Using Your Contact Information to Build Relationships and Drive Business – Part 1

In my October 13th post, I gave some practical tips on how to gather relevant information on your contacts.  But learning about your contacts is just half of the equation.  The other half is to capture the information in your real estate CRM in an organized fashion, and to use that information to foster relationship building and gain real estate leads.

As you learn more and more about your contacts, and as the information in your contact management system expands, you’ll find it easier and more natural to keep in touch with your contacts because you’ll have a wide range of things to talk about that are relevant and meaningful to them.

Now that you’re getting to know your contacts as real people – not just names on a list – you’ll need to make a plan to keep in touch with them.  Developing this plan really starts with some database analysis and decision making.  First you should categorize your contacts by Contact Type such as Clients, Prospects, Personal or Business-to-Business:

  • Business-to-Business contacts are those people that you deal with strictly on a business basis.  Examples include other Agents, mortgage brokers, bankers, home inspectors, etc.
  • Personal contacts are really friends and family, or people you have a relationship with but you don’t expect to do business with them.
  • Prospects are people who you believe you have a realistic chance to do business with at some point in the future.
  • And Clients are those people who have agreed to use you as their Agent or who you’ve done business with in the past.

The reason it’s important to categorize your contacts is that one of the primary ways to segment keep in touch communications is by Contact Type.  The messages that are relevant to Clients are different than those that are relevant to Prospects; and the way you would speak to Clients or Prospects is likely different than the way you would speak to friends or business-to-business associates. When you’re sending out emails, writing letters, or drip marketing (which you can do all from IXACT Contact), you’ll be happy your contacts are categorized.

Dividing your contacts by Contact Type is important, but it’s still “contact management 101”.  In my next post, we’ll look at a “201” idea for taking your contact management to the next level…