Each day, I find more and more software suites for real estate professionals, especially agents and brokerages, that include helpful features tailored to daily business needs.
So you can do things like lead contact management, team and lead communication, and marketing campaigns from just one place.
Now you might be on the look-out for something like that and stumbled upon the name Chime for Real Estate (not to be confused with the bank under the same name) and ask yourself what it is.
This article will not only explain what Chime for real estate is but will provide a full review of the software platform, including all the features of the different products, a short interview with a representative from Chime, the different plans and pricing, and the pros and cons.
What is Chime for Real Estate?
Chime is a large software platform with CRM software at its core. It provides three separate products: CRM software, IDX websites, and branding & lead generation tools.
In developing the platform, the founders worked together with real estate professionals to integrate the right functionality, according to the professional’s needs when it comes to generating and tracking real estate leads, automated communications, and following up with buyers and sellers.
The company claims to provide new features and integrations to its user base on a monthly basis.
soWho Owns Chime ?
Chime is not a small business.
It’s headquarters are in Phoenix, Arizona and incorporated as Chime Technologies Inc. (source),
And Chime Technologies again is a US subsidiary of Renren, Inc (source).
The largest three shareholders are Softbank (a Japanese multinational conglomerate holding company, source), CEO Joe Chen, and DCM.
All three have a share of 79.8% of Renren (source).
So it’s fair to say that Renren and thus Chime Technologies Inc. is mainly in Asian hands.
On a side note, Renren, Inc. also operates a premium used auto business in China through other subsidiaries, such as Kaixin Auto Holding (NASDAQ: KXIN).
The Three Main Chime Products and Features
The three main chime real estate products are the “Responsive CRM,” the “Intelligent IDX,” and its “Optimized Marketing” tools.
Features of Chimes Responsive CRM
1) Lead Scoring
The feature allows you to dynamically adjust the scoring of your leads.
The software does that by factoring the contact validity, the online behavior, and property information, among others.
2) Lead Analysis
Chime can analyse your site activity and factor in engagement indicators to calculate the likelihood to close.
3) Smart Suggestions
Chime’s algorithm can also analyse lead activity, and based on that, suggest the optimal next steps.
The algorithm of Chime’s CRM can also identify the intention to do a transaction and help get closer to closing a transaction.
This is done by the following functionality:
1) Site Activities Tracking
Chime’s IDX websites can track traffic live and display this in an activity timeline.
2) Featured Listing Management
This feature matches listings to the right buyers.
You can view property listings by reduced price and the ones that are back onthe market, among others.
3) Communication Analysis
Additionally, the system’s algorithm also analyses the communication you have with your leads, and it integrates Mailchimp, Gmail, Bombbomb, among others.
Reporting and Forecasting
1) Business Goals
With this feature, you can define goals and track progress.
This can be applied to agent and team goals by closings, volume, GCI (gross commission income), or revenue.
2) Performance and Business Reports
Connected with the business goals feature is also the performance reports feature, which can also monitor team progress, productivity and generate the respective reports.
This is important to give feedback to your team (provided you use one).
From the CRM, you can also generate reports that show you the status of your business goals.
1) Listings for Leads
This feature consists of three functions: the Auto Property Alerts, Instant Market Analysis, and Listing to Lead Matching.
With the Auto Property Alerts, you will be able to set up property alerts based on your lead’s history and behavior.
To keep your potential buyers and sellers in the loop with regards to market trends, you can use the Instant Market Analysis function or tool.
And finally, the Listing to Lead Matching function helps you automatically match the right property listing to the right buyers.
2) Manage Communication
This communication management tool consists of texting, Email Integration, Auto Emails, and Click-To-Call.
The texting tool enables you to send mass texts to potential clients.
You will be able to use an omni-channel follow up approach, because with the Email Integration and the so-called “Auto-Emails,” you can follow up with potential clients by using automatic triggers.
This tool integrates with Gmail, Exchange, iCloud, Yahoo! and others.
Further omni-channel follow ups are possible with the Click-to-Call option.
You can call potential clients, leave voice messages, schedule follow-ups, and document conversation notes with a few clicks from one place.
3) Smart Plans
This feature consists of three functions: Short-or Long-Term Lead Conversion, and Process Management.
The Short or Long-Term Lead Conversion tool features pre-built or custom email campaigns that can be used for the short or long game.
It can be used on holidays, birthdays, closing dates, or other dates that you might find important.
With the Process Management tool, you can organize your team and make sure they stay productive.
It helps you to organize sales and transaction processes with automated action plans.
