How to reconnect with your database

The key to unlocking a real estate business with consistent commission income is to build a machine that produces a steady stream of listing opportunities. That machine is your database combined with a regular communication strategy.

How to reconnect with your database
Photo by Adam Solomon / Unsplash

"Database" {definition}: A place to store contact details that you will never look at again.

Otherwise known as: The place good contacts go to die.

Podcast version:

To subscribe to the show, search 'Agent Monday' on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts or any popular podcast app.

Picture this...

You've just found this epic content service called Agent Monday. You now have super-helpful articles to send to all those wonderful contacts on your database.

But some of those contacts haven't heard from you in months. Maybe years! Won't they be pissed off if you send them an email out of the blue?

Do you need to give your database a spring clean before you send them anything?

In this guide, we will answer these common questions and show you how to reconnect with the goldmine that is, your database.

Yes, your database is a gold mine

The key to unlocking a real estate business with consistent commission income is to build a machine that produces a steady stream of listing opportunities.

That machine: Your database combined with a regular communication strategy.

It's not rocket science. If the people on your database consistently receive high-quality information from you, they will see you as the local real estate expert and are most likely to think of you when they need the services of a real estate professional.

The more people you have on your database and the more often you contact them with useful information, the more listings you will have.

The key to making it work is leverage. If you have 1,000 people in your database it's hard to call them every fortnight, or even every month. If you have 20 working days in a month then you'll need to make 50 calls a day to maintain monthly contact. And that's assuming they answer the phone!

You need a communication system that allows you to keep in touch with a large number of people in as little time as possible. That way, you can spend most of your time working with your clients who are making decisions now (in person and over the phone), while your database provides a steady stream of future opportunities.

Related posts:

Agent Advice: How to grow your email newsletter list
Sending your company’s latest listings out once a week with no other content is simply not going to cut it. Most of the people on your database are probably not looking for a home right now, so you need to add more info to make sure there is something for everyone.
Digital Marketing Masterclass with Eran Malloch
Introducing our first guest on the Agent Monday Podcast! Eran Malloch has been part of our journey right from the start. As a digital marketing specialist based in Perth, Australia, Eran helps his clients secure listing leads online, using Facebook, Google, Youtube and Blogs. He then helps his clie…

Now that we have our 'why' let's look at the 'how'

The number one rule with effective databasing is: keep it simple.

Your aim is to build a business where you are selling as many houses as you can handle. When that happens, you won't have time to manage 27 different database groups. You won't have time to send each group tailored communication that is specific to their needs. Many agents start out this way wanting to please everyone, but it's hard to maintain. The end result will be less consistent communication once you get busy which is the last thing we want.

What's the answer?

Send one email to everyone on your database, at least once per fortnight.

Everyone on your database who hasn't already unsubscribed gets exactly the same email, sent in bulk.

Consider this your catch-all strategy. If you want to communicate on a more frequent level with potential sellers, or hot buyers, or investors, then that's great. But everyone on your database should get at least one email from you, every 2 weeks. No matter who they are.

Consider it a billboard that every one of your contacts drives past on their way to work, reminding them that you are in real estate and you are good at what you do.

For anyone who owns property in your area (or aspires to buy one), a fortnightly communication with useful real estate guidance and local sales info is not excessive communication.

Related post:

How often should I email my database?
If you email more often, you will get unsubscribes. But this is counter-balanced by the benefit you’ll receive by keeping in touch more often with clients who are open to receiving your message.

Sending that first email

If you haven't contacted your database in a long time, then prepare yourself to get a lot of unsubscribes when you send your first newsletter.

Unsubscribes are helpful. They are your database cleaning itself.

Consider measuring success this way:

Work out the total number of people who opened your email and didn't opt-out of future emails. Consider those the opposite of unsubscribes. Consider their inaction as validation that you should keep in touch.

If you send 1,000 emails and 100 people unsubscribe, you could understandably feel a little heartbroken, or worry that you have upset people.

Let it go. Those 100 people probably weren't going to list with you anyway. And the good news is, 900 people didn't unsubscribe!

Related post:

Agent Advice: Don’t fear UNSUBSCRIBES
Letting unsubscribes stop you from emailing your database is like letting one negative reaction at an open home stop you from running open homes forever.

What your first newsletter should look like...

The key content pieces are:

  • Agent Monday article. Start with a fairly generic one like 'How to buy a home'. Use the headline of the article as your email subject. From then on out, switch up the article to a different topic every week, rotating between content focused on sellers, buyers, investors and homeowners. Scroll to the end of this post for a list of safe, generic articles to send out in your first newsletter.
  • Local recent sales info. Add 2-3 recent sales (text only is fine). Simply state the street name, features (3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms) and a sale price. If you are nervous about giving out prices, use a sale price range instead. Eg. 'sold in the mid $700's'. Buyers love this as it helps them understand the market. It also adds value because you are providing them with information they can't find anywhere else (yet).
  • Local community info. Talk about your favourite cafe one week, your favourite local plumber the next. You don't need to write much, one or two sentences are fine. Consider it a 'shout-out' to people in your area who you enjoy working with or chatting to.
  • OPTIONAL: A quote of the week / a recipe or other useful online links. You can't go wrong with helpful content that is likely to be of use to your audience.

