I wish I could say there is one end all and be all software tool that does everything for me, however I have not found it yet.
ConstantContact: This is a mass email tool that allows me to send one or 10,000 emails with the click of the button. I can set up auto responders and preschedule emails. They have 100’s of templates. I have tried others and I always came back to Constant Contact. Here at MAREI we have a free trial and discounted subscription rates PLUS right now a discount code.
MailChimp: This is very similar to Constant Contact. I have found that a lot of real estate investors use this one.
You may ask why would I need a mass email tool? You may or may not need this. However when you send a mass email out through something like Gmail, you will find that you can only send so many emails in an hour . What you may not know is if you send a mass email with a lot of email addresses in the to box, the carbon copy box or the blind carbon copy box, that the average email spam filter blocks your emails quite often. So your mass email never gets to where it is going. However with Constant Contact and MailChimp, you send to 100’s of email addresses, but the system sends them one at a time and gets past a lot of spam filters – especially aol which is very hard to get your emails delivered.
Realeflow: This is an all in one tool that does everything except wash the dishes. Want lead lists, it has them; need a website, it can build you one; need to set up an autoreponder email to a buyer or seller, it has them; need help getting comps, it has tools for that; need help figuring a repair estimate, the hammer point tool will do that; it has all thebasic tools that the real estate investor needs to manage their back end office, follow up with buyers and sellers, estimate repairs, write offers, send direct mail and more. Is it the best, that is debateable, but it is all in one and if you need to get something started and working RIGHT NOW, it is the solution.
Personally I do use Realeflow for the management of all my buyer and seller leads. I love the way it will match them up with each other. I also like the auto responder tools. And if I want to pull a list of absentee owners or other motivated seller lists, it has that as well. Through National REIA, MAREI offers a FREE TRIAL of Realeflow and a discounted sign up.
Podio: I would be remiss in not telling you about Podio as this is a tool that a lot of very experienced investors use. For the tools that I actually use at Realeflow, I would probably be better served by Podio. In our office we build our own motivated seller lead lists, we use a nice lady to write and hand address our direct mail, we have our own estimating tools we use and our own contracts that we use and we share documents and files via DropBox, so Podio would be a very good replacement for what we use on Realeflow – if you use all the tools of Realeflow however, it would be a better option.
InvestorCarrot: Do a Google search to see who buys houses in Kansas City and I guarantee that 9 out of 10 websites, including mine will be from Investor Carrot. They do one thing and one thing only, websites. They offer a click and play website that is ready to go with the click of the button. You do need to do some of your own customizing, but they offer step by step instruction. They also have training modules to help you get your websites up and running, get them customized, teach you how to do pay per click, how to use Craigslist and how to use Facebook. Here at MAREI we do have a discounted package at Investor Carrot if you pay for the full year up front that comes with 3 websites (one for buyers, one for sellers and one for a more targeted type of site), plus a few training modules. They also have a great 90 day action plan to get started.
Now if you are using all these marketing tools with Realeflow, Investor Carrot and all the marketing that comes with them, then you will have your phone ringing off the hook.
Google Voice: You might want to start with a FREE Google Voice and that is what I have always told everyone. However if you decide to use this next tool, it is very hard to forward a Google Voice number to a call services. So you might want to check into a Google Voice or maybe instead a magic jack number or a really check internet phone number that is easily forwarded, then you never have to change your phone number.
PatLive: If you can’t answer your phone, that motivated seller is going to go ahead and call the next person they find on the internet or the next letter in the stack of letters. But if you are a one person show and have to still work the regular job, go look at houses, etc, etc, you may not get your phone answered. PatLive is the solution, they will answer your phone professionally, ask them the right questions and email you the answers to follow up. Here at MAREI, we have negotiated a discounted sign up with PatLive that will save you about $5 to $10 a month, not a lot, but over time it will add up.
Please note that MAREI does have affiliate relationships with most of these providers. If you do test out these services and decide to purchase, MAREI does get a small affiliate fee. However, I do in fact use all of them in my own business.
Article provided by Kim Tucker, founder of MAREI and real estate investor who along with her husband Don and son Scott wholesale properties in Kansas City and at the Lake of the Ozarks. Visit their website at www.KCInvest.com.