I have been recently wondering what is it that a Realtor does to become the top agent in his or her office… Is it the actions they take? Is it the massive amount of marketing? Is it the socializing at many events? Is it paying for alphabet soup titles? Is it going to seminars to learn every statistic possible? Is it doing phone duty after phone duty after phone duty? Is it doing everyone’s open houses that will allow you to? Is it cross marketing other agent’s listings on your website? Is it calling all of your friends and family members everyday wondering if they met someone yet to give you a lead? Is it making your young kids join as many extracurricular activities so you can market yourself to a hostage audience? Is it calling FSBO's, when they obviously don’t want a Realtor to begin with? Is it eating donuts and drinking massive amounts of coffee in the break room hoping to hear the secret advice that will make you fortunes?
Well as you can see life as a Realtor can be very confusing because the SOP or standard operating procedure book doesn’t actually exist. My only way to compare this is when you have your first child. You pass the extremely mind confusing national exam and BAM! You’re a Realtor. Well that same passion got you a child and Wham! Your baby is here. You know you are so excited you go buy new clothes, new car, new electronics, new marketing materials, new shoes, tell everyone you know, publish on every web option you know of that you are Realtor. Well the same for your baby; you buy new clothes, new car, new monitors, new baby photos, new shoes, tell absolutely everyone you know and more and publish on anything that will allow you… You see all of this excitement is amazing yet your bills are piling up now the excitement turns into beautiful baby, no sleep, zombie mode. You’re licensed but nervous and everyone has the immediate answers and advice comes from everywhere. Sound familiar; with babies, everyone is an expert on how you should raise your child, food options, sleep habits, teething, immunizations, soothing, etc… Well let me tell you this is when your checklist needs to become the go to!
I recently listened to a great book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande which completely introduced me to a better way to manage my work (not to mention my life). Gawande, a surgeon by trade, provides a series of examples from medicine showing how the routine tasks of surgeons have become so incredibly complicated that mistakes are virtually inevitable. It’s too easy, for even the most talented doctor, to miss a step, or forget to ask a key question, while under immense stress. Gawande shows how checklists, literally written guides that walk them through the key steps in any complex procedure, can be the difference between life and death.
While real estate is nowhere near as complex as medicine, real estate can be an extremely complicated business and in line with what the author sees in the medical world, the real estate world has its own culture of ego and confidence that sometimes can result in basic errors.
I’ve listed a series of basic checklists which are part of a daily/weekly work routine and have completely shifted the way I approach tasks. Something a simple action of 3 checks before sending an email can make the difference between complete embarrassment and a clean reputation within your business.
Here are just a few of the checklists to use on a weekly basis:
- Weekly Goal List
- Accelerate Checklist
- New Client(s) Checklist
- Due Diligence Checklist
- Marketing & Media Checklist
- Listing Client(s) Checklist
- Quarterly Client Letter Checklist
Checklist don’t only help avoid mistakes by distilling detailed processes, they help your work become more efficient. For instance, 3-5 deals come across your desk so create a simple checklist that allows it easy to screen deals and determine which are in need of more assistance or more importantly your TIME.
- □ Competitive advantage / inside track?
- □ Ability to add value at the property-level?
- □ Does the story make sense?
- □ Know why this great opportunity is coming to you?
- □ Good in-place cash flow?
- Email one new contact a day
A simple checklist like this can have an incredible impact on success of your business.
The modern workspace requires us to revisit what we mean by expertise. Experts need help. The truth is the best way to become the TOP AGENT in your office, to me, is to be the most invested into your business with the best grasp on how to manage your TIME…