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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.

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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

URL shortener: Once clicked, you can retarget ads across social networks

(MARKETING NEWS) This new tool helps expand your brand with a simple URL shortener that then lets you retarget site visitors. Bingo!

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The URL shortener is a must-have piece of the toolkit for the social media marketing age. PixelMe is a combination of a tried and true URL shortener with a retargeting pixel in every link to help your marketing efforts. Bingo!

If you’re not #intheknow, retargeting is a form of online advertising that uses cookies to help you advertise to your visitors while they browse the web. Basically, a piece of Javacript, a “pixel” is placed on the browser as a cookie. The cookie then notifies retargeting platforms to serve specific ads.

Usually, it’s part of an overall marketing strategy to help capture potential customers who visit your site, but don’t necessarily check out or become customers. Combined with content marketing and targeted displays, it can help get more people back to your site and ultimately become customers. In terms of numbers, if only two percent of customers normally convert on first visit, the ability to retarget gives you a better shot at the other 98 percent.

Key features of this tool beyond link shortening include: Measurement, with links analytics to help you determine what is working; Custom Domains with branded short domains; the ability to include single or multi-pixels so you can retarget with multiple ad platforms; bulk import that lets you quickly add multiple links and then share them from the dashboard; customized slugs edits (to the last part of the URL); a custom 404 screen if you have a dead link; and team member collaboration if you have a small marketing team coordinating your efforts.

The effectiveness of PixelMe comes from its development (a great story pulled from the blog here) with specific use cases in mind.

Influencer marketing (which we’ve written about: check it out here) for example, is often a one-time marketing exposure – with PixelMe, the campaign audience gets retargeted so you get more ROI on working with influencers.

PixelMe starts at $10 per month (with up to 200 shortened links a month and one pixelID); and goes all the way to $79/dollars a month (for 15 pixel IDs, 10 team members, and 5,000 links per month). At three pricing levels, practitioners of all kinds can find marketing benefits.

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Real Estate Marketing

Dark data may be the key to your locked potential

(MARKETING NEWS) The key to a solid marketing campaign could be dark data if anyone can figure out how to actually use it.

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One trend that marketers and entrepreneurs alike are trying to utilize is the mining of dark data from social media. It may sound like something a supervillain in a made-for-TV movie may use to “hack the mainframe,” but it may be the crux of your next marketing strategy.

Research firm Gartner defines dark data as “information assets organizations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.”

This data is frequently unstructured, making it difficult to utilize effectively. Structured data is easy to analyze, it populates spreadsheets after a customer enters their information on your website and other clear roads of analysis.

Unstructured data, in contrast, is information that may be collected but its not utilized effectively. Almost 90 percent of unstructured dark data falls through the cracks and is never put to use. One big source of unstructured data is social media posts.

Customers will share insights into your business and brand through their posts about their purchasing habits. This is frequently done through not just through the selfie, but the captions associated with the photo as well.

A picture can tell a lot of information to people (what times of items you sell, their quality, and their overall experience) but the caption can help you understand more what their attitude towards those events are.

A picture may show an attractively plated meal, but the caption may talk about how there was a long wait for the food as well as poor customer service. These captions, and subsequent comments, can offer a keen insight into what people like and dislike about your brand called sentiment analysis.

Sentiment analysis can be utilized to understand attitudes toward your brand, and there’s multiple ways you can go about this. One method of analysis is through the building of word clouds which examine the most used words in a few days of dark data. Pro-marketers can easily pull dark data from those who like or follow a business’ social pages into software which can do the legwork for you.

Small business owners have some options that are less sophisticated but can still do sentiment analysis of dark data effectively.

The IProspect blog suggests to use “a blend of monitoring tools,” many of them free, to complete a sentiment analysis.

A better understanding of dark data means you aren’t limited to just basic social media analysis tools. With these concepts, you too can illuminate your dark data and shine some light on future prospects.

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Real Estate Marketing

Smartphone device plugs in to create 720 ° VR-ready home tours

(MARKETING) VR was once seen as a futuristic novelty, but with the rapid adoption rates, adding this to your toolbox could quickly set you ahead of your competitors.

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VR Maker

Accuracy is an important aspect of any real estate listing, which is why an app called VR Maker may soon become your new best friend.

VR Maker allows you to create a 360° presentation right from your smartphone, creating a seamless virtual reality experience in minutes. Such a presentation allows your clients to view properties’ interiors in crystal-clear detail, thereby removing some of the mystery from your real estate listings and bringing you closer to making a sale.

The way that the VR Maker works is simple: after signing up at iStaging website, you receive a 720° camera attachment for your smartphone (both iOS and Android are supported) along with a rotator unit on which you mount your smartphone. With the VR Maker app installed, all you have to do is make sure that everything is connected and tap “Capture”—VR Maker and the free equipment will do the rest of the work.

“The work” in the above context is quite impressive. VR Maker creates distortion-free 360° images of entire rooms with ease, allowing you to make a virtual house tour for which clients never have to leave the comfort of their homes. This footage also means that you don’t have to worry about uploading 100 photos at a time to make sure that every angle is covered—you can most likely cover the average house in one to two shots per room.

Having 360° footage of your properties isn’t necessary, but it lends a degree of credibility to your listings; after all, it’s hard to hide shortcomings in a home’s guest bathroom when one can see the entirety of the room. Similarly, having a high-definition, comprehensive view of the property gives you a leg up on the competition, and it certainly doesn’t dissuade clients from checking in.

Your clients’ comfort aside, using VR Maker will prove to be a huge time- and resource-saver for you as well, given that the app and equipment take little pre-existing knowledge to use and the shooting process is significantly more efficient than is traditional real estate photography. If you’re interested, head over to the iStaging website today to check out their demo.

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