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 green 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:
- 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.