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Contact Management Systems - Melissa K - 11-06-2010 06:05 PM

NOTE FROM JENNIFER: In conjunction with the creation of the new Contact Management with Soul board, I'm moving all our past contact management discussions here!

I need some help here.  I've had my license for not quite two months now.  I've got one listing and had a pre-listing appointment today that I am very confident will be mine as well.  Yay me!  I've been pouring over my MLS, doing CMA's on all my friends' houses for practice, driving around getting lost to learn the area better, attending seminars and all around doing everything I can to educate myself about the local market so that I sound like I know what I'm talking about and NOT like a bright green rookie.  

So far so good!  Today's appointment proved that all my research and practice has paid off... thanks VERY much to Jennifer's books and advice.

So, I'm pretty much off and running.  I'm using Outlook as my primary contact management program, but am really not getting anything out of it beyond basic email.  I've got MyRedTools (Keller Williams) for free for three more weeks, but after over a month of using it I REALLY don't see much benefit to it, and it seems like WAAAY more trouble than it is worth.  Seriously, if I actually sit and manually put in every contact I have it is going to take me weeks.

As a rookie, I REALLY need some opinions on what contact management system is worth investing in.  I tried the RedTools because it was free for two months, but I just don't see the benefit of paying $35 a month for it.  If I were farther along in my career then maybe, but I also don't want to not start off on the right foot.  I've visited the Gary Hall site and really, it just confused me further.  I could use some Soulful input here.

Re: Contact Management Systems - Jennifer Allan Hagedorn - 11-09-2010 09:13 AM

Sorry for the delay in response!

The Contact management decision seems to be one of the toughest. Used to be a no-brainer - there were only a few offered and it was relatively easy to pick one. Now there are gazillions, not to mention how all of them claim to do everything a real estate agent could possibly need them to do... but in my opinion, they don't do all these things well. I'm getting ready to post a blog about this, actually.

But first - it's entirely possible that you will need to enter all your contacts manually, and it's not as daunting as it sounds. Sometimes it's the best way to get it DONE rather than looking for a system to do it for you. And, this may sound weird, but it's a good exercise to go through your entire list and "touch" it periodically, for a variety of reasons. So, don't spend too much time searching for a program that you won't have to do manual input. You probably will.

Call me Old School (actually, please don't), but I think CRM's need to do two things and two things only. Track conTACT information and conTRACT information. All the other is, in my opinion, best handled elsewhere by programs specifically designed to do that specific task. I used Top Producer for years and loved it... yet only used those two functions and felt I got my money's worth. And yes, I paid for other programs to do the other things TP claimed to do, but I wasn't satisfied.

So, if you go with that philosophy, how satisfied might you be with KW's contact and contract management? And how portable is the data if you ever leave?