When working with new and existing Daylite users for the first time we typically start by focusing on categories and keywords. Categories are the most general way to classify Daylite objects and can be associated with user-defined colours, which makes them easy to identify. Each Daylite object can have one and only one category, so we recommend that you choose categories that are general and use keywords to tag Daylite objects with more specific information. Unlike categories, multiple keywords can be applied to a single Daylite object.
This document contains some recommended categories and keywords that are specific to the real estate industry. Use these as a starting point, modifying them as needed to match the specific terminology and level of detail that works for you. A best practice is to have at least a category for every person and company in Daylite. Contacts that don't have any category are likely to slip through the cracks and be difficult to find. You'll likely want to have categories defined for each appointment, opportunity, project and task so that you can easily identify and filter these objects.
We recommend prefixing categories with the word(s) that describe the most general term (e.g. Client) so that similar categories are grouped together when sorted alphabetically. The general classifications of categories in this example are:
- Client — A person you've signed a contract with to sell their property, or a person who you're working with to buy a property. People you're actively working with are classified as "Active" and typically become "Inactive" once the deal has closed. A third state, "Past" is for people you likely won't be working with in the future — perhaps they've moved to a different country or passed away. These people aren't typically included in any follow-up lists.
- Personal — Some people choose to store personal contacts, such as friends and family in Daylite. Others store this information in iCloud and use Daylite strictly for business purposes.
- Professional Network — You likely offer your clients recommendations for professional services, such as lawyers, building inspectors and mortgage brokers. People in your Professional Network that are classified as "Active" are ones you're actively recommending. The "Inactive" classification is for those that you're not actively recommending.
- Prospect – Anyone who has expressed an interest in buying or selling a property is considered a Prospect. Active prospects are either "A - Hot", "B - Medium" or "C - Cool". If there's no active communication you can choose to mark a prospect as "Inactive", with periodic follow-ups. Those prospects that you don't intend to follow up with in the future can be classified as "Past".
- Service Provider — People who provide services to your company. Examples include a graphics designer and technical support person.
- Team — You and the people you work with (e.g. other real estate agents and administrative staff) are considered part of your Team. The current team is classified as "Current" and those people that are not currently part of the team, but have been a team member at some point are classified as "Past".
This configuration assumes a residential real estate agency where clients and prospects are people. If you work in commercial real estate or sell residential properties to companies, you can make the Client and Prospect classifications available to companies by clicking the "Companies" checkbox under "Applies to".
The general classification of categories in this example are:
- Personal — If you store personal information in Daylite, this classification can be used to designate companies that provide personal services, perhaps a medical clinic or a hair salon.
- Professional Network — Companies that you refer to your clients, such as law firms and financial institutions.
- Service Provider — Any companies that provide services to your company. Examples include a marketing agency and a printer.
- Team — Your company and any companies that you partner with to provide services are classified as "Team".
Projects can be used to track both internal and external objectives and categories help you distinguish between different types of projects. This sample database contains four possible classifications for projects:
- Business Development — Any project that is related to growing your business.
- Marketing — Marketing related projects, that might include updating your website or revamping your business card.
- Open House — You might find it useful to create a project for each Open House that you host and use Daylite to help coordinate the event.
- Professional Development — If you're doing any training to enhance your skills, this category could be used to move you towards this objective.
In the context of a real estate business, we consider an opportunity to be any property purchase or sale that hasn't been finalized. An opportunity is considered "Won" once all of the conditions have been waived and your commission is guaranteed. Typically you'll want to distinguish between two types of opportunities:
- Buying — Apply this category when you're working with a client to purchase a property.
- Selling — Use this category when you are your company have been contracted to sell a property.
David Allen's Getting Things Done® (GTD®) approach to productivity includes the concept of "contexts". By definition, a context specifies things such as tools, locations and people that need to be present in order to accomplish a given task. For example, if you wanted to post something on MLS you would need a computer and an Internet connection.
Examples of contexts include:
- Email — Tasks that involve sending an email.
- Errand — Tasks that are completed when you're out and about, such as purchasing some staples at Staples.
