A commentary by Annette Anthony, Vice President Technology Engagement, EXIT Realty Corp. International

Your database is the lifeblood of your business as a real estate professional.  People often ask me which CRM platform is best and I reply, whichever one you’ll use.  The tool is secondary to the faithfulness with which you keep it up-to-date and utilize its functionality to get you closer to the people you serve.  Here are three tips to help get you on track and keep you there.

1. Establish and maintain your CRM.

You must have a repository to manage your relationships and the best tool is a Customer (or Client) Relationship Management tool, or CRM.  I’ve talked to agents across the country and it is astounding to me the number of them who don’t fully utilize a CRM to manage their database.  Your clients expect you to stay in touch regularly. Think of the multitude of communication during a real estate transaction – emails, texts, calls, instant messages, in-person conversations.  Sadly, when the deal closes, often the client never hears from their agent again.  If you haven’t started to use a CRM or if yours is out-of-date, getting on track can seem like a daunting task, but I can tell you from experience, you can eat the elephant in bite-size pieces.  When you focus on re-connecting with just 3 people daily, that totals nearly 1,100 solid relationships in your CRM by the end of the year. Reframe your thinking when it comes to engaging regularly.  You’re not a nuisance.  You were integral in the selling and buying process and have proven that you are capable of serving not only your client but also the people they know with a high level of service.  Eliminate the distress of what to send regularly by making a list of what is important to them. If you’re still unsure, ask.

2. Segmenting your database is key.

All contacts are not created equal. You have clients, leads, sphere of influence, industry influencers, partners and so on. As you enter or update each contact in your CRM, categorize them so you can determine the type of information you are planning to share. For example, let’s say you attend a networking event like Inman Connect and you collect business cards throughout the week – then what? If you think of those contacts as a means to a sale, you will lose. If you see them as people, you will engage.  Add them to your CRM, categorize them, and then add a recurring reminder to make it a priority to connect twice a month on social media platforms you mutually use.  Share things that you are learning from your office meetings, inform them what’s happening in the market you serve and why that’s good for business. Share challenges out in the field and how you overcame them.

3. Listen intently before you speak.

When you connect with your contacts on social media, rather than diving deep into a sales pitch, be attentive to their last several posts. Chances are they are leaving bread crumbs of awesomeness you can talk about including their interests, experiences and family. Comment on posts with questions so that you can continue the conversation. Mention them by name so they get pinged with a notification. Use voice clips so your contact can hear the happiness in your voice. Use video at every opportunity. Then add reminders and make notes in your database to help you recall important parts of the conversation.

I can assure you, when you strengthen your relationships using technology, the result is the formation of a solid foundation upon which a successful career is built. Technology will never replace the real estate professional- but professionals who embrace technology will replace those who don’t.

 

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