How I sold over $1B in luxury real estate (without a CRM)

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While technology plays a significant role in any real estate business, personal communication is essential to generate growth.

In July, Inman gazes at the glitter and glam of the luxury real estate market. Snapshots of the country’s top luxury markets, advice from leading agents, features on what affluent homeowners want now and a breakdown of the top sales of 2023 (so far) are all in the cards leading up to Inman Luxury Connect, Aug. 7-8 at the Aria in Las Vegas. Make plans to join us now.

I have sold over $4 billion worth of some of the most incredible properties in Los Angeles and have never used a CRM. People ask me all of the time how I maintain fruitful relationships with clients without the aid of a CRM.

Admittedly, I am just now starting to import my contacts in order to increase sales. Today, however, I want to shed light on the methods I’ve employed which have allowed me to thrive in this competitive industry.

Optimizing text messaging for instant contact

One of my key strategies is actively using text message threads and conversations to keep up with clients. Text messages offer a more personal touch and allow for quick, efficient communication. They enable me to stay connected and address any concerns or inquiries promptly. By leveraging this method, I have been able to build strong relationships based on trust and responsiveness.

The power of 5-a-days

Another essential habit I maintain is reaching out to five people or past clients each day through phone calls or text messages. This deliberate effort to connect with individuals ensures that I stay top-of-mind and fosters a sense of loyalty and reciprocity. It’s crucial to nurture existing relationships and demonstrate that I genuinely care about their needs and interests.

Track your last 100 contacts

To stay organized and maintain a holistic view of my network, I scroll through my WhatsApp and iMessage conversations to review the last 100 people I’ve been in contact with. This practice helps me track my interactions and identify any missed opportunities or follow-ups. Keeping a pulse on these conversations enables me to build on previous discussions and maintain a personalized approach.

Seek out smart app integrations

I’ve also integrated Zapier into my contacts, automatically sending an introductory email whenever I input a new email address into my phone. This process ensures that potential clients receive valuable information about my services and an overview of my current listings and successful transactions. It streamlines the onboarding process and keeps my prospects engaged from the very beginning.

Create opportunities for face-to-face interactions

While technology plays a significant role in my business, I firmly believe face-to-face interactions are the best lead generation form. Continuously door-knocking in affluent neighborhoods allows me to make personal connections and establish trust with potential clients. By inputting their phone numbers into my phone, I can easily keep in touch and cultivate those relationships over time.

Door knocking for an open house is a powerful way to initiate conversations with neighbors. It generates a buzz about the property I am selling and serves as an excellent excuse to engage with people in the community. These interactions often lead to valuable connections and potential referrals.

Though I’ve resisted using a CRM in the past, I’ve come to realize its potential for automation and enhanced efficiency. I am now in the process of inputting all 25,000 contacts into my own CRM to automate some touchpoints. This will allow me to streamline certain aspects of my workflow while still maintaining the personal touch that my clients appreciate.

In addition, I run ads to drive traffic to my site, which is powered by Luxury Presence, where I generate leads. With my newly implemented CRM, these leads now seamlessly flow into the system. If a lead provides a phone number, I make it a point to call them directly. This personal connection helps establish a rapport and increases the likelihood of converting leads into satisfied clients.

While many agents heavily rely on CRMs, I have discovered that a combination of personalized communication, face-to-face interactions and strategically leveraging technology can yield remarkable results. These methods have enabled me to thrive in the luxury real estate market and build a flourishing business.

As the industry evolves, it’s important for agents to explore unconventional approaches and adapt to changing dynamics.

Get Inman’s Luxury Lens Newsletter delivered right to your inbox. A weekly deep dive into the biggest news in the world of high-end real estate delivered every Friday. Click here to subscribe.

Celebrity agent Ben Bacal is the owner of Revel Real Estate. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Instagram.

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