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Chime CRM gets overhauled, offers tons of new features without upping prices

(MARKETING) Chime CRM is the new kid on the block – what have they done to deserve enthusiasm? Turns out, it’s quite a lot.

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Chime is seriously beefy

Chime CRM’s tagline, “ring in the sales” couldn’t be more fitting as they roll out an array of new features that enrich their offering. The best part? They didn’t roll out a new “pro” version, but they could have with the massive suite of options and redesign they’ve crafted for all users. Nice.

In case you’re not familiar, Chime is like a CRM that swallowed a giant bottle of steroid pills – not too much to die from, but enough to be ridiculously beefy. They’re a CRM, IDX website provider, lead generation management suite, and a team management tool, all designed to make an agent or broker’s professional life infinitely more streamlined.

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Still under a year old, the company has already undergone a major overhaul. What all has changed? We got an exclusive look under the hood:

1. A major aesthetic change

The first, and most obvious change to Chime is the user interface (UI) updates – it’s much cleaner, and better organized so your eye lands in the most relevant spots more quickly.

The dashboard puts your leads front and center, even offering a visual alert for how many new leads have accumulated since your last login. It has a separate breakout for your follow ups, which even pulls in consumers’ browsing behaviors which Chime’s Matt Murphy calls a “rich lead record.”

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At a glance, users can now see the state of their business leads coming in, down to the individual team member. You can see appointments, tasks, and your automated action plan easily.

Murphy says the reporting interface upgrades were inspired by a napkin drawing that Kenny Truong, Fast Agent scribbled as he asked to be able to see the “health” of his business at a glance.

The new interface helps brokers and team leaders to better coach their agents – you can see that Agent A made seven calls last week which have yielded two leads, while Agent B made zero calls. Why? Instant coaching opportunity.

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Murphy also let us peek at some of the new IDX website templates (like this one), and they’re actually pretty good.

2. Complete overhaul of settings

One of the newest functions is lead routing, wherein you can now “round robin” your leads so no opportunity is lost.

One of the most innovative functions is easily their drip campaigns which can be automated down to the referral source.

For example, you could set Chime up to email a welcome note specifically to any lead from Zillow, and send them weekly updates that feature your top picks from Zillow since they obviously prefer that source.

Real estate practitioners often say “hi, welcome from Zillow, now please go to my website and my website only, forever and ever, amen.” No more going against the grain and hindering your chances of speaking a lead’s language.

3. That new Open House app, though

There are already third party Open House apps that are amazing, but if you use Chime, it’s worth checking out their built-in Open House app.

Pop open an iPad, Open House visitors will sign in and be asked five questions (and they can see their progress at the bottom so they know you’re not bugging them for their blood type, mother’s maiden name, or infinite questions).

That data is then sent to your Chime dashboard and all grouped together so you can batch follow up notes effortlessly.

4. Integrations out the ying yang

We got a chance to peek into the backend, and we noticed a lot of new logos. Murphy confirmed that Chime integrations now include Zapier and MailChimp so they can all talk to each other to improve the real estate workflow.

We also got the scoop that later this year, they’ll be integrating services that send out handwritten thank you notes to clients, direct mail integrations, and even send out personalized videos in emails.

5. SMS campaigns sent from your dashboard

New to Chime is virtual numbers that allow users to drip market via text messages. Of course you don’t gain the same sort of click data that you would through an email campaign, but it is yet another way to speak a consumer’s language and meet them where they are.

Giving agents the steering wheel

By the end of the year, they’ll add a broker suite that will give multiple permission levels offer subdomains, users will soon be able to track the ROI of their ad spends, and reporting will get even more bells and whistles to give more insight into any pipeline.

Murphy summarizes the updates as improving your workflow management, which almost all other industries do flawlessly. “So why not real estate? They deserve amazing technologies,” the tech industry veteran asserts.

“We help to automate everything but give agents the steering wheel, allowing them to stay in control,” Murphy concludes.

#ChimeCRM

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Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The Real Daily and sister news outlet, The American Genius, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

Real Estate Marketing

How to get a 9 star rating on Zillow when you’re limited to 5 stars

(MARKETING) When you’re limited to just a few stars on Zillow or similar sites, how do you prove to the public that you’re worth many more stars?

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Let’s say that you ask all of your customers to rate you on Zillow. Let’s say that you think it’s the best site since sliced bread (or you hate it, whatever, that matters not in this scenario).

But let’s also say that you’re either an overachiever or a smartass and you believe that your five star rating is simply too low and that you have actually earned more stars throughout your stellar career.

