Jack is a sales agent. He has 40 people come to view a property on Saturday. He collects 40 names, phone numbers and email addresses and his software registers those against the property listing in his CRM. He calls the owner with great news, that his marketing attracted 40 buyers for the property. Jack also has 40 new leads in his database, and 40 people to call back on Monday, which he does and he has 40 pieces of price feedback for the vendor.

Jack is very efficient and does everything he has been taught about data. He is not, however, being effective.

You see, if Jack had have spent some time qualifying those 40 people, he may have discovered that 30 were neighbours, 7 had just entered the market and were browsing, whereas 3 were finance approved and ready to progress in a sale process. Jack did not have 40 buyers through his open home. Jack had 10 buyers, of which only 3 were qualified. The data on a price that Jack received from at least 30 people, was noise. The data Jack gave to the vendor, was noise.

If Jack’s purpose was to identify buyer leads to sell the property and to present feedback from the current buyer cohort to the vendor then Jack has been very efficient but he has not been effective.

Jack, like many agents, has been working very hard and using technology to do a lot of activity, but that activity has not been geared to achieving the right goals.

How Do You Know If You Are Working Smart Or Hard?

We live in a data-rich world. Almost everything can be known via a smartphone search…and particularly in our software environments, there are seemingly endless reports available to quantify tasks, contacts and records. As our lives have become digital, they have also become measurable.

The dream was that we would have dashboard precision of business operations and reports, fat with juicy stats to assist us in making better, more informed, business decisions. But we aren’t living in that dream. We are living in a world of noisy numbers…and a lot of people feel that the noise we have from the excess numbers on our radar isn’t making things any more clear.

With such easy access to data thanks to software and apps, numbers have become something of a false god because data, without insight, is meaningless.

Check The Quality Of The Data That You Rely On.

Another way to look at it is like this. Adults are supposed to eat around 8000Kj of energy a day to live. You can hit that target pretty efficiently by eating 7 snickers bars. The data is right there on the packet – 1015 Kj per bar!

But by ignoring information about quality, you might find yourself with no energy for reasons that have nothing to do with the number of kilojoules in a snickers bar. You’ll be low on iron, low on essential vitamins and minerals and you will be tired from producing an excess of insulin hormone to digest 7 daily sessions of sugar.

Data, without analysis or deference to how that data came about, is meaningless, wasted noise. Beware technology and its gifts of data reporting. They are fat numbers – and oftentimes they exist to demonstrate the integrity of the software processes…not the integrity or the quality of your work process.

Smarter Data.

If your goal is to manage more relationships for business opportunities – don’t look at the number of people in your database, look at the number of people you have spoken to in the last 90 days – and then every ninety days since the relationship began.

If your goal is to list more homes, don’t look at how many ’sellers’ are in your database – that is a fat number. Look at how many appraisals are booked from that community in the next 90 days, and look at how many of those convert to listings to determine your opportunity share in the market.

If your goal is to sell more homes, don’t ignore buyer leads and don’t brag about how many buyers are in your database. That is a fat number…worse…it’s normally a default setting for new contacts in a CRM. Instead, look at how many buyers you are working with who are ready to make an offer on a property.

The goal is to be both efficient and effective: to do the right things, in the best way, and towards the right goals. If your results aren’t where you would like them to be, but you are working really hard, it might be time to check in HOW you are working and whether the activities that are keeping you so busy, are actually leading to the results you seek.

If you would like some more tips on how to work smart, not hard, your data management strategy is a good place to start.