stay in touch with your database

Database Management


Success Habit #1 – Database Management – making the call to keep in touch

database management - prospecting

Success is all about habits. Habits can work both for or against you. Creating good success habits takes time and mental energy (willpower).

Training yourself to form just one new good habit a month means that by this time next year you’ll have 12 excellent successful habits working in your life.

If you’d prefer to watch the video instead of reading the words then please scroll down to the bottom of the page 

This is #1 in the “success habit” series – the power of database management

Regardless of which database management / CRM (client relationship management) system you have at your disposal, it’s worthless and useless if you fail to use it.

Databases can be as simple or as sophisticated as you want to make them. However, the secret is making them as sophisticated as they need to be for you! It’s pointless investing in a super-sophisticated-does-everything-database management tool if you’re never going to bother to learn how to drive it properly.

Sometimes Excel suffices. Yes! Seriously! I coach a few high performing realtors who maintain their client relationships in Excel.

They opt for Excel for a few reasons:

  • they already know how to use it;
  • the contact data can be extracted and imported into bulk email programmes (eg, Mailchimp);
  • it ensures they maintain full integrity (and ownership) of its contents.

#1 – Segment your database

Just like you wouldn’t (I hope!) throw all your files into one drawer without some kind of system, neither should all your contacts be grouped under one big heading without sub-folders (categories or labels).

Divide your database up into different types of contacts – for example:

  • Past vendors
  • Past buyers
  • Current buyers 
  • Prospective vendors (A, B & C)
    • A = hot (you’d expect them to list within 90 days)
    • B = warm (90-180 days)
    • C = tepid (180+ days)
  • Current vendors

#2 – Stay in touch

The frequency of keeping in touch with your contacts is determined by which category they fall into.

Obviously, you will need to keep in touch with your current vendors at the cycle rate you’ve promised them {you did promise to keep in touch, right?}.  Realtors who have high levels of customer satisfaction and service keep in touch with their vendors multiple times per week (sometimes daily).

For more information on the power of staying in touch read this article (6 ways to see if you’re leaving money on the sales table). This article is especially relevant to securing the listing from prospective vendors so if you haven’t read it yet I strongly urge you to do so as a matter of priority.

#3 – Keep records

Every communication with every person in your database needs to be recorded.

And this needs to be done in a way that allows fast and easy retrieval.

Keep notes about conversations that are relevant to each person.  You’d be surprised at the power of being able to recall a conversation you’ve had with someone that was months or even years’ ago!

Note the conversation, date and any follow up action you promised to make.

Recording this information makes for much easier second and subsequent calls.

Why? Because you’ll be able to make reference to that conversation (and they’ll think you’re amazing!) “by the way – the last time we chatted you mentioned you were going to …………….. how’s that going?”

#4 – Have a system in place that captures meaningful information

This is critical!

If you’re the type of realtor who’s very social and attends lots of networking events make sure you have a system for after the event to record conversations you’ve had. If you’re not able to record this information direct into your database make sure you have a way of keeping your notes safe and then a system for getting into the habit of uploading the notes into your database.

For example, when I go to networking events I spend a few minutes in my car making notes about conversations on the back of business cards. When I get back to my desk I then transfer this information into my database.

For other networking tips you might find this article helpful : 14 ways to turn your contacts into connections.

Seriously – if you lose the napkins, sticky notes or business cards you’ve collected because you don’t have a business-like system in place to keep in touch you’re leaving money on the sales table.

And – just as bad (almost!) is if you call someone up and treat them like a number. As if they’re someone you’ve never spoken to before. How does that make them feel important? It doesn’t! So make sure you have a system to record conversations and important information.

#5 – Create tasks

Depending on what sort of CRM system you use will determine whether this is done “inside” the CRM or outside. If you’re using Excel (for example) you will probably want to do this either in Outlook or in your paper-based diary.

It doesn’t matter “where” or “how” so long as your system works!

Tasks are forward diary notes that remind you to call someone back when you said you were going to or when they asked you to.

Always cross-reference the task with the contact.  By this I mean if you’re making a paper-based note make sure you also include where to find the prospect’s database file. This will not only save you time, but it will make it easier for you to refer to the conversations I talked about above.

