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Graham Awards


Industry chief’s guide for agents setting up a marketing database

A high profile lettings expert says agents should use marketing databases in order to grow business.

Agent Rainmaker’s Sally Lawson says that despite Customer Relationship Management systems being key in the wider business world, 90 per cent of the letting agents she speaks to aren’t yet using one.

A marketing or CRM database allows agents to store information on every potential customer in one place, says Lawson.


Lawson - a former ARLA Propertymark agent who’s been in the industry for more than 30 years - explains: “It’s really surprising that so many letting agents aren’t building an effective database of prospects, especially since data capture is something plenty of other industries have embraced because it makes business growth so much easier.

“As customers, we’re asked for our email address everywhere we go – when we buy online or from a shop, or log into public Wi-Fi. 

“Not only does this exemplify how important data is – it also shows how readily customers will share their details with businesses.

“The alternative is the time-intensive process of chasing leads which can also lead to a ‘feast/famine’ existence where sometimes you’re lucky and sometimes it’s a real challenge to find anyone to call.”

Lawson says there are five steps when it comes to setting up and using a CRM database:

Step one: Choose the software you’ll use (pricing will depend on the size of your database and how many emails you plan to send per month);

Step two: Grow the database – there are many options from asking landlords for their email address when they access content on your website, to running seminars which landlords can book on to;

Step three: You won’t want to send the same email to everyone on your database, so split them up into different sections. For example, you might have a group of HMO landlords, some with a large portfolio, and others who are looking to acquire new properties;

Step four: Create content which you’ll send to each of these groups, to nurture them in the same way you would if you were having a phone call with them or speaking to them face-to-face;

Step five: Convert them. There’s no use putting all that work in without then aiming to turn them from a prospect into a customer.


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