Top Producer 8i and Microsoft Outlook are both contact management database programs. The biggest difference between them both is that Top Producer is was designed specifically for real estate and Microsoft Outlook is not. In my opinion, choosing a contact management database can’t be made solely on what the program is capable of doing, but how much time and dedication is given to the program and the experience that the REALTOR® has using computer software. Databases need to be respected in order for them to grow. Client information must be added 100% accurately in order for your data to increase in value – value meaning that another REALTOR® would be willing to purchase your database in the event of your retirement. A REALTOR® needs to ask themselves a few questions before making a choice:
- Will I dedicate myself to the learning curve that I will experience with this new product and process?
Will I spend the necessary time needed every day to add future and past activities, reminders, notes, etc. to my database?
- Will I make sure that the information added to my database is 100% correct so that when data is extracted for reports it is without error?
- If necessary, am I willing to pay an ongoing monthly fee, and will I see the value in doing so after a few months?
Can I access my database at any location?
- Make your decision on your business needs. Do not make a decision based on someone else’s decision. Whatever software you choose, give 100% to the product and it will provide success. Your decision is the right decision, as long as you stick to it.
If, however, you outgrow your contact management database, and it is accurately fed, you can import it into a more sophisticated database without too much complication.