“The money is in the list.”
Managing your real estate database properly is one of the key tasks agents need to do well. Every agent should be using CRM software (customer relationship management) to manage his or her contacts. You need to be organised and attack the management of your real estate database with a structured approach. Initially, you will need to work out what system works for you (it will be different for every agent) and religiously work that system every single day. A hit and miss approach can mean losing out to a competitor on a listing and that means income.
Many CRMs are complicated and very expensive. Do some research though and you will find some great systems that are neither. Once you have some software you like using, you will need to put consistent time into customising it and then managing that database. Agents often tell us gleefully that they have many thousands of contacts in their database. However, what they don’t realise is that if those contacts are not being managed properly or the list is older than the hills, it is actually useless. Are they actually qualified leads? If not, don’t spend time and money marketing to people who you haven’t qualified. You are better off having 1,000 or less great contacts and managing them well.
What should you be doing so that you can manage your real estate database properly and effectively? Here are some tips:
- A mobile CRM app – these days you should be able to take all your visitor details from your phone or iPad and sync them straight into your CRM or database. No double handling or going back to the office to update into your software. A mobile CRM means you can manage all aspects of your contacts and properties straight from your phone.
- Your mobile CRM should offer the ability to communicate quickly and easily with your list including free individual and group SMS as well as email and phone calls.
- The ability in your software to categorise or ‘label’ all your contacts depending on their requirements or how keen they are to buy. For example you may want to call everyone a ‘buyer’ who comes through your open houses but that is going to give you a huge general list. You then need to make some sub categories so that you can break the larger group down even more e.g. Investors, Neighbours, Referrals, and VIPs etc.
- Make sure you have a few (no more than 5) key questions you are asking your buyers so that you can make sure they are categorised properly. You may want to ask about their budget or price range, number of bed/bath/car spaces required and whether they are selling their current property or not. However, if you have time to drill down further than that you will need to know why they are looking for a new property, what they don’t like about their current one, and what their ideal ‘new’ property would include. That way you know exactly what they want if you get a listing that matches their requirements. If your app doesn’t have your exact questions, make sure you are still asking your buyers and add their answers into the ‘note’ section of your app.
- Your database is not your mailing list. Some of your contacts may be existing clients who have bought from you recently but don’t want to be marketed to again in the short term. Make sure you ask them if you can keep them on your mailing list so you don’t bombard them with constant newsletters or emails that they don’t want to receive.
- Referral leads will be your strongest leads and should be dealt with differently to visitors at open houses or leads from paid marketing or social media. There is already a level of trust because someone who has used your services or knows you has referred you.
- Once you have your database organised how you want it, you need to keep it sorted out daily.
- Then decide how you are going to work your pipeline. Your follow up must be tailored to each list with a series of emails and/or newsletters. One solution will not be appropriate for everyone. Make sure your newsletters are interesting and offer insights into the current market and local area and aren’t just advertising your open houses.
Real estate is a tough industry and competition amongst agents is high. Very few end up with the million-dollar income but every agent dreams that they will join the elite who do. There is no reason why you can’t achieve this if you start by spending time and energy getting the basics right. The money is in the list. But let’s just clarify that.
Agents are very anxious and protective about their databases. However, buyers go to lots of open houses, which are organised by different agents, franchises and agencies. So their details are actually on various agents’ databases. When we say the money is in the list we really should be saying ‘the money is in the well managed list’! How you manage your real estate database and then communicate and form a relationship with your contacts is the key.
Get organised. Manage that list and your pipeline properly and you will be one step closer to achieving success in real estate.
Do you need an open house app with a Mobile CRM to manage your visitors and properties?
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