Reblogger Bob Crane
Real Estate Agent with Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities #1 in Forest Land Mgmt

Being a big fan of systems for success, I am enjoying reading a lot of posts like this one, I hope you learn something from this too!


Original content by Olga Simoncelli CT, NY, FL


In the corporate world, business travel is sometimes viewed as one of the perks. It can be a way to see some of the world, true, but like anything else, if it is done right, it’s a lot of work, too.

summarize and document

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When I was an international bank executive, one of the scourges of the travel process was writing up the dreaded meeting reports after each business encounter. During a busy overseas trip, when calling on clients, that could mean: breakfast meeting, one or two morning meetings, lunch meeting, one or two afternoon meetings, followed by a dinner meeting. Clearly, homework needed to be done ahead of time regarding each individual institution. To share the proceedings with bosses and colleagues, one needed to write up a report as soon as possible after returning to the office. This was long before cell phones, laptops, tablets or emails for speedy communications. For greater efficiency, I used to dictate while still on the road and have my secretary type up the reports upon return.


In the REAL ESTATE world, Bob Stewart described a brilliant system adapted by Ben Kinney to convey in writing every little activity a realtor undertakes in the process of selling a home, of which there are many. The key is in communicating this to clients in order to a) demonstrate continuing efforts and  b) stay in touch.

That same concept should be extended to verbal communications, particularly in my situation, for example, as a realtor-consultant. In this case, it is often ADVICE that is given rather than specific actions performed. Consultative conversations can be just as valuable and important and your ideas may even constitute intellectual property.




  • document the verbal exchange

  • clarify everyone’s thinking

  • seek written confirmation from client

  • suggest follow-up course of action that can be tracked


Some of the definitions of  to SUMMARIZE are as follows:


“give a brief statement”


“the main points of [something]


“sum up”






“put in a nutshell”




“give the gist of”


Use any of these openings for a quick follow-up email to your clients after speaking with them, for example:


“Mr. SELLER, it was good to chat with you this afternoon about your home and how the selling process is going. To sum up, you expressed a concern regarding the low number of showings over the past week. Let us review why that might be….” You can now list your reasons, which might be something the seller needs to address i.e. price, availability or extraneous factors such as bad weather. In any case, you go on record as having a) called b) paid attention c) suggested explanations and more importantly d) recommended corrective action. For example,  “Let us now move forward and try it this way” - list your steps and get client to acknowledge in writing, then follow up.




“Mr. and Mrs, BUYER, it was nice to see you this afternoon. We took a look at three homes that you narrowed down from my list (list them). I heard good words from you about all of them;  would love to hear what you think after you had a chance to discuss the homes in private”. You encourage clients  to respond in writing to get a better sense of what they’re thinking and which way they’re leaning. Accordingly, you can then come back with additional suggestions or listings, in writing, and continue to engage your clients.




“Mr. and Mrs. BUYER, we spoke earlier and in brief, you seem to be deciding in favor of submitting a bid on 5 Main Street in Anytown. We can do that. The following needs to happen next and these are the supporting documents I will need from you:”


List all that needs to be done, use a good checklist, get clients to acknowledge in writing and follow up.



Having a documented written record of suggestions from you and concurrences from clients is also a good risk management practice, in case any question arise later as to who said what and when. Avoiding risk and legal pitfalls is not a bad thing: money saved is money earned!







203-482-2009 Cell

Your Real Estate Consultant and “green broker. 

Candlewood Lake Real Estate




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Bill Roberts
Brooks and Dunphy Real Estate - Oceanside, CA
"Baby Boomer" Retirement Planner

Bob Crane Very interesting post. I knew there was a reason I didn't like the corporate world.

Bill Roberts

Oct 22, 2015 01:29 AM #1
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint
Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Hello Bob,  I started this habit a while back.  Unfortunately any more almost a necessity.  And in using the key word phrases as openers does not put the recipient off in thinking you are documenting.  More that you are doing an excellent job of communicating with them.  Mark

Oct 22, 2015 05:11 AM #2
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

I'm a big believer in "summarizing" verbal and now text exchanges in writing to ensure everyone is singing from the same hymn book and to clarify positions. The extra effort to do so will pay off more often than people realize.

Oct 22, 2015 07:36 AM #3
Francine Viola
Coldwell Banker Evergreen Olympic Realty, Olympia WA - Olympia, WA
REALTOR®, In Tune with your Real Estate Needs

This is absolutely important to document verbal conversations with a follow up email.  My broker is an attorney so I've heard this before (!) but this is well worth taking the few extra minutes to document.  GREAT advice!

Oct 22, 2015 10:29 AM #4
Sally Crane
WMS - Unity, WI
Woodland appraisal support.

Great re-blog, Bob, Thanks.  It is essential to summarize and document important activities as soon as you can after the initial contact.  We do this at work quite often - my only problem is getting the google,docs to work the way they are supposed to.

Oct 22, 2015 10:51 AM #5
David Shamansky
US Mortgages - David Shamansky - Highlands Ranch, CO
Creative, Aggressive & 560 FICO - OK, Colorado Mtg

Good choice for a reblog Bob. Yes quality communication is a critical key for success

Oct 22, 2015 11:14 AM #6
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Thanks Bob... great advice and a system all REALTORS should use.

Oct 22, 2015 12:17 PM #7
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Documentation is the one thing that has kept me out of trouble all these years.

Oct 23, 2015 12:39 AM #8
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