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ABC - Building blocks of your real estate database

Industry Observer with Retired

Growing your real estate sales means mastering your “book of business.”  You should have a goal to grow your database each year. 


Original content by Jeff R. Geoghan

Growing your real estate sales means mastering your “book of business.”  You should have a goal to grow your database each year. In almost every one-on-one session I do with an agent, I bring up this topic.

Agents tend to focus on marketing vs. prospecting (as I did as an agent... no judgement here). When I'm sitting with an agent or especially a team leader, I try to postpone that "shiny toy" conversation for a few minutes in favor of talking them through the idea that they're building something... so why don't we look at what they have built so far and what might their 2017 etc goals be? "Oh, so it looks like you have about 156 people in your database? Let's shoot for 350 by June 30th!" Once we frame the agent's target audiences, we can much more effectively think through targeting approaches to marketing to them and setting prospecting goals.

I have found it helpful and enlightening to the agents to break this "database" into three groups, or buckets. By dropping each prospect and contact into a bucket allows us to visualize where to apply prospecting and marketing plans.

So here's my groups.

The "A" List
WHO: Your “A” list consists of family, close friends, past customers and clients. Basically people who, if you called or texted, would respond with “hi” back and know your name.
APPROACH: Set a schedule of touchbase calls, “pop bys”, handwritten notes etc. Ask them for referrals to others.

GOAL: Ensure everyone in this group is clear on who you are and is open to recommending you to their own spheres. In the end, our ultimate goal is a huge, engaged "A" list that will recommend us to others over the lifetime of our real estate business.  And then we can sell our list to another agent and retire to Belize!


The "B" Players

WHO: Friends who you see around but don’t know their names, people from church, the soccer club, chamber mixers. The “B” group represents your biggest potential for growth in your book of business.

APPROACH: Ask for their name! Get business cards. The key here is to add these people to your CRM and set them on an email campaign at the very least.

GOAL: To move these people into your “A” list over time.

I believe that our "B" lists are our biggest opportunity - the people we pass by every day and fail to stop and connect with.  and wouldn't that be a fun way to make the days go by?


Now you "C" 'em, now you don't

WHO: These are your “non-person” prospects – web leads, open house guests make up most of the “C” group. You may not even have a name. They ignore you when you call.

APPROACH: These may be listing leads or leads you are buying online. After calling or texting, be sure to add them to an InTouch “Listing Alert” for the home criteria they showed interest in. Plus a generic email campaign.
GOAL: feed them automated stuff until they unsubscribe or surface as real people who want more info from you.

I never cease to be amazed at the agents who have paid Zillow or some other lead generator tons of money for months and years and who never circle back and organize their "C" list.  This is literally $$ left on the table... Every "C" is a potential "A" with all the future business possibilities that come with it. 

There are many other ways to organize your database and lots of other coaches have their own systems of course. This simple "ABC" approach works for me in my agent discussions.

Joan Cox of Metro Brokers reminded me of something - every organized agent will have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) where they've added their database, grouped by "ABC" in addtion to any other groupings they might like.  Our company offers Market Leader to our agents, and I also like Follow Up Boss and Top Producer.


Growth is the goal!




Posted by

Roy Kelley, Retired, Former Associate Broker, RE/MAX Realty Group

Gaithersburg, Maryland  

Comments (5)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Thanks for this one. I don’t really think of myself as having a grand database. I don’t really use that language but it’s definitely there. :

Feb 25, 2024 02:54 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
Howard Hanna RE Services, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Great message Jeff and Roy. Thanks for sharing!!!

Growing your real estate sales means mastering your “book of business.”  You should have a goal to grow your database each year. 

Feb 25, 2024 04:29 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Please be sure to leave comments at the original blog post by Jeff R. Geoghan

Feb 25, 2024 04:58 AM