Any successful real estate agent will tell you that having a high-functioning database is key. But like clothes in a closet, contacts can pile up over time, leaving you with a disorganized and dysfunctional database.
If your database is in dire need of a makeover, tidying expert Marie Kondo offers inspiration and practical advice for tidying up. Her Netflix special, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, and two best-selling books lay out the principles of her decluttering process, the KonMari Method™.
Here’s how to make it work for you.
COMMIT TO TIDYING UP
Kondo knows that organizing can be long and tedious work and long and tedious work can easily slip off your to-do list. So before you set out to organize your database, recognize the importance of the task at hand and commit to the process. If you’re tempted to kick the can down the road, Gary Keller, CEO, co-founder and chairman of Keller Williams, offers a strong reason to reconsider.
“Your database your business,” he writes in The Millionaire Real Estate Agent. “To succeed at a high level in real estate sales, you must commit to frequent contact with a database with the intent of building close relationships.”
Consistent, effective communication is impossible if you don’t know who you are communicating to. When you commit to organizing your database, you commit to improving your business.
VISUALIZE THE DESTINATION
Before you begin organizing, Kondo advises you close your eyes and visualize where you want to be. If your database is split between several Excel spreadsheets, your cell phone and CRM, aim to have all of your contacts housed in one place (like Command) by a specific date. Imagine what this would look like for you!
The Contacts application within Command – KW’s real estate specific operating system built in house – has a growing list of capabilities that allow you to foster a deeper relationship with your sphere. With Command, you can:
- Add/update contacts with a simple voice or text command.
- Subscribe contacts in your database to neighborhoods they care about the most.
- Stay connected to your database with automated touches.
TIDY BY CATEGORY, NOT LOCATION
If your contacts are sprawled across locations, don’t worry. Ignore your current organizational structure and focus your efforts on finding commonalities between your contacts so you can place them into categories. Once you are confident about the broader categories you’d like to organize your contacts into, create groups in Command and begin assigning contacts to them.
You have the ability to add a contact to as many group as you want, and there is no limit to the number of groups you create. To really set yourself up for success, add tags to your contact so you can quickly place your contact in the appropriate group(s) and pull them up at the right time. The possibilities are endless!
“Contacts has the ability to add custom fields, such as favorite sports teams, and classify contacts as specific as a step-grandparent so you always know who is connected to a client. I have no limit on how I can classify every single contact. I can add limitless relationships. It’s unbelievable.” – Julia Hurley, Lenoir City, Tennessee
ASK, DOES THIS SPARK JOY?
Think about the little things that bring you happiness. Maybe it’s getting a new haircut, hearing your puppy scurry to the door to greet you when you get home from work or seeing a positive review come in from a satisfied client. This is the joy Kondo encourages everyone to look for as they sort through their things. As you sort through the contacts in your database, you will inevitably come across names that do not spark joy for your business. Some may even induce dread. If is the case, it is okay to let the contact go.
Reasons for immediately removing a contact from your database:
- Your experience with the client was toxic.
- The contact asked you to do something unethical and/or illegal.
DON’T GIVE UP!
We know you may be thinking, “this is far too much work!”. But think about all the opportunities and profits lost because of a disorganized database. Organizing your database now will have huge payoffs in the future. Don’t go at it alone. Put Command to work!