5 Ways to Optimize Your Database
Maximize what you already have to experience great gains in your business
A good database with names, phone numbers and email addresses is a gold mine to a real estate agent.
The better job you do of “mining” the database, the more gold you can extract from it.
The job of extracting profit from this index of prospects and clients can seem tedious and even painful, especially if you’ve been dumping leads into your CRM with wanton abandon.
However, with a good strategy and a few simple changes in how you manage your data, you can pull opportunities from your database on a consistent basis.
The best part is that none of it is hard or costs you a lot of money.
5 Things You Can Do to Optimize Your Database
Database optimization is neither rocket science nor brain surgery. The important thing to remember is that you must be consistent in how you input and manage the data on a day-over-day basis.
Here are a few strategies you can employ to make your database produce real business for you:
1) Lead Source
It seems like a pretty basic part of database management, but you’d be shocked at the number of agents who don’t even identify the lead source for the prospects/clients in their database.
Now, I’m not talking about identifying leads just as buyers or sellers, I’m also suggesting that you identify exactly where the lead was generated from - every time.
If you want to optimize your database, you need to know the following about your leads:
- Seller or buyer lead
- Past client or sphere
- Paid for or generated organically
- If paid for, which lead generation platform it came from
- Date lead was generated
Knowing this information allows you to mine you database more effectively when prospecting, sending out emails and texts and even for direct mail. The more detailed the source data is in your database, the more money you can extract.
In addition to that, it helps you with budgeting.
As you comb through your leads, you can see which sources are performing well and which ones aren’t. By knowing this information, you can stop spending money on those lead sources that don’t perform.
More importantly, you can see which inexpensive lead sources like email marketing, blogging, podcasts, videos, Facebook posts, etc. you can spend more time working on to get more leads for less money.
Once you have this information, you can put extra effort (and money) into those lead sources that get even better results.
You must know your lead sources if you want to get the best results out of your database.
The best way for me to demonstrate the value of a strong segmentation strategy is to liken it to going to the gun range.
An unsegmented strategy is like trying to fire a machine gun with one hand without looking at the target. You spray bullets everywhere - without purpose - without really hitting the target (but putting everyone and everything around you in danger)
Strong segmentation, however, is like a sniper, laying down and resting a rifle on a small tripod - with relaxed body and breathing in check - who’s locked in on the target using a high-powered scope.
Even if you’ve never fired a gun before, you know you’d be able to hit the target using the second approach.
What is Segmentation?
Segmentation is the act of subdividing the leads in your database into smaller groups that share similar characteristics, needs, or interests who are most likely to demonstrate similar selling and buying behavior.
Segmentation improves so many aspects of your conversion strategy from email open rates to customer loyalty, from better and faster responses to more sales and everything in between.
It's extremely effective in your overall marketing and sales strategy and it gives you a huge leg up in optimizing your database because it lets you speak to your clients and prospects in a manner that will have the greatest impact on and influence over them.
There are two main types of segmentation
- Explicit Segmentation: Characteristics of a lead or client that are given clearly to your business either through conversation, lead generation or buying behavior
- Implied Segmentation: Characteristics of a lead or client which are implied in their actions, demographics or purchase behavior
A few examples to make those a bit clearer:
Explicit segmentation is:
- Clients who bought or sold in the past year
- Leads who clicked on buying a home in a specific subdivision on your portal
- Prospects who live in a neighborhood your farming
Implied segmentation is:
- Clients who submitted a request for a home evaluation and might be interested in selling their home
- Prospects who signed up on your buyer portal but haven’t come back to look at houses in awhile
- Clients who bought a home from you who might want to buy an investment property
Segmentation takes time and work, but the results you get from being so targeted in your approach are absolutely worth it.
You’ve heard it before and I’m certain I’ve said it before, too: “Sales is a contact sport.”
The more contacts you make, the better your conversion will be - even on a terrible lead source.
By using a dialer with your database, you’re able to optimize your leads because you get in contact with so many more of them.
Here’s how powerful having a dialer for making calls can be:
Sales people that make their calls via manual dialing have a paltry average of 10-15 minutes of talk time per hour, the majority of which is spent (read: wasted) listening to busy signals, scheduling follow-up calls and even leaving messages.
Putting a dialer to work can increase talk times by as much as 200-300%. As a result, you’re more likely to make contact, create a nurture for future contact or set an appointment...all of which can lead to an increase in revenue.
Certainly, any dialer is better than no dialer, but if you can get a dialer that can call multiple lines at once, you’ll increase your contact and conversion results dramatically.
No matter what you choose, just make sure you’re using a dialer to optimize your database.
4) Next Action Dates
The biggest source of bleeding in most real estate companies is leads that are poorly followed up with after first contact.
This is unfortunate because the only way to stop the bleeding, further optimize your database and build a pipeline of solid leads is to make consistent contacts with your leads.
One of the ways you can ensure that your leads get the attention they deserve is to set a “Next Action” date after each contact is made.
A Next Action date is the day/time in the future that you’re going to make a follow up contact to a prospect that you are planning on nurturing for a possible sale.
Next Action dates not only keep you on top of your next prospects, they also help you determine what your pipeline looks like and when to expect a certain of volume of business on a month-over-month basis.
It’s a simple, but super-helpful strategy to keep things from falling through the cracks.
It’s also a great way to budget properly for your business as you create predictability in your sales and revenue for the future.
The key here is to not only set the Next Action dates, but also to make the calls and set subsequent next action dates for the future until the sale happens (for you or for another agent).
5) Follow-up plans/Calls to Action
Making phone calls, alone, is not sufficient to convert your leads at the highest level. You need a strategy to nurture the leads with whom you’ve already spoken and pique the interest of the people with whom you haven’t.
One of the best way to accomplish this outcome is by having follow-up plans in place that have good calls to action in them.
Included in this approach would be email follow-up campaigns, text message touch plans and even direct mail pieces.
Employing these strategies helps you optimize your database because it allows you to move the ball down the field - and stir up interest - with prospects and customers alike.
It’s easily one of the best ways to stay in contact with people over and above phone calls...for sure.
Most importantly, with the right messages and calls to action, you can get people you’ve reached out to using these plans to take action and reach back out to you.
And, if you use a good segmentation strategy as we discussed earlier, then you can be super targeted and even more effective by sending the appropriate message to the right prospect.
By putting these strategies in play on a consistent basis, you should be able to optimize your database and squeeze a lot more “nectar” from your database without a lot of seeds and rind.
The name of the game is taking action; persistent, consistent action...not spending a ton of money.
Make your calls, tag your leads properly, make sure you stay in contact between calls and be intentional in how you handle your leads in your database.
When you do so, you’ll get the most amazing results from your pool of leads.
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