Creating the ultimate "system" - Homefinder.com Makeover

By
Real Estate Broker/Owner with Catarra Real Estate, Inc CA BRE #01191946

I've looked at a lot of "systems" that involve everything from lead generation to customer satisfaction.  Some are good, some are a waste of time, all of them cost money.  A lot of money.  And none of them...absolutely none...are just right for me.  I need to create my own "Ultimate System".

Start:  A Vision

I've had a strategic vision for a long time...focus on luxury real estate.  There has been some success but not as much as I'd like.  There has to be more to what I offer, so that means focusing on defining a brand.  What is it that I really offer and how different is that from anyone else.

To stand out, my brand vision is to offer a breadth of services on par with a five-star hotel.  A highly personalized client experience that means whatever the client wants...within reason...they get.  We do the job so well they don't want anyone else.

How do I define what that means?  Easy - just make a list of everything I want to offer or do.  Then segment the list into two categories - what I do now and what I want to do.

Foundation:  Four Aspects of Business

I've determined there are four major areas of my business.  They are:

  • Lead generation
  • Client/Transaction Management
  • Customer Satisfaction/Retention
  • Operations

Within each of those are a set of processes that define how I do business.  The way I do it may not be the same as the way someone else does it.  It's not better, per se, just different.  So, within each of those areas I need to write out all the things I do within each area.  For example, in lead generation I might include online ads, print ads, and social mixers.  I might do the first two and not the third.  Documenting what I do in each major area begins to organize my system.

These four major areas are documented in a series of Powerpoint slides that start with the high-level major areas.  I've started and will continue to create more slides that show the details of each individual area and their relationships to each other.

Details:  Creating Checklists

The one thing I don't do well is track what I'm doing.  I'm fairly organized and overall I have a handle on things but nothing is centralized.  There's no clear method of tracking my clients, deals, advertising, expenses, and on and on.  For me to improve my business, I need to take the things I do, organized in those four major areas, and create checklists.

The power of the checklist - a step-by-step list of everything you need to do - is a powerful tool.  It cuts out the waste and makes things efficient.  All I have to do is create it.  So, I'll be using Microsoft Excel (or you could use Google Apps) to create a list of what each process requires me to do.  Now I've got the core of "The Ultimate System".  I can now check off every step of everything I do to run my business.

Execution:  Implementing Technology

Depending on the process, I will need to implement a wide range of technologies.  There is a wide range of software that can be used to accomplish these goals.  Here's a list of the technologies I have already determined will be used:

  • Lead Generation - Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, my own website, and others
  • Client Management - E-Agents, MLS Listings
  • Transaction Management - Transaction Point
  • Digital Signatures - Docusign
  • Virtual Tours - TourFactory.com
  • Blogging - Activerain, Wordpress (TBD)
  • Customer Satisfaction - Custom website (with call center backup)
  • Online Storage - Google Drive
  • Budget and Expenses - Expensify

All of these could be changed depending on how well they perform.  Consistantly I'll be using Microsoft Office apps to create tracking spreasheets and checklists.  Those are supported by Google Apps so anything I upload to the Google Drive can be shared by others as needed.  Almost everything I'm using is free or very inexpensive.

So, that's the how I'm going to put it all together.  As of now, this process has been started but it's a long way from completion.  I expect the entire system to be documented and in place by the end of August.  Some aspects are already in place and that's resulting in more business.  For example, lead generation processes were updated and have resulted in a 400% increase in leads.  Those changes included using bits from the IMSD program, Brian Buffini, and my own ideas.

 

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
241,926
Ellie Penaranda
239.776.5077 Downing-Frye Realty - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate - Waterfront & Beach Co

Bryan, great way of breaking it down... August being our slowest month of the year we usually regroup and look at the whole picture, this was a timely post for me, thanks.

July 28, 2012 10:58 AM #20
Rainmaker
495,944
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida - Naples, FL
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty

Very nice.  I would assume that your yearly business plan is equally impressive.

July 28, 2012 11:09 AM #21
Rainer
81,653
Iris Stuart
none - Santa Rosa, CA

Bryan, you have a great game plan layed out.  I've bookmarked your post as I'll be moving soon and will need to get serious about developing my business in a new area.  As a relative newbie to RE I'm using this challenge to learn from  experienced agents.  AR is a wonderful place to learn! Thank you!   

July 28, 2012 11:36 AM #22
Rainmaker
313,610
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

Hi Bryan, this makes it look like you are practically where you want to be. This layout is impressive. Good luck, I know you will do it!

July 28, 2012 01:50 PM #23
Rainer
307,045
Jennifer Chiongbian
Specializing in all types of Manhattan apts & townhouses - Manhattan, NY
Real Estate Broker - NYC

Great roadmap on how to get your goals to materialize without spending too much money!

