The importance of managing your database

For practitioners operating in the real estate industry today, information is one of your most valuable tools.  It is therefore incredibly important to ensure that all data captured by real estate organisations is correct and usable, as it could be the difference between simply having a large number of listings on the books and actually converting these listings to successful sales within a reasonable period of time.  

At CENTURY 21 Australia, we like to refer to the stages of data management as the ‘Four C’s’.  By having an understanding of this process, you should be able to enhance your own data systems and ensure your information is set on a path to success.  

1. Create Activity

Creating activity involves drawing people to your properties or office by getting their interest – such as through an interesting property ad, or enticing window display, etc.  Most agents are quite good at doing this.  It’s what happens once your agents draw people in that it becomes interesting.  

2. Capture Data

It is important that you as the owner and/or manager of a franchise put systems in place to encourage and make it simple for your staff to capture the data of potential clients – those who walk in the door of an open home or into your office.  This includes taking a full name, phone number, valid email address, etc.  

In addition, your agents should be encouraged to follow up with all attendees of open inspections to gain further information at a time that is more appropriate – such as buying preferences, budget, locations of interest etc.  While these people may not be suitable buyers for a listing in question, they could very well be perfect for another current or future property.  

3. Cleanse Data

Arguably one of the most essential steps of the process – data cleansing involves identifying incorrect or incomplete entries (such as bounce-back email addresses or disconnected phone lines) and modifying or removing these from your system.  Data is only helpful if it is accurate – otherwise it may serve to be a waste of time, effort and resources. 

Regular contact (or as appropriate) with your database will help to ensure that information is kept up to date and relevant.  By making a point of interacting with clients and potential clients about their buying intentions and preferences, etc, you can ensure that the data you have on file best assists your office to use it successfully.     

It is also important to respect the wishes of your clients in relation to your possession of their details. For example, if your office sends out an email campaign and receives a number of ‘unsubscribe’ requests, be sure to immediately take these names out of your system.  Those offices that continue to send correspondence to disinterested parties are at the risk of tarnishing their reputation and damaging relationships with potential clients.

4. Convert Data    

Once you have a set of correct information, there is no end to the uses for it.  Data will ultimately see agents achieve successful sales of properties, and as a result the growth and prosperity of your agency.  

Armed with data as a tool, your agents will have access to a pool of potentially interested buyers, who they can easily connect with properties that are of interest to them - according to the preferences as originally indicated and updated through the data management process.  By knowing in advance who might be an appropriate buyer of a property, agencies can potentially practice more efficiently, saving on resources and helping their clients to achieve the best possible result in the shortest period of time.  

 As you can see, the efficient management of a database is an incredibly important aspect of running a real estate business.  While the capture of data may seem simple, its uses are powerful and can have a significant impact on the success your company is able to achieve.  Investing in a data capture and cleansing system that works well for your business and agents is certainly worth considering as you look to secure the ongoing wellbeing of your organisation.  

Posted by George Tarbey on 10/04/2012 at 10:19 AM | Categories:

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