Mining for diamonds? You’ll find them in your database

Publish Date: July 06, 2023

Written by Jay Papasan

- Originally published at Inman News - Jay Papasan

You already hold the key to your professional and financial success, Jay Papasan writes. It’s hidden in your email database and it’s time to dig it out.

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“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” ― Russell H. Conwell

Russell H. Conwell delivered one lecture 6,152 times. The former Union soldier was promoted to captain at age 19 after recruiting an entire regiment of volunteers.

He later became a Baptist minister and lectured around the world. His most famous speech was “Acres of Diamonds,” a fable about how our biggest opportunity may be in our very own backyard. 

We’ve all been guilty of chasing shiny objects when success was right in front of us. Most success can be tied to a series of simple activities repeated faithfully over time. It’s boring. It’s not fun or exciting. And that may be why we’re so easily distracted.

For real estate professionals, if you’re looking for diamonds, you’ll find them in your database. Here’s an exercise to prove my point.

1. I have 4,875 contacts on my phone. 

Roughly 64 percent of Americans own a home and they buy one about every ten years (64 percent / 10 = 6.4 percent). So if we multiply the number of people in my database by that number, we’ll see how many people will buy or sell this year.

2. If we take my database of 4,875 x 6.4% = 312 people will buy or sell. 

The average commission in Austin, Texas, is about $15,000.

3. So, if I could capture all 312 transactions in my database that would generate …

$4,680,000 in gross commission income. 

And that’s just the direct opportunity. What if I could capture all the referrals too? 

Apple may sell my iPhone for $1,000, but what it contains is infinitely more valuable. So why would I focus on anything else? 

In January, I listened to Tim Ferriss interview author James Clear on his podcast. Clear and Ferriss have painstakingly built their email databases over the years. Ferris jokingly asked Clear if he would trade his database for Kim Kardashian’s social media followers. 

Kardashian has about 343 million followers, according to SocialFlame. Yet, both agreed that they would decline.

Social media isn’t a database. You don’t own it. A platform could die or change its algorithm but an email database endures. 

Stop neglecting your most valuable business asset. There are diamonds in there. You just need to work it.

One question to ponder in your thinking time: How can I recommit to connecting with my database everyday?

Jay Papasan is the bestselling co-author of The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, SHIFT, and The ONE Thing. He currently serves as the Vice President of Strategic Content at Keller Williams Realty, Inc and is the author of the TwentyPercenter, a weekly newsletter for real estate agents who: refuse to be average, insist on an ROI from their time, and want the most from their time and for their career.

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