As a real estate agent, you spend a lot of time with clients.  Whether you’re showing homes, helping negotiate a deal, or getting a house ready for sale, you don’t have much free time.  On top of that, you also need to always be looking for new clients to keep your pipeline full.

Finding new clients can be tough.  You hand out your business card, you go to network events, you meet for coffee, the list goes on and on.  Once you get a new prospective client, it is important to remain top-of-mind and communication is key. 

To help you with the communication with prospects, you can use a contact management system like Contactually.  With Contactually, you can manage all of your prospects as well as automatically send out an email communication to keep a nice dialog going. 

E-mails are great, but they can be easily overlooked.  What if you sent them a letter in the mail?  Would that get their attention? With Formstack Documents, you can automatically generate letters from Contactually and send them using a print service called Lob.  In this example, we’re going to show you how you can send a prospecting letter to a new contact added in Contactually.

To get started, we’re going to set up our prospecting letter template.  We’re going to use a Word document as our template.  Inside the Word document, we’re going to add our merge fields where we want the data from Contactually to be placed.  The merge fields look like: {$FirstName}, {$Address}, {$City}, {$State}, etc.  These are just text tags like any other text you would type into your document.

Here’s what our prospect letter looks like:

Once you have the template all finished up, it’s time to upload it.  From the Documents tab, click New Document and give the document a name.  Next, you’re going to choose I have a document I would like to use and then select the file from your computer.


After you upload the file, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab.  Here you can update different settings like the name of the document, the type of document that is generated and more.  For this example, we’re going to make sure the output is a PDF and then we’re going to add our contact’s name to the output file name.

Also, under the Advanced Settings, we’re going to turn on the Field Map.  Contactually sends over the address of our contact as a single block and we need to parse those into the separate fields we set up in our document.  More on this soon.


Once you’ve saved your settings, we need to set up the Field Map to parse out our address fields.  Click the Field Map tab and you should see a list of all your merge fields.  For your address fields you’re going to enter something like this:


(instead of “street”, you can use “street2”, “city”, “state”, or “zip”)

Here’s what our Field Map looks like:


Now, it’s time to set up the integration with Lob so that our letter will be automatically mailed to our prospect.  Go ahead and jump over to the Deliver tab and click New Delivery.  Choose Lob from the list and you’ll be asked to enter your Lob API Key.

After you enter the API Key you’re going to want to add the address of your prospect (the To address).  We’re going to be using merge fields for these settings, so go ahead and select the appropriate fields.  For the name, you can choose << Other >> then enter “{$FirstName} {$LastName}”

For the “From” address, you’ll just click the << Other >> option and then type in your address in the boxes.


Great work!  We’re done with the setup in Documents and we’re ready to set up the integration with Contactually.  To help with the integration, we’re going to use our friends over at Zapier.  Zapier will automatically detect the new contact in Contactually and send that information over to Documents.

Inside Zapier, go ahead and create a new Zap.  For the “trigger” we’re going to pick Contactually as the service and then “New Contact” as the trigger.


On the next step, Zapier will ask you to authenticate your Contactually account and then it will test the account to make sure it can pull the contacts.  Follow those steps and then click the Finish button.

We only want to send our letter if the contact is added with an address, so we’re going to add a new Filter between the Trigger and Action services.  From the Zap Overview, click the Add Filter button under the Contactually trigger.

Under the filter settings, we’re going to choose the “First Physical Address” field from Contactually and then the “Exists” filter type.

Our last step in the Zap setup is to create the “action”.  We’re going to choose Formstack Documents as the service and then Create Document Merge as the action.

Once you pick the action and continue, it is going to ask you to authenticate your Documents account by entering your API Key and Secret.  Go ahead and follow those steps and then you’ll be taken to a step to choose your document.  Pick the Letter you just set up in Documents and then Zapier will load a list of all the merge fields in your document.

For each of the merge fields in your document, you need to choose the corresponding Contactually fields.  You can ignore the address fields that you set up in the field map, but you’ll need to map the main “Address” field.

After you saved your field mapping, Zapier will run a test to make sure everything is working properly. Follow those steps and click Finish when everything is good to go.
You’re all done!  Go ahead and click the big Turn Zap On button from the Zap Overview page and that will activate the zap so that anytime you add a new contact with an address, it will send that information over to Documents and your letter will be sent.  How’s that for easy?

Here’s what our merged letter looked like:

Congrats, you have now automated a piece of the sales cycle and that’s just the start of things you can automate with Documents.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use Formstack Documents and Contactually together to simplify your paperwork process?

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