As a commercial real estate professional you spend a lot of time with clients. Whether you are negotiating a deal, touring a property, or doing a presentation, your time is a valuable commodity. In addition, trying to keep your pipeline full and finding new clients is a never-ending endeavor. Finding new clients can be grueling, but once you get a new prospective client, keeping your commercial real estate software updated and consistently communicating with your new prospective clients are key.
Performing a Mail Merge is a great way automatically generate letters, postcards, emails, flyers and countless other marketing materials to keep in touch with your current and prospective clients.
Mail merge is used to create multiple documents at once, so it’s a time-saving feature. These documents have identical layout, formatting, text, and graphics. There are three documents involved in the mail merge process:
- Your main document
- Your data source
- Your merged document
NOTE: The examples shown below contain sample screen shots from Microsoft Word 2016. If you have a different version of Word, there may be some slight differences however, the same basic program flow should apply.
Step 1: How to export contacts from ClientLook to Excel
The first thing you will need to do is export your data from ClientLook that you would like to use in your mail merge. It is extremely easy and the same process regardless of what list you are exporting.
First, determine which records you want to export. You can export your entire list or perform some sort of search to limit the records on the list (the export always includes the records that appear in the list below).
Once you determine the record set you want to export just click the ‘Export’ pulldown and choose ‘Excel-CSV’.
After a few seconds the file will be created. Each web browser has a different way of making the file available to you. In my case, I am using Google Chrome so I see the file appear in the bottom left corner which I click and get a message from Excel asking me to confirm that I want to open the file. Click ‘YES’ and your export will open.
NOTE: The most important step in the mail merge process is to set up and prepare your data. You’ll use your Excel spreadsheet as the data source for your recipient list.
Here are some tips to prepare your data for a mail merge:
- Make sure the column names on your spreadsheet match the field names you want to insert in your mail merge
- All data to be merged is present in the first sheet of your spreadsheet
- All data entries with percentages, currencies, and zip codes are correctly formatted in the spreadsheet so that Word can properly read their values
- The Excel spreadsheet to be used in the mail merge is stored on your local computer
- Changes or additions to your spreadsheet are completed before it’s connected to your mail merge document in Word
Once you are done preparing your data, press ‘File Save As’ and save the data to your computer as a ‘CSV UTF-8 (Coma delimited)(*.csv)’.