Building Your Database, The first and most important step for any realtor to take

Whether you’re a brand-new real estate agent or you’ve been in the business for years, if you were to ask me what you could to be more successful or what you should do to grow your real estate business, one of the first things I would ask you is “how big is your database?” 

Growing your database and figuring out how to do this well is one of the most valuable things you can do to grow your business. This isn’t hyperbole. It’s the truth. I run a couple million dollar a year team. We have amazing systems in place and great team members, but at the end of the day, our most valuable asset is our database. It’s foundational, and it’s the place I have everybody start at whether they’re joining us at Glutch or through eXp.

Today, I’m going to share

  • how to start or grow your database, and
  • how to make it the most valuable thing that you have in your business.

How do you get your database started?

A database is a place where keep your most precious data: the names of people who know and trust you, along with their phone number, email, address, and all that stuff. It can include your past and current clients, friends, and family. It’s anyone who might refer you business. 

You should keep all this info in one centralized location. It could be as simple as a Google doc (like this) or something more in-depth like KVcore. There’s lots of different systems you can use, but what you use is less important than the act of having one and using it on a regular basis. 

Where’s all the contact info from?

The first step in building a database is finding the info that will fill it. I’d suggest you start with past clients. Whether you’ve got all your files in a Dropbox or the like or if you have physical files, start there. Pull up the past deals you’ve done. Happy customers are going to be the best source of referrals. 

Once you find them, put their info in the database: First name, email, phone number, spouse’s name, etc. The more data you can put in there the better, but don’t worry if you don’t have all the info when you begin. Just get started. If you’re missing a phone number here or an email there, it’s no big deal. You can always fill that in later.

The next place to go is your phone’s contact list. Look at your favorites on your phone, your recent calls. Do you have a Christmas or Holiday card list? Add those people to it. Even if they’re real estate agents, you never know who you might get a referral from. 

Finally, check your social platforms. Go through those accounts and find the most impactful people you might reach out to and add them to your list.

How do you keep a database growing?

Keep adding people to it. This is the important part. Add people to it weekly. I suggest at first aiming to add fifty to a hundred a week. And, again, this process doesn’t have to be perfect. Just get started. That’s the most important part. You can find any missing info later.

What are some other ways to add people to your database?

There’s a bunch of different ways, but here are some of our favorites:

  • Throw an event or happy hour (or a digital event). Use people’s emails or the like for sign-ups. Also, you’ll then have something to talk about. You can message friends and say “Hey, I’ve got this great event going on. What’s a good email I can send you the info at?” Or you could send postcards about the event and ask where’s a good place to send them.
  • Free t-shirts. We do this at Glutch Group. We have these awesome shirts, and we give them away. Whenever people join the team, we have them take a selfie with the shirts and have a giveaway. If someone wants a free shirt, we ask them where they’d like it sent, and just like that, we have new info to add to our database. It’s nice and casual and doesn’t overcomplicate things.
  • Just ask. But keep it natural. You might be at lunch or chatting with someone, and you can ask them something like “Hey, I send out these market updates from time to time, where’s a good place to send it?”
  • Weekly Reminders. Set yourself a weekly reminder where you check in with yourself if you’ve talked or met with anyone that week who you can add to your database.

Start putting some of these to work and your database will start growing in no time.

So, you have your database. Now what?

So, you’ve got your database, but what are you going to do with it. Well, you’re in luck. I’ve already got two full-blown blog posts about this.

Both these systems are impactful and affordable, and my team and I are happy to help you with either of these and help you set them up. Get these processes going (don’t even worry about buying leads yet) and in a year from now, you’ll be grateful. If you have questions about this or anything else, drop me a line. Until then, keep having a great day!  


Through his speaking, podcast and Youtube channel John inspires real estate agents to create greater levels of freedom by building, growing, and scaling their businesses and teams. His primary focus is on creating a wow culture that humanizes, surprises and delights customers thereby creating a wealth of repeat and referral business. John runs one of the top real estate teams in Arizona selling nearly 200 homes a year with just three agents, all while living full time on Coronado Island in California.


John Gluch.