July 28, 2012 02:34 PM #24
Ambassador
1,090,578
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

This is a good roadmap and I like the way that you have outlined your goals. Have a nice weekend.

July 28, 2012 03:54 PM #25
Ambassador
1,229,022
Erica Ramus
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA - Pottsville, PA
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate

We are using many of these as well. I love Google Drive and sharing documents with clients that way. We also have been using Realty Juggler for our coordination of CRM, income/goal tracking, and transaction management. It's got a 90 day free trial and it's $99/month per agent, which for our office is just what we need. I need to work more on my checklists, though!

July 28, 2012 05:10 PM #26
Rainmaker
332,138
John Juarez
Prudential California Realty - Fremont, CA
CDPE, ePRO, SRES, GRI, PMN

One of the most challenging aspects of being a Realtor is that we are business practitioners. We are responsible for finding business, doing business and accounting for business and everything that goes into those functions.

The perfect system does not exist but the search goes on.

July 28, 2012 05:22 PM #27
Rainmaker
546,369
Gary Frimann
Eagle Ridge Realty / Signature Homes & Estates - Gilroy, CA
California Broker and REALTOR

Looks liike a complete and throrough plan.  I agree with your first paragraph-- nothing works better and more cheaply, than out own plan.

July 28, 2012 06:31 PM #28
Rainer
131,124
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com

Isn't it good to get it all in writing.  That is the first step to bringing clarity to a plan.  Obviously the next step is action.  Good luck to you.

July 28, 2012 06:35 PM #29
Rainmaker
305,645
Wandanna Melliphant
Royal Lepage Credit Valley Real Estate Brokerage - Mississauga, ON
A Name Real Estate Investors Trust and Recommend

Hi Bryan,

Thanks for sharing this timely blog. I'm currently in the process of changing my lead generation system and processes.

I may need to borrow a few ideas from your good looking plan :)

 

July 28, 2012 07:47 PM #30
Rainer
234,262
Doug Bullwinkel
Vitek Mortgage Group - Roseville, CA
NMLS #281609

It looks like you just made it in time for the deadline.  Great post.   You presented some good ideas for us to follow.  Good luck in the contest.

July 28, 2012 08:39 PM #31
Rainmaker
648,060
Evelyn Kennedy
Gallagher & Lindsey, Alameda, California - Alameda, CA
Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA

Bryan:

I like your plan and the actions it will take to accomplish that plan.  I am tackle a similar plan to increase my efficient with a new contact management system.  I'll be interested to hear what systems work best for you.

July 28, 2012 09:15 PM #32
Ambassador
1,164,468
Tammie White
Benchmark Realty, LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.TWRealtyGroup.net - Franklin, TN
TW Realty Group, Franklin TN, South of Nashville

Bryan, this is a winner. You have done some excellent work here. My husband is joining me in the business soon. I have bookmarked this for his reading. It's a nice overview of what we should all strive to do.

July 28, 2012 10:56 PM #33
Ambassador
1,295,323
Praful Thakkar
Keller Williams Realty - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Bryan, what a plan! Virutally flaw-less.

I know, it's easy to do and it's easy not to do, too. Isn't that the difference between success and failure?

July 28, 2012 11:10 PM #34
Ambassador
1,550,526
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Bryan - I'm working on checklists and implementing some of my own organization.  It's a little daunting.

July 28, 2012 11:37 PM #35
Rainmaker
572,328
Phil Leng
Keller Williams Eastside Market Center - Kirkland, WA
Phil Leng Team - Residential Real Estate Experts &
Hi Bryan, An ambitious endeavor. I have no doubt you will pull it off! Phil
July 29, 2012 02:12 AM #36
Rainer
229,086
Linda Urbick
Keller Williams Realty - San Ramon, CA
San Ramon, CA Homes for Sale - 925.415.3046

Bryan - I was just having this conversation and getting ready to sit down and outline a plan to increase my leads so this post was very timely. It just proves having a strategic plan with definitive steps will keep me focused. Thanks

July 29, 2012 03:18 PM #37
Rainer
131,124
Laura Murray
Weichert - Silver Spring, MD
Search Montgomery Co., MD for homes www.MDRealEstateOnline.com

Went back an read some of the comments.  i really really like Fernando's idea of getting a private Wordpress to keep info/guides for clients and co-workers.

July 31, 2012 06:05 PM #38
Rainmaker
1,328,648
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Making that list and checking it twice Bryan Umm where have I heard that before. LOL. I am big on list and systems

August 10, 2012 08:42 PM #39
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Ambassador
1,082,802

Bryan Robertson

Broker, Author, Speaker
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