Have you found yourself going to too many different directions? Do you have some significant time management challenges? In this world of lightning change, agents can struggle just to stay even–much less get ahead. The ability to organize these changes seems daunting. But, the need is greater than the risk. If we can’t manage the day-to-day business through systems, we’re caught forever in ‘crisis’ management. Here’s how to organize, systematize, and automate our jobs so we can manage change—rather than having change manage us.

You as a System

I want you quit thinking of yourself as a creative individual, and, for a moment, consider that you can organize what you do just like software organizes tasks (well, almost!). In other words, you can systematize YOU, to some extent.

Choose or create systems—then harness technology. First, create your systems. Then, choose the technology to run those systems. You’ll spend less money and utilize your technological investments better if you’ve organized your business systematically first. Then, you’ll know exactly what systems you want to automate. In Up and Running, I’ve provided a Technology Planner, to help you prioritize your needs.

Five Steps to Systematize Your Business

1. First, itemize the tasks you do each day.

2. Prioritize your tasks as they relate to accomplishing your main objectives. What are the most important tasks you do to assure you make money consistently? (Up and Running provides lots of guidance on prioritization.)

3. Organize your high-priority tasks into systems–or purchase systems.

Should you create your own system, or buy one? Smart agents buy systems, if they’re available. An example is a listing presentation. Even though an agent could create a system, time spent on creation isn’t worth the price paid in ‘down sales time’ profitability. Don’t be a creator unless you just can’t find a good system.

4. Choose your technology to support the systems you already have in place. Let’s say you now how a manually-created listing system. You’ve decided who you will involve in the plan; you’ve decided which tasks you can delegate. Now, you’re ready to choose technology to automate your system. Because you know what you want this technology to accomplish, you can make a good choice. You can easily customize the software to meet your needs–because you already have a system in place.

5. Package your systems so you can promote your exceptional business organization to buyers and sellers. For example: If you’ve never worked with a particular buyer or seller before, that buyer can’t know if you’ll communicate regularly. Show the buyer your process/system for communicating regularly, so he can start trusting you as the professional you know you are. Remember, we believe what we see, not what we hear.

Start with just one series of tasks and get that systematized. Soon, you’ll be running your business much more like a business.