Now more than ever, CCIM designees are leveraging their technology-oriented member benefits to create and strengthen deal-making opportunities. MailBridge, a preference-matching e-mail marketing and information platform, is one of the CCIM Institute’s most useful — and most misunderstood — members-only tools. Though the technology has been in place for nearly a year, many designees are still unsure how to utilize it. And since May, candidate members also can receive (but not send) messages through the platform. With the recent addition of candidates to the pool of potential e-mail recipients, MailBridge is ripe for reappraisal.
Andy Seleznov, CCIM, director of leasing for Larsen Baker in Tucson, Ariz., relishes the opportunity to market his properties to fellow CCIMs as well as candidates, sending at least three messages per week. “Because our retail properties range from neighborhood centers to power centers, it is crucial that the national brokerage community is aware of our listings,” Seleznov says. “And in today’s tough times, we need marketing campaigns that are economical, easy, and effective.”
Members aren’t the only ones benefiting from the MailBridge connection. “Clients love it because we can show them results,” says William A. Eshenbaugh, CCIM, of Eshenbaugh Land Co. in Tampa, Fla. He regularly provides his clients with statistics displaying the number of qualified land specialists his messages reach and the number of responses he receives. For Eshenbaugh, the hard data provides some comfort in uncertain times, and the access to the CCIM network is invaluable. “We think it’s one of the greatest marketing tools we’ve ever seen,” he says.
Since all CCIM designees can disseminate information through the MailBridge platform, members who accept messages without setting their e-mail preferences can feel a little overwhelmed. To receive only e-mails that might be of interest, users should customize a MailBridge filter based on location, property type, transaction type, offer value, and other factors. For example, a member can set his filter to receive only messages about retail lease “wants” in Georgia. Thus, he will not receive messages about for-sale offers, other property sectors, or retail leases in other states. Members who prefer to receive a broader range of listings and inquiries through MailBridge can use Microsoft Outlook’s rules feature to sort incoming messages.
On the other side of the bridge, senders can set similar message parameters so the system can match them with applicable receivers. However, MailBridge enforces a one-message-per-day rule. If a sender submits multiple messages on the same day, the messages will be queued and released at the one-per-day rate. Senders also can supplement their e-mails with attachments, html, and image links.
In addition to marketplace messages, MailBridge users also can request forms, send information on new technologies, and solicit the specialized knowledge of fellow CCIMs. For Michael E. Millsap, CCIM, president of Symphony Partners in Colorado Springs, Colo., this general-message feature illustrates the platform’s networking potential. “A lot of CCIMs are willing to unselfishly lend their expertise when I have questions,” Millsap says. “It’s a way to connect with the cream of the crop of the real estate industry.”