’s working? If you do, you know that email drip campaigns alone are far from good enough, assuming you do want to do more business. I know it’s easy to plug someone into a drip campaign and feel like you’ve done your follow-up duty. But if that’s all you’re doing, you haven’t. You need to have phone call reminders interspersed throughout those emails in the drip campaigns. And you need to send them something in the mail. What you send them in email and what you send them in the mail is a whole ‘nuther discussion, but it needs to be done.

Real Estate agents on the whole are notorious for not investing in their business. I realize one of the primary reasons is because it costs money and you may not have any, or very little. I’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt. But I saved enough to make sure that I sent out those post cards because I knew that whatever I spent, I would have many times that coming back to me from that investment. I could prove it because I knew exactly what the sources of my business were, how much I spent on each source, and how much income was derived from each source. I could calculate my ROI ( Return on Investment).

I suspect that most of you reading this already know that what I am saying ain’t rocket surgery. Hopefully, reading this will give you a little nudge so you will do what you already know you need to do. And the best part about it is that so many agents are just doing drip campaigns, you can stand out with little effort. Feeling a little guilty? Good! So?

Where do you start? If you’re using email drip campaigns, add some tasks to it to remind you to make phone calls on a periodic basis. Can’t afford the glitzy expensive post cards? They don’t have to be expensive. Might they work better. Sure – they might. But you can entertain getting the nice ones later, after the cheap ones have made you more money. Get something that has your name and your face on it and has something of interest to say. The goal is to be the first one to come to mind when they think about real estate. Good luck!

The Value of ‘Canned’ content in CRM’s

On a fairly regular basis, I hear people comment that this person’s or that program’s form letters or fliers are bad/not for their market/hokey, you-fill-in-the-blank.

The value in ‘canned’ content is not necessarily in that you can take them as they are, and start using them. While it is true that there are some things, some times, that can be good they way they are, or pretty close, it is rare. The value is in the fact that the content, the concept, is already there for you, and pretty much done. What is left for you to do is to tweak it to your personality, and/or your market. The value is in not having to start from scratch. Starting form scratch takes a great deal of time. That’s where the value is; the time savings.

It’s literally impossible to create a body of letters, fliers, post cards, or activity plans, that are perfect, for everyone in every market. Different people have different ways of communicating, with different personalities. And the difference in markets is vast in some ways from one to another, with regards to terminology and procedure.

The point here is that once again, there is too much of a tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water when searching for a CRM solution. People hear; “Oh the form letters in that program are terrible”, and they discount the software on that basis alone. That’s a mistake. The form letters in all CRM solutions need to be tweaked. Granted, some more than others, but it’s necessary in all of them, for the reasons stated.

I liken CRM software to the purchase of a home, in that when purchasing a home, you are actually purchasing a parcel of land, and the improvements on it, the house. The lot can not be changed. It is where it is. It can’t be changed to any significant degree. The home however, can be added to, or raised for that matter, and built anew. CRM software also has two parts; the program itself, and the content. The program, for all intents and purposes, cannot be changed, whereas the content, can be added to, deleted, or modified.

When looking for a CRM solution, one of your decisions is which is more important for your needs. Is it the content, or is it a complete system to track prospects, track your history with those prospects, schedule to-do’s and reminders, create reports, manage your listings and closings, create mailing lists from the way you have categorized your contacts, and manage drip email campaigns. In my opinion, there is not one single CRM solution out there, that has the best of both, so keep this in mind when conducting your search.