Systems Can Make You BIG MONEY in Real Estate

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Systems Can Make You BIG MONEY in Real Estate

I have always been a "systems" girl. I need things in their right place. I don't like things out of order and I like to be able to control my environment. I am not a neat freak, but I am an organizational one. I like things to have a "home" and I like things to be part of a system or process when possible.

I remember when I was a little girl, I used to organize my dolls based on their height. I would arrange them first by height and then I would organize their clothing based on color. For whatever reason I just felt more comfortable living my life that way. Fast forward many years and I am still the same way - I need things to be organized by color and categories and I like systems for almost everything I do.

I didn't realize until I got into real estate just how much my need for systems would help me to build a successful real estate career. Shortly after I began selling real estate, I realized that most real estate brokers lacked systems and they ran their business from day to day, client to client without any set system for most things in their business. I knew early on that would never work for me.

As a new real estate agent, I didn't have a big list of potential clients and I had no idea where I was going to get my clients from, so I knew I had to come up with a "system" for lead generation. I also didn't have any plan for marketing to my past clients once I had some, so I planned a "system" for that too. My need for systems is what helped me to create the tools I needed in my business and it helped me to follow a path of success. When I had no income and needed leads, I simply followed the system I had created for my geographical farm. When I needed to go on a listing presentation, I followed my "Listing Presentation System".

For every part of my business I had created a system that I could follow without having to think about it. I wanted things to be automatic, set up, organized and cohesive.

My systems consisted of:

  • A checklist of tasks that needed to be done and by whom
  • The timeline of when they were to be used
  • The templates and tools needed to carry the system out

For example, for my geographical farm lead generation system, I needed four specific tools (templates) to mail - a Monthly Market Watch template, an Annual Neighborhood Review template, a Quarterly Report template and a Real Estate Year In Review template. It also consisted of a master calendar that showed a monthly plan for when these items went out.

My system took the work out of trying to come up with new things to send out monthly. It was a system; it was easy to follow, and it allowed me to put my business on autopilot. I didn't think about it I just DID IT! This is the key to creating systems in your business.

Now I am not saying that you need to be as over-the-top about systems as I am, but I can assure you, no, I can guarantee you, that if you set up systems in your business and follow them consistently your income will change dramatically.

The problem with most systems is not the system itself - it is with the implementation of the system. I have coached so many brokers over the years that have started a system and they didn't have the personal self-discipline to see it through and found themselves right back where they started.

I have also coached many brokers who started by adding one system to their business, they methodically followed that system and it changed their business and their income.

I encourage brokers to look at their business and decide where they need the most help. There is always a system for that.

  • Perhaps your income is not where it needs to be? You may need a lead generation system!
  • Maybe you are losing listings at the listing presentation. You need a listing presentation system!
  • What if your past clients have hired someone else? You need to have a past client system that keeps you top of mind with your past clients.

I have even seen brokers completely change their income level by simply adding in a system for handling potential clients. Start with one – develop it and refine it. Then it is time to add another that solves your second-biggest problem and so on.

If you are ready to tackle your listing presentation system, an open house system, your online profiles, or more, let's get that problem solved for you!



By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Comments (15)

Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi Denise- after reading the posts of some of the agents here who have systems in place I totally agree with you!  If you have these systems in place, it keeps you from missing key steps in the transaction process. 

Jul 16, 2019 03:11 PM
Denise Lones

Absolutely. Also, for lead generation, client care and much more!

Jul 16, 2019 04:00 PM
John Wieland
Exp Realty - Delray Beach, FL
Mr Downtown Delray


I oversaw 12 offices in Costa Rica where there's no MLS. No licensing. No systems. Nothing but websites. My partners and I built systems, then mandated every use our system. Initially we lost about 40% of our sales associates. But we stayed the course. Eight years later the systems are better and not only did we add 67% of the sales people back to break even, we grew staff as word got out about our quality systems. GSV and GCI grew over 20% per year for eight years. Your essay sparked my shorty... and is a gem!

Jul 16, 2019 06:01 PM
Denise Lones

John, thank you for sharing this. We've seen international clients (agents and brokers) in this situation before and I'm thrilled that you stayed the course and made it work. - Denise

Jul 16, 2019 06:09 PM
Jameka Brooks
Brik Realty - Hoover, AL

Great article..Thank you

Jul 16, 2019 08:53 PM
Denise Lones

You are very welcome Jameka!

Jul 17, 2019 08:57 AM
Terry McCarley
Coastal Real Estate - Cape Coral FL - Cape Coral, FL

Great post!  I am working on my systems as things have changed so much the old way of doing things doesn’t work for me like it used to

Jul 17, 2019 05:35 AM
Denise Lones

If you need help with that, reach out to me and my team. Helping agents develop working systems is what we teach and do.

