Agents and brokerages today use lead generation services, transaction management tools, apps, and customer relationship management tools. While these tech tools can help your business, they also collect and house data about your business and clients.

Here are three questions to consider when using a tool that will collect data about your business.

Who owns or provides the service?

If you’re using a tool provided by your brokerage or tied to a franchise, the data you input, such as client information or leads, may belong to the entity that provided the tool.

Is there an agreement in place?

The software’s end user agreement may contain provisions about who owns the data in the tool and what you’re allowed to do with it. Your independent contractor agreement may also have provisions about who owns the business data you generate. Review all terms and agreements to see how they apply to your data.

Is there a way for you to export and move your data?

Check to see if there’s a clearly outlined process for exporting your data and whether it will be in a format you can move elsewhere. For example, does a CRM allow you to export data in a widely used format like CSV or does it restrict exports to a proprietary format that can only be opened by its own products?

Knowing the answers to these questions will help prevent surprises and let you make informed decisions about your data, such as keeping a personal backup or using tools you’ve vetted and control.