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One of the most important assets of your real estate business is your database. It should be a comprehensive collection of information and historical data on your network or sphere of influence, and it is integral to most real estate professionals’ lead generation efforts.

I recently completed a month-long series of interviews with six top-performing agents. The interviews all centered around how these top performers engage their databases and spheres of influence, and how that engagement drives results in their real estate businesses. I’d like to share three key takeaways that came out of those interviews.

  1. Always Be Working
    If you truly want to reap the financial rewards you’ve always dreamed of, you should adopt the mantra of “always be working.” Opportunities are always around us, and we never know when they will present themselves. This “always be working” mindset positions us to seize these opportunities.

In addition, putting in the work and effort is a proactive approach that drives results, instead of a passive approach that hopes business will come your way. Set a schedule and commit yourself to morning and evening routines to engage the contacts in your database and to commit to lead-generation activities that drive transactions:

  • Text your sphere.
  • Comment on their social media posts.
  • Write thank-you notes and handwritten cards.
  • Send them information you think they may find useful.
  • Reach out and call them periodically.

Host as many as open houses as you can—they’re a prime opportunity to meet and get to know new clients. Be friendly and conversational, and pay attention to what they’re looking for in a home. Don’t wait to enter their information into your database—do it immediately so you can quickly follow up with them the next day.

Your dedication to attentiveness and communication will put you in the limelight. When potential clients see how you’ve taken the time to listen to them before they’ve even hired you, chances are, you’ll be the one they call first.

  1. Go The Extra Mile and Stay In Touch
    When you’re committed to helping businesses and people succeed, they’ll help you succeed, too. Be the agent that stands out from the crowd with good customer service: Be confident, professional and listen to your contacts’ needs.

For example, not all of your clients will know what to expect during the buying and selling process, so take advantage of every opportunity you can to educate and inform them. Talk to your clients about the market and what to expect during each step of their journey with you. When it’s closing day, take the time to attend the signing with your clients.

Long-term agent-client relationships exist because of your attention to detail. Record and organize important client notes and needs in your database. When you learn something new about a client, input the details immediately and continue to build on it. Plant the seeds for next year—on important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, send a card for a personal touch.

  1. Rate Your Contacts
    As you spend more effort engaging with your database, you’ll notice your database quality improves; however, not all contacts are equal, and you should organize them by how valuable they are to your business. The top agents all seemed to care more about the quality of a smaller subset of their overall contacts than they did about creating a super large number of contacts.

Rate your contacts in a spreadsheet or software with a system that works for you. Don’t mass-market to all of your contacts—instead, market to the top 300 people who are loyal to you, even if you have 1,200 people in your database. Focus on quality over quantity—you’re going to want to continue to work on, and invest money in, the people you have established relationships with.

A database rating system will also give you a glimpse into which contacts have the potential to be valuable. The notes and detailed information you’ve been adamant about recording can help you determine if more engagement effort should be directed their way.

The words above come from the mouths of top-producing agents when asked what is driving their success (with a little paraphrasing by me). Those agents made it clear that the secret to your business success is going to be equal to the effort you put into connecting with your contacts. You can make more money if you have an “always be working” mindset that is constantly engaging your sphere of influence, go above and beyond with your client and lead interaction, and focus on the quality of these relationships.

Todd Sumney is the chief industry officer for HomeSmart International. For more information about joining HomeSmart as an agent, visit, or visit for franchise opportunities.

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