The industry was surprised when the tech-forward franchise acquired a fan-favorite, but Compass’ in-house solution for managing and marketing to contacts is still a worthy industry player.

Compass’s 2019 acquisition of Contactually surprised a lot of people in the industry, including a number of Realogy franchises, which Contactually counted as just a few of its customers.

Contactually, however, merely did what most businesses aspire to do, and that’s get acquired.

Since February of last year, what’s now known as Compass CRM has been busy honing its user experience and integrating an already well-regarded set of features into the Compass ecosystem.

Because Compass agents earn 90 percent of business from their sphere of influence (which is reflected in its recruiting strategies), the software’s focus is now primarily on relationship nurturing. Cold lead generation is not necessarily put on the back burner, it’s simply not as emphasized as it is in many popular CRM products.

The look and feel is all Compass. That is, starkly contrasted dark fonts and icons, lots of white space with focused, spartan work areas. This is an efficient workspace that offers agents quick routes to contact details and marketing tools.

 

Organize mode gives users a space to quickly click through multiple contacts in a static window, a quasi-mobile experience within a desktop setting. Its purpose is to streamline updating, and it’s ideal for quickly tagging contacts, entering notes, or scheduling follow-up actions.

Although Compass CRM includes email campaign tools, it’s the Bulk Messaging component that I feel is especially useful. It’s designed to send the same message to a number of contacts at once, each message can be customized per person, in the same interface. There is no need for opening, editing, saving and scheduling a separate message.

With a list of recipients pinned next to the composer, users can select a person, insert custom text about the last time they spoke or a new home they might like, and then move on to the next person who needs to hear a specific message from you.

For example, “It was nice seeing you at the kids’ game the other night,” or “I remember you mentioned wanting something on the East side, call me when you can.”

This is a very slick bit of programming that shows how closely Compass is listening to its agents. It also shows that Compass’ 500-plus person engineering team is making good use of SoftBank’s money.

Follow-up from email is easy. The email tool’s post-send metrics lets you follow-up directly from the “opened email” or “click through” report. This approach keeps the user in the feedback current by encouraging a quick response in the context of the campaign.

There are Action Plans, too. In keeping with the value of existing relationships theme, action plans focus on neglected contacts and are designed for the long haul.

Users can incorporate texts, emails and phone calls in their follow-up tactics and use ready-to-go plans for “Just Closed,” “New Cold Leads,” or “Long Term Buyers,” for example.

Emails and texts are pre-populated, you need only open them to confirm the included message is on track.

Compass doesn’t kid around about training, as lack of adoption is something no brokerage that develops and owns its own software can afford to neglect. Compass Academy keeps the CRM training courses rolling along.

I didn’t feel bogged down at any point in my tour of this CRM. It was tight but airy, expediency-minded. I don’t think Compass wants its agents waist-deep in software all day.

No agent should switch brokerages merely for the technology (that goes for Keller Williams, too). But, if a Compass recruiter is pointing in your direction, you should at least pay attention to this part of their pitch.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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