Relationships Are The Key Ask any top producing real estate agent and they will tell you that having a real estate CRM (or organized database) is essential to building and growing a successful real estate business. But knowing how to organize and work your real estate database in your CRM is just as important. Think of your CRM as the heart of your real estate business, and relationships are the blood that keeps your business alive. You’ve got to keep the blood flowing for your past clients, existing sphere-of-influence (SOI) in addition to your currently active clients. Yes, it will take some work but “relationship marketing” is critical to success for any real estate agent. If you don’t feel building relationships is essential to your real estate business or worth your time, you might want to consider a career change. The first step in explosive “relationship marketing” is to recognize and organize your clients in your real estate database or CRM by relationship type. Are all clients created equal? No, definitely not. Some clients are a dream to deal with and will reward you with loyalty and referrals, while others leave a bit to be desired. The relationship category types below will help you organize your clients and realize who really is a “client” rather than just a “contact”. It will also help you identify who you should focus on first to keep in contact with everyone you know.
Relationship Types for Your Database
A-List: Closest Relationships Includes: immediate family, lifelong friends These are the people that will work with you no matter what! Likely examples include your parents, siblings, children and lifelong friends. If you would consider telling them your deepest secret, then they are likely your “A” Group.
B-List: Close Relationships Includes: extended family, adult friends, friends from sports teams or social clubs These people are clients that will most likely work with you if they know you are in the real estate business or, you ask them if they would use you. Examples include extended family, college/adult friends, your teammates on your sports teams. If you socialize occasionally with these people, they are likely your “B” Group.
C-List: Personal Acquaintances Includes: past clients, your professional acquaintances, accountant, lawyer, home inspector, child’s teacher, dentist, doctor. These people are clients that may work with you if you do an effective job of communicating your value. This group of people is also your previous clients. Even if you haven’t spoken with them in 10 years, you likely had a relationship at one point in time, and it would be highly valuable to rekindle that now. Some past clients may fit into group “B” or “A”; however statistically, while 88% of past clients say they would likely use the same real estate agent again next time — in reality, only 11% actually do. However, for agents that work their database contacts by keeping in touch with each past client and providing ongoing value, their client retention rates are shown to be much higher.
D-List: Online & Social Network Contacts Includes: Facebook friends, social network contacts, internet leads, sign calls, open house leads Your online network can be valuable however if they don’t know you in person, they are by our definition, a “D” group. Unless you have met or chatted with these people one-on-one I wouldn’t consider them a client, but rather just a contact. In addition, it is wise to apply this group for all of those leads you have sitting in your desk drawer. Open house clients, internet leads, previous sign calls, and your entire social network are examples of “D” groups. It goes without saying, if these clients don’t live in your area of operation, they should not be included in this list. Can you reach out to any of these people to go for coffee or provide a free real estate consultation? Sometimes this might be all it takes to connect and move them up to become a potential “client”.
E-List: Exclude Bad Clients Do you have any past clients that were a nightmare? “Friends” who are continuously causing you more headaches than friendship? We all know these people and have them in our lives. Save yourself the headache and delete these people from your list of clients. You can do this now, because you have ranked your clients, allowing you to focus your time and resources on our best people.
Building Relationships Is Your Business We all have limited hours in a day, so we hope by organizing your database it will help you take the first step in focusing on your best potential clients and where you can have the most impact to grow your business. Ready to get started? I personally like Pipedrive, it is affordable and it is worth organizing your client database. It is extremely helpful in following up with clients and organization. There are other CRM’s that also work well such as Nimble, Sales Force, Hubspot etc. I would check them out to see which CRM fits your needs. Good Luck!