(Maybe THIS post will get me over that 300,000 points mark!)
So, the burning question! Which system do I recommend...?
Well, I'll tell you what I use and therefore, feel comfortable recommending. It's not the only option, obviously; there are gazillions of (well, maybe a few dozen) real-estate-specific contact managers, and I'm sure some of them are fabulous (and I'm equally certain that some of them aren't).
Let me disclaim that I'm not an expert on contact management from a choose-the-best-one perspective. However, I am a bit of a power user of the two "jobs" I believe a contact manager should do well, and I have test-driven enough systems to know that all CMS's are not created equal in performing those two jobs (to read about the two "jobs" I think a CMS should do well, go here.)
I'm using and loving Ixact Contact. It's a Canadian company, but I haven't found anything in it that makes it "foreign" for USA'ers. It does (almost) exactly what I want it to do, (almost) exactly how I want it to do it, without much muss, fuss or extensive learning curve. I've been using it about two months now and have only found a few issues to, complain about gripe about mention to Ixact Contact management, some of which they've already addressed and others are on the list to address. But even these issues are pretty easily worked around in the interim.
What I like about Ixact Contact (well, one of the things) is that it does a lot of things without doing A LOT of things if that makes sense. No, it probably doesn't, so allow me to explain.
Anyone who has used Top Producer is aware of its steep learning curve. But once you've mastered the program, you probably love it because TP will do almost ANYTHING you can think of, if you can just figure out how to make it do it. But that's a big IF for most users. A huge IF. And many new Top Producer users throw up their hands in frustration after a few hours of messing with the program and kick themselves for agreeing to a one year contract on a program they don't understand.
Well, Ixact is what I call "Top Producer OFF Steroids." It does a lot of things, but not so many things that you can't figure out how to do the basics. As a former Top Producer power user, I do get a little befuddled occasionally with Ixact because it doesn't do some obscure thing I want it to do, but I'm realizing that's part of the beauty of it.
Anyway, I've gotten rave reviews from the agents I've sent to Ixact Contact, so I feel pretty good recommending it to anyone who doesn't yet have a contact management solution they're happy with.
It's $35/month (no set-up fee or contract required - woo hoo!). If you'd like to get the Friend of SWS 60-day trial (as opposed to the "regular" 35-day one they offer standardly), just go here.
And, join us on Thursday morning for the first ever SWS Webinar on Using Your Contact Manager to ‘SOI'!" Details and Registration HERE!
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?