An agent recently asked me if I knew of a simple way that he could see all of his clients on a map. He wanted to see a bird's eye view of where they're all located. Here is one way to do it, although there are lots of other methods.
If you'd rather watch a video, skip to the bottom.
There are dozens or more tools and websites that will help you to map out clients, but they range from free and difficult to expensive and easy. The example I'm going to show you is a nice trade-off - it's free, but limited.
Get started with a free plan
The service is Mapline, and their free plan will work for up to 500 clients (or points on the map). They offer paid plans with more features, but prices start at $30 per month, which may not be practical for small agencies.
Before you start!
This service requires that your data is in some kind of spreadsheet, like Excel or a CSV file. Most agency management systems can export to Excel or CSV. As long as you can copy it from a spreadsheet, you're all set. Your file needs columns for name, address, city, state, and zip, at a minimum.
To get started, click Sign Up, then choose the Select button under the free plan. From there, you'll provide some basic info to create your account. Then you'll get a confirmation email with a link. Click that link to begin.
Create a data set
Don't let the phrase "data set" scare you. This is just the data that you add to the map. For example, you might have one data set for your Kentucky clients and another for your Illinois clients. Or one for Med Supp clients and another for Life Insurance clients. In most cases, one data set is enough.
To add your dataset, click the "New Data Set" button. A small window opens, asking you to name the data set. You can name this anything you like. Then you'll switch over to your spreadsheet and copy the data that you want to map.
Copy from Spreadsheet
After copying the data (right-click and Copy), switch back to Mapline, and paste (right-click and Paste) the data into the window.
Paste info Mapline
After pasting you'll press Continue. Then your data set should appear, and it's now ready to map.
Create your map
Now you'll click the New Map button. Give it a name, then save it. now you're presented with a blank map. That's because you haven't attached your data set to it. To do that, click "Add Data Layers" and then "Add pins from my data".
Select your data set, then press Done, and boom - it instantly maps all your clients!
Also good to know
- You'll probably have lots of pins overlapping each other. If you'd like to simplify the view, you can cluster them together, so instead of showing 5 pins, you can have one pin with the number 5 on it. To do that, use the menu next to your map name, and choose Cluster.
- You can filter your map to show only certain zip codes. In that same menu is an option named Filters. Click that and then choose Postal Code. If you wanted to show only zip codes that begin with 608, just type that into the field, click Update, and click Done.
- You can update your data set at any time. If you upload your client list today, and gain a bunch of new clients over the next month or two, you can come back and edit your data set, and paste your new clients into the data. this will update your map.
- Mapline offers large format downloads that you can use to print large wall maps - but only as part of their paid plans.
Want to watch a video tutorial for mapping your clients?
You may also be interested in this video: How to plan your route for door to door sales
Questions or comments? Let me know in the comments section below.