A real estate agent’s database is everything. Having all that contact information is meaningless if it’s not in a form that is easily accessible. This means the database must be well-organized and actively managed. Organizing your sphere of influence (SOI) database builds the foundation for the success of any real estate agent, team or brokerage.

Where to start with the database?

A real estate professional’s most important asset is their sphere of influence. Who are the people you know? The starting point is putting these names and their contact information into a single place. The first time a real estate agent starts compiling their SOI, they’re often surprised by how many people they know. College classmates, neighbors, business associates, doctors, the parents at the PTA–they all are members of your SOI.

Get the names and contact information into a system specific for contact management. Today’s real estate-focused customer relationship management (CRM) software makes tracking and using the contact database much easier and more efficient than an email program or spreadsheet. Consider using a CRM to organize your SOI database.

Getting Your SOI organized

Once the names are gathered together, it’s time to get organized. Not all contacts in your SOI are created equal. It’s vital to structure the database to reflect the different relationships inside the SOI. ICC coach Brad Baldwin offers a four-tier strategy for organizing a real estate agent’s sphere of influence.

Essentially, a real estate professional’s SOI will be layered with their best advocates, past clients, vendors, and a general network of contacts. Categorize your SOI by how you know your contacts. It makes it easy later to create segmented marketing campaigns specific to “vendors” or “past clients.” The best databases will have a category function to make this sorting simpler.  

Sorting your SOI

Sometimes when people compile their databases, they go overboard–creating 10,000-plus databases. How effective is this type of database? Chances are, not as efficient as a smaller 1-to-2K database.

So what’s the magic ratio for a SOI database?

The people you want in your SOI are those who you can have a conversation with when you run into them on the street. Select the contacts you can connect a name with a face. This will help keep your database manageable.

How you engage with your top advocates will be different from the people you sort-of know from the church group. It’s vital to note these relationships in your database so you know what lead nurturing pipeline to place the different contacts.  With an organized system of targeted SOI contacts, you’ll know how often to contact the different prospects and improve your lead generation.