By Alan Shafran and Rick Bengson
Naturally, you don’t need to use a system if you’re only planning to turnover two or three deals and can wing it to get these deals closed, but when you are considering the volume of 100 deals, a system is imperative and mandatory.
Major businesses constantly look at their production processes to make their companies more efficient and productive. Without the efficiency of office systems, whether you’re running a multinational corporation or a local real estate business, it’s impossible to maximize your business to its fullest potential.
The first step is making the best use of your time by putting systems in place that will garner showing agent feedback, manage consistent marketing, schedule appointments, communicate with sellers and showing agents, and vastly reduce paperwork.
As a result of these systems and their efficiencies, and by using the right technology, your business should save the cost of at least one to two staff members per year!
Systems You Need to Have in Place
From the top down, there are several basic systems that every office needs to function at any competent level. These include having the latest computer equipment/hardware and software, to having mobile devices for your team – this is the essential infrastructure.
Improvements can be made over time, such as harnessing faster Internet speeds and moving to a “cloud computing” model of Internet-based computing for sharing resources, software and information. But, in the beginning, for the day-to-day business of getting the doors open and handling sales, the basics will suffice.
When you have the basic structure, you can try and achieve the following:
• Systemize every process of the office – Every process that takes place in your business should be broken down into a numbered step-by-step system.
• Create a Business Manual – The step-by-step system is turned into a manual for effectively running your office. This way, no step will be forgotten and every team member will be on the same page.
• One touch system – The goal of creating and organizing this system is to make it “one touch” – and automated.
The ultimate office is systematically controlled by a one-time touch by one individual, or by one automation feature, and by that one touch it is distributed to the rest of the team, thus creating efficiency. An example of one touch systems have been explained earlier in this book within ShowingSuite.com. We also feel another good example of a one touch system is SendOutCards.com. This website allows a user to set up a client to receive any occasion cards via the web for an infinite period of time. The cards then arrive to the consumer via the mail and can have a font that emulates your personal handwriting. It has many other options as well. I personally used SendoutCards.com extensively in my real estate business. I felt this company exemplified a rare use of high tech and high touch. The cost of service was not inexpensive and I eventually stopped using them so much as it seemed that they stopped growing and listening to the needs of us as users. Contact management was not improving and our world as REALTORS® has been growing more difficult with all the different places we need to input data. As mentioned before, if the technology companies you use don’t seem to organically grow with the times, then one is forced to change companies.
As a result, you should have access to:
• Office overviews
• Individual agent activity
• Seller communication
• Customer satisfaction data
• Website analytics
• Lead – Marketing analytics
• Feedback status and statistics
• Media cost effectiveness
• Showings status
• Scheduled showings
• Prospects… and more
This is the power that your business can have, when you harness the whole system not just part of the system.
The Business Manual
The secret to ensuring a fully efficient and well-planned, step-by-step system is the Business Manual. Each company will have their own unique set of guidelines and steps, tailored to the needs of the geographical real estate market and the skills of the team members. Yet, there are some primary concerns relevant to all REALTORS® which will likely be addressed within the manual’s pages…
• What is your process for hiring?
• What is written in your employment contracts?
• What are the team member’s duties?
• How do you handle all of these escrows?
• What types of systems do I need to get to 100 deals? E.g.Contact Management software. And how will I evolve them along with my business?
One of the biggest questions that will spring to mind is, “How am I going to possibly handle all of these deals?” This is why you need an action plan in the form of a manual, which is basically a series of checklists of jobs-to-do, in order to smoothly operate and achieve your short and long-term goals.
These checklists are ‘living’ documents – they can be adapted and amended to improve where necessary, to learn by your successes and mistakes. This is why the Business Manual is likely in the form of a virtual digital text, a Google Doc document for instance, which can be evolved along with the lessons and priorities of your business. With Google Documents you can share documents with team members, decide who has editing privileges to help build this manual and share it with your team.
Remember, the key is to keep it simple. Ask yourself if the system will work if a new employee off the street could come in, follow the system, and complete the task. That is the goal.
Also in this chapter: Example of an admin system in checklist format; how to stay focused on your system and the efficiencies of going paperless and how to achieve it.
To learn more about or purchase “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit: http://www.blueprintfor100deals.com/.
Rick Bengson is the CEO and Co-Founder of ShowingSuite, Inc. a leading real estate productivity software company, and Co-Creator of HomeFeedback.com. Alan Shafran is the owner of The Alan Shafran Group, selling up to 175 homes per year. To learn more about “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income,” visit: http://www.blueprintfor100deals.com/.
Editor’s Note: “Blueprint for 100 Deals or More Than $1 Million Per Year in Income: The exact systems and technology to sell 100+ homes, every year—no matter the market,” is a new book by leading real estate industry executives Alan Shafran and Rick Bengson that outlines how to build your business as well as make more money, please more customers and improve your overall quality of life, whether you are a novice or climbing the ladder in the real estate business. For the next several weeks, RISMedia will be running portions of each chapter every Wednesday or Thursday, highlighting the in-depth information and invaluable resources the authors have compiled in this exciting, new publication.
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