Building a better database

by 13 Dec 2016

I know my database should be larger, but I never seem to find the time to put it together. I even have previous customers from previous companies I am not keeping in touch with. I have been in the industry for over 10 years, but my database is just 350 contacts. I have closed more loans than that.

--Bill from Wisconsin

This is a question I get again and again from real estate agents and loan officers. The average database should be thousands, but it typically is a few hundred. The opportunities you are missing are tremendous in this regard. To frame my answer, I am going to start by giving a foundation of concepts and then I will elaborate more next week. Here are the concepts:

·         First, your database should not be just a database of your previous customers, it should be a compendium of your entire sphere.

·         You have databases all around you – from your cell phone to your business card file.

·         Do not cull your database. Move contacts out only when they are deceased. You will prioritize marketing actions to the contacts, but not eliminate those which are not prioritized.

·         You must have the technology you need, which means a powerful CRM system. You can't market to your database using sticky notes or even Outlook.

·         You will achieve the numbers you need one step at a time. Five contacts a day inputted means 1,200 in a year and 12,000 in ten years. Compare these numbers to yours and you can see the chasm.

We will go deeper within these concepts next week.

--Dave Hershman

Dave Hershman has been the leading author and a top speaker for the industry for decades with six books authored and hundreds of articles published. His website is If you have a reaction to this commentary or another question you would like answered in this column? Email Dave directly at


Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?