Get rid of bad data

by Kimberly Greene17 Apr 2019

More and more mortgage originators are realizing the value of their individual client and partner databases. Without an organized way to keep track of past clients and partnerships, an incredible amount of repeat business can slip through the cracks.

But even the most intelligent CRM can’t help boost business if the data is bad.

Bad data can be anything from misspelled email addresses to outdated property addresses to transposed phone numbers. Sometimes the mistakes are due to human error, as in situations where someone is physically inputting information into the database and they get it wrong. Other times, bad data is inevitable, such as when someone moves from their existing address. Either way, bad data needs to be weeded out quickly. The longer it sits there, the less efficiently an originator can reach a client—and entire channels for communication could be eliminated.

Incorrect email addresses and/or phone numbers are caught more easily when using a CRM alone or paired with a marketing platform of some sort. There are programs that can be run to help validate good email addresses and identify the bad ones. These programs can amalgamate data from duplicate entries, and using detection alerts within the CRM itself can eliminate duplications altogether.

It’s easy enough for originators who aren’t using automated systems to spot duplicate data, although it will take more time to merge that information. There are other down sides to having databases controlled manually; finding and eliminating bad email addresses or phone numbers is an arduous task, and receiving individual notifications when emails bounce back or when SMS messages are declared undeliverable can be an organizational nightmare. Doing regular updates can make the process less of a hassle.

Team members could also receive some sort of database management training, particularly when using a shared system that isn’t automated. Taking care to ensure information is accurate in terms of the last contact and method of communication can be the difference between a repeat client and a lost one, and training puts everyone on the same page in terms of how data is recorded. Having a singular approach goes a long way to attaining a high level of consistency with data input.

Just because data is bad doesn’t mean that contact is lost forever. As opposed to people who actively opt-out of communication, following up with contacts to correct old or outdated information can be a great reason to reconnect. Even if the client or partner hasn’t been a source of business recently, it’s an opportunity for a conversation about their experience with another lender, another referral partner, and their current needs and expectations.

Big data is big business, and for mortgage originators, the database is the equivalent of big data. The rewards of keeping that database clean and tight are worth regularly setting aside some time on the calendar to tend to it. Database management isn’t just a mindless administrative task; it’s vital to an organized, efficient, and profitable mortgage business.