The key ingredient to closing more deals with less effort image

Usherpa Blog - The key ingredient to closing more deals with less effort

8/9/2018 - by Amanda McCombs in CRM Essentials

 You’ve heard it a million times, but you’re about to hear it again: Relationships are the key to success in the real estate and mortgage industry. Competition for customer loyalty is sky high in this field, and when it comes to their homes, people are picky about who to place their trust in. Building strong, lasting relationships with prospects, past clients, and business partners can be the difference between success and failure as a real estate agent or mortgage broker.

But you can’t just talk about building relationships — you have to walk the walk, too. Planting the seeds that will grow into a strong connection with your contacts means you have to get personal with each and every one of them. And who has time for that?

Luckily, you don’t need to be golf buddies with every one of your thousands of contacts in order to build those relationships. In fact, a well-managed contact database can plant those seeds for you, and even help you cultivate them without losing half your workday into contact management.

Is Your Data Clean?

Data is the bread and butter of your marketing efforts. But not just any data will do. If you’re working with bad data, you’re no better off than you’d be with no data at all. Unfortunately, cleaning up bad data is a famously unpopular task, even among those who do it for a living: A whopping 57% of data scientists say that cleaning and organizing data is their least favorite part of the job, which is particularly sad considering that the task makes up 60% of their work. Thankfully, cleaning up your data doesn’t have to be 60% of your job. If you bite the bullet and dedicate a little time to cleaning your database, all of your work will be easier.

“Bad data” is a broad term that simply refers to any data that is incorrect, unreliable, or disorganized. Correcting bad data is called “cleaning.” Having a clean database means that you can rely on your data’s accuracy and organization, so you can focus on what you’re doing with that data.

Not sure if bad data is hurting your contact database? It probably is. One survey showed that one in four records in the average database is inaccurate, and more than half of marketers say that bad data is an obstacle to their success. Here are a few ways bad data might be tripping you up:

  • It’s disorganized. Maybe data was entered in the wrong field, entered in the wrong format, or maybe you even have duplicate entries. All of these issues can make it hard to find the data you need.

  • It’s inaccurate. Typos, misspellings, and outdated data can easily lead to inaccuracies in your database. Not to mention that sometimes, you simply receive data that isn’t correct.

  • It’s missing. An empty field in your database doesn’t do you any good. There is certain key information that you should have for every single person on your contact list.

Cleaning up bad data should be a top priority when it comes to managing your contacts. Your database is useless if it isn’t clean!

Get Personal with Segmentation

Once your database is clean, you’re armed with a powerful tool for personalized online marketing. The next step is segmenting that clean database so that you can more effectively target your contacts with the kind of message they’ll connect with.

Segmentation is exactly what it sounds like: You split your contacts into groups, or “segments,” based on whatever criteria you find useful. This allows you to tailor your marketing efforts individually to each segment. Nobody likes being on the receiving end of a mass marketing campaign that they can’t relate to. Segmentation is key to making your marketing automation feel personal, even when it’s being delivered on a large scale.

There are infinite ways to segment your database. Which segments you choose will depend largely on how you want to manage your marketing, as well as on what information you have from your specific contact list. Segmentation can be broad and basic: For example, most people segment based on the type of contact. This means one segment for business partners, one for prospects, one for past clients, etc.

The more specific you get, the better targeted your marketing to each segment can be. Segmentation can get as personal and as detailed as you choose. For instance, if you know which of your contacts have kids, you can send out an email wishing them luck with the “back to school” chaos. Or, if you know which contacts like craft beer, you can shoot out a quick email letting them know about a new local brewery opening nearby. These kinds of thoughtful messages can remind your contacts that you’re thinking of them and always keeping their best interests at heart. Over time, this type of communication makes up the building blocks of a relationship that feels personal and well-intentioned. Here are a few other types of segments you can create to make it easy to connect with your contacts:

  • Favorite sports team

  • Hobbies (golf, camping, etc.)

  • Geographic location

  • Age

The more information you have on your contacts, the more effectively you can segment them.

Never Stop Gathering Data

As you can see, the more specific data you have, the easier segmentation is. But the most personal points of data aren’t the kind of thing you can mine remotely. Instead, learning about your contacts’ families, hobbies, and passions requires personal interaction. That means that any chance you get, you need to be gathering data.

Next time you’re on the phone with a contact, try working in some casual questions to get the ball rolling. “Do you have any kids?” or “Are you a football fan?” are easy questions to pepper into any call. Not only will this help your conversation feel more personal, but you can also take simple notes on any new information that comes up and enter it into your database later. Plus, next time you talk, it will impress your contact that you remember their family and ask how the school year is going, or that you recall their favorite sports team and bring up a recent game.

Choose the Right CRM

A well-managed contact database can save you plenty of time — but only if managing it doesn’t take all day. Ideally, you’ll work with a mortgage CRM software that saves you time rather than takes up even more of it.

The best mortgage CRM will have features like these:

  • Easy adoption. You shouldn’t have to lose time learning the ins and outs of a complex CRM. Instead, the ideal mortgage or real estate CRM will be insanely simple to adopt and start using.

  • Automated marketing. Your time can be spent in more valuable ways than scheduling batches of emails. A great CRM will handle all that for you, so you can stay focused on building those personal relationships that are so key to your success.

  • Up-to-date technology. Marketing and data technology has come a long way even just in the last few years. If your CRM is running outdated technology, you could be missing out on features and capabilities that your competitors are using to their advantage.

Being able to set up and maintain a clean, functional contact database is not optional in today’s mortgage and real estate industry. Your CRM should make that task easier, not harder. Make sure you’re working with the best software for the job.

An Organized Contact Database: the Foundation for your Success

At any given time, you’re competing for customer loyalty with any number of realtors and loan officers. What keeps you ahead of the crowd is your ability to build strong, personal relationships with each and every one of your past customers, prospects, and business partners. This year, if you use your data right, you can reap all the benefits of contact management without sinking the hours into the work.

Make Your Smartphone a Tool, Not a Distraction We’re Ready to Take That Mountain!