How this elite recruiter uses automated SMS campaigns to easily outperform the competition
As Canada’s top real estate recruiter, Jim Ouellette’s success and income depend on his ability to follow up with hundreds of people on an ongoing basis.
Jim works as a talent scout and career coach for Royal LePage Signature Realty. He recruits, trains, and coaches agents on how to build a successful real estate career.
Keeping in touch with hundreds of people day in and day out was a major challenge and constant source of frustration for Jim until he found the right combination of tech solutions.
As he puts it, “In the past, I had to cut and paste messages to a couple of hundred people on Sundays. But now, all my texts are pre-written and automated. Nowadays, I can easily keep in touch with 5,000 people, where before, it was hard to follow up with two.”
“In the past, I had to cut and paste messages to a couple of hundred people on Sundays. But now, all my texts are pre-written and automated. Nowadays, I can easily keep in touch with 5,000 people, where before, it was hard to follow up with two.”
Jim Ouellette, Top Recruiter
Why SMS follow-up outperforms email
While email is the typical way to follow-up with potential recruits, Jim has found SMS to be faster and more effective. “I feel that texts are more valuable. Much better than emails,” he says, “They’re more personal, and people generally respond. Email is not as personal, so a lot don't respond.”
“By combining ActiveCampaign and Salesmsg. I can automate lots of those emails and texts, which is good time management for me,” he adds.
In their attempt to follow up with high volumes of prospects, many recruiters and sales professionals end up cutting and pasting text messages on their phones. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to embarrassing mistakes.
“When you're cutting and pasting, you can easily get confused," explains Jim, "You can screw up and use the wrong name because you forgot to change the person’s name. Salesmsg does it for you and automatically puts the proper name, which helps avoid making all kinds of mistakes.”
“When you're cutting and pasting, you can easily get confused. You can screw up and use the wrong name because you forgot to change the person’s name. Salesmsg does it for you and automatically puts the proper name, which helps avoid making all kinds of mistakes.”
Jim Ouellette, Top Recruiter
How Jim discovered Salesmsg
Before they found Salesmsg, Jim and his team tried to solve their follow-up problems with another SMS solution and email marketing platform. But it wasn’t long until they got frustrated with both tools.
“One of the biggest challenges we had with the other software was customer support,” he says, “Some days I felt like I knew more than they did about their own product.”
Fortunately, Jim and his team started using ActiveCampaign as their email marketing service, and they were especially pleased when they realized that it worked so well with SalesMsg.
In addition to AC’s seamless integration with Salesmsg, Jim likes the level of support he gets, “With ActiveCampaign, it's been amazing. You just use their live chat, and you get an answer within a couple of minutes!”
Once they were onboarded with ActiveCampaign, Jim’s next goal was to automate the follow-up process he was doing manually by cutting, pasting, and sending messages to candidates.
“With ActiveCampaign, you can set up follow-up campaigns, and they go out through Salesmsg. It's already built-in, so both tools work together,” he explains, “It’s more streamlined than anything we've used in the past.”
Engaging hundreds of potential recruits automatically
Justin Zimmerman from Salesmsg recently talked with Jim about the engagement sequence he uses to succeed in the highly competitive real estate recruitment space.
Engagement sequences usually begin with a list of good prospects to target, and recruiters like Jim send these people a series of messages intended to get them to schedule an interview.
Here’s the problem: Keeping track of every person and which message you copied, pasted, and sent them can be confusing. You send the first message to a batch of people. Some reply and others don’t.
Then, you send the second message to the people who replied and another to those who didn’t. It’s easy to see how doing this with hundreds of prospects can be very difficult and time-consuming, especially when you’re doing it manually.
And that’s why Justin wanted to know more about how Jim’s process works using ActiveCampaign and Salesmsg.
Here’s how Jim does it:
“Let's say I interview a real estate agent from Remax. I'll do a presentation, and then, I click a button that they attended, and it automatically puts the person into a drip campaign that follows up with them every two or three days.”
He continued, “After two weeks of those messages automatically going out every few days, the campaign shifts to one message every two weeks. If nothing happens after a month, it automatically goes to one message every two months. If, at any point, they reply saying something like, “No. I've decided not to join.” Or, “I joined a different brokerage,” I just click another button, and they start to receive a different follow-up message every two months.
Jim’s campaign is both time-based and conditional. Depending on how the candidate answers, some messages do or do not get sent. Salesmsg automatically sends messages until something happens. For example, the person responds, books an appointment, or whichever action is needed to achieve the desired outcome.
“We've written a series of texts covering two years. After two years, if nothing has happened, the campaign starts over again. It runs until they join our brokerage or say no,” explains Jim.
“Sometimes, I'll get a response from somebody 2 or 3 years later. They’ll say something like, “You've been sending me texts for two years, so I thought I'd give you a call. In the end, it’s all about the follow-up. That's where the money is.”
Jim Ouellette, Top Recruiter
Favorite, most-used features
“I like to keep things simple," explains Jim, “So, I don't use a lot of the features, as long as it does the main job. One thing I think is really good is the Salesmsg app. It lets me quickly look up someone on my phone and look at my notes to see what happened with that person."
Another feature Jim uses frequently is the Chrome extension. While most SMS platforms don’t offer a Chrome extension, Salesmsg’s team decided to build it and make it available to users.
”For me, it's just keeping track of my communication," says Jim, “I even stopped texting on my phone because when I do that, it's harder to keep track of my messages. But with the extension, I just type in somebody’s name, and all the messages with them come up.”
"Salesmsg makes it easy to check and see what happened the last time I talked with the person. Being able to find messages with specific people quickly saves me lots of time,” he adds.
The secret to Jim's success: Never lose a lead
“There are many places where we can advertise. It could be on our website, an ad network, or a YouTube video. It doesn't matter where the ad is, but it needs to include a link for people to book an appointment with me,” explains Jim, “Once they click the link and book an appointment, they're automatically scheduled for an information session, whether they show up or not.”
He continued, “After that, people are added to a pre-written drip campaign we set up in ActiveCampaign, but that’s funneled through Salesmsg. They get added to one campaign before they attend and to another one if they don't attend. In other words, it's constantly following up. When somebody responds to a text and starts communicating with me, I stay in touch with them. The idea is never to lose a lead.”
"Salesmsg is constantly following up. When somebody responds to a text and starts communicating with me, I stay in touch with them. The idea is never to lose a lead.”
Jim Ouellette, Top Recruiter
Buying more time, efficiency, and productivity
Now you’ve seen how Jim Ouellette uses SMS follow-up through ActiveCampaign and Salesmsg to maintain his position as Canada’s top real estate recruiter.
Like other sales professionals, Jim’s success depends on his ability to follow up with multiple people on an ongoing basis. Once he found the right software, he developed a process to automate most of what he used to do manually.
If you read this case study thoroughly, you now have a good understanding of what you can do to create a similar process in your job or business. Hopefully, you’ll take advantage of these insights and put them into practice as soon as possible.
One last thing. When Justin from Salesmsg interviewed Jim, he asked him this key question, “What does the money you pay for Salesmsg buy you?”
Jim took a moment to think and answered, ”It buys me time. It buys me more efficiency and productivity.”
Thanks for reading this story, and feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues. And if you’re not already using Salesmsg to grow your business, try it out for 14 days free.
This story was written and published in collaboration with StoryOps