- Home — Tasks that can only be performed when you're physically at home. For example, replacing the toner cartridge in the printer in your home office.
- Mac - Daylite — Tasks that are performed in the Daylite software on the Mac. This might include sending a follow-up email to a group of clients.
- Mac - Online — Tasks that are performed on your Mac and require an Internet connection.
- Office — Tasks that can only be performed when you're physically at your office. For example, replacing the toner cartridge in the printer in your office.
- On Location — Taks that are performed at a property location. For example, if you are preparing a property for sale you might have a task such as "Put up For Sale sign" classified as "On Location". This task would typically be linked to a specific opportunity.
- Phone — A phone call.
- Waiting — Anything you're waiting for, such as a signed contract form a client, could be defined as a task in a category of "Waiting". Since these aren't, by nature, actionable it's recommend that they be filtered from you active task list using a Smart List.
Assigning categories to appointments makes it easy to hone in on specific bookings and provides you with a visual overview of where your time is going. Here are a few ideas as a starting point.
Groups can be a convenient way to track things like mailing lists and attendance at events. In real estate scenarios where there are a lot of people interested in a given property, it can work well to create a group linked to a specific opportunity. It's then a simple matter to link any people or companies who have expressed an interest in this property to the appropriate group.
Classifying key notes can make it easier to find them down the road. For example, you might have a note linked to an opportunity that contains a "Property Description". Classifying it as such makes it easy to distinguish it from, for example, some notes that you took at an open house. Similarly, you could use a category of "Personal" to distinguish Notes that are personal in nature.
Similarly, some users choose to classify emails. For example, a category of "Personal" could be used to designate emails that you exchange that are personal in nature.
The category assigned to a person gives you a general sense of who someone is and one or more keywords can be added to provide more specific information. When naming keywords we recommend using short prefixes. In doing so, related keywords are grouped together and are easy to locate. The specific prefixes we recommend are:
- Contact — This keyword can be used to identify a person as a Buyer, Seller or Investor.
- LS — When a new Prospect comes along you can use LS (Lead Source) to identify the source of this prospect. This information can be valuable for strategic planning.
- PN — The "Professional Network" categories allow you to classify people whose services you recommend. The PN keyword can be used to store more specific information on the services they provide (e.g. Lawyer or Mortgage Broker).
- SP — The "Service Provider" category denotes people who provide services directly to you and your company. The SP keyword can be used to store details on the specific services this person provides (e.g. Marketing or Technical Services).
Some other keywords that may be useful:
- UNVERIFIED — Denotes a Daylite object that needs to be reviewed. For example, if you just imported some data and want to mark it for verification, you could Bulk Edit all of the imported data to add the UNVERIFIED keyword and then use a Smart List to keep track of all unverified data. Once the data has been reviewed and edited as needed, the UNVERIFIED keyword is cleared and the item automatically disappears from the Unverified Smart List.
- VIP — There may be certain people in your Daylite database that get special attention. Use the VIP keyword combined with the appropriate Smart List(s) to make sure that they receive the appropriate amount of attention.
The category assigned to a company gives you a general sense of why the company is included in your Daylite database, and one or more keywords can be added to provide more specific information. When naming keywords we recommend using short prefixes. In doing so, related keywords are grouped together and are easy to locate. The specific prefixes we recommend are:
- PN — The "Professional Network" categories allow you to classify companies whose services you recommend. The PN keyword can be used to store more specific information on the services they provide (e.g. Financial Services or Law).
- SP — The "Service Provider" category denotes companies who provide services directly to you and your company. The SP keyword can be used to store details on the specific services this company provides (e.g. Printer or Technical Services).
The UNVERIFIED keyword can be used to identify a Daylite object that needs to be reviewed. For example, if you just imported some data and want to mark it for verification, you could Bulk Edit all of the imported data to add the UNVERIFIED keyword and then use a Smart List to keep track of all unverified data. Once the data has been reviewed and edited as needed, the UNVERIFIED keyword is cleared and the item automatically disappears from the Unverified Smart List.