How to Organize Your Real Estate Contacts - Influential Agent
“Simply creating a database of contacts is never enough. To effectively generate leads and market to them, you need to optimize your list.”

Why Is an Organized Database Essential?

No matter your production level — whether you’re brand new to real estate or have years of experience — a well-organized database is crucial to productivity for a couple reasons.

First, if you have a disorganized contact list, you’ll end up procrastinating the lead generation process. And, as you well know, without leads, you have no business.

Second, a properly-organized database allows you to market to individual contacts in the appropriate way. After all, you wouldn’t talk to your best friend in the same way you would talk to someone you’ve just met.

If we don't have leads, nothing else matters. Click to Tweet

Categories to Include in Your Database

I recommend that realtors use three categories in their databases. I limit the number to just three because this makes the CRM easier to maintain.

Before we move on to discussing what the three categories are, I need to make something clear: I don’t recommend organizing your database in letters or numbers. Why? It just doesn’t make sense.

Think about it: that’s not how real life is. We don’t grade some of our friends “A” and others “B.” How would you feel if people were grading your relationship with them? For the same reason, I feel that it doesn’t make sense to rate leads in such a way.

Instead, the categories I prefer to use in my CRM are as follows:

1. Met, or Sphere of Influence

This category contains just people I have met. You can have sub-categories if you like, but don’t overthink it — the more simple the category, the easier it will be to maintain. For instance, you could have “VIPs,” which could consist of anybody in your sphere of influence who has given you a referral or closed a deal with you.

2. Not Met

Why would you want to have a “not met” category in your database? Well, if you examine your current database, you’ll see that you have plenty of contacts that you don’t know yet. These could be new internet leads, people you connected with at an open house haven’t spoken with since, or even contacts you purchased from tax rolls in a neighborhood that you’re farming.

3. Newly Mets

The last category is brand-new leads. You’ll need to temporarily separate them from the first two categories because you need to nurture these contacts a substantial amount to convert them. Into this category go all your new buyer and seller leads, such as new vendors from networking groups and people you meet at open houses.

To follow up with this final category, I suggest that you have between eight and 12 pieces of content for buyers and another eight to 12 for sellers. You’ll quickly figure out if a contact is going to respond or not. Move those who do respond and convert to the “sphere of influence” list. Those who do not respond should move to the “not met” list, where you can market to them differently.

When to Delete a Contact

As you saw above, a lack of response means a contact should move to the “not met” list. There are other circumstances, however, when it is best to simply delete the contact.

If, during the process of following up with a lead, you find that your personalities clash or the lead is, in any other way, not an ideal client, get rid of that contact. It can feel refreshing to purge your database of names you know you’ll never want to work with.

Tagging Within Categories

You may like to have some additional tags within some of the categories. For instance, in “newly mets” you could have separate tags for “buyer leads,” “seller leads,” and “new vendor relationships.” That’s fine, but the overall category needs to be simple.

It can be tempting to overcomplicate the process, adding tons of tags — such as to specify how you know the person. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t include details about contacts — this is a good practice, as it allows you to have a higher connection with your leads.

However, making too many subcategories will defeat the whole purpose of cleaning up your database. It will lead to procrastination and stop you from generating leads at the highest level possible, simply because of a messy database.

On the flip side, if you keep your database organized and simplified, whenever you sit down to lead generate, you’ll know exactly which categories to turn to and how to market to the contacts.
If the temptation to overcomplicate it keeps you from implementing, don't do it! Click to Tweet

How do you prefer to organize your database?

Let me know in a comments

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