Commercial Real Estate Agents – Is Your Database Like an Emergency Room?

Given that a database is a critical component of commercial real estate brokerage, some agents don’t spend enough time in creating and managing their database.  Quite soon the information in it becomes quite ‘sick’ and almost ‘dead’.  We all have choices, but a good database is a must have for an agent or broker and from a listing and commission perspective.

So your database could be an exercise in ‘crisis management’ or alternatively it could be something that fully supports a successful career in commercial real estate.  You can’t ‘climb the mountain’ of business without it.

I recently asked an agent to describe the database he had today and was using.  The answer went something like this:

‘Sure I have several thousand contacts, some with emails, some with numbers…… lot’s of them. ’

What I already knew here was that the agent was earning very low commissions for his levels of experience and extensive history in the industry.  He was in a big ‘hole’ of personal performance.  I know we all have ‘dips and troughs’ in business throughout the year, but this person had gone through a whole year earning less than one third of what he should have earned; there was a problem.  The property market had plenty of opportunity but the agent was not sourcing and converting the business; his database was like an ’emergency room’ with plenty of  ‘casualties’.

What this said to me was that he had just collected numbers and names over the years and not spent the time on them or worked the opportunity in the list; he had not built strong relationships and high level leads from the list.  It would have been better for him to have just 600 to 1,000 local contacts that he connects with frequently, and of that group 100 would be of a VIP category.

So here are some valuable lessons to learn from this situation:

  • Your database or contact management system is your lifeline of new business.
  • When you first contact a person of relevance, question them about property needs and interests.  The questions that you ask will help you match the future leads to any sale or lease situation.
  • Track and measure all your connections with key people and prospects.  Build your pipeline in your database.
  • When you find a good prospect that may need to sell, buy, or lease commercial property in the future, keep the contact up in a regular way and help them with local information or leads that they can use.
  • Create a contact cycle for different types of people.  Level A contacts should be spoken to weekly, level B contacts should be spoken to monthly, and level C contacts should be connected with at least once every 90 days.  Any level D contacts are just names that you keep for reference.

These rules are not hard to understand; perhaps they are difficult for some agents to control given the amount of persistence and consistency that is required.

We all have choices.  In commercial real estate the choices that we make are critical to the results we achieve.

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