Just about every commercial real estate agent wants to grow listing activity and commissions. A number of things come together to help that happen, however the database process sits in the middle of everything. As an agent or broker you must know a lot of active property related people and the relationship that you have with them should be strong and growing.
So what can a database help you with?
Try these for starters:
- Tracking opportunities with qualified sellers, buyers, and tenants
- Matching people to appropriate property listings
- Distributing relevant property information automatically and directly
- Make it a lot easier for you to stay in regular contact with the right people
- Remembering what was said and done in the last conversation with any prospect or client
It is interesting to note that many agents and brokers struggle with the disciplines behind the database requirement of accuracy and up to date information. A database is a personal thing and you should not delegate it to others.
Database Software Choices and Decisions
Here are some valuable tips to help you in choosing the right database software and in using it successfully in commercial real estate:
- Simplicity is better than anything else. You want a software program that is quick to use and direct in capturing information about your clients and contacts.
- Integrate the database with a mobile phone app so you can carry the information with you on your tablet or cell phone.
- Use cloud based software so you do not have to worry about service access when you are ‘out on the road’ or in and around the office.
- Integrate the CRM software with your email program. In that way you can track the emails that you send out and the results that come back in.
- As a priority the software should allow you to easily capture the call details and meetings that you have had with prospects. That captured information should then escalate to a diary action in the future such as a call, conversation or meeting.
- You are managing a customer relationship, so the fields in the database should be flexible enough to allow the capturing of total contact needs in property type, rent, price, location, and timing.
- Ideally the CRM program should allow you to forecast sales and leasing activity into the future. There should be a sales pipeline to help that predictive process in a visual way. When you can see how your pipeline is growing, you can focus on the right relationships and responses.
- Understand your own personal performance as an agent or broker, and the indicators that will help you see results. Fine tune your CRM processes and indicators to highlight marketing responses and priority property types.
- Ideally you are wanting to identify and manage leads. You are also wanting to manage established client relationships. How will that software do that for you?
- The program that you select should be web based for convenience of access, stability, and data protection.
- Cost can be an issue depending on the software that you choose. You do not need to spend a lot of money on your software. Commercial solutions are available from approximately $30 per calendar month.
- Understand who owns the data and information loaded in your database. If you work for a brokerage, this question is critical to how you work and record client contact. If you intend moving location in the future, the ability to take your database with you will be of high value.
Through all of these things you are trying to start, nurture, escalate, and convert customer relationships into listings and commissions. Own the database process yourself and devote at least 3 hours a day to the process of cold calling and client contact.