Do you have Systems, Checklist and Processes?

There is great importance and huge impact on your businesses from having systems and processes.  “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber is a fantastic read about the secret to small business success, from the implementation, execution of systems and processes into any business. Systems and processes provide us all with leverage and more time as a real estate business owner. Every good organization has an operations manual for consistency, scalability and execution. Let’s look at some of the simple, powerful systems and processes you can use to take your business to the next level.

“Checklists provide reminders of only the most critical and important steps- the ones that even the highly skilled professional using them could miss.” ~ Atul Gawande

1) Files – Colour code your files for quick reference. For example checklist_picturegreen files for listings, blue files for buyers, red files for sales and pink files for prospects. You can argue we are now a paperless business but nothing beats a simple and quick color coding filing system with your real estate business.

2) Labeling – Buy yourself a labeling machine and label your files by Name, Property Address or both for quicker identification. The best $60 you could ever spend is on a labeling machine. Simple and easy way to identify files, contacts, property addresses in your office, hands down.

3) Location – Strategically place files in the right spots. For example listing files top drawer, buyer files second drawer, prospect files close to your desk phone and sales and deal files in the drawer right next to your office chair. The more important the file the more important the files location. That is why sales files were immediately located by my desk chair and listing files were always in the top drawer of the filing cabinet in the office.

4) Checklists – Make a checklist for everything, for example create a listing checklist, buyer checklist, lead or prospect checklist, lead generation checklist and sales checklist. The key to good checklists is they need to be read by someone else and can be performed exactly how you would want them to be done yourself.

5) Auto Email Responder – Stop reacting to your email and mobile devices and start your day with an auto email responder letting the sender know you will be responding to emails say 10-11 am and 3-4 pm and if time sensitive or urgent then have you paged for a quicker response. Take your time and focus back from reacting all day.

6) Real Time Voice Message – Stop reacting to your mobile phone and start your day with a voice message letting the caller know you will be returning phone calls say 10:30-11:30 am and 3:30-4:30 pm and if they are urgent and time sensitive to have you paged for a quicker response. Again a game changer for taking control of your time, energy and focus during the day and be present!

7) Processes – Have consistent processes with all your marketing and lead generation. Take the time to write out a step by step process you can follow for all your marketing, lead generation, lead conversion and customer service, Including pre sale and post sale activities. Break down each activity in your business and make lists of step by step processes to keep consistent and streamlined with your business.

8) White Boards –Use a white board to visually post and systemize the following items:images

  •  things to do,
  • things you are doing and
  • things that you have done

This will get it out of your head and up on the wall to visually keep things on track. Write on your boards the names of your buyer and seller leads. Then write on your boards all your current listings, sales and important dates and activities to again free your mind and keep things organized.

9) Calendar Reminders – Use a digital or physical calendar to remind you of all the important things to do, important times and when certain activities need to be done and leave nothing to chance.

10) Day Timer – Use a digital or physical day timer for all your appointments. Block all activities in advance and only allow yourself to break pre booked activities in your day timer if they are absolutely necessary. If we don’t take care of our time I know someone or something else will! Take control of your time and schedule.

I trust these tips on processes, systems and checklists will serve you and your business better the balance of 2016 and take your business to another level in the new year.

How Long does it take to Create Positive Habits in YOUR Real Estate Business?

There are 2 types of sales in this world, Retail Sales where the consumer goes to the product and Wholesale or Direct Sales where you have to take the product to the consumer.

Real estate falls under the Wholesale or Direct Sales Category where we are finding the product, either a buyer for the listing or the home for the buyer and delivering it to them. The huge reason for the failure rate in this industry has a lot to do with the fact that less than 5% of the industry in North America have any wholesale or direct sales background before they got into the business.

If the average age of a real estate agent is 55 years of age imagine the commitment it takes to change your behavior in sales, the amount of learning requhow-long-do-misdemeanors-stay-on-your-recordired to obtain new skills and perfect those new skills in this industry.

So how long does it really take to build a new habit? 

Phillippa Lally is a health psychology researcher at University College London. In a study published in
the European Journal of Social Psychology, Lally and her research team decided to figure out just how long it actually takes to form a habit.

The study examined the habits of 96 people over a 12-week period. Each person chose one new habit for the 12 weeks and reported each day on whether or not they did the behavior and how automatic the behavior felt.

Some people chose simple habits like “drinking a bottle of water with lunch.” Others chose more difficult tasks like “running for 15 minutes before dinner.”

At the end of the 12 weeks, the researchers analyzed the data to determine how long it took each person to go from starting a new behavior to automatically doing it. On average, it takes more than 2 months before a new behavior becomes automatic — 66 days to be exact.

How long it takes a new habit to form can vary widely depending on the behavior, the person, and the circumstances.

In Lally’s study, it took anywhere from 18 days to 254 days for people to form a new habit. In other words, if you want to set your expectations appropriately, the truth is that it will probably take you anywhere from two months to eight months to build a new behavior into your life — not 21 day myth that we have heard for so many years.

So many agents take the path of least resistance when it comes to their behaviors, skills and habits and ironically the path of being uncomfortable is where we all find the greatest growth in our personal and professional lives.

So there is no reason to get down on yourself if you try something for a few weeks and it doesn’t become a habit. It’s supposed to take longer than that! There is no need to judge yourself if you can’t master a behavior in 21 short days. Remember you don’t have to be perfect. Making a mistake once or twice has no measurable impact on your long-term habits.

This is why you should give yourself permission to make mistakes, and develop strategies for getting back on track quickly.

Embracing longer timelines can help you realize habits are a process and not an event. All of the “21 Days” hype can make it really easy to think, “Oh, I’ll just do this and it’ll be done.” But habits never work that way. You have to embrace the process. You have to commit to the system. Understanding this from the beginning makes it easier to manage your expectations and commit to making small, incremental improvements — rather than pressuring yourself into thinking you have to do it all at once.

The success of you achieve in real estate comes down to what you do consistently to build your business day after day, year after year. I hope this post helps you with developing some high level habits so you can attain the success of your dreams.