In my tenure in commercial real estate, our firm has tried many data management systems for all the right reasons. Throughout this time we have: upgraded existing ones, bought new ones, imported data from other sources, and shopped for the ideal one countless times. This journey seems to be never ending and frustrating as we look for the panacea of client management systems. Each move we have made has been the next best step towards the summit of the peak where we can stick our flag into the ground and claim, “we have made it”. I am certain this is many in the CRE markets quest and I want to share a few practical tips of success that I have learned over the years. Hopefully, these ideas will begin to unlock the magic of a good database and its usefulness in building your brokerage.
1) First of all, there is no panacea! Client management is simply…discipline, discipline, discipline. This effort cannot be polished off or improved by latest and greatest state of the art system. You must dig deep and make it a part of your day, your routine, and your resolve.
2) Second, you must be comfortable with the system you are using. I will refer to this as competence. This is an area that makes the best of intentions with databases falter due to lack of confidence in working your way around the system. If you are uncomfortable, it is imperative that you either get training or request your firm provide it for you. Having confidence and an understanding will empower you to begin to make headway in your database.
3) Third, be consistent with the information. “garbage in garbage out”. Each system has a few nuances that help you to code or keyword clients in groups. This one area alone is the gold of the system. Would it make a difference in your marketing if you knew all the tenants in your market and could create a list of them with a few clicks to prospect in some way? Once you learn to harvest this list there are a number of modalities that you can utilize to “touch” prospects and clients.
4) Fourth, mobility is a huge asset with a database. With the database I currently use, the interface and syncing function across all of my devices is awesome! I save a lot of time with the ability to look up the contact info of clients in the database when mobile and away from the computer. I know that if I do the work of adding clients, vendors, prospects, etc… into my database, I can access them anywhere I am!
Last, the whole point of databasing is to be able to make money$$$. The skills and tools required are innate to many other areas of our lives we just need to transfer them to managing a huge asset of our business, CONTACT$. What system do you use? Please share any ideas that you have found helpful.