After being in the real estate business for a number of years, I can honestly say I know how crazy things can get trying to keep up with new prospects, home showings and just keeping up with the daily general tasks. So, to help you stay on track, I’ve created a list of 10 tried-and-true steps (in no particular order) to make sure your real estate business is organized, efficient, and stays on task each and every day.
- Make sure that your mobile device apps (smartphone and tablet) sync with your laptop or desktop computer.
If your systems aren’t syncing, do not even go to number 2 on this list. You need to make sure that each and every app you have installed on your phone properly syncs to your computer; this includes photo apps, list apps, your CRM or lead generation apps, and even your contacts. If you add a new prospect to your phone, think of the time you lose manually transferring that info to your computer. Take time to set this up effectively. If you aren’t techy, ask your kid to help or hire someone to help you set this up.
- Use a CRM to track all of your leads contacts.
A CRM (customer relationship manager) is a platform, program, or app for documenting your relationships and activities with your clients, prospects, and sphere of influence. You’ve got a wide array to CRMs to choose from with all sorts of varying bells and whistles. Ask anyone and they can make a recommendation of two or three that might be worth trying. Whatever one you select, be sure to use it daily.
- Use a daily planner or journal.
Even if you are paperless, there is always some moment of the day when you need to document something. Maybe you’re a victim of the habit of writing on a crumpled napkin kept the console of your car or jotting a thought on a post-it note on your desk. The best place to document all of your thoughts, ideas, and notes is in a single place, such as a daily planner or a journal. In this way, you’ve got a record of all of your notes in one place. You never know when in the future you may need to look back at something.
- Backup all your work to the cloud.
I’m definitely not a gloom and doom person, but I always operate with the following in the back of my head: if my computer gets stolen or my house burns down, I’d like to be able to have the documentation available to work the very next day. That’s why it is important to back-up everything to the cloud. Use iCloud, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive or even an automated computer backup system for your computer
- Use a paperless transaction management system.
If your office requires a paper file, you may also want to look into a system that is paperless. In this way, you, your broker, your client, and your team all have access to all aspects of the transaction 24 hours a day/7days a week.
- Make a regular communication plan with your team.
Think you are a one-person show? You’re probably not. You’ve got lenders, settlement offices, perhaps a transaction coordinator, a virtual assistant, a buyer’s agent, and a broker. Make sure that you have a system in place for regular communication with your team. This can include weekly meetings, shared documents, conference calls, etc.
- Make documented systems for everything you do—from social media posting to open house schedules.
It’s always a good idea to develop a system for everything you do. From listing generation and management to open house prep and social media posting. If there are steps involved in getting it done, it should be documented. The best and easiest way to do this is to make screen capture videos. So, the next time you do something that you think someone on your team may benefit from learning, make it into a video and then upload it into YouTube as private and share with team members when applicable.
- Work a regular schedule.
Real estate is riddled with temptation. You’ve probably been invited to many Happy Hour events or golf games this very month. Establish a regular work schedule and treat your business like a business; show up every day and work hard and with passion. Your team will echo your positive and disciplined actions.
- Plan marketing and advertising in advance.
Don’t do any of your marketing or advertising on a whim. Schedule all of your social media activities and marketing plans in advance. Have established templates for your listings and open houses, and use those each and every time you have a new listing or schedule an open house. Plan ahead by 5-7 days and don’t leave anything until the last minute.
- Use Hootsuite, Buffer, or another social media management platform to schedule your social media posts.
Make a social media calendar for the month; plan your posts, and then schedule them for the entire month. Do this at the end of the previous month and you’ll have one less thing to worry about for the next 30 days.
While staying organized in real estate can be overwhelming, the key to your success is making a plan and sticking to it. I hope the 10 suggestions above will help you to stay organized each and every day. Have questions about the above or need advice on how to get started? Go to MyPipelinePlanner.com where you’ll find some great tools to help you or read my book “Been There, Done That: Ten Agent Success Principles from a Short Sale Insider” which is a great guidebook on how to be a great agent no matter the real estate market.