How Using A Database In Your Real Estate Business Makes You Money

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We have been talking about direct mail campaigns in the last couple of articles. Today I am writing the first part of a two part article. We will be going over setting up your database so that it is user friendly.

There are different systems that you can use as far as databases go, but the one that was recommended to me and the one is use is ACT by Sage. I have been using this particular database for quite a while now. It is not specifically for real estate investors, but it works great for me, and as I mentioned previously, it costs about $269.00. While this is a chunk of cash to spend on a piece of software, I would encourage you to look at the big picture. I can guarantee that using a database like this one will make you money by managing your contacts and keeping your direct mail campaigns on track.

Easily Accessing Your Contact Information

There have been many times a seller has called me after I have already spoken to them one or more times. With my database, I have the ability to quickly pull up their contact page while I have them on the phone, look at the notes section to see what we discussed in previous conversations, and see what their motivations (or objections to an offer) were. It allows me to pick up the conversation where we last left off. Motivated sellers will be impressed that you remember them and their last conversation. It definitely helps build rapport with them.  I like to put basic information about the property here to jog my memory.

You are also able to see the “history” of your mailings with individual contacts and groups. When you buy a house, you can easily look back to see how many times you mailed this particular person before purchasing the property.

Marketing To Motivated Sellers Gets A Whole Lot Easier

Having all of your contacts in one place where you can easily send out marketing pieces is something that you just can’t put a price on. One of the keys to successful marketing campaigns, especially where direct mail is concerned, is “consistency”. When you use a database that is set up properly, it is easy to be consistent with your marketing.

I use a written direct mail log in conjunction with the database. I can look at my log, check off the group I just printed and move on to the next one; I am able to closely monitor the dates of the mailings. As I am a very visual person, I like being able to look at my list. I also post these mailing dates on my great big wall calendar. My great big wall calendar is my “accountability partner” for my direct mail campaigns.

How should I set up my database?

Just about every real estate investor will do his own mailings especially in the beginning. Many of them will continue to do these mailings for a very long time.  It’s important to have a system so that you can stay on track, and this system needs to be easy to manage. I believe that all comes down to how you set up your files in the very beginning.

Next week I will show you the exact way I set up thousands of contacts in my database so they are easy to find and easy to market to.

About Author

Sharon Vornholt

Sharon has been investing in real estate since 1998. She owned and operated a successful home inspection company for 17 years. In January of 2008 she took the leap of closing her business to become a full time real estate investor.


  1. Hi Sharon,
    Really important points. I have a data base built in to the back end of my website and rely on this daily. The ability to communicate with all potential clients this way is not only efficient in managing my time it allows me to pinpoint and send pertinent information to a potential client based on the notes taken and the history established.

    • Jason – Yes you can.

      The way I do it is that I have the letter templates in ACT. It’s easy to create new letters in this program and just insert the fields such as name, address etc.

      You can merge up the contacts into whichever letter you want to use at that time. You have a choice of whether to print them through word or ACT. I upgraded my computer about a year ago, and I had to upgrade the database. I had always printed through word in the past, but my computer guy set it up to print through ACT this time. It works exactly the same either way.

      • I understand a regular word doc could easily be converted into a ACT template, but how about a yellow letter where I’ve had to use (insert) images into Word then go through the task of getting the words to sit on the lines properly.

        Have you done that with yellow letters in ACT? Do the ACT templates allow you to insert images and then adjust them to get them to line up?



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