4) Auto-Import Leads
With the help of this feature, you can migrate or import lead contact information from third-party providers, such as Zillow and Realtor, into the CRM.
This enables you to manage leads from several platforms in one place.
This feature also includes an automatic import function.
With the Power Dialer feature, you can use the already mentioned click to call function to schedule follow-ups, leave voicemails, of course, call leads, and leave notes.
The Smart Call List function helps you create custom call lists based on profile information and pipeline status.
Additionally, you can use Chime’s artificial intelligence (AI) to also generate call lists, depending on which leads require contact.
Although I am not a fan of call scripts, at least long-term (can be helpful in the beginning), the Smart Scripts function dynamically suggests call scripts to increase the chances to close.
When a call isn’t answered, the Automated Response function comes into place.
With it, you can set a text message or voice message that automatically goes out once a call goes unanswered.
With the Live Transfer function, you can have inside sales agents (ISAs) directly transfer calls to available agents.
To save time and increase call productivity, there is the Three-Line Dialer function.
It enables you to call three numbers at once.
The AI Assistant feature only is included in Chime’s Team Leads Plan.
So if you want this feature in smaller plans, you would need to purchase it extra.
Later in this article, you will find several overview tables about the pricing options, where this will get a bit clearer.
So the AI assistant enables you to contact new leads instantly all around the clock.
You can prepare scripted responses and then have the AI assistant (chatbot) respond dynamically, also depending on different lead sources.
They can qualify leads and forward hot leads to agents when more human interaction is necessary.
The leads can be tagged and then organized accordingly, you can also focus on specific lead sources and forward conversations to agents.
With the Smart Plans function, you can keep track of any transaction data, and all documents can be kept in one place.
You can also upload files from local devices or by using Chime’s Dropbox and Google Drive integration.
Another benefit of the Transactions feature is that you can track transaction details from start to closing.
This is done by a live-updating tool that determines the value of a deal.
You can also review the total earnings you’ve accumulated so far.
To make informed decisions in your real estate business, you can check on key metrics, such as team sales data, closings, revenue, and GCI, among others.
Several real estate transaction management tools can also be integrated, such as Dotloop, Brokermint, and Skyslope.
The Strong Teamwork feature helps you assign leads to agents, lenders, and other custom roles.
You can do that based on price, location, type, or source.
You can also follow up with other agents and use blast alerts to help them contact leads in a certain time frame.
It also supports team delegation. Here, you can add the adequate team member to nurture a certain client relationship.
With the function called “Lead Pond,” you can share leads within your team.
The mobile app helps real estate professionals keep up to date with leads while out of the office or on the road.
It gives you access to the full Chime CRM functionality.
It also includes instant notification and real-time chat with leads and/or team members.
Right now, they are working on additional functionality, so you will also be able to assign leads directly from the chat.
Several integrations I’ve already mentioned above, but I didn’t mention them all.
You can import leads from third-party providers, such as Homes.com, Realtor.com, Zillow, RE/MAX, Redfin, Bold Leads, Trulia, and Flipt.
The next integration option is third-party providers for transaction management, such as Brokermint and Dotloop.
You can also integrate Bombbomb, Gmail, MailChimp, Microsoft Exchange, Zapier, Google Calendar, Microsoft Teams, and Piesync.
All Chime Integrations at a Glance:
- Google Calendar
- Outlook Calendar
- Chime Open Api
- Cloud CMA
- Google Contact
By the way, with the Zapier integration alone, you open the door to hundreds of more third-party software integrations.
Because Zapier is a third-party software, enabling the integration of third-party software.
It basically works as a bridge to other software providers and enables you to further automate different workflows.
Features of the Chime IDX
Intelligent IDX Website
Chime’s IDX website features a theme library where you can select different site templates, so you don’t have to create designs from scratch.
You can also create custom designs with a drag and drop editor.
You will also be covered when it comes to the integration of MLS. Chime supports several hundred nationwide MLS.
If you happen to have pocket listings, you can manually add them to the IDX website.
The comparison with other websites in their table was a bit confusing.
For the comparison, the names of the other website providers weren’t included.
So you wouldn’t know which providers Chime’s IDX website was compared to.
Robust Data Dossier
With the “Robust Data Dossier” feature, you can access current information with regard to school districts, demographics, hot properties, and marketing trends, among others.
You can access data of more than 190,000 neighborhoods in 29,000+ cities.
This also includes a school district search for potential home buyers that you can include in the IDX website.
High Value Lead Capture
The next feature of Chime’s Intelligent IDX is called “High Value Lead Capture.”
