February 09, 2018
First and foremost, real estate is a people person’s business. Without strong relationships, leads, and networks, you will not be able to succeed in the real estate industry. For this reason, you should treat your contact list like gold.
Keeping list of contacts, phone calls, emails and other communication in different folders, files, and databases simply gets in the way of business. Old databases often feature limited options and dated security, limiting productivity and increasing the risk of data theft or destruction.
For these reasons, contact management systems that streamline all your contacts and communications provide fantastic solutions that boost the effectiveness of your entire real estate operation.
The real estate industry revolves around maintaining an extensive network of contacts. Maintaining and developing this network ensures that you and your organization enjoy a constant flow of new leads. Not only do leads come from new contacts, but your contact list can also generate new opportunities from established customers who may be in the process of upgrading, downsizing or investing.
In this dynamic industry, new contacts may be made at any moment in a variety of ways. From direct mail, to digital marketing platforms, to networking events, even to parents you meet at your kid’s birthday parties, there are endless ways that contacts come to fruition in this industry. And for each of these contacts, there’s significant information to keep track of. You’ve potentially got everything from the basics - Name, Address, Email, Telephone - all the way up to highly sensitive information related to credit ratings and finances. On top of all that, how do you keep track of prior and ongoing interactions, requests and deals with all of these people?
The more you grow your list of contacts, the greater the chore of managing all the information. Sifting through spreadsheets of hundreds, even thousands, of contacts can be a detrimental consequence of poor contact management. Put simply, a real estate contact management system is imperative to maintaining and growing your business.
One of the biggest benefits of contact management systems (CMS) is having all your information accessible in a single, organized location. This doesn't mean you're putting all your eggs in one basket - the CMS database remains securely backed up at all times, mitigating the risk of data loss due to disaster or malicious attacks.
Great CMS software gathers data from separate sources, integrating the information into a centralized database. This reduces the amount of time spent searching for a person's information on a spreadsheet or attempting to find a specific email related to one of your clients. A streamlined CMS stores both the contact information and the individual email at the same time, allowing you to do a quick search to reveal the desired communication.
Before making your contact list and communications searchable, you need help integrating sources of information. Contact management software includes tools that help import data from a multitude of apps and file formats, synchronizing contacts, email, telephone and other types of communication. Data import tools also ensure the integrity of your data, including the reduction of duplicate or superfluous data.
With your real estate contact and communications data organized and combined into a single CMS, the database may be used to analyze the contents of your real estate business. You'll also have access to expanded functionality for your contact list, enabling automated features which perform rote tasks automatically, saving time for more important work - like engaging with your network of contacts.
Of course, whenever you’re storing client information, security is always a concern. Over the past few years, hackers have made headlines for a myriad of high-profile thefts of data, including both parties in the 2016 U.S. election. When you use spreadsheets or a variety of separate programs to store your contact and communication data, each source of information becomes a point of entry for a hacker. However, a CMS database secures all your sensitive data in a system designed to provide protection - including full encryption and backups.
A clean, well-organized, well-managed database becomes a powerful tool that helps accomplish your business goals. Maintaining your relationships becomes easier, accessing vital info gets quicker, and team coordination improves greatly.
Your CMS will allow you to search through communication history to reveal opportunities, including high-value leads which may have grown cold over the years. After searching for these types of contacts, you can send a personalized email to each or create a schedule for representatives to personally make calls.
If you're looking to prioritize recent contacts, the CMS can generate a list of people who need to be contacted ASAP based on time-sensitive transactions that they may be involved in. This ensures that nothing slips through the cracks, improving conversion rates and overall engagement.
Additionally, cloud computing allows for secure access through mobile platforms, giving you and your team the ability to rapidly access information anywhere an Internet connection exists. Instead of calling into the office to obtain the info, a representative simply uses their smartphone, tablet or laptop to interact with the CMS.
Team leaders can use the CMS to coordinate efforts and monitor results of individuals or the team, acquiring insight from analytics built into the database. Using these insights you can train, coach and motivate personnel to reach their personal goals and fulfill your own in the process.
CMS databases and software automation can improve nearly every aspect of your real estate business. If you're still using separate apps for contacts and emails, now is the time to make the switch.