You've Got Time to Catch Up, Now.
So, Tune Up Your Database,
and Your Real Estate Business.
Whether you are in a market where real estate agents are considered essential employees or not, I am sure you have a little extra time each day to apply to grow and improve your business and it’s processes.
Since most everything is closed we’ve all got some found time, once you’ve exhausted Netflix and Hulu, it’s time to stop procrastinating and get to business building. Many of us have made promises to ourselves, and our businesses, for years about the masterful improvements we would like to make “someday when we have time.” Guess what? That time is now, so let’s get you busy now so you can be even busier when the consumers flood back into the market.
Right now, we’re seeing plenty of activity at a national level, but some localities are on lock-down. The need for housing doesn’t change, and while we do see some negative impacts on the economy, some business sectors are booming, which means those sectors will have people looking to leverage the interest rates and programs that are and will be available as incentives to purchase real estate.
Where do I start?
Figuring out where to start is frequently the hardest part of any planning and organization, that first step is always the most difficult. You just need to jump into the process. We’ll walk you through a few of the best practices.
5 Tips to Tune Up Your Business
- Update your database (or, if you don’t have one, build your database).
Check your contacts, verify the information is still accurate. Use your MLS resources and public records to check that your contacts are still where you expected them to be.
Not sure if you have the right phone number? Make a quick call just to say hello and check-in, it’s a great time to touch base out of genuine concern (and that helps to verify your contacts).
- Missing Information for Contacts?
This is the perfect time to fill in those blanks. Make sure you have up to date information for housing anniversaries and even relationship information.
You can always subscribe to an information service if you don’t want to call your clients to verify the information. Services like Spokeo aren’t expensive and provide a lot of information.
- Organize Your Computer.
Think of your computer as your old-style filing cabinet. How well it is organized is going to have a direct impact on how well your business functions. If you have everything saved on your desktop, it’s time to build an organized file system (we’ll go into that in an upcoming post).
Start by creating a directory called “Real Estate Business.” Within that directory create sub-directories such as Closed, Active, Leads, Current Transactions, and so on. Then you can start organizing your client files within those.
- Update Your Profiles.
No matter where you have a profile, it needs to be updated. The easiest approach is to keep a spreadsheet (within your Real Estate business directory) on your computer with each profile and a direct link to your account information. Then do an audit of all those accounts to make sure you have current information.
Be sure to add a casual photo of yourself, one that is approachable and real, not a staged photo or one that’s been overly retouched. If you don’t use an account, put a note on the profile telling people where you’re most active so they can find you. Be sure to update your LinkedIn profile, it’s really a great way to be found when buyers check you out online.
- Google Yourself.
Do it, and dig deep. It’s time for a super deep dive into your Google search results. Check every link out, and verify the information. It would be advisable to go at least 10 pages deep, and even a few variations of your name spelling, and put your name into quotation marks for a search. You might be surprised what you find, some surprises will be good, some might be bad, but at least you can take action if need be.
- BONUS TIP! Create Video Content for YouTube.
If you don’t have a YouTube channel, build one, then get out there and start filming your local area. Create neighborhood tours you can share with clients, maybe even preview a few shopping centers. Create virtual tours that people can view to learn more about your area.
If you take the time to set up your YouTube channel properly, and then add this kind of content you’ve created your own lead generation gold. YouTube is owned by Google and is an incredibly popular search engine with GenX, GenZ, Millennial's, and even younger folks who rely upon it.
Focus on the micro-local, not the hyper-local (again, another post for another time) when creating content. Build searches and content that would be appealing to locals, who know the area, then you will attract those buyers who are familiar or becoming familiar.
Smart Investments in You.
If you invest the time in yourself, and your business, you will see a great ROI. If you have a team, be sure to look at your business as though it were a “Franchise.” Create a binder detailing the operations of each aspect of your business, and then use that as your business plan and playbook. If you haven’t considered it, realize that a strong residential real estate practice does have resale value when you decide to call it quits, or relocate to another market.
It’s not an uncommon practice to list a real estate business with a business broker. There have been a lot of great successes in brokering existing books of business when done carefully. Typically those deals involve a down payment upfront, and continuing profit sharing until the total agreed-upon amount has been paid. This also means you want to carefully screen the candidates to purchase your business because you’re also betting on their success.
Of course, if you just don't have the time or bandwidth, between work, family, responsibilities and the need to binge hulu or netflix, then of course we can help, check out the Happy Grasshopper Healthy Database Checklist, and take control of your database!
How have you made improvements to your business during the COVID-19 lockdowns? Share those with the community in the comments section below!
If you have a topic you would like us to address, please feel free to comment below.