In order to capture your leads, you can also include home evaluation calculators, tour scheduling, and mortgage calculators, among others.
All these elements can be tracked, so you can learn about the behavior of your potential seller and buyer leads.
The IDX websites are designed and developed in an SEO-friendly way since they don’t use iframes, have speedy load times, and the MLS gets updated every 30 minutes.
Flexible Custom Website
I already mentioned the drag and drop builder, should you want to customize your IDX website.
Basically, all elements of the IDX websites can be easily edited, such as the logo, the page hierarchy, title, description, and more.
New pages can be created quickly, and elements added, such as lead forms, reviews, properties, and images.
All websites are mobile optimized and responsive by the way; otherwise, they wouldn’t be SEO-friendly in the first place.
Features of Chimes Optimized Marketing
Chime uses Facebook Dynamic Ads for real estate, Google PPC for buyer and lead generation campaigns and uniquely Facebook for seller lead generation campaigns.
By the way, with Facebook Dynamic Ads for Real Estate, you can advertise to Facebook and Instagram users who have already visited your real estate or brokerage’s website to look for properties.
The special thing about these ads is that they can connect the Facebook ad platform with your brokerage’s search data.
Chime also uses artificial intelligence to automatically optimize the advertising strategy.
It uses different calculations that are applied to keywords, targeting, creative variations, high frequency bidding, and more.
The two basic lead generation processes work like this:
Process 1 – Lead Generated on IDX website
- A potential lead views the ads
- The potential lead comes to the IDX website
- The lead registers on the IDX website
- The lead information and activity is imported into Chime’s CRM
- A welcome email is sent to the lead, and a lead alert is sent to the respective agent
Process 2 – Lead Generated Within Facebook (Lead Campaign)
- A potential lead views the ads
- The lead registers via the Facebook Lead Form
- The lead information and activity is imported into Chime’s CRM
- A welcome email is sent to the lead, and a lead alert is sent to the respective agent
Chime, in this context, also uses retargeting campaigns to show ads to potential leads that have already visited the IDX website and are familiar with your brand.
The next service option of Chime’s Optimized Marketing is Branding Ads.
These campaigns are not focused on lead generation but on creating brand awareness.
It’s to build presence in your market and encourage referrals.
These ads will be displayed on:
- The NewYork Times
- Something Digital
Property Promotion Ads
These ads are rather focused on a single property listing that needs to be emphasized.
They can also be used to promote an open house.
Zip Code Dominator Ads
Here, the ad campaign focuses on a particular zip code, which can easily be done within the Facebook Ads Manager.
With Chime’s optimized marketing service, you can also go the offline route.
You can run postcard campaigns where proven designs are used.
The company prevents you from competing with other Chime real estate professionals by giving you farming area exclusivity and locking down a certain zip code.
So you will get the exclusive right to send your mailers to a particular area.
My Short Interview with a Chime Representative
Since not all of my questions about Chime could be answered at first, I decided to contact a representative, and these were my questions and the answers I got:
Questions and Answers Regarding Chime’s Responsive CRM
1) Can you do A/B testing with the pre-build email templates and also the custom ones?
Answer: “I would love to know more about the testing you have in mind.
What criteria do you intend to test? We do track email open rates and response rates to facilitate testing in the system.”
In a further email, I explained that I meant to be able to A/B test different email subject lines or content of an email campaign and see which variation performs best.
By the answer, we can assume that this feature isn’t available just yet.
2) If I understand correctly from your website, the AI Assistant feature is only included in Chime’s Team Leads Plan; otherwise, you would have to order this feature extra, correct?
Answer: “Yes, that is correct. We include the AI Assistant in the Lead Gen packages for lead engagement and lead qualification.
It can also be added to the website/CRM a-la-carte.”
Questions and Answers Regarding Chime’s Intelligent IDX
1) Is there any forced registration for those websites in place? If yes, can this be turned off?
Answer: “Yes – Forced registration is included and can be toggled on/off as well as customized based on the number of listings a website visitor looks at.
It can also be triggered based on browsing time.”
This is good news because you will be able to test one against the other and won’t be forced to sacrifice website usability for forced conversions that might not turn out to be high quality leads.
2) Is there an easy A/B testing feature available?
Answer: “Yes, you can test which style of forced registration works best for your website experience.”
3) Do you use iframes to integrate MLS data via IDX?
Answer: “No, we do not.”
This is also good news because otherwise, it wouldn’t be a really SEO-friendly IDX website.
