One of the most common failings, in business and in life, is to fall into behaviours or patterns just because they are comfortable and easy to you. But are they really easy? Do we just do some things because that’s the way it has always been done? What owners need to do, on a periodic basis, is ask the following questions about each facet of their operation. Who? What? When? Where? Why? What makes sense when you had 10 agents and one office might not make sense any longer with 100 agents and three offices. We must all be vigilant for opportunities to improve our businesses.
- Do we still print, fold and stuff agent monthly statements…Why not e-mail them?
- Do we still write on deal folders or use sheet labels…Why not print them?
- Do we write cheques (checks) to agents and staff…Why not use direct deposit?
If a common phrase in your office is “I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH TIME” maybe it’s because of another common phrase “WE’VE ALWAYS DONE IT THAT WAY.” Be aware!
There are lots of other little inefficiencies to be alert for. Have you noticed multiple adjustments being made in the process of your accounting being done? Are your agents providing the necessary information for your administrators to do the job right the first time? Is information being handled once and filed away? How many cheques (checks) need to be reversed? How many deals need to be un-finalized? How many referrals are missed on deals? Anything that BLOCKS DATA FLOW IS INEFFICIENT. Sharing data throughout your organization will greatly increase the efficiency of each staff member.
Implementing effective systems for the brokerage means that your staff can work at full efficiency. A good example is having default file requirements established for each type of transactions to ensure that the required information is entered for each transaction before it closes. Have your staff design a standard sheet with the information they require from the agents for each transaction and have your system monitor it. A great system would be one that e-mails agents before closing with what documents are needed to close.
Asking the staff for information and being told that they will get back to you with it is not the way to run a business. Your staff should be able to quickly access information through a few keystrokes that provide you with reports integrating data from all parts of your operation. And to maintain the power of your own office, you should be able to enter your system and have your favorite reports available at the press of a button.