Efficiency is such a buzz word right now.
In real estate, everyone is talking about how they need to become more efficient to remain competitive in a tech-enabled future.
In part, much of this relates to having great, repeatable processes that allow you to manage more customers with fewer resources.
In sales, you can scale a team and handle more transactions, have more consistent marketing and better service.
In property management, you can manage more properties per property manager.
Sometimes the changes only need to be small to be super-effective.
As we’ve learned recently from James Clear in Atomic Habits – even the most minuscule improvements to a business process can compound and result in better efficiency, lowered costs and happier employees.
If you notice any of these five things in your business, it might be time to look at your internal processes to see if there are any places where you can save time, effort or resources.
1. Too many email enquiries
If you or your team are swamped with inboxes full of support queries that are potentially left unanswered, then something has got to give. This is possibly where an auto-reply, bot or FAQ can help by answering questions before your customers email you. If customers are asking the same questions over and over then it’s time to put a system in place that gets you on the front foot and answers questions before they ask.
2. Nobody understands why
Sometimes a business process needs to be improved in order to make it clearer for the person that needs to execute it. Answering incoming enquiries in terms of lead generation is a great example – is it explicit as to why these need to be handled professionally, consistently and quickly?
3. Repetition or Duplication
If two people are doing the same thing or parts of the same job then the process needs to be simplified to cut out the “back and forth”. When people say they do things a certain way “because that’s the way we’ve always done it,” there might be a better way.
4. Resources Going Down the Drain
You might find that resources aren’t being deployed effectively – if you have a senior property manager doing a lot of admin, chances are, with some well-documented processes admin tasks can be delegated or outsourced.
5. There’s a lot of stress
Finally, a major warning sign is when you see members of your team looking stressed. The inefficiency in the workflows aren’t always obvious but you can see what happens when employees get tired and/or burned out. If your employees are stressed, you need to look at the work they’re doing and see what’s causing the stress and work out some way to streamline.
Streamlining your processes isn’t hard to do at all – so long as you’ve got some good tools and don’t try to do everything at once.
Recently, we came across this great tool in our business called Process Street – they actually have built-in checklists for real estate agents. While they do have a bit of a US flavour something straight out the box makes it easy to tweak and tailor to your own processes.
Here is an example of a client onboarding checklist that might help secure your next listing or management:
And.. a sample of a tenant move in process…
Business changes are implemented gradually by taking one task at a time, tightening up the one task, implementing, and monitoring. Once you’ve made one improvement, you move on to the next.
Note – we will be posting more checklists here – so check back soon!