Jul 17, 2019 09:00 AM
Ron Aguilar
Continental Mortgage - Saint George, UT
Mortgage & Real Estate Advisor since 1995

Denise, thanks for the post. I have been following you for years although I am a Mortgage lender I see the need to always learn. Many of the agents I know do not have systems for any type of marketing. But most of those agents are not even members of AR. :(

Jul 17, 2019 07:52 AM
Denise Lones

Ron - You are welcome and I'm glad everytime to see your comments too.

Those same agents - and there are many - are often the ones with unclaimed pages, under-utilized brokerage pages, no business brand of their own, no website to call their own and so on. These are one-time tasks that have a huge business-lifetime impact. They live the income roller-coaster and are the ones missing out to agents who are implementing real plans.

I've coached a lot of agents over the last two decades, I've seen a lot of agents' efforts and industry changes, and written a lot, online and in print, here and in many other places. And I'm not the only one, there are other fantastic coaches out there too. Hopefully those agents who need it most will arrive at a place in their business where they are ready to make that change. I love what I do and want to meet them when they are ready. - Denise

Jul 17, 2019 09:15 AM
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

Hi Denise, great article. I agree, having systems is so helpful in our business. I have benefited greatly from my CRM, my critical dates list, and the the Buyer and Seller Checklists. I try to percets the systems I use every half year, when I review my business.

Jul 17, 2019 08:25 AM
Denise Lones

Those are fantastic systems to have in place. I'm thrilled you are making use of them and reviewing annually too - that's important. Good work! - Denise

Jul 17, 2019 09:17 AM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

You are quite organized and the systems are paying off for you!!

Jul 17, 2019 01:09 PM
Marc St Martin
United Real Estate Infinity - Cape Coral, FL
Your friend in the business!

Great post, Denise.  Should be mandatory reading for every agent whether brand new or seasoned.  Kudos!

Jul 18, 2019 04:17 AM
Denise Lones

Thank you Marc, I appreciate that.

Jul 22, 2019 01:21 PM
Kris Collis, Associate Broker
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Professional Results you Expect 570-801-5525

I totally agree and Marc St Martin's point is well taken - mandatory for new agents.

Jul 20, 2019 03:28 PM
Ron Tissier
Chapman Hall Premier Realtors (404) 580-9069 - Atlanta, GA
Defining Homes. Defining Lifestyles.

As a child and now adult with OCD, without "systems" in place for life and business, my world would be chaos.  Great article Denise Lones!


Jul 21, 2019 08:22 AM
Denise Lones

Thank you Ron, I'm glad you have found a way to make this work for you. - Denise

Jul 22, 2019 01:22 PM
Phil Ormsby
Cabana Real Estate LLC - Parrish, FL
Cabana Real Estate - Live where you play!

Having a database is critical. The trick is remembering to 'feed the beast' but it's worth it. Customers are always impressed when they call and I can 'remember' what we talked about last time we spoke. No, I don't have a great memory (far from it) - but I do have a great system!

Jul 21, 2019 08:43 AM
Denise Lones

I love that last sentence! Thank you Phil for the fantastic comment!

Jul 22, 2019 01:23 PM
Donna Perras
Lakes & Mountain Homes - Meredith, NH
Special Agent~Realtor serving the Lakes Region NH

Hello Denise, I am new to Actice Rain and love it! Your post is very inspirational and empowering! 

I think that is exactly what I need to help me in my business a "System".

Thank you again for the wonderful post!


Jul 22, 2019 05:58 PM
Denise Lones

Donna - A warm WELCOME to AR. I'm glad you are here and thank you for saying hello! I post every week (usually Friday, but in the summer that sometimes means Monday). If you are looking for business help, get in touch. That's what I do. - Denise

Jul 23, 2019 09:36 AM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Thank you for sharing, this is a great article and will be on my go back to read again. Have a great day. 

Jul 23, 2019 07:24 AM
Denise Lones

You are welcome. Good to hear from you, been a while! - Denise

Jul 23, 2019 09:38 AM
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services

Any business, real estate or any other business, needs to have systems in place. I also like automation. Anything we can do to automate more and more of our systems, and the implemenation of those systems, the better. Automation does not have to be software only, it can be people. I use our vas for automation. It works really well. 

Jul 23, 2019 11:35 PM
Denise Lones

I agree, thank you Katerina. I've also written on the merits of automation in the past - and that includes delegation too. (1) (2)

Jul 24, 2019 08:45 AM