Last Thursday, I did my first-ever contact management teleseminar show in the SWS Virtual Studio. The goal of the program was to do a general overview of what *I* think a contact manager ought to do for you, and provide some solid ideas of how to use your contact manager to do those things. (if you missed the show, you can purchase a recording of it for $3.99 HERE).
Had great attendance and terrific feedback. And lots and lots of questions, some of which I answered yesterday here. However, many of the questions asked during and after the show have inspired me to do a little series on contact management! Isn't that the most exciting thing??
So, let's get started, shall we?!
<By the way, every single word that follows is based on MY opinion of and experience with the subject at hand. While I may sound as if I'm some big smarty-pantz know-it-all, well, I really don't know it all. I'm just telling you how I see things and you can take or leave my words as you see fit!>
I believe a contact management system should do two things well. Very well. If it doesn't do these two things Very Well, I don't care what else it does, Very Well or otherwise.
These two things are:
• Managing Your ConTACTS, and
• Managing Your ConTRACTS.
Your "conTACTS" are the people who make up your database, aka, your sphere of influence or SOI. Your "conTRACTS" are your active listings and pending sales.
Managing Your Contacts
A good contact management system (let's use CMS from here on) will allow you to easily and intuitively enter contact information for everyone you know, including data for their spouse, partner, children and other relatives, including different last names and individual contact information. It should allow you to track the birthdays of all members and notify you of an upcoming birthday (and other special dates you want to acknowledge). It should allow you to categorize your contacts into various groups, and the names of such groups should be fully customizable. It should allow you to include a person in more than one group and sort accordingly. It should allow you to link conTACTS with conTRACTS.
Managing Your Contracts
Speaking of contracts, a good CMS should allow you to create checklist templates (also known as action plans or activity plans) that are fully customizable, to apply to your real estate transactions.
For example, the CMS should make it easy for you to create a "New Listing Checklist" with all of the to-do's associated with a new listing from Day One to the date it expires or goes under contract. When you get a New Listing, you simply apply the New Listing Checklist template to that contact profile and BAM! You have an auto-populated to-do list for the listing that reminds you to do all those things you need to for the seller, on the day you need to do them.
Those are the two things a good CMS must do. The rest - all fluff. I don't care if it creates fancy splashy newsletters, I don't care if it has a gazillion drip campaign emails or marketing letters, I don't care if it creates CMA's or listing presentations, I don't care if it blows your nose for you. If it doesn't do the two things I just described Very Well, it's not a good contact management system.
Okay, that's today's show. Tune in next time for more opinions, ramblings and advice on the scintillating topic of Contact Management!
THE CONTACT MANAGEMENT WITH SOUL SERIES
Part I - The Unanswered Questions
Part II - The Two Things a Contact Manager Should Do Very Well
Part III - Creating Reasonable Expectations for Your Contact Manager
Part IV - "But I Can't Afford a Contact Management System!"
Part V - Contact Management Pays for Itself - if you use it!
Part VI - Which System do I Recommend?