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Your Real Estate Database Sucks

September 24 2015

la database sucksWhen we contact agents interested in our CRM for the first time to see if our system would be a good fit for them, the number one thing they always tell us first is that their current CRM system sucks.

We've found that's only partly true. You see, part of what we do when we set up trials for prospective clients is take their existing database and import it into our system.

Sounds easy, right? If you said "yes," you'd be dead wrong. Most of the time, we find out that it's not the CRM they are using that sucks. It's their real estate database.

Today, I'm going to share with you the top three things we see wrong with agents' CRM databases so you can avoid these pitfalls and make sure your data is intact and AWESOME!

1) Your database is only as good as your willingness to fill out the fields in your contact record

This is one that always puzzles me. The law of averages says that when we come across an agent that wants to try our CRM, they send us databases that literally have a first name, maybe a last name, and then nothing more than an email--or, if we're lucky, a phone number.

They have no contact type, no physical address for the contact, no info about what type of home they are looking for, what type of home they have, or even any notes as to whether or not they've ever spoken with them before. This does not make for a good database.

Remember, not all CRM systems have all the fields you need or want. Some may have too many extra fields you will never use. Update your system and get rid of those fields. For those fields that aren't there that you need, remember that it is critical to customize your system and make sure that info is there.

The more comfortable you can make the look and feel of your contact record layout, the more likely you'll be to use it—and the more likely you'll be to make sure you've filled in EVERY field, making your database complete, and more valuable.

2) If you don't log your conversations and document upcoming tasks, there is NO REASON to have a CRM system at all

This is another one that puzzles me. If you aren't doing the things I've described above, you really don't need a CRM. You simply need to use something like Outlook, Mac Mail, Gmail or possibly Contactually.

The whole purpose of a CRM is to serve as a one-stop receptacle for everything there is to know or learn about your real estate practice. If you aren't keeping track of your calls, emails or upcoming tasks, you can never fully take advantage of a CRM solution you are subscribing to. You will fail and inevitably blame the CRM solution for not being a good one.

I get it. We're all proud. We want to think it's not us, but rather "them." Perhaps you are right. If your current solution is too clunky to do the things I've described above, it's time to switch to another. If it's not, and you simply haven't been doing these things, you'd be better off to own it, change your behavior, and get yourself on the road to database success.

3) If your database isn't connected to your third party lead sources, you're totally missing the boat

This is a common one that we even see our CRM subscribers submit support tickets for. Basically, they've signed up for the CRM and months go by, and they've never taken the time to set up integration with all their third party lead sources.

One of the primary reasons you should want to sign up for a real estate CRM is to automate your life and make it easier to do your day to day. If you don't have these leads automatically going into your CRM, you are doing yourself a disservice. Either you are going to get busy and forget to put them into your CRM, or you are going to get stressed out, always having to do the "busy work" of hand entering these leads. It shouldn't be like that.

So there you have it. Those are the three biggest reasons we find that make an agent's database suck. If you noticed, I said "part of the time" we find an agent's database sucks. That is because, unfortunately, there are some systems still out there that frankly don't cut it when it comes to the needs of today's agents and their technology requirements.

To view the original article, visit the Leading Agent blogLeading Agent blog.