Real estate is a high churn industry. People come and go all the time. Both in and out of the industry, but also in and out of different businesses.
While they are working for your business, they are building relationships and growing a database using your brand and systems.
But inevitably, most agents will move on. Either out of the industry altogether or as a competitor.
Either way, there are a couple of best practices when it comes to dealing with an agent’s data when they leave.
“Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.” – Sue Grafton
Don’t be tempted to dump one agent’s relationships on another.
Especially if the agent receiving the data has enough data of their own already. Another agent’s data is effectively a cold database. Especially in the eyes of the agent receiving the data. Call reluctance is at its highest when there is fear about what might happen when you make the call. Even the most hardened prospectors will always prefer calls to people they know, over those they don’t.
If you have an agent that doesn’t have an established database, then it might be ok to do a full handover, but in most cases, if you do want to try and handover the relationships, do it one by one as part of a call session. Give the agent the ability to transfer the ownership, but only after they’ve had a chance to say yes or no to the incoming data.
Start building a centralised data asset
The best thing to do is to consolidate the exiting agent’s data against a centralised user in the CRM. This can either be in the name of a non-selling principal, an administrator, or a dedicated user set up for this purpose.
This helps create a clear segment of data that can be redistributed across the business as necessary. Unfortunately, it’s rare to have a spare agent just sitting around that can make use of the exiting agent’s data straight away.
So until you can build the capacity in the team to take on the new load, make sure you add a category before you transfer ownership of the data with the agent’s name. This allows you to easily identify where the centralised data originated from. This makes it much easier to reallocate down the track and also assists the receiving agent know the context of who the relationship was with, even if there are no other indicators (eg. notes).
Embed your centralised data in your recruitment and onboarding processes
Once you have a centralised data asset, you can use it to strategically recruit agents into your business.
Everyone knows real estate is hard work. But the best recruits have a hard work ethic, and a curiosity to know how your business can help them get up and running faster than your competition.
Enter your centralised data. 70% of agents do not don’t have enough data to fill up 30 minutes of prospecting on a regular basis. As a result, they are forced to spend a significant proportion of their early days/weeks/months/years building that asset.
If you can evidence a data asset that will help them get up to speed quicker, then you’re a step ahead. It’s a proof point that will only become more critical in the future.
A High-Level Process
Here are the steps to take when an agent exits your business and leaves data behind.
- Select, or create, your centralised data user. This is the user that will be the “holding account” for your centralised data.
- Search for all contacts where the existing agent is the Primary Owner of the contact (some CRMs call this the FPOC or Contact Owner)
- Apply a category or tag of the agent’s name. Most CRMs allow you to do this in a bulk update.
- Transfer ownership of those contacts to your centralised data user. Again, most CRMs allow this to be done via a bulk update.
- Deactivate the existing agent’s user.
- Once transferred, search for any high priority contacts within the old agent’s data. In particular, any pipeline category contacts and ensure that these are distributed appropriately within the team for immediate actioning.
Here’s what to do when someone starts in your business
- Set up your new agent’s CRM user.
- Identify the new agent’s core focus areas.
- Agree on how much outreach they are going to do in the first 90 days of being in the business. You can use a rough rule of 20 contacts per 1 hour of outbound prospecting. Therefore if they are going to be doing 1 hour a day, for the first 30 days (approx 20 week days), then you will need to find at least 400 contacts to fill up this time.
- Search for contacts owned by the centralised data user, in the new agent’s core markets and only transfer enough data to support the agent for the first 30 days.
- At the end of the first 30 days, search for the contacts owned by the new agent that have not been updated in the last 30 days. This will tell you whether they should get more data or not, and is a good indicator whether they’ve made the most of contacts you’ve already allocated before giving them more.
- Repeat this process until you notice that the agent starts to struggle with maintaining their data. They have reached their organic capacity.