I recently got a phone call from a long time business acquaintance, and friend asking me to please take a look at his latest project. Because of my blog http://www.RealtyTechBytes.com, I get requests like this quite frequently. In most cases I don’t report on them because they don’t fit my criteria of something useful to folks in the real estate industry.
However, what John had to show me is something that I think real estate industry pros (and any one else who routinely collects business cards) can use.
The product is called “cardless contact” and it is currently in beta. As their tagline states, it’s “brilliantly simple”™. Here’s the premise: We all meet new people as we go to trade shows, mixers, lead groups and even from every day people that we run into. After we do the obligatory card exchange we are faced with the necessity of later entering them into our contact manager. That’s not such an onerous project…unless you procrastinate or have many cards to enter.
What John and his group have done is to create a system that works by text message or via a web app (in other words it’s able to work with iPhones, Android phones or Windows phones) to automatically exchange contact info.
You first sign up for the service (via text message or the mobile app) create an account, then add in your contact info. They have a free plan that allows for 3 free contact exchanges per month, a 10 contact exchange plan at $4.99 per month and an unlimited exchange plan at $7.99 per month. When you sign up you get a trial period that gives you 15 free exchanges during your first 30 days. (Prices accurate as of 2/2/13)
Once you have your account set up, using it is a piece of cake. Simply log in to the system and add in your new contact’s phone number. (You can also add some notes to help you later remember who they are and why you added them!) They will get a text message with your contact info and an invitation to join the system. Once they join you will receive their contact info.
You can choose to download your contacts in formats that are compatible with Salesforce, Google contacts, Excel and Outlook. Then you simply import them into whatever contact manager that you are using.
I think this is well worth a look if you routinely collect business cards that end up in piles on your desk! What do you think?