By Karen Pavich

A Real Estate Agent’s career can take one of two paths – the“Roller Coaster Ride” or “Mountain Climbing”. The “Roller Coaster Ride” is fast pace, nail-biting up and down, full of unknown twists and turns, and inevitably gets you back to where you started at which point you get on and ride again. The “Mountain Climbing” path is slower, requires planning and implementation, and is accomplished by maintaining a steady pace, always moving forward towards the goal of reaching the summit.

The key difference in these two paths is whether or not you are using and managing a database of clients and prospects. Talk to any top producing Realtor and they will tell you they have a healthy database of clients, use systematical marketing campaigns, target material to the consumers needs and enjoy a successful career because of it.

Roller coaster riders take care of the immediate business. They start a prospecting, begin making cold calls and or start a target marketing campaign and once they have 3 or 4 qualified buyers and 2 or 3 listings they are so overwhelmed with trying to remember everything that potential new business coming in gets left on the tracks. They find homes for their buyers, sell their listings and…..silence. The phone is no longer ringing, they have no quality leads to follow-up on, once again they get on the roller coaster and start the process over again. Mountain climbers, with the help of a database program, prospect for new business, make cold calls and or start target marketing campaigns. The difference is ALL leads get put into their database. The mountain climbers can concentrate and focus on the business at hand and let the contact management program take care of the future. They don’t try and rely on their memory or “sticky notes” to remind them to follow up on future prospects or send anniversary notes to past clients. The contact management program does it for them.

Top Producer Software is a CRM program specifically designed for real estate. There are others, Act, Agent Office, and Outlook Agent but Top Producer, I believe, offers the most expandable features so that when your career grows, Top Producer has the tools to grow with you.

OK you’ve chosen your program, now what do you do. The task of getting started can be daunting and lets face it, if you had more time in the day you wouldn’t need a system to keep things on track. When I started using Top Producer I thought to myself, what is the one main thing I want this program to do for me? Manage a bigger basket of contacts was the answer. Even if all you do for the first six months is enter in every prospect you encounter, add brief notes about your conversations, personal data like children’s names etc, details on their real estate needs, AND (here is the key) schedule a next call for sometime in the future, I guarantee you will begin to see the power of using a CRM. As your success grows, and it will, you can set up and incorporate the listing and closing checklists, automatic and manual action plans, email and letter campaigns, flyers etc.

Seasoned Realtors have known for years that managing and maintaining a database is crucial to a successful career. Back in the days of the infamous MLS books, Realtors were using index card database systems and manually flipping through cards each day to see who needed to be contacted. Now with the help of computers one needs only to open the program, check your daily To Do summary and slowly, steadily, focusing on the goal in front of you, keep moving forward, climbing the mountain and before you know it you will be standing on top of the summit……….and, there is not doubt about it….the view is beautiful!.

Karen Pavich has been an Independent Sale Agent and Certified Instructor of Top Producer Software since 1998. To learn more about Top Producer Software products and training contact Karen at www.becomeatopproducer.com