A question I get asked a lot is, “How do I get the agents on my team to use the database?”
In fact, we discussed this very topic at our last admin mastermind in our office. What we discussed is that there are just a couple of ways to handle this.
Admin Is Responsible for the Database
The first way is to not require the agents to use the database. It’s there if they need it, but they are not required to enter anything, nor are they required to check it.
So what’s the point the having a database? The agents have to follow up with their prospects, and they have to lead generate for new business by making connections with their sphere and past clients, right?
Yes, that is true. That’s why the admin is responsible for the database in this scenario. The admin can print a list of people and phone numbers for the agents to contact that day. The agent takes notes of who he or she spoke with, gives the notes to the admin at the end of the day, and the admin is responsible for updating the database.
Agents can give the admin new leads to add to the database in the format of an electronic or paper form. This post will show you how to create a Google form, or you can download this simple Lead Sheet.
I will tell you right now though, that this model is not sustainable. It will work for a single admin working with one to three agents, but beyond that it just doesn’t make sense to have the admin completely responsible. It’s inefficient to print information and then go back and enter the agent’s info and notes back into the database. Why make two people responsible for the information on a daily basis when it could be just one person?
Agents Are Responsible for the Database
The second way is to empower and encourage the agents to use the database.
First and foremost, there needs to be an understanding of why the database is important, and what benefits the agents receive by using the database. Here are some talking points you can use with your agents:
- When your buyer’s information is in the database, you don’t get interrupted by me when I have to ask you for it.
- Your clients get better customer service when the information is in the database. I don’t have to ask them questions I should already know the answer to when the info is in the database.
- The database is programmed with specific activities you can use to interact with your sphere and past clients so you’ll never have to try to figure out what to do next.
- The lead agent is paying for mailings and events, but we can’t send things to your sphere and potential clients when their info is not in the database.
- You won’t get calls, emails, and texts from me asking you to do things. Everything will be in the database so you only have to check one system.
- When you go on vacation, you won’t have to worry if your clients are being taken care of. Everything will be in the database so another agent can take over for you.
When you have agent buy-in, and they agree to use the database and enter the information you’re asking for, that’s not the end of the problem. The agents will inevitably forget what they are supposed to be doing. The database is not their one thing. It is not their highest priority so they will not commit to memory exactly what they’re supposed to be doing with it.
You will need to inspect what you expect on a daily and weekly basis. You will need to remind them often to put information in the database. If they aren’t following the standard, you will need to gently remind them what the standard is.
Still to this day, I feel like a broken record when I say to my agents, “Yes, I can do that. Please set up a task for me in the database.” I am guilty sometimes of letting my guard down and letting them get away with asking me to do something in person or through text, but consistency really is the key here if you want everyone following the system of using the database.
I have a standard practice of looking at every new contact entered into the database on a weekly basis. I make sure there are notes, contact information, a lead source, the right tags, and a next activity assigned. If any of those things are missing, I set up a task in the database for the agent to enter that information.
Depending on how big your team is and how many new contacts are entered every week, you may need to examine the database in depth more often such as twice weekly or even daily.
Second, the mandate to use the database has to come from the lead agent. If the lead agent isn’t going to use the database and is not leading by example, it will be extremely difficult to get the other agents on the team to buy into the fact that they should be using the database themselves.
Our team’s standard is that new leads get put into the database and there is always a next activity assigned. The next activity can be part of an action plan or work flow, but there must be a reminder of some kind so that no one falls through the cracks. The fortune is in the follow up.
I highly recommend giving it your best effort to get the agents using the database. The teams that grow the fastest and make the most money are the ones with the most efficient systems and the database is truly the foundation of all your real estate systems.