If your business was solely dependent on the number of people in your database and the level of engagement they have with you what would your business look like?
This is a critically important topic for anyone that wishes to have a successful real estate business with any sort of regularity and still have some time left over to enjoy the rest of your life.
Today we will be looking at 3 key areas to evaluate, when it comes to your database and how to get it to a point that it produces new business opportunities with regularity.
For me, it was around my third year in Real Estate when this lightbulb finally came on.
In the previous years I was totally “grinding it out” to find enough new clients to support my family and achieve the goals I had set out for my business. It was all outbound at that point…. Me looking for and cultivating opportunities.
The problem was that most of my efforts were geared towards strangers, people I had never met before.
I was completely neglecting the existing relationships I already had and consequently I was missing out and working much harder than I needed to.
Then something amazing started to happen, this group of people started calling me to assist them with their real estate needs. Strangers started calling me saying things like “our mutual friends so and so said you are the one I need to talk to about real estate”.
It was incredible and such a blessing to my life and business and the reason I am so passionate about building and nurturing your database.
For me, it started organically, as the people I already knew saw my signs or perhaps some of the real estate related social media content I published they took the initiative to contact me.
I still wasn’t being very purposeful and finally realized that If I would make my database a priority I could dramatically compound the results I was getting somewhat naturally.
Today I want to share with you three key areas that you can evaluate in your own business, when it comes to your database, and provide some simple strategies to make sure you are enjoying the fruits of having one that regularly feeds your business.
Each section includes key questions to rate your database on. Your scores will clearly show you where you need to start focusing to get more from your database.
1. Build your Database
Simply put, your database is a collection of contact information and other relevant criteria that you have for people.
These contacts should be in a central location. To simplify this conversation, it does not matter where they are. It could be an excel sheet, handwritten in a notebook or in a more conventional CRM system.
The first priority is to compile your list of contacts; you can focus on efficiency later.
On a scale of 1-10: Do you have a list of contacts? (1= no list; 10= list complete)
Your Score for Building a database:_______________
2. Engage Your Database
Having a list of contacts will not in and of itself impact your real estate business. A list of contacts, unengaged, is no more valuable than the phone book that gets dropped off on your doorstep every couple of months.
It has all the potential in the world to bring massive value and opportunities to your business (even the phone book can offer this) but it is going to take proper engagement to bring it to the surface.
Proper engagement means that we are providing relevant content to our list of contacts. Relevant means that it is interesting to our contacts and geared toward generating the end result we hope to achieve for our business.
This can and should include a variety of communication forms such as email, phone calls, mailers, in person meetings and any other form where we can engage our contacts.
Common standards for effective database communication include somewhere in the range of 33-36 “touches” per year.
At the end of this post I have included a very simple plan for achieving these touches with highly relevant and engaging content.
On a scale of 1-10: How engaged is your database? (1= not engaged; 10= fully engaged)
Your Database Engagement Score:________________
3. Database Consistency
Even with a large list of contacts and a great touch program to engage them, all bets are off if it is not done consistently, over time.
It is easy to put together our list of contacts and send out an email blast with some amazing offer or content and then get discouraged when business doesn’t immediately come rolling in the door.
We should approach our database communication plan as a process rather than an event.
With consistency the results you get from your database compound. Without it your results will likewise decrease exponentially.
Be conscious of the trap that comes from generating a respectable amount of business from an inconsistent communication plan. It may be enough to get you by, or perhaps even more, but add consistency to the mix and the game changes completely.
On a scale of 1-10: How consistently do you communicate with your database? (1= none; 10= 36 times/year)
Your Database Consistency Score:_______________
4. Compile your Scores – Take Action
Once you have rated yourself in each of the previous categories, it is time to take some simple steps toward improving them.
The biggest trap I see agents fall into (myself included) when it comes to the database is trying to take on too much at once.
To ensure that you see improvement from your database lets break down your next steps in order of priority.
The first category, build your database, is the highest priority. This is based on the logic that it really doesn’t matter how awesome your content is if you don’t have people to send it to.
The goal for now should be to even out your scores. So if your highest score was a 7, you want to get the other two categories to a 7 as well. Your scores are something you will be consistently working to improve over time, but it takes time so by first working to “level the playing field” you will be creating the foundation for greater improvement and results.
So to begin, take your lowest score and create a plan to bring it up to your highest score.
Put all of your focus on that and then move on to the next category until you have leveled them out.
Now instead of having to create dynamic content, add 500 people to your database and get everyone on a campaign, you only have to focus on one at a time. In the end this will be much faster than trying to attack them all at once.
Sample Touch Campaign for high engagement:
Complexity is the enemy when it comes to your database. Keep it simple, measure your results and make incremental improvements as you see how people engage with different messages, offers & content you put out.
Below is a SUPER SIMPLE campaign plan proven to produce massive engagement and provide people with the most relevant content that will generate business opportunities for you and keep them engaged regardless of their current real estate needs.
The Campaign (33 touches):
Monthly Email with New Seller Listing updates: (12 touches/year)
People love looking at houses and one of the great blessings of being in Real estate vs. other industries is that people have a natural interest in what we sell. Sending out notices of new listings is a very efficient and relevant way to remind people you are in real estate and spark conversations.
Monthly Email with Buyer Listing Updates: (12 touches/year)
Sending out your list of active buyer needs produces a very similar impact to sending out information on seller listings. It is very engaging material for your database that appeals to their curiosity and is also extremely simple to put together if you are using the MyBuyerListing.com system (learn how our system works here in a free demo). This helps to produce a consistent supply of seller leads and buyer leads as efficiently as possible.
Quarterly Market Update and Message of the Moment: (4 touches)
This includes highlights of key local market statistics and the message that is most important for people to understand right now. Where are the opportunities in the current market? What does the interest rate mean for buyers and sellers? Why is now the time to make a move? This provides the most current information to your database that encourages them to get into conversation with you about what it means for them.
Quarterly phone call: (4 touches)
With today’s technology it is relatively easy to get an email campaign up and running. There is, however, no substitute for real conversations with real people. As you get started simply calling the people in your database once every quarter is plenty sufficient. You will find that Real Estate becomes a natural part of these conversations so even if you just call to “catch up”, the key is getting in the habit of consistently calling your database. This will not only yield direct results but will also help increase the engagement of all the other components in your campaign.
4th quarter email/call for next year plans: (1 touch)
Before the calendar turns to the New Year, make it a point to call the people in your database and simply ask if they have any real estate related plans for the coming year or know anyone who does. This will help you to enter the year with a pipeline already in place and get ahead of the game. It is also a great time to be “top of mind as people get together over the Holidays and talk about their plans for the upcoming year!
Hopefully this has simplified the conversation of how to either maximize or get started building and nurturing a database that will consistently generate more opportunities for you to help people with their Real Estate needs.
Like most things it is relatively simple to do, the challenge is in breaking it down to actionable steps and actually doing them.
In this case the rewards far exceed the effort required and with this road map you should be able to enjoy the fruits of an engaged database faster and more consistently than ever before.
If you have not already checked out the solutions that MyBuyerListing.com provides, I would invite you to attend one of our upcoming DEMO sessions (click the link to see our upcoming schedule).