In Outlook you can include the Excel file path address in the notes section of the task.

If you’re using Outlook always remember to tick the “reminder” box so that everything happens automatically to remind you.

#6 – Prospecting KPIs

Having a successful realtor business means you need to talk to people.

New people.

Every day.

Set yourself prospecting KPIs.

When I’m working with a new coaching client we start off with 10 new conversations every week day. To start with this is usually painful (they are, after all, learning a new habit and not all new habits are easy to get into!).

Once they’ve mastered 10 new prospect calls/day we raise the bar to 15/day. Then 20/day. Then 25/day, etc.

These prospecting calls are in addition to keeping in touch with vendors and people they’ve promised they’re going to call back.

These are new conversations with new people.

Ensure you record these new conversations into your database with meaningful notes (conversations, promises, follow up calls).

#7 – Set aside time to grow your database

Like every new habit you need to practice, practice and practice some more.

Have commitment. To yourself!

Yes – sometimes the honeymoon or shine will wear off quickly with a new habit. But persevere. And yes – sadly – you may not see results straight away. But persevere!

Set aside a regular time each day that will be about building and maintaining your database. And stick to it!

create habits of success


Successful people are those who consistently & persistently do what others won’t do. Metaphorically it means they’ll take the stairs when all they really want to do is ride in the elevator lift. Successful people are those who continue when they just want to give up.

Remember: if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

#8 – Rinse and repeat

Every day rinse and repeat.

Persevere. Implementing a system that means you have a powerful database takes time and energy.

If it hurts, keep in mind that if it were easy everyone would have a powerful database!

I heard (an unverified) statistic the other day whereby 10% of realtors are earning 90% of the money. Have a look around your office and see whether that’s true for your situation. It maybe 80 / 20 (80% of the income is being earned by 20% of the salespeople).

Those 10% (or 20%) will be the realtors who persevere through the pain and will be realtors who know how to manage their databases. They will also be realtors who work their databases.

Action Steps:

#1 – start with what you have

Decide what your database management system is going to be. If you run a combination of systems ensure it works for you. If you lose pieces of paper, forget to call people back, forget conversations, etc decide today to use just one system. It doesn’t matter (within reason) provided you have something.

#2 – categorise all your prospects

Under headings that are meaningful for you. You don’t have to use what your neighbours are using, you don’t have to use the headings I used at the beginning of this article – you just need to use categories that work for you!

#3 – clean up your existing database

Call or cull – everyone on your database. Get in touch with everyone to find out where they’re at so you can implement step #2 (categorise).

Culling will save you money in the long term – especially if you use email marketing services like Mailchimp. Mailchimp, for example, is free to 2,500 subscribers. If you have 2,501 subscribers you’ll start paying. It’s crazy stupid to be paying to have people on your database you’ve got no idea where they’re at.

#4 – start working your new system immediately

From this point forward ensure all new leads are put into your database straight away with meaningful notes attached to them. This would mean that if I ever called you up and asked “how many prospects do you have in your 7, 30, 60 and 90 day pipelines?” you would be able to give me an answer.

Successful People are Accountable

It’s easy for life to get in the way. It happens to everyone and when it does, it can derail those who don’t know how to get back in the saddle again.

Becoming accountable means you’ll bounce back faster.

It means you’ll also achieve more, which in turn means you’ll achieve the objectives you set out for yourself and the dreams you have for your and your family’s life.

Reach out now:  send me an email – I promise to respond to your email personally – tell me about just one thing you’d like to achieve and/or your biggest headache / frustration in relation to your database and let’s see how if I can help you make it better.

I promise to respond to you personally.  I can’t wait to hear from you!

I’m a great believer of making sure perfection doesn’t get in the way of done. And that’s exactly what this video representsIn a way I guess you could call it a blooper video – ‘cept it has a LOT of GREAT stuff in it … I didn’t realise until I started producing this video that (somehow?!?) my smartphone was upsidedown (who knew there was such a condition!?) … I didn’t have time to re-record … so here it is … in all my upsidedown glory (with text covering it up wherever I could!)



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