Every commercial real estate agency and agent should have a list of clients and prospects. Your success in the growth and management of that list will impact you greatly in listings and commissions.
Many agents struggle with the disciplines behind database creation and management. They then have fewer opportunities to work with or people to contact. List management processes are really important.
If you want to dominate the local property market as a top agent, then you will really need to establish a good database for yourself and maintain it on a daily basis. The choice of software for the process will really be based on the amount of money that you have available to spend at that time, and the requirements of information to be captured.
Initially you can start off a simple database using a spread sheet. The advantage here is that the spread sheet is readily available now and will allow you to export the information you capture into another program at a later time. You can also back up the spread sheet and protect your data quite easily.
When you can afford a good database program, you can then take the move from the spread sheet to the new software program. In saying that, one of the biggest weaknesses with a spread sheet is in the potential for errors to be made in data entry. That is something that you will need to manage.
Here are some other factors and ideas to incorporate into your database management process in commercial real estate:
- The size of the database will be something that you need to consider given the requirements of information management and accuracy. Over time a typical database for a commercial real estate agent will contain approximately 600 to 1000 high grade contacts. All of that information will need to be maintained and updated regularly based on new information from the market, and client contact.
- On an individual salesperson or agent basis, any database beyond 1000 contacts usually reflects and contains redundant information with little or no business opportunity. The message here is for you as an individual to keep your database manageable and of a size to capture and activate future opportunity. Remove redundant information.
- A type of property that a client requires should be recorded so you can sort through those needs when you have a new listing.
- The classification of person will help your database control. Those classifications will be in sales, leasing, property management, property type, improvements, size, timing, and special needs.
- Full contact details captured should include telephone, email, address, property requirements, and a record of the times contacted and what was discussed.
- Backup procedures are really important. Every night your spreadsheet or database should be backed up somewhere to protect all of your hard work.
- Ability to mail merge for direct mail and newsletters will be critical. Over time you should be sending direct contact letters and emails of relative and interesting properties. To do this you will require the consent of the prospect or client. Ask the question when you first make contact.
Many agents have said that your income and business success is ‘in the list’. That list being your database of clients and prospects. Be prepared to grow your list every day as you prospect and capture the results of every meeting and conversation. Over time your database list will help with leads and in matching the right people to the right properties.