Questions and Answers Regarding Optimized Marketing
1) In the flow diagram for lead generation, you only show that Facebook Leads Campaigns are used (for branding ads you also use others).
Is Facebook the only ads platform used for lead generation?
Answer: “We offer Facebook DARE Ads and Google PPC for Buyer Lead Generation Campaigns. We use Facebook for Seller Lead Generation Campaigns.”
How Much Does Chime for Real Estate Cost – Plans and Pricing
The only two products that can’t be purchased separately are the “Intelligent IDX” and the Branding Ads feature from the “Optimized Marketing” product.
This “Intelligent IDX” product is included in all the platform plans where the CRM is included.
I assume this is because the IDX websites are inseparably included in the whole CRM system and wouldn’t work properly without the connection to the CRM.
Chime CRM Platform Plans & Pricing
|Growth (for solo agents and small teams) - from $499/ month||Team (for medium to large teams) - from $899/ month||Team Leads|
Package (for medium to large teams) - from $1549/ month
|Broker (for multi-office brokerages) - Price Undisclosed|
|Auto import leads from 100+ providers||All Growth Plan Features||All Growth Plan Features||All Team Plan Features|
|IDX Website + Agent Subdomains||Custom Role||Custom Role||Offices Management|
|Smart Plan||Permission Management||Permission Management||Brokerage Website|
|Buyer & Seller Property Alert||Blast Alert & Round Robin||Blast Alert & Round Robin||ISA Solution|
|Listing Discover||Lead Pond||Lead Pond||Database Access|
|Market Report||Team Chat||Team Chat||50 hrs Dedicated Tech Support|
|Opportunity||Transaction Management||Transaction Management|
|Lead Routing||Business Report and Forecasting||Business Report and Forecasting|
|Lender Account (support cost sharing)||Marketing Budget includes lead generation and AI Chatbot|
|Open House Tool|
Lead Generation Plans & Pricing
|Buyer Leads per Month||Price per Month||Seller Leads per Month||Price per Month|
|More than 70||$1,000 +||More than 40||$1,000 +|
You will need to consider that Chime will charge an additional 20% ad management fee.
If you only need the seller lead generation service without purchasing one of the platform plans where IDX websites are included, you will also be charged an additional $70 per Month for a Home Evaluation Page that works as a lead magnet for sellers.
Branding Ads Plans & Pricing
|Ads by Zip Code - $150 per slot per zip code per month||Ads for Your Sphere - $150 per 1,000 contacts per month|
|10,000 impressions per zip code area||3,000 impressions for 1,000 contacts|
|Up to 5 slots per zip code|
For Branding Ads, Chime also charges an additional 15% ad management fee, but it also requires that you purchase the CRM Professional Plan or above.
Chime for Real Estate Pros and Cons
- Great features for lead analysis and lead scoring
- Lead communication analysis and good integration with third-party software, such as Mailchimp, BombBomb, Gmail, and more
- Progress Tracking of Business Goals
- Automatic and system guided lead nurturing
- Supports omni-channel follow ups via calls, texting, and email
- AI supported call recommendations, so you know which leads require contact
- Automatic text messages when calls go unanswered
- AI assistant to contact new leads automatically
- Real estate transaction management software integration
- Many different third-party software integrations
- IDX websites fully integrated into CRM for lead capturing
- Several lead capture features available
- Generated leads are exclusive
- A/B testing possible with IDX websites when using forced registration pages
- SEO-friendly MLS integration via IDX
- The plans might come in a bit pricey when you also want to add the lead generation service on top.
- To check prices and plans on Chime’s website, you are forced to register with your contact information.
- You can’t do A/B testing with the pre-build email templates.
- The AI Assistant feature is only included in Chime’s Team Leads Plan.
- The branding ads service can’t be purchased separately from a platform plan.
- An additional 20% ad management fee is charged for the lead generation service, which could have been already included in the pricing (is shown as footnote).
- An additional 15% ad management fee is charged for the branding ads service, which could also have been already included in the pricing (is shown as footnote).
Overall, Chime for real estate makes a good impression with a wide array of different features distributed over three main products/services.
You realize early on that the needs of real estate agents and brokers were considered when they developed this software.
This is especially the case for the CRM and the IDX products.
Their marketing services, especially the lead generation, can be a nice option for real estate professionals that don’t want to spend too much time and money in developing a profitable PPC campaign on Facebook or Google.
The pricing per lead seems fair to me when you consider that you won’t need a campaign testing period, where very often, money is spent for several months without seeing great results from the get go.
So you may give Chime a try.
Here, you can head over to their website.
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