Mistake #1: They shotgun the approach.
The reality is, there are more “good ideas” than you can possibly execute. As agents, we do too little of any one thing to have it actually work. Everything screams for our attention and our actions get diluted. What’s a body to do?
First, have everyone’s name in a place you can find it and take/add notes. Honestly, I ran my over 70 transaction per year business using (wait for it)… Excel. Seriously. Now, I don’t recommend that and yet, anything is better than nothing. We spend so much time looking for the perfect CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. Know the secret? The perfect one is the one you’ll use.
I’ve been teaching real estate agents since the early 90’s. I have created the habit of asking “how many people in this room have said ‘this is the year I clean up my database?’” The hands of virtually every agent who has been licensed longer than a year raises their hand. So how to tackle this?
The way I like to approach this (and pretty much anything else) is to break the project into bite-sized pieces. Here’s my step-by-step for you.
Collect all the names of everyone you know. Look in your phone, Facebook, your email system, those sticky notes you have stuck to your computer, and slips of paper or backs of envelopes.
Put them into some sort of program where you can see what information you have and what you have missing. For this, I really like Excel. Use more columns than you think you need. Here is a Microsoft article about the easy ways to organize your Excel sheet.
After making sure you have borders between every line, PRINT the whole thing out – on paper. When you have it on paper, you can quickly discern who has complete information and who has missing information. This is critical.
4. Find Your CRM.
Choose your CRM that you’ll use. If your brokerage has one, great. If you like one of the commercial one, great as well. It doesn’t matter, just be sure that whichever one you use, YOU own the data. Some brokerages have in teeny, tiny print that any name you enter in “their” system, they own. If you ever change brokerages, you can’t take those with you. Not cool.
Starting in the middle of the alphabet, tackle just 2 letters per week. So, the first week, everyone whose name starts with M and N. First, be sure you are friends on social media (if appropriate). Gather all the information you can there. Then, call them and do a FORD call (Family, Occupation, Recreation and Dreams). As you call them, enter them into your database. Since you have your printed list, you know what questions to ask to fill in the blanks. One secret here: When you ask a question, people naturally answer.
Using the F-O-R-D pattern removes your ego by making the conversation about the other person. It lends versatility to all of the 4 personality styles.
6. Get to Work.
Keep working your way to the ends of the alphabet. It will take 13 weeks to do it this way. Why go this slowly? So you have something really usable when you’re done!
When you need help, or a step-by-step plan, know you can count on us at Real Estate on Purpose to help. Next week: Mistake #2 – They listen to the loudest or most confident sounding person in the room.