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— by Bridget James

How to Improve Your Business with Real Estate Systems

Are you currently implementing real estate systems in your business? 

If you’re not 100% sure, then the answer is no. Real estate systems are the result of conscientious decision-making and deliberate action. They don’t happen by accident.  

What exactly are real estate systems? 

Simply put, real estate systems are your strategically planned business procedures. They are the procedures you use to perform certain tasks and the way you want those tasks replicated in the future (not just by yourself, but by anyone who may join your team down the road).  

You can think of your documented real estate systems as a procedures manual or operations manual for your business. 

Real estate systems also take advantage of automation. Why would you manually handle routine processes when you can create systems to automatically handle them for you?  

Today I’ll show you how real estate systems can improve your business. We’ll also talk about which systems you need and how to create them.  

Why You Need Real Estate Systems 

Think you can get by without real estate systems? It might be possible, but it’ll certainly make your life harder than it needs to be.  

Let’s go over a few of the ways real estate systems will improve your business (and your life)!    

Provide Consistent Quality 

When you have real estate systems in place, your clients will receive consistently high-quality service. You could be involved in a transaction personally, or your could delegate it to an assistant. As long as your office is following your real estate systems, your clients will receive the same great results, regardless. 

Simplify Your Workload 

Real estate systems also simplify your workload by providing clear instructions for completing any given task. Have you ever sat at your desk, staring at your computer, wondering which tasks you should be doing in that moment to maximize your returns? With real estate systems, you don’t have to worry about questions like this. You know exactly what you should be doing, when and how. 

Save Time 

This simplicity and clarity also save you time. When you implement effective real estate systems, you are able to spend less time wondering what to do, or how to do it, and more time actually doing it. You’ll get more done in less time.  

Highlight Inefficiencies 

When we get into our own work routine, it’s difficult to see inefficiencies. We continue doing things the way they’ve always been done. But when you start creating your real estate systems, you’ll suddenly notice waste. You’ll be able to see where you’re spending too much time or too many resources. And you can make adjustments to improve the efficiency of your business. 

Grow Your Business 

Growing your business might be your ultimate goal. Growth means you can serve more people. It also means you can make more money. Once your real estate systems are in place, you’ll be able to scale your business so you take on more clients without overextending your resources.  

 Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Systems, Bridget James

Which Real Estate Systems Should You Create? 

Theoretically, you can have a real estate system for every aspect of your business. From prospecting to closing gifts. Even down to the proper way to make a pot of coffee for the office.  

But some systems will obviously have a greater impact than others. So let’s focus on some simple, but powerful, real estate systems that will take your business to the next level. 

The perfect place to start is with Gary Keller’s three L’s from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent: Leads, Listings, and Leverage. Next-level agents implement real estate systems to handle each of the three.  

Leads 

Leads are the lifeblood of your real estate practice. Without leads, you have no clients and no deals. Systemizing your lead generation and conversion processes will result in more clients and more successful transactions.  

Leads systems include: 

  • Business marketing: how will you promote your business? 
  • Responses to prospect inquiries: for example, you may want to draft copy-and-paste answers to frequently asked questions as part of your response system so you don’t have to spend time repeating yourself with each new prospect.  
  • New client meetings: how will you conduct your introductory meetings? What information can you provide prospects to start building trust and earning their business? 

Listings 

If you want to run an efficient real estate business, focus on gaining more listings, not more buyers.  

Listings require less time and allow you more scheduling flexibility (you don’t have to work around the clients’ schedules nearly as much as with buyers).  

You can also be more confident in your ability to collect payment as a seller’s agent than as a buyer’s agent. We’ve all had buyers cut us out of a deal at one time or another. And even with a buyer’s brokerage agreement, forcing payment of commissions can easily get contentious. It’s a headache you just don’t need. 

So work with well-qualified, sense-of-urgency buyers, but focus your efforts on earning listings from sellers.   

Listings systems include: 

  • Listing presentations: what can you show prospective sellers during your listing presentation that will distinguish yourself from your competition and help your sellers feel comfortable contracting with you? 
  • Staging: how will you help your sellers stage to sell? 
  • Property marketing: how will you promote your new listings? 
  • Client communication: when and how will you be in touch with your sellers while the property is on the market and under contract? 

Leverage 

Leverage is all about finding and utilizing resources to help you scale your business.  

Perhaps you could spend more time landing more listings if you hired a transaction coordinator to manage the paperwork for your pending deals. Or you could spend more time on income-generating activities if you hired an assistant to handle the administrative aspects of your practice.  

Leverage your resources to help you serve more clients and increase your revenue.  

Leverage systems include: 

  • Assistants: what tasks can you delegate to an assistant (as an employee or even as a freelance virtual assistant)? 
  • Buyer agents: as your business grows, you may find you need a designated Buyer’s Agent to handle your buyers. 
  • Automation software: can some of your tasks, like social media posts or email campaigns, be handled by automation software? 

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Systems, Bridget James

How to Create Your Real Estate Systems 

You can build personalized real estate systems for each of the three L’s using the same simple five-step process. 

Start with your most common business activity, which is most likely your general business marketing. Follow this process to build your business marketing real estate system. Then repeat this process for your other systems.   

Step #1: Rough Documentation 

Document what you do step-by-step. You don’t necessarily have to write everything down or type everything up. You could document computer-based processes by using screen-grab software (like Jing®) to capture videos of the activity on your computer screen.    

Step #2: Evaluation 

Review your activity documentation to find ways to work more efficiently. Is every action you take necessary? And is it getting you results? Is there a risk of poor performance or simply forgetting any tasks? Should you try something different?  

Step #3: Improvements 

Determine where you can improve your efficiency and the tools you’ll need for your improvements. You may need CRM software, a virtual assistant, or a transaction coordinator. 

Where can you improve and what tools do you need to make those changes happen? 

Step #4: Automation 

Some of the improvements you have decide on may involve some level of automation.  

Perhaps you want to send a series of emails to everyone who enters their email address on your website. You can create a simple drip email campaign to automatically send the first email as soon as your reader submits his or her email, followed by additional emails automatically sent every week or two.  

Invest time now in building those automations to save you time in the future.  

Step #5: Replicable Documentation 

Once you’ve evaluated, improved and automated your original processes, you’re ready to document your redesigned systems so they can be replicated. This replicable documentation becomes your Official Policy and Procedures/Operations Manual. 

Consider reading The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber. It discusses secrets to small business success based on the implementation and execution of systems. 

Gerber talks about creating your operations manual as if you were planning to franchise your business. This idea helps you communicate clearly in your documentation. The clearer your communication, the easier it will be for you to outsource tasks in the future, which will then free up more time for you to focus on high-priority tasks.   

Lab Coat Agents, Nick Baldwin, Tristan Ahumada, labcoatagents.com, Real Estate, Systems, Bridget James

Finding Time to Create Your Real Estate Systems 

You may be thinking to yourself, who has time for all this?! I need to be generating leads and income, not writing an operations manual.  

In the short term, sure, your time would probably be better spent on leads and revenue. But if you’re playing the long game…if you’re preparing for the future growth of your business…you need to make time to build and document your systems. 

Creating your operations manual is a marathon, not a sprint. Instead of ignoring your other tasks for months while you build your systems, dedicate a small window of time every day to work on your procedures and manual. Start with the tasks you do most often, set a goal to complete your system for that task by a certain date, then move on to the next.  

Find time to work on your business instead of just in your business. Your future business will thank you for having the foresight to build strong real estate systems.  

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