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As real estate markets throughout the country continue to improve and the demands placed on real estate professionals mount at an alarming rate, staying in touch with your sphere of influence is not only challenging, it’s typically one of the first tasks that gets pushed to the bottom of your never-ending to-do list.

But in an industry founded on the premise of not knowing where your next referral is coming from, staying in touch isn’t just a good idea—it’s a necessity. The question is how to do so consistently, easily, and authentically.

And thanks to Contactually, a web-based CRM tool, Ted Schaar—broker/owner of RE/MAX Gallery in Glendale, Wis.—is not only able to maximize his network ROI, he’s also getting more referrals and gaining more repeat business on a consistent basis.

“I needed a CRM that worked for me,” says Schaar, who has been an avid Contactually user for the past three years.

For Schaar, the fact that Contactually integrates into his Gmail account is perhaps the biggest benefit of all. “When it comes to my business, about 70 percent of my communication is done through email,” says Schaar. “And Contactually keeps everything organized.”

In fact, Contactually makes it so that the lines of communication never cross whether Schaar or his assistant are following up with clients on any given day. “With Contactually, it’s easy for both of us to see who has been touched recently, which keeps us from looking disorganized by both following up.”

While having a system in place to follow-up is a key piece of the puzzle, consistent communication is truly the name of the game. To that end, Contactually makes it easy to organize each and every contact in your address book into the appropriate bucket—enabling the software to tell you who to contact each day, and even offering proven email templates for those times when users aren’t sure what to say.

“The frequency of follow-up depends on what bucket they’re in,” says Schaar. “For example, the people on my A contact list are those looking to buy right away, so I follow up with them once a week.” Those on his B contact list are touched once a month since they’re typically 4-6 months out from purchasing a home. And last but not least are those on Schaar’s C contact list, individuals who will purchase if they find something interesting. “I keep these individuals in the platform to stay in touch, and email them every other month,” adds Schaar.

“Real estate is a lifestyle, and Contactually provides a CRM with a family aspect of keeping track of not only your real estate sphere, but everyone and everything you need,” says Schaar, who has his vendors organized in buckets, as well.

“We all have busy lives, and it’s easy to forget about one person,” adds Schaar, “but dropping one client could translate to a lot in lost commission.” Fortunately, for Schaar, this is something he doesn’t have to worry about with Contactually on his side.

“Working with Contactually has been great,” concludes Schaar. “I’m very happy with them.”

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