Do you have a database? A database populated with all those people you’re meeting and going to sell houses to? Now, I know that sounds like a ‘too basic’ question. However, I estimate less than 5% of agents under a year in the business even have a ‘purged’ (up to date) database! And, I estimate less than 25% have even any sort of populated database. How are they gathering and managing all those contacts they are getting from their lead generation? They aren’t–or they aren’t lead generating.

Social Networking Sites have Taken the Place of Databases, Carla–You old Fuddy-Duddy…..

I know. You just love social networking. You could spend hours on it (in fact, you do). You go to all those classes on social networking, and, by golly, you know more about it than your manager. Don’t get too cocky yet. There are two problems you’re creating for yourself by relying on social networking:

1. You are probably spending too much time at your computer and not enough time meeting real people and forming relationships. Remember, buying a home is not like buying a set of knives. You’ll have to work hard to establish a trusting relationship. Most of us aren’t good enough at writing to do that without finally meeting someone.

2. You are not gathering your future goldmine–your database full of people who are going to love you and what you do. Think of it this way:

Your database is your goldmine of business.

Who do you ‘Own’?

Here’s the problem with relying on the social networking sites to keep track of your potential clients. You don’t own them. The social networking site could go out of business. It could start charging you. It could sell your contacts.  That’s why you need to ‘own’ those contacts in your own database. Now, you can create a marketing plan. You can communicate with those people on a schedule.

Start and Populate your Database Intensely

You’re a newer agent. You want to make money fast. You want to establish a solid long-term career. Become a ‘database freak’ so that you can remember all those wonderful people you met. Lead generation is the most important part of the sales business. Doing a lot of it assures high income. That means tracking all those people you meet. It takes more than one communication to create a loyal client.

I Can’t Spend Money on a Contact Management Program Right Now….

Okay. I could tell you that you’ll lose much more money by putting off creating that database. But, I won’t. Instead, there’s an easy, short-term answer:

Use Outlook.

I’ll bet you have Outlook on your computer. Or, look at the free or inexpensive contact management programs some title companies are offering as support for real estate agents. As you get more comfortable with databases, you can go to a fancier contact management system (be aware, though, that many agents buying or leasing those systems never learn to use them…..)

The big message is: No matter what you use–use something to keep and organize those contacts.

An Overall Solution to Managing and Marketing to your Contacts

I love the program my friend Frank Jurado created, because it’s very affordable–and really an ‘all in one’ marketing and database management. Check out  Red Tools.

New Agent Key to Success: Right Priorities

Those of you who have used Up and Running in 30 Days to start your careers know that I have worked hard to prioritize your business for you so that you are successful quickly, and gain business management habits for life. I’ve prioritized types of business, best sources of leads, and all the activities you’ll do to get started quickly. I want you to prioritize your technology activities, too. Remember, you’re a salesperson.

Become that database freak and see your business develop quickly.