Build It and They Will Come: 10 Sources to Grow Your Database
Modern real estate practice is about agents being more proactive by marketing wisely to an audience of potential vendors and buyers. Eddie Cetin lists 10 ways to help you grow the database that drives your business.
You don’t have to be a geek to know that having a clean, accurate database matters. Accurate, relevant data is power – so you’ll need to become committed to adding new clients into your prospecting pipeline.
Unfortunately, many real estate agents struggle to build their databases, limping by with old client lists on their phones, notes in Outlook or (worse still) relying on their memory for a prospect list.
Such an ad hoc approach to building your database can only lead to frustrating peaks and troughs in monthly earnings – ultimately rewarding yourself with extinction if you neglect to grow your database with new clients.
1 PAST AND PRESENT
You’ve always got a reason to call your database: whether leveraging office activity and sharing news of a hot new listing or amazing sales result, or going through past prospective vendor enquiries. Call to update your farm area on the latest news, and ensure your database is complete and accurate.
2 DATABASE CLEANING
Go through old call lists and campaigns, checking in with past buyers to see if you can be of service. Grab those emails and mailing addresses, and don’t be afraid to delete prospects who are no longer relevant.
3 EXPIRED LISTINGS
An oldie and a goodie, literally. Keep in touch with potential vendors with expired listings by reaching out in the most appropriate way for your market: calls, SMS or letterboxing. Ensure there’s a call to action if it’s a passive communication – whether that’s a newsletter or an eBook.
4 DOOR KNOCKING AND COLD CALLING
Technology can’t replace old-school prospecting favourites: try door knocking and cold calling on for size. Many agents neglect these direct introductions, considering them old-hat. You know better: you build that database on bravery and reaching out.
5 FOR SALE BY OWNER
Dare you enter the lion’s den? We say yes! Look to popular ‘for sale by owner’ websites for potential vendors in your farm area. Approach them with a helpful attitude: they’re trying to save money, unaware of the data and expertise you can offer them. Make a gentle introduction and let them know you’re ready to help them if going it alone fails to pay dividends. Examples of these sites include
6 CORELOGIC AND LEAD GENERATORS
Take advantage of lead generation products from CoreLogic and similar. Focus on areas surrounding recently sold properties, and keep vendors in the area up to date on sales and rental results.
Build your database with professional connections too; LinkedIn allows you to search for directors and those in management positions, which might be useful for mentorships and referral relationships. Think to include trusted advisors who work in your category, such as financial advisors, accountants, lawyers and conveyancers. Also take time to connect via LinkedIn with those already on your database, observing those in their wider circles of influence. Be creative and find reasons to spark up conversation and connection.
8 TARGETED FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM ADVERTISING
Very few agents take full advantage of targeted Facebook and Instagram advertising which feeds directly to their prospect lists. Using a Quantium /CoreLogic data link, you’re able to target prospects of your choice; for example, people with kids who’ve lived in houses within a chosen price range for over five years. Adding prospects to your database using such targeted demographics can be very rewarding.
9 COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Walk the talk, and commit to your community! Choose to donate time and energy to community groups that you connect with, whether they are Rotary Clubs, business organisations, sports clubs, libraries or schools. Charity events, fetes and local theatrical productions – there’s myriad ways to connect with new people.
10 DEVELOPERS AND BUILDERS
Concentrate on building relationships with the construction industry in your farm area, keeping them up to date on local sales results in the area and making you their go-to agent. CoreLogic can assist you with such data, as can local councils. Dig a little! Once they’re safely in your database, send professional emails to this list to let them know about suitable development sites.
Make it your priority to build a clean database, rich with real clients and not dead potential. This hard-won data will be the foundation from which you’ll dominate your market. Commit to nurturing your clients – you’ve got to be the agent who makes the most calls in your market! By undertaking these 10 database-building efforts, you’ll soon enjoy more time in front of prospects convinced of your value, a buzzing referral network and an enviable position as the ‘must call’ agent in your community.