What do you do? How do you break out of the “Five Star Zone” without paying people to rate and rank you and without bribing Zillow?

You get creative.

Enter Frank Llosa, Esq., Broker of Frankly Real Estate, who is both hated and revered for his endless pushing of the envelope. Years ago, he figured out a way around the five star rating system on Zillow without any cash exchanging hands.

How? Behold:

Llosa did this stunt long ago, but Zillow never shut him down (and if they had, he’s used to his shenanigans being stifled).

Will Zillow shut you down if you try this? Probably.

While hilarious, it does prove that the web doesn’t limit the creative, rather, it unveils the endless opportunities to capture consumers’ attention – wouldn’t you take a second look at a 9-star agent on Zillow? I sure would!

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Real Estate Marketing

Tweetcat for Twitter organizes your timeline, makes it easier market

Never miss an important tweet again with Tweetcat, an app designed to organize your timeline.

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Virtually every form of social media utilizes a newsfeed or timeline format. This is set in place to allow users to view information from those the follow in a, normally chronological, fashion.

Depending on how many people you follow, it may sometimes be impossible to constantly stay on top of everything that’s posted in your social world. This is particularly difficult with Twitter.

How can you stay up-to-date on Twitter?

Because Twitter operates in a 140-character sphere, updates are seemingly constant. Tweets, photos, and videos go up in a moment’s notice, making it hard to keep up if you only check in every few hours.

But the thing is, do we want to see all of that content? While we consciously choose everyone that we follow, does that necessarily mean we want to be with them every step of the virtual way?

Based on the amount of accounts I have muted, I’m going to venture to guess: no. Sometimes people, or brands, have a habit of tweeting too frequently, which may be a turn-off but not necessarily grounds for an un-follow.

Twitter meets organization

While you may appreciate everyone that you follow, it is unlikely that every single tweet is something that you care about seeing. The constant updates may be easier to digest if there were something to keep Twitter organized.

Tweetcat is attempting to be that form of organization. Operating as an app, Tweetcat’s purpose is to organize your timeline by allowing you to create custom topics.

Categorize your tweets

You are able to create topic categories (i.e. business, music, sports, etc.) that will become color-coded. Tweetcat then sorts out your interests and places the appropriate tweets in the appropriate categories.

This not only helps to weed out the information you do not care to see, but it allows better access to the content you actually care about. Who knows what you may be missing in the disarray that is your current timeline?

Once categories are created and the tweets are sorted, they become accessible at the bottom of the Tweetcat app, which integrates your Twitter account. Available for both Androids and iPhones, the Tweetcat app strives to keep Twitter users organized and seeing the content that they are interested in.

#Tweetcat

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Real Estate Marketing

Real estate drone videography is falling far short of this glorious example

Drone videography is stunning, but the real estate industry could be utilizing the technology to a much greater extent; here’s one breathtaking example to aspire to!

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A stunning new short film, “Austin by Air: An Aerial Documentary” gives viewers the opportunity to see Austin from a bird’s eye view and, hopefully, will inspire the real estate industry to consider incorporating aerial videography into their marketing.

Photographer and post-production technician Gerard Juarez has been working on a drone related startup, and decided, as a side project, to make a film featuring breathtaking aerial shots of Austin’s skyline, of kayakers on the river, and of the early morning traffic-less streets around the University of Texas. He attended a drone piloting training program to big up his skills before hitting the skies to create the impressive documentary. His goal was to “showcase” the city of Austin, and he hopes that the film “will have a little promotional value for the city.”

Tip: watch this video in full screen with the sound on.

How the industry could catch up

We’ve been talking about drones for some time now.

Here at The Real Daily, we’ve long been tracking the technological and legal progress of drones. The Federal Aviation Administration currently prohibits the use of drones for the purposes of selling real estate. However, this could change as soon as this year. In 2012 the FAA Modernization and Reform Act asked the FAA to come up with clear regulations regarding the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles; these regulations are due at the end of September. We recommend staying abreast of these developments, as drones could one day become an important tool for the real estate industry.

Real estate brokers with enough capital to work with could hire quality videographers to make films similar to Juarez’s documentary, which would show potential clients a whole new perspective on their cities and neighborhoods. Aerial photography is a great way to show off what makes a city or town unique, and to give people a wide-angle view of standout architectural and natural features. Such videos could be shared via hyper-local content blogs and websites to draw in new home owners.

I found “Austin by Air” to be a beautiful and inspiring way to view a city; similar videos on real estate websites could make a big impression on potential clients.

#DroneVideography

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