As a franchise of Royal LePage Canada, Royal LePage Foothills, located in Calgary, Alberta, is the highest producing Royal LePage offi ce in Western Canada.
The Foothills commercial
Division specialises in industrial leasing, sales and design builds. If a suitable building cannot be secured to buy or lease, they will design & build one to sell or lease to their client.
Maximizer CRM has enabled the Foothills Commercial Division to effectively manage all client and prospect information through one central database; streamlining productivity, enabling targeted marketing campaigns to increase ROI, and allowing the tracking of all client communications to minimise potential legal liability.
A Maximizer contact management user for more than 15 years, VJ Tukkimaki spearheaded the roll out of Maximizer CRM to the Foothills Commercial Division. His own Maximizer license and database of more than 20,000 contacts was upgraded to multiple licenses of Maximizer CRM Team Edition, allowing the entire sales team to benefit from the system.
- Newly created commercial division in a traditionally residential-focused company
- Difficulty managing thousands of contacts with varied needs without a central database
- Inability to efficiently send targeted marketing campaigns en masse to drive sales
- Lack of features and functionality in existing Outlook and Lotus Notes systems
- Unsuccessful attempts to develop a proprietary CRM system that worked
- Establish a central database of client information for entire division to access and update
- Empower growing commercial sales team to optimise sales growth and client retention
- Ensure a systematic approach to sales and marketing initiatives
- Maintain timely client communications and enable efficient targeted marketing
- Limit access to detailed client information to protect interests of each associate
- A central database enabled entire division to access and update client information
- Improved ability for sales team to build profitable relationships through in-depth client knowledge
- Ensured consistent sales process and focus on leads with strongest revenue potential
- Maximised marketing ROI through targeted messaging to prospects
- Secured access to client notes for each sales associate to protect individual accounts
- Royal LePage Foothills Commercial Division – led by 15-year Maximizer CRM user
As a franchise of Royal LePage Canada, Royal LePage Foothills is the top producing office in Western Canada. Owner and broker Ted Zaharko has over 35 years as a leader in the real estate industry and continuously strives to ensure clients' needs are met.
The company takes pride in working as a team – one of the key ingredients contributing to its local and nationwide success.
An industrial real estate specialist in Calgary for over 30 years, VJ Tukkimaki, a Royal LePage Foothills Associate, embodies this team philosophy and saw the potential for the Foothills Commercial Division to close more deals and improve client retention in the highly competitive commercial real estate market.
He had experienced firsthand the power of Maximizer CRM in building his client relationships through access to the right information, and thus spearheaded the roll out of Maximizer CRM to the rest of the team. This also enabled him to share his database of nearly 20,000 contacts, built up during his many years in the industry.
Maximizer CRM – business development and client retention
In the early years, Tukkimaki tried several tools to manage his clients and prospects. When he began working for Royal LePage 22 years ago, the company relied on Outlook and later adopted Lotus Notes, which he found awkward to use.
The company also tried to develop its own system, investing a lot of resources, but it did not work effectively and was eventually abandoned.
Tukkimaki looked for a solution to suit his needs.
"I looked at what others in my office were using, such as Outlook, Lotus Notes and Act!, but saw too many pitfalls with all of them," Tukkimaki said.
"I tried Maximizer and was impressed by its ease of use and ability to do everything I wanted and more."
He said it was an easy decision to adopt Maximizer and has never looked back.
"Their support is also superb when I need it, but fortunately I rarely do."
Fast forward 15 years: Tukkimaki recently led the initiative to roll out Maximizer CRM for the rest of the newly developed Foothills Commercial Division – an arm of Royal LePage Foothills – which has traditionally been a residential real estate company.
Now that the system is up and running after a smooth installation, Tukkimaki is working with the sales agents and administration staff to use Maximizer CRM effectively on a daily basis.
"They are truly amazed at what can be done. Seeing the latest features blew me away as well, even though I have used Maximizer for years."
When asked if the newcomers to Maximizer CRM had any concerns with adopting the new system, Tukkimaki explained: "Some of our associates were concerned that their own client lists would not be protected since we are now sharing a common database.
"To address this issue and protect everyone's interests, we have set up limited access to Notes and certain fields for each associate."
The division's commercial agents now share a client database in Maximizer CRM, containing nearly 20,000 contacts. Tukkimaki stated, "Keeping track of several thousand prospects and their varied special needs is impossible without the help of a tool like Maximizer CRM. I don't know how others work without it."
Maximizer CRM enables Tukkimaki a systematic approach to doing business. It allows him, and now the entire team, to focus on the sales leads and opportunities that have the highest likelihood of generating revenue and stay on top of the needs of existing clients to ensure they are retained for future business.
"The biggest gain for those who are new to Maximizer CRM is knowing who to call, when, and what about," he said.
Tukkimaki feels that Hotlist Tasks and the Calendar are key to staying organised since they create an inherent structure to each day, week and month – ultimately translating to more closed sales.
He also uses User Defined Fields extensively for keeping track of personal and business data on his clients; birthdays, anniversaries, anniversaries of business transactions, type of client, etc.
"My clients are amazed that I can remember so much of their personal information as well as the details of their business interests. Maximizer CRM makes me look like a genius."
Tukkimaki also praises Maximizer CRM for providing him a quick and easy method to segment his database of over 20,000 contacts and send them targeted information via email and direct mail. It has boosted his ROI on marketing initiatives and provided cost savings through fewer misplaced calls and returned mail.
Add in the more significant cost reductions resulting from greater efficiencies and decreased potential for legal liability and the ROI on Maximizer CRM has been significant.
"I have also tied Maximizer CRM in with my phone so it records the date and time of every call, which coincides with the notes I type in," he said.
"This functionality is invaluable since my records are legally admissible in court, which is very important in reducing any potential legal liability if there is a dispute with a client."
When asked if he considered Maximizer CRM to be mission critical for his business, Tukkimaki's answer was unequivocal: "Absolutely. I can't live without it – I'd be dead in the water.
"There is no other resource like it. I have used it constantly for 15 years to build my business. Without it, I may as well drive a bus."
Future plans – leveraging the latest Features and Mobile CRM
Tukkimaki plans to help the team utilise Maximizer CRM's many new features that he exclaims are, "brilliant and so intuitive".
He sees the Conditional Color Highlighting feature being extremely valuable in categorising and prioritising important information at a glance.
He also plans to leverage the Quick HTML Email Templates, to allow for more professional looking emails. Even some of the older features he was not aware of have come to light, such as the ability to create a new contact record from an incoming email with one mouse click.
Tukkimaki is also looking forward to mobilising the sales force in the future with Maximizer Mobile CRM, allowing the team to leverage Maximizer CRM on their BlackBerry smartphones with access to critical client information, calendars and tasks anywhere, at any time.
In summarising his experience with Maximizer CRM, Tukkimaki concluded: "It's the best business decision I have ever made. Honestly, it's fun! I love learning new things with Maximizer CRM that are innovative and keep me and our entire team ahead of our competitors.
"I'm really excited to get more training for our team so we can take advantage of everything it has to offer."