Every agency has a CRM. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have several. Don’t laugh, if you’re reading this as a business owner, I challenge you to tell me that you have contact data in just one system. You don’t. No one does. In today’s segmented landscape of real estate technology solutions, chances are that you have customer data all over the place.
And if you’re like me, and believe that a real estate agency’s database is just as valuable as it’s rent roll, then you need to ensure that you are managing it properly.
So What Is A Data Management Strategy Anyway?
A data management strategy is simply a plan for how your business will grow, manage and use the data assets within your business. Like any good plan, it needs to include goals and a way of measuring your progress. My advice is to try and keep it as simple as possible.
A Data Management Strategy Is Not Segmentation.
There’s one red-hot tip to knowing if you have a data management problem – more contact categories (or tags) than contacts. So many agents and businesses try and segment their data to the most infinite degree. But for segmentation to work properly, you have to make sure it’s accurate. And this is where most people fall down.
Lot’s of segments means lots of maintenance and a ninja-level marketing strategy to be effective. Segmenting is fine to know “who” is in your database, but it doesn’t define “how” you are going to engage with them.
Also, a common problem is segmenting a contact without the appropriate data you need to service that segment. A classic example is to segment someone as a “potential seller” but not save the actual address of the property they own!
How To Measure Whether You Are Being Effective At Data Management?
You need to measure growth, quality and engagement. Growth is pretty easy, but what most people fail to recognise is data attrition. You need to recognise that you will lose contacts on an ongoing basis. Just like you lose managements from your rent roll, there will be natural attrition in your database of contacts. Make sure you are brutal at culling old/bad/useless data. Don’t be a data hoarder.
Quality is ensuring that the basics are there (eg. name, phone email etc), but also your quality needs to ensure that your segmentation is being managed properly. Eg. if you have a segment of “potential sellers”, then you must have an address against the contact for this to be of any real use to you later down the track.
Engagement can be a little more complex, but it does come down to how you are servicing each segment you have in your database. I would recommend that you commit to a quarterly personal 1-on-1 interaction with anyone that you put in any kind of “future business” segment. If you (or they) can’t commit to some sort of meaningful personal engagement once every 3 months it’s fair to see that either you or they, don’t see any real value in the relationship.
If all of this seems too hard, then I understand. The trick is to keep it simple and commit to your data for the long term. If you’d like us to help then just get in touch.