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RISMEDIA, November 13, 2010—Today more than ever, it is important to stay in touch with current, past and future buyers and sellers and your personal sphere of influence—and have a system and personal marketing plan to accomplish that. If you’re not managing your real estate career and your real estate clients and leads as a business and a database of future income, someone else will be. How common is it to hear statements like these in a real estate office:

“I can’t believe they listed with…, I’ve known them for…”
“I was just there last month; I can’t believe they didn’t call me back to list their home.”
“I must have showed them 20 homes before the holidays, I can’t believe they started looking at homes again and didn’t call me.”
“Why didn’t they call me, I sold them the home, back in…?”

The question is not whether the listing or sale was lost to a competitor, but more so, what was done or not done in between in follow up with the buyer or seller lead.

Here are just a couple of examples of a few recent commissions earned on closed transactions which I collected from Active Agent for Outlook, my contact management program.

Real estate agents have been told since their first day in business that they must prospect for new business and follow up with their clients, including current, past and future leads. Programs like Outlook are invaluable in helping to manage and coordinate your real estate transactions, clients, follow up, email and appointments. And of course, thanks to mobile phones, the same information is now available anywhere you go via your cell phone.

Why is it so important to utilize a contact management program? Everyone in business has a mailing list, even if it is only used for sending holiday cards or calendars. Real estate contact management is not a real estate mailing list. At some point, most people who bought a home will sell it. It is simply a matter of knowing who will be selling sooner than later and providing follow up information to be the real estate professional in the right place at the right time to earn their business.

Utilizing a contact management program and developing systems for client follow up is the key to maintaining a steady source of buyer and seller transactions. In fact, it may be more important today than ever. There are many buyers and sellers who have started the process of buying or selling and then changed their minds due to economic conditions, employment concerns or personal situations, among others. Just as the initial decision was made to buy or sell, those same reasons will be what motivates buyers and homeowners to try it again. What are you doing right now to be in the right place at the right time when that decision is made again?

A contact management program, when used efficiently, can help manage our leads, including FSBO and expired, quite effortlessly. Just create a new contact, fill in the contact information and then utilize the power of a contact management program to send a quick email or follow up letter to one client or to an entire group of clients. How about creating and merging postcards? Associating tasks and reminders to a client is easy to do.

The ability to set up campaigns to take care of regular follow up with clients is even more valuable. Listing leads need to be followed up on in a timely manner so they don’t fall through the cracks. Just set up various campaigns related to new listings, list lead follow up, sale transactions, past sales and whatever else would be important in managing your real estate contact database. Just start a new campaign, decide the type of activity (call, email, letter), establish the time frames for each event, set the campaign on auto pilot for that client and let your contact management program remind you what needs to be done and when and then accomplish it with one click of the mouse.

Would you like to have better control and organization of your email? Would you like to send a bulk email blast to a selected list of clients with one click, with personal merge fields? Would you like to take control of your inbox and email? A contact management program does that, associating clients to email sent or received, and provides rules for organizing the email in folders. Everything saved in one file, associated with one client and no more searching for misplaced email communication.

If you are serious about your real estate career and serious about getting to the next level in closed transactions and income earned, then get serious about contact management and client follow up. Make a decision to choose a real estate related contact management program today.

Licensed since 1971, David Fialk, CRB, CRS, ABR, GRI, e-Pro Certified Internet Professional, is the Broker/Owner of Choice Realty Co., Iselin, NJ and provides Real Estate Sales Seminars and Training. He can be reached at 732-283-3400, or visit