Systems can remove all the stress and guess work out of your business. When you always know what tasks need to be completed, when, and how, and in which order, suddenly you’re not living in chaos anymore.
When you systematize your business, you’re not on the treadmill of constantly reinventing the wheel. You’ve determined a process that will bring you a positive outcome, and you repeat it each time to bring you greater success and revenue.
Another great thing about getting systems in place is these systems can one day be turned over to an assistant or transaction coordinator. You’ll have specific things that you can pay someone else to do and they are already all laid out.
So, you may be beginning to think this idea of systems might be a good thing to implement in your business, but you have NO idea where to begin.
Definition – A business system is just a documented process of doing something. For example, the process you use when you acquire a listing. It often looks like a checklist or a set of instructions. The system both tells you the expected result and the current best practice to get that result.
Step 1. More simply, a system is just a repeatable process that you can follow to produce the same result multiple times.
Any action or sequence of actions you take more than once is a system. From a business perspective, this means that the many, many tasks we take each day in our business can and should be systematized.
The process you take after receiving a referral, to set up a listing, or to keep in touch with clients to expand your circle of influence – those are all systems. You probably already have some systems here without realizing it – you do what works for you, but maybe you’re not totally intentional about it, and you don’t have it written down and planned out.
Just an FYI, I am not talking about automation here, although some systems can eventually be put on automation.
Because each agent’s business is different, your systems will all be different. That means it’s up to us to break down our business, piece by piece, step by step, to identify what processes need to be systematized.
2. Identifying systems/categories
Think about your business actions and tasks. You need to break down your daily, weekly, and monthly tasks to determine what processes you repeat to build your systems.
You want to look at all the different areas of your business to do this. Consider the systems that can make up each part of what you do every week. (note- if you have a busy life in general, this will work for personal things too!)
For a Real Estate Agent, below are some basic systems you may need to have in place. Remember, we’re just getting the big picture right now.
- Lead Generation
- Lead Management
- Transaction Management
- Marketing, Branding, Social Media
- Admin Work
Step 3 – Breaking it down into manageable bites
When you look at each one of those areas listed above, they are so broad and can easily overwhelm an already overloaded agent. I promise if you put a little time and effort into working through THIS process, you will be able to free up time and mental energy in your business and your life. (who couldn’t use more mental energy?!)
This step is going to take some time to work through, so grab your notebook or open a Google doc and let your ideas flow.
Step 4 -Implementation
Now that you’ve decided how you want these processes to look, you need to decide how to make sure you execute them the same way, every time.
How will you make sure that every time you prospect, open escrow, market to your database, you follow your prescribed steps? There are a couple of ways we can do this.
You can create folders in Google Drive/Evernote/Dropbox for each process that you can simply open up to to follow your checklists and procedures. Or, if you are a paper person, you could keep these all in a binder or in a pretty folder on your desk for easy access. There is no “best method”, the best one if the one that you will USE!
Feeling even more overwhelmed?
I am sure you get the picture! And I am hoping you are not too overwhelmed at this point, but maybe you are. This is what I suggest you do to help implement this without losing your sanity, and it is the premise of what this website is built on. Setting up your processes one at a time. Or build a loose framework of the majority and then come back and flesh out a little at a time.
How do you know which one to start with?
My suggestion to you is look at your life and business currently. Which one of these processes, or lack thereof, are causing you the most stress and costing you the most time? THAT is where you need to start!
The next time you are working on this specifically stressful task/project, note the steps you are taking, or should be taking, list other steps that would be helpful and give more bang for you. As you work through that process to a successful ending, note those things that really helped make a big difference and those can be a framework for you new process.
Go back over your notes and put things in the order they should go, adding to or taking away where needed. Type this up into a document for further review, but if you are like me, I am a visual person and work better by seeing checklists in front of me on my bulletin board.
In upcoming blog posts, I will dive deeper into the different processes and how they look for a real estate business. I’d love to have you comment below on how you feel about your current systems!