March 24, 2021

Spring Cleaning Your Real Estate Database - Step by Step

Ashley Walsh
Ashley Walsh

A realtors guide to segmenting contacts and organizing your database

Why you should segment your real estate contacts

Whether you prefer to keep your list in a spreadsheet or a more sophisticated real estate CRM (hopefully not a pile of business cards and sticky notes), it’s important for it to be organized and accessible. Having an organized database of leads, past clients and people in your sphere of influence provides a solid foundation for nurturing relationships and making the most out of the connections you’ve worked so hard to make.

Not to mention, cultivating referrals from your database cuts down on your cost to acquire new leads.

Every good realtor knows that having a system to follow helps create good habits and thus good discipline - let’s get to work on building your ideal database organization system.

Don’t over do it

I’ve seen some realtor databases that give me a headache. We’re talking 15-20 labels for every contact.  When it comes to organizing your database, the Marie Kondo approach is going to get you a lot further than the hoarders approach.

Use this simple litmus test for whether you add a new tag or label - Will I market to this group of people differently or separately?  If not, add it to the notes and move on.

Getting Started

It’s best to start small and think of basic categories that apply to the majority of contacts.  A good primer exercise for this would be - who might I want to mail or email important updates?  Who might I want to exclude from this list for one reason or another?

For starters every contact needs a type which applies to the lifecycle stage they are in with you. Common labels in this category include Sphere, Buyer Lead, Listing Lead, Active Buyer, Active Listing, Past Client. Be sure to use labels that provide context and make sense to not only you, but future office staff who may need to communicate on your behalf.  As you move people from leads to raving fans, be sure to remove old tags every so often. Remember - we’re not hoarders here.

Here a few more common examples to consider:
  • If you host events, you may want to include a tag that designates a contact that is local to your area and hasn’t moved out of state - perhaps a “relocation” or “local” tag.
  • Everyone has their VIP clients - the ones who refer friends and family or who earn you larger commissions. Go ahead and tag your VIP’s and consider communicating with them more frequently or sending the little something extra around the holidays. 

Advanced real estate database segments

If you’ve mastered the basics and you’re ready to ramp up your segments, marketing segmentation or stay in touch processes, you can consider moving to more advanced segmentation.

  • Referral Rating - some clients are going to sing your praises and others just aren’t wired that way.  Some clients or friends may talk about their experiences on social media and others won’t.  Take a step back and think about what makes a client a fan or a referrer and group them into segments so you can concentrate more outreach on your best groups. One option is just add the tag “referrer” when someone sends a referral. Another is to take a graded approach such as this: A - Has Referred, B - Potential to refer or review C - Not likely to refer.  
  • Buying Power - Not all commissions are created equal and sometimes you need to focus your efforts based on the potential return on your investment. To narrow in on the best leads perhaps tag them by Price Ranges or simplify that to something like Low, Med, High and Luxury.
  • Neighborhood - If you work a broad territory, you may want to segment your database with some location based information such as the neighborhood they live in, the side of town they are on or perhaps by zip code. This can help you narrow in on where to host events, who to invite or who to send relevant market updates.
  • Sphere Groups - Every sphere of influence has its own unique characteristics and if you’re getting a healthy amount of leads from some key sources you may want to keep track of that.  A few examples would be your college network, a specific employer, a church family or your child’s school or sports network.

In the spirit of progress, It's time to put this plan in motion. Block an hour each day or perhaps a full day (preferably right now) and add this project to your calendar. Afterall, the longer you wait to get started the harder it will be to complete.

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