One of the most common things we find when speaking with a person that is brand new to Real Estate is that they have no semblance of a database set up. This is not good. Having a database to get started with is CRITICAL for getting a new agent from “secret agent” to “known agent in the marketplace”. Quite often, we find that it’s not for lack of trying on the part of the new agent. It turns out that they don’t have a database because nobody has given them guidance on how to do this.
With that in mind, for all you new agents out there, or even seasoned agents that need to step up their personal database, I want to share some tips on how to create the perfect database.
It All Starts With Excel
The first thing you want to do is open up a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. When you set up this spreadsheet, be sure to include the following headers:
Home Street Address
This is going to be the worksheet you are going to use to get your database populated and ready to go.
The next thing you want to do is make a list of every single person you know. Literally, every single person you know. Here are some categories of acquaintances to help you get started:
Family & Friends-
This can include parents, grandparents, in-laws, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, cousins, close friends
This can include past colleagues from your prior careers, vendors you worked with in your previous careers, professors/teachers (anyone who knows your professional competence)
Services You Use-
This is a great one, because if you stop to think, this group of people is pretty vast and you have a relationship with all of them. This can include your barber/hairstylist, banker, insurance agent, doctor, dentist, accountant, favorite waiter/waitress, landscaper, masseuse, florist, etc.
Social Media Contacts-
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have some sort of a social media presence. Review that list of friends and get them on your list. This can include your Facebook friends, Twitter or Instagram followers, and/or any email contact list you have built in the past, or your address book in something like Gmail.
Sphere Of Influence-
Now this group is the most important, but perhaps the hardest to put together. People that think of their contacts in this category sometimes start coming up with reasons that they shouldn’t bother the people. DO NOT trick yourself into this. These people absolutely need to know you are in Real Estate because they will likely be your greatest source of referral business, over the course of your career.
People in this group can include family friends, friends of friends, and community and organization acquaintances (e.g. volunteer groups, parents of your children’s friends, people that go to your church, etc.)
If you follow this plan for populating your blank spreadsheet, you should easily be able to pull together at least 200 people. If you haven’t hit that number, go through this exercise again and widen the net. Do not leave people off or filter anyone. You can always remove them from your database later. The key is that you want to get started with a solid base. From there it will change and evolve, as all databases do.
Your Database Should Be Treated Like A Living Thing
One key thing to remember is that you will always be adding to and changing your database. Because of this, you need to be sure that you have it set up on some sort of online system that allows you to easily add and change info in your database, on-demand, no matter where you may be. Nothing is worse than promising yourself you’ll remember to add someone to your database when you get back to your desk, only to have completely forgotten about them by the time you get to your office.
As a Realtor®, by definition, you are a mobile professional. You need to be able to access your database from multiple devices (e.g. cell phone, tablet, computer, car communication system, email platform, etc). The key to your success on this front and the single largest thing new agents fail at is starting out in the beginning with a CRM platform that can plug into everything, keeping everything up to date, and more importantly in sync.
Our LeadingAgent Cloud Based CRM System, built on the Salesforce.com cloud of course happens to be my favorite choice for this, based on it’s flexibility, vast integration possibilities and ease of use. The key though is to pick a system you are most comfortable with, thus ensuring that you will use it and therefore succeed 🙂