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Why don’t brokerages update their business process systems to create the exceptional real estate transactions consumers and agents are looking for?

Most real estate companies don’t run efficiently because effective business process systems are nonexistent, and any business process management is a mostly rudimentary, manual process. So I wonder: If the manufacturer of a coffee drink or automobile can have systems that assure consistency, quality, and great experiences, why can’t the same be said of a $300,000 home—the most important investment most Americans will ever make?

“I would like a Frappuccino™ please.” Business process systems are everywhere you look.

1. Someone at the front counter presses a button on a computer;

2. A barista follows a very specific series of instructions, illustrating which ingredients to use, how to assemble and then package the drink;

3. Each location purchases their products and ingredients from approved vendors that follow strict guidelines set by corporate. Ensuring quality, fresh products are served to their customers.

4. Your Frappuccino™ tastes, looks, and is delivered the same way whether you are in Miami, New York, Boston, or Los Angeles. This business process management yields efficient and consistent; results, benefiting the customer, store and corporate.

I am a firm believer that the real estate transaction has been commoditized. What is going to separate the winners from the losers will be the quality and consistency of what the brokerage and its agents can deliver to the consumer. The key to this will be the ability to install business process systems that facilitate the seamless, accountable, and transparent organization of information key to the real estate transaction. Improving your business process management will allow you to deliver the best real estate transaction possible for agents and consumers.

“I love the way the new Ford Mustang™ drives!” Business process systems deliver a great consumer experience.

1. Assembly line workers follow specific instructions for putting together the multitude of components that go into building a car;

2. Quality control personnel inspect at every point along the way, assuring the specific standards that have been set for the car are being met;

3. Metal, engine, electronics, glass, plastic and other suppliers all meet strict specifications for the vehicle set by corporate; as a result,

4. Your Ford Mustang™ looks perfect and performs as promised—regardless of where it was built. The business process systems utilized for the cars’ manufacture ensure a great experience for the auto consumer.

Those brokerages possessing the most efficient business process systems will be in the best position to deliver better, more consistent and more profitable real estate transactions. Delivering a superior transaction results in satisfied agents and happy clients. Furthermore, agents that understand the importance of business process management will be eager to join brokerages that focus on improving their business process workflow. The brokerages willing to make the necessary investments in their business process systems appeal to the agent of the future—the demographic that brokers desperately need to win big in their markets.

“I am considering listing my house with your firm.” How well do your business process systems perform?

• How quickly and consistently is someone responding to real estate leads?

• Are all responding communications handled professionally and consistently?

• Once the listing is taken, how does the information get to the sign company, your accounting software, your web vendor, the MLS, etc.? Can you pinpoint inconsistent practices within your workflow? What about duplicate information generated within your business process systems?

• During the sales process, can you ensure the consistent and quality communication between your agent and the consumer?

• Once under contract, how do you guarantee the use of your mortgage or title partner(s)?

• Can you maintain a consistently great experience for your client and your agent?; and, as a result of your answers to the previous questions;

• Do you deliver a real estate transaction experience that leaves your clients completely satisfied? Word of mouth and referrals are the best and most reliable marketing you can have. Do your clients refer your firm and agents to their friends and family?

Surely there will be those that say it would be nice to have better business process systems but will balk at making the necessary investments. To those brokerages, I point out what early adapters accomplished in other industries:

• Apple led the digital music revolution and fundamentally changed the music industry.

• Ford paid attention to consumer trends and made serious changes to their products thus avoiding bailouts and other dire consequences a few years ago.

Although it may not seem necessary today, installing business process systems and focusing on business process management solutions is critical for your real estate business. Streamlining the real estate transaction is increasingly important as consumers continue to demand a better transaction experience. Furthermore, better systems and processes will ultimately deliver cost savings and efficiencies that will allow you to squeeze additional dollars out of every transaction.

More efficiency, increased profits, and better consumer experiences will lead to stability and growth in the new and turbulent world that is real estate brokerage.

Jose Perez is the founder and chief visionary of PCMS Consulting. PCMS provides innovative solutions leading brokerages require to enhance their market position and profitability.

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