If you don’t have systems in place for any task that you do more than three times, you’re doing it wrong. I’m serious: you’re wasting your time, money, and effort if you aren’t leveraging systems to make your real estate business more efficient and consistent. When employed correctly, systems make your business easier to manage, free up your time for what’s really important, and increase the performance of your entire real estate team.
Earlier this year, Workman sponsored a national study about teams that was carried out by the Center for Generational Kinetics. The study revealed several fascinating things (and you should read it by going here for your free copy), but one of the more telling statistics was that only 54% of teams claim to have systems in place for commonly repeated tasks.
This tells me that almost half of all real estate teams are leaving money on the table and not taking advantage of the best part of building a team: the ability to multiply your efforts across many people with systems and training. That said, more teams should use systems — if they want to be successful in real estate, at any rate. Here are five systems that you really need to start utilizing right now.
When To Build a Team and When To Add Team Members
This probably sounds less like a system and more like a decision to be made, but that’s why it’s the first on this list: You need to systematize team building. You need to understand what your business needs are and how a team can support them. In fact, you need to understand that when your business is sustaining a certain number of transactions, appointments, leads, etc., it’s time to add team members.
This might be a system that requires some trial and error. But if you get to the point where you can say your business has reached Metric X and now needs a new employee — this could be support staff, an agent, or something else — then your research is paying off. Without such a system in place, you’ll suffer odd growing pains each time you need to hire someone new. It might take months to recognize the signs of stress and inefficiency — months when your business isn’t running as smoothly as it should. That’s months of sacrificed profit.
Hiring, Onboarding, and Training
Once you’ve determined that, yes, you do need to hire someone, do you have systems set up for interviews? Onboarding? Training? You really, really can’t afford to reinvent the wheel every time you hire someone new. This is one of those must-have systems in real estate, so start building policies, systems, and standards into your business model.
This will prove helpful in many ways. First, it’s going to help you retain new employees. New hires who are set up for success will stick around longer, be more effective, and be able to start producing more quickly. Second, it will make the rest of the office happier to have new blood instead of dissatisfied that the new hire doesn’t seem to know which way is up yet. Third, it will help your office communicate more effectively, with the proper chain of command involved in the interviewing and hiring process.
Your new hire training systems should detail the first 30, 60, and 90 days of their employment. It doesn’t have to be specific day-to-day (necessarily), but you should have something in place to help them understand what will be expected of them during their first three months. While the base may be very similar across every role, each role should have a system specific to itself.
If you build these sorts of systems, your business will retain more employees, hire better real estate talent, and get new employees operating at a high level more quickly. Without systems like these in place, it’s no wonder if new employees don’t last past a few weeks — they aren’t being given the tools they need to succeed.
Lead Generation, Tracking, and Follow-up
How does the best lead generator on your team do it? How can you take their efforts and build a system? Imagine that everyone on your team generated leads that effectively. You’d never have a lead problem again. Once a system is in place for something like lead generation, underperformers can be held more accountable — and it won’t be unreasonable! A system builds success by empowering team members to do better and have higher accountability.
If you use a CRM to track leads and follow-ups and it’s working smoothly, that’s fantastic. The key to any system is that it be trackable and replicable, so if there’s any breakdown on your team, you need to be able to troubleshoot it until the system is fully adopted. Spending good money on a CRM only makes sense if it’s also being used effectively by everyone on your team.
Daily Habits for Success
Is there a set expectation or guideline for what each team member needs to do daily? This is a system that you need. Minimum expectations do a lot to help productivity, but they also help diagnose problems; if an agent is having trouble with a specific part of the business, their daily metrics can help you understand where they need to be trained.
People are more effective when held to a standard. That’s only useful if the standard is specific enough to create the specific results you’re looking for. You’ll have to define what kind of daily habits are right for the performance of your team, but this isn’t a system you can afford to skip.
Our National Team Study revealed that most real estate teams say communication is one of the biggest challenges they face. This doesn’t need to be the case for your team. If you build systems for communicating effectively from the outset and hold team members accountable for communicating with those systems, your organization will run more smoothly. There are apps that help teams collaborate, chat systems, and other technology that you can employ as well as setting an expectation that team members are to communicate specific successes, failures, etc. to the group as a whole regularly. If you have some sort of system set up and someone on your team is failing to adopt it, they need to be taken aside and corrected. The system — and your efficiency — can’t afford to break down due to ego, apathy, or clashing personalities.
You don’t have the time to keep on floundering about without systems for repeated tasks. Give your agents the best tools possible for success, retain better talent, and scale your business by implementing the systems you desperately need. Systemization will lead your business to new heights by letting you focus on the important things while the other stuff gets taken care of by the machine you’ve built to tend it.
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