As a real estate agent your database is your daily go-to. Powering your business forward, it should allow you to see hot vendors, ready-to-go buyers and appointments at a glance to help you get the most from every day.
However, this doesn’t mean creating an overly-complex database with an impossible number of categories; in fact, too many categories can lead to overwhelm. If – after a period of exploring what your database offers – you’re still convinced it is the CRM for you, get to work overcoming the database conundrum of what you should focus on and when.
Before you start chopping prospects and buyers into A, B and C groups, think carefully about the end goal of your database structure. Plan to access your information without wading through thousands of contacts to find the gold. To achieve this goal, it’s important your CRM supports contacts belonging to multiple categories without duplicating details. Many databases fail at this point, and client data can soon become a nightmare to manage.
Here are seven categorisation tips to consider implementing in your database, helping you to organise your relationships and overcome CRM confusion! With these practical structures in place, you can kiss goodbye to losing clients in your database.
Categorise your Prospect Vendor pipelines into A, B, C, or Hot, Warm, Cool, or Selling in three months, six months, 12 months – whatever categories you choose, be consistent so you can quickly target these groups with your sales activities. Ensure you clean these lists weekly, so you know your Hot Vendors still meet that criteria. Then have another two categories, Owner and Landlord, which you may want to find easily in your database but aren’t necessarily covered in the current pipeline definitions.
Split these into Active and Passive. Active Buyers are those who are bidding or making offers now, while Passive Buyers are monitoring the market but would like to buy within the next year if something meets their needs. Active Buyers can feed directly into your Hot Vendor list if they need to sell their property before or after purchasing elsewhere. If a buyer isn’t active or passive, they are a contact who may benefit from your automatic email property alerts, which is a useful way to keep them across market activity.
A catch-all mix of past vendors and past buyers. They’re essentially people you have a relationship with that you should continue to nurture every six months.
FAMILY & FRIENDS
Encourage family and friends to refer to you with a dedicated category just for your nearest and dearest. It makes communicating family days and Christmas parties much easier!
Flag relevant vendor and buyer groups depending on the key campaign activities you want to engage them with throughout the year. Reasons for outreach could include an anniversary reminder of sale or purchase, festive gatherings, development launches, community events and fundraising initiatives.
Don’t forget to nurture relationships that build your business. Stay in regular communication with bank valuers, brokers, accountants, solicitors, developers, school networks and Planning Department council members. These groups can prove to be good sources of information and referral if someone is considering selling. A recommendation of your services from a ‘trusted advisor’ could be the edge you need to win that listing.
FEATURES & REQUIREMENTS
Don’t fall into the trap of mixing the terminology used for property features and buyer requirements with contact category names. Add specific property features to their property search requirements profile which will help you better service their needs in future, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, pool. These are different to area-specific needs which could include water views, mountain views, school zone, religious/cultural needs. Then, when you have a new listing, you can match prospective buyers in your database with those features and requirements.
An effective database categorisation strategy will help you avoid ‘blast’ marketing. Mass marketing leads to poor client engagement and unsubscribing from your database. Your CRM should allow you to segment data into your required categories and then quickly send targeted, relevant information to your contacts.