Contact Management with Soul - The Series - "But I Can't Afford A Contact Management System!"

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

First things first... I'm an old married woman as of Saturday! Yay!

Second things next... hoping today's blog puts me over the 300,000 points mark...

And now onto today's message...Contact Management

After my first contact management teleseminar show on January 6th, I got a bunch of emails from attendees telling me they appreciated my passion for contact management, but simply couldn't afford it right now. Many asked if I knew of a system that was free or very low cost since, they reiterated, they couldn't afford an additional $35/month.


Okay, I totally 100% understand that times are tough. That budgets are tight. That every dollar coming into the household (or not, as the case may be) must be accounted for and spent wisely. Oh, how I get that and frankly, I'm proud of my listeners that they aren't just jumping on a bandwagon to spend spend spend just ‘cause I told them they should buy something!


Two things.

First, you should never purchase a system, tool or program that will not cover its cost, either in hard dollars or by saving you time (with which you can go out and earn some hard dollars). I will never recommend that you purchase anything for your business that won't, at the very least, pay for itself (assuming you use it), with the goal, of course, being that it pays for itself many times over.

So, rest assured that when I recommend that every real estate agent purchase a good contact management system, I do so with the expectation that they will make money from their investment.

Second (brace yourself, this might sting a little), you are in business for yourself. You are self-employed. You made the leap of faith into selling real estate knowing (hopefully) that you would no longer be protected by that regular-salaried, benefits-included, vacations-paid J  O  B you left. Selling real estate professionally is not a hobby. It's not (hopefully) a side gig that you do because you have a little spare time. It's your career; it's your profession. And it's up to YOU and YOU only to invest in the tools you need to be successful. And if you're at the point where $35/month breaks the budget, it might be time to re-evaluate whether or not you're doing the right thing by you and your family by being self-employed at this time.

Oh, sure we all have tight months - myself included - where we truly don't know where the money's gonna come from to pay for our Rainmaker blog or send out that month's marketing postcard or, shoot, feed the dogs. But that shouldn't be your reality month-to-month-to-month. If it is, it may be time for a little soul-searching. But that's a topic for a different day.

Back to contact management, is that $35/month you'll pay for contact management the magic bullet? No, not at all. ‘Specially if you don't use it! Do you HAVE to have Contact Management to survive as a real estate agent? Again, no, not at all. But in this gal's opinion, having good contact management in place can change your professional life and should be on your list of investments to make in yourself and your business, preferably sooner than later.

Next time, I'll expand on what I mean by contact management paying for itself...

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?

p.s. On January 27th, there will be a live webinar in the SWS Virtual Studio on the topic of using a contact manager to, well, make money! Unlike previous such programs, this will be a show-n-tell demo (that is - there will be visuals associated with the show) where I'll demonstrate various ways you can use a contact management system to get in touch and stay in touch with your sphere of influence. Details and registration here: I'll be using Ixact Contact for the demo, but the principles will likely apply to any contact management system you already use or are considering.


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Comments 23 New Comment

Ruthmarie Hicks
Keller Williams NY Realty - 120 Bloomingdale Road #101, White Plains NY 10605

Hi Jennifer....Congrats on you wedding!

No - I CAN'T afford a contact management system.  I've got one called an Excel spread sheet - and its FRRRREEEEEE.  Well, not free - I did pay for MS Office.   Keller is introducing a contact management I'm waiting for that to start up. We all have to make decisions about how we proceed.  I found out the hard way $10 here, $40 there.  I was up to $350 a month before even post cards and other marketing for my listings.  So decisions had to made.  I record my leads and clients on EXCEL...After the first 2 months - they all get the same thing - a monthly news letter and holiday cards.  The clients that I have closed transactions with or that I had more than a transitory relationship with do get more and that is only now getting cumbersome.  But for several years that was all I needed.  I have a separte sheet for them with anniversaries and birthdays and a record of phone calls etc. 

But since I am so close to getting one for Keller that it seems wise to just wait.

January 20, 2011 11:31 PM
Sue Gabriel

Argh...697 points away! But congratulations anyway! :)

And I was one of those "I can't afford it right now" agents, and Outlook did what I thought I needed for the past 3 1/2 years. But now that I'm trying out a real CMS program, with checklists and tasks and everything...well, $35/mo is a drop in the bucket if it keeps me on task (no pun intended), nothing slips through the cracks, and I reconnect effortlessly with my SOI.

January 21, 2011 12:45 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Sue - it IS amazing, isn't it - when you start using a system that does what it's supposed to do. I'm having a blast with it, too.

January 24, 2011 06:37 AM
Stacie Colclasure
Realtor, Bethalto, IL
Gateway Holding and Referral Company

Jennifer - Congratulations to you and your husband!!!  I have been away from Active Rain for several months and it seems like I've missed a lot; especially you! 

Btw, since transferring to a new office six months ago, my broker has mentioned your books at our meetings at least 10 times  :) 

January 24, 2011 07:49 PM
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Author of Sell with Soul
Sell with Soul

Stacie - that's so cool! And that story of her handing you the book to read and you showing her YOUR name on the back... that's priceless.

January 25, 2011 06:33 AM

Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn

Author of Sell with Soul
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