You don't need to do everything on the list above. Simply sending an Agent Monday article out regularly is a perfectly adequate solution. If you don't have your own blog or website, just copy and paste the article text into your email sender.

The entire email can be plain-text, just like this one. We aren't aiming for fancy, we are aiming for interesting, quick and helpful.

TIP: Plain-text emails are less likely to end up in your contact's spam folder.

Notice I haven't mentioned your latest listings. You can include your listings in the email if you want but it's not essential. Most of the people on your database probably won't be looking for a home right now. If you focus on the newsletter being about your 'latest listings' then it gives you another reason to procrastinate on sending it out when you don't have any new listings!

Instead, you could include a link to your 'house of the week'. This could be any property that your company has listed or just one you spotted online that looked cool. It doesn't matter if the listing isn't under your name. The point is not to find a buyer for that property. The point is to position yourself as the go-to real estate expert for every single person on your database.

How to make your email newsletter stand out
You can only call so many people in a day. Email newsletters let you keep in touch with thousands of people, while you work closely with your clients who are making moves right now.

What about the introduction?

If you haven't been in touch with some of your contacts in a long time, then how do you 'introduce' the email?

Here is a script to get you started...

"Hi there,

Your time is valuable so I appreciate you opening this email.

It's all about helping you make smart real estate decisions. Every few weeks, we'll share tips for homeowners, buyers and sellers, along with a few recent sales to keep you in the know.

If you have a property question, or would like to chat about the market, please get in touch. I am here to help."

That's it. Keep it simple, keep it real, keep it short. You don't need to explain why you haven't been in touch. Just focus on the value you can add moving forward.

What not to do

When it comes to reconnecting with your database. Here are a few traps to avoid:

  • Don't send those stupid emails saying 'please update your details'. Don't waste my time with that stuff.
  • Don't freak out when you get 50-100 unsubscribes the first time you send a bulk email.
  • Don't add people in bulk to your database if you don't have their permission, like community groups you are part of. Your database is for open home visitors, past clients, future clients, past appraisals, local contacts. People who you have personally met.
  • Don't use "I don't have any listings" as an excuse not to send a regular email newsletter.
  • Don't convince yourself you need to do something crazy like phoning every contact before you email them. That is what I call 'putting hurdles in the way of your own success'.
  • Don't tell yourself you need a fancy email template. Many of the best email newsletters in the world are plain text with no photos.
  • Don't worry about the number of people on your database. It doesn't matter whether your first email goes to 50 or 5,000 people. Just make a start.
  • And I repeat: Don't split your database into 17 different groups that you won't be able to manage effectively once you get busy. Keep it simple.

NEXT STEP: Set a date to send your first email newsletter.

Better yet, get it out today if you can!

For more on keeping your marketing simple, check out this guide:

Agent Advice: A simpler way to think about marketing yourself
In case you are new to Agent Monday, be sure to check out our most popular advice guides: 9 ways to turn your last sale into more listing opportunitiesListing refresh checklist - how to generate more buyer enquiryHow to write compelling property advertsAdvice on hiring personal assistantsHow to make…

Article options for your first email newsletter:

Feature Article 54 - How to buy a home
Have you found a home you love but you’re not sure what to do next? This guide will help you move forward. Every property is different, but there are some standard rules you can follow that will help you make smart, informed decisions.
Feature Article 51 - Five tips for a drier, warmer, healthier home
The exclusive content club for real estate professionals. We give you educational info to share with your audience and teach you how to use it to grow your business.
Feature Article 48 - How to work out what a house is worth
The exclusive content club for real estate professionals. We give you educational info to share with your audience and teach you how to use it to grow your business.
Feature Article 44 - Do agents still help buyers find houses?
The exclusive content club for real estate professionals. We give you educational info to share with your audience and teach you how to use it to grow your business.
Feature Article 40 - How to avoid overcapitalising when renovating your home
If selling is a possibility, then choosing which parts of your home to renovate can make a massive difference to your end result. Sadly, many owners spend money on changes they don’t have to, chewing up energy, time and finances in the process.
How to avoid buyer’s remorse when purchasing a home
To help you avoid slipping into the mire of buyer’s remorse, here are some tips to keep your head in the game and approach the home-buying process with emotion and logic.
7 Tips to get your mortgage application approved
Are you planning to apply for a mortgage in the near future? If so, there are steps you can take in advance to increase your chances of getting a YES from the bank.
Five ways to add value to your home this weekend...
As an Agent Monday subscriber you can use this article any way you like: In your email newsletters, on your website, on social media. Wherever you need useful content to help you keep in touch with your audience.
5 Minor Home Improvements that Add Major Resale Value
This week’s feature article is all about little renovations that give you big bang for your buck. Great content to share with current and future homeowners alike.