Is your office nicknamed ‘clutter cove’? Envision your real estate office. If I walked into it, could I see processes and systems you use in providing top quality customer service? Could I see your checklists, posted, so that I knew you followed a regular, proven procedure for each group of activities? Could I see pre-made, ready to use, presentations for buyers and sellers? Could I see binders labeled with each subject (like ‘listing process’), and filled with ‘how-tos’ for assistants (or you) inside? Or, would I see stacks of disorganized papers?

There are two reasons to organize.

1. Better client service. If I’m the consumer today, I want to know that you are trustworthy—that you’re good for your word. If I can see that you have systems, I know that you will have a much better chance of keeping your word to me. I’m using the word “see”, because we believe what we see, not what we hear.

2. Time Management. The agent’s biggest challenge is to find a way to make the same amount of money and quit working 24/7. Creating systems will take a long way toward that goal.

Creating Systems is Key to Effective Client and Time Management

Take system inventory now. Here are the minimum systems you need:

For sellers:

Prospecting system

Visual marketing presentation

Pre-first visit presentation

Checklists: Process at listing/marketing process

After close/client retention

Your personal marketing system

For buyers:

Prospecting system

Visual buyer presentation

Pre-first visit presentation

Checklists: process during buying/before closing/after closing—client retention

Your personal marketing system

How to begin. Real estate professionals are doers. We talk our way through processes.  We dread organizing things, and frankly, we’re not good at it. So, how do we begin? First, find your organizational resources. Here are three:

  1. Other agents who already have systems and who are willing to share
  2. Great assistants who are good at organizing
  3. Professionals who sell these packages

You’ll probably want a combination of all three. I know it’s wonderful to think that you can hire an assistant and expect that assistant to organize from the ground up. But, my experience is that you will have to be involved in the process, and you will have to buy ready-made systems to help that assistant get a clue about what you want.

Start with one at a time. Make a list and prioritize it for the systems you need first. Put a date to start, and a date for completion (I know, there’s that organization again!). You’ll find that the first is the hardest, and then, it starts to actually get easy! It’s a skill like anything else. Bottom line: Systematization allows you to actually run a business, not just run after buyers and sellers.

Need a checklist for systemization? The Business Planning System for the Real Estate Professional will help you schedule your systems–including your technology systems.