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How to own your own data

By Grace Ormsby
30 April 2021 | 10 minute read
Dan Argent reb

A network CEO has flagged the “shocking” industry rule that sees some agents bound by the fact that any contacts they store in their agency’s CRM belong to that brand.

UrbanX’s Dan Argent has highlighted that “every time you dump a precious name, number and email into the database — people you’ve spent exhaustive hours working with — you are handing over ownership of those details to your employer”.  

“That’s every buyer’s name, seller’s name, past client, phone number, email address… slipped through your fingers and into the pockets of your employer,” he outlined.

Mr Argent has expressed the belief that agency owners “are effectively stealing their agents’ IP — and it’s got to stop”.

And the longer an agent works for a business, “the more of this valuable commodity” that’s being given up to that business.

From his perspective, “the most valuable professional asset you own is your contact list of buyers, sellers and past clients”.

While it may not always be a problem, Mr Argent said it does happen that disgruntled business owners “will stop at nothing to crush you as competition” when people do make the decision to move on from a business and establish their own.

“I’ve seen this first-hand,” he said.

“Disgruntled business owners, bitter they’ve lost the effortless income stream from a talented agent, initiating expensive legal action to stop that agent using their own hard-earned contacts.”

According to the CEO, there are ways agents can protect their access to their “prized asset”.

Firstly, he recommends agents ensure their employment agreement states “that all data obtained during employment remains the IP of you, the agent, and not the agency”.

“Don’t be scared to demand this change,” he urged, adding that agencies “will do what’s necessary” to keep productive and high-earning agents.

“No smart boss will risk losing an employee delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars in commission.”

Mr Argent also recommends agents run their own database to avoid losing their “precious” data.

“Pay a subscription to access your own CRM, not the agency-provided CRM, and store all your contact data there,” he instructed.

“That way, when it comes time to move on and start your own business, you don’t have to leave behind those great connections.”


Grace Ormsby

Grace Ormsby

Grace is a journalist across Momentum property and investment brands. Grace joined Momentum Media in 2018, bringing with her a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) from the University of Newcastle. She’s passionate about delivering easy to digest information and content relevant to her key audiences and stakeholders.

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