The predictions were dire as Hurricane Florence approached the coast of the eastern United States. As is typical with most hurricanes, life-threatening storm surges, high winds and massive flooding were all featured heavily in the forecast. But unlike many hurricanes, Hurricane Florence did not quickly roar through the cities, towns and communities in her wake after she made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina on September 14, 2018. Instead, the storm stalled out, dumping torrential rains on the Carolinas and Virginia in the days ahead. This led to waves of victims – first those along the coast immediately impacted by the hurricane followed by individuals farther from shore who fell victim to inland flooding.
As the state association for more than 42,000 real estate professionals throughout North Carolina, NC Realtors found that a growing number of their members lived in areas impacted by Hurricane Florence as the days went by. They wanted to communicate to their members about the resources available to those that were victims of the storm, but they feared that the emails they were sending were going unread given the state of turmoil around them. Fortunately, Liz Sturrock, Vice President of Information Technology with the National Association of Realtors, had an idea for more immediate communications.
“As a ClickDimensions customer since 2016, I knew that SMS would be a viable option for NC Realtors to quickly communicate with their members about disaster assistance,” said Sturrock. “Along with Mike Cutlip, Director of Product Management at RAMCO, I reached out to our ClickDimensions Partner Account Manager on a Sunday and he and several other members of the ClickDimensions team were able to get NC Realtors up and running with a Twilio integration into ClickDimensions in a matter of hours.”
Through integrations with Twilio, MessageNet and BulkSMS, ClickDimensions can send SMS (text) messages in bulk to Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM marketing lists. ClickDimensions is natively built inside Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM, the underlying platform used by RAMCO and other association management software solutions. Through ClickDimensions, the messages are sent to the mobile numbers of the lead and/or contact records on the marketing lists. CRM activity records are created to document that the message was sent. You can even personalize your text messages using data stored in your CRM.
“I was absolutely blown away by how easy and straightforward it was to set up the integration and how minimal the monthly cost is,” Sturrock added. “Thanks to ClickDimensions, NC Realtors was able to start sending SMS messages to their members the following day, alerting them to where they could find donated goods and how they could apply for housing grants for mortgage or rent assistance. Timely communication is always important, but in the time of disaster it is absolutely priceless and potentially life-saving. We appreciate the ClickDimensions team for making this essential communication possible in a very short window of time in a time of crisis.”