I’ve got something to talk about today that’s absolutely critical for your business:

A database to manage your leads

Full disclosure… way back when I was getting started, my coach was the one and only Todd Toback. I took everything he said seriously, except the one thing about making sure all of your leads are in a database. That was stupid of me. :-/

So, we didn’t have anything fancy as we do now with Podio and other CRMs, but there were spreadsheets and Google Sheets. 

I wished I would’ve listened to Todd then… I foolishly thought a database for leads was too much hassle. I also foolishly thought I didn’t need to keep leads who say “no.” They don’t want to do the deal now, they won’t want to do it later either.


You’ve heard me say it before: The fortune is in the follow-up. Almost ALL of my deals come following up with leads who said no before. A “no” in real estate means “not yet.” 

If you do not have a CRM to manage leads, you do not have a business. And, you shouldn’t be trying to do real estate or investing. (Harsh but true.)

Stop wasting your time and money unless you have a database. And, take your database seriously. There’s Reale Flow, REI BlackBook, InvestorFuse, REIPro, REI Simple … you have options. 

I use REI Simple and I frickin’ love it. You can customize it… I use it for lease options, marketing, document management. It’s awesome. It does even more — creates contracts, autoresponders by text, and by email. And more. So great.

Look, if you’re not tracking your buyers and seller leads, then you do not have a business. 

Now, here’s the thing that’s important: You need to manage your CRM. (Or your VA does.) You can’t just throw leads in there and expect it to do anything for you. You have to update the statuses or change the stage of the leads. You have to create follow-up tasks and reminders or add them to your text and email autoresponders.

See, you need to be able to look at the status of each lead and know what needs to happen next with it. Be specific. Not just “follow-up” — “hot follow-up call.” And then make sure there’s a task that someone will carry out associated with that lead.

You should be following up with every lead. You’ve got to set up your databases so that no leads fall through the cracks and no lead gets left behind. 

It’s simple: Send follow-up mail to every single seller you talk to. Your competition is NOT doing that. 

Look, if you do what I’m saying — consistent follow-up — you will do more deals. No matter which market you’re in.

See, studies show that sellers need to hear from you (texts, calls, mail, email) an average of 7 times before it turns into a deal. And the average follow-up time is 3 months. Play the long game, folks.

And really, you don’t need a fancy, expensive CRM database. You can just use Google Sheets if you want.

Be smart and detailed — if the seller says they’re taking their dog to the vet, put that in the lead’s notes, so next time you call them ask about their dog doing. 

So many times, sellers have said to  me, “Joe, you’re the only one who called me back,” and “You’re the only one who answered your phone.” Truth.

Follow up with consistency and be friendly. No one will work with a jerk.

Now, go get a CRM and start inputting your leads. (Better yet, have your VA input and manage your CRM.)

Then, start following up, all day every day. And watch the deals come in.

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