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Guardian's Trusted Tools 3/29/2019 8:56:27 AM

Spring Clean Your Database

There’s a new obsession with decluttering that seems to be everywhere these days. We’re supposed to get rid of all the things that don’t “spark joy” so that we can get more out of the present. But does that same philosophy apply to the contacts in your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) database? Here are some tips to keep in mind as you clean your customer database and invigorate your business.

It’s all about relationships

When you think about what’s in your database, consider the bigger picture: Behind every name, number, or address is a real, live human being or company. And for each of those real people, there’s a relationship that you can either choose to nurture… or not.

Relationships with people ebb and flow. It’s completely normal for relationships to change over time as they go through dynamic and stagnant periods. As you look through your entries, don’t delete someone just because you haven’t been in contact within the last few years. According to a recent NAR report (National Association of Realtors), sellers typically live in their current home for nine years before selling. That gives you more time to reach out and put some energy into the contact, instead of hastily crossing them off your list.

Incorrect data is useless

Name typos? Bounced emails? Returned mail? It seems obvious, but your database is only as good as the data it contains. Keep track of returned emails and mail as they occur, and make the changes as you go. Get a colleague who’s good at proofreading to go over your contacts and look for any errors that might be mis-typed names or duplicates.

It’s not the case that more information is better; more correct information is better. And if you have a large database, you may even consider hiring a company that specializes in data cleansing (also known as “CRM hygiene”) to ensure that the data is uniformly formatted and consistently correct.

All about the clients

Organize your database with categories so that you can divide the list meaningfully according to the closeness of your relationship with that person or business. Use categories for birthday information, notes on hobbies, relative’s names, or children’s birthdates. Then send appropriate communications to specific categories that will generate positive interactions and emotions.

Ultimately, the point of a CRM system is that it’s a great tool to help you communicate to clients how much you value them. Whenever you send an email, post to social media, or mail a physical card, the focus should always be on the client and their needs. Consider your database to be a personal treasure chest of all the relationships that matter to you.

Cleaning your CRM system with regularity is a great way to reacquaint yourself with the relationships that build your business and enrich your life. Tidy up your contacts and spark the joy that an organized real estate database can bring!

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