What’s Your Workflow?

The past few months have seen several conferences highlighting the careers of many new and established agents in our industry. Focusing on the newer ones, one question that is often asked of these big-writers is, ‘What do you do?’ But as Mark McLeod points out, a better question is, ‘What did you do?’

Let’s say, for argument’s sake, someone started writing $1 million GCI in their first or second year. Logic would tell you the suburb or suburbs they work in didn’t start producing an extra $1 million of GCI because agent X started working in the area. So who did they take it from?

In simple terms, they were able to take this business because the workflow from settlement to listing was broken, no matter how long the timeframe.

The broken workflow enabled the new agent to insert themselves into a different workflow, which was contact to listing. You see, the incumbent has the inside running and therefore the advantage, but all advantage is lost when the workflow breaks down.

Our industry is just a series of workflows: from meeting someone to database, from database to pipeline, from pipeline to list, and so on and so forth.

The real estate business is made up of a collection of workflows that can be documented, that can be process driven and can be supported by breakthroughs in our technology systems.

I have a strong belief that the days of the single agent are diminishing.

However, what occurs is people’s interpretation of these workflows can change. Often an office is made up of a series of interpretations that will cloud and in some cases break down the workflows.

The other thought pattern that clouds acceptance of workflows is immediacy, as people don’t want to invest in the future. I have just finished watching a movie on esteemed American billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who spoke at length about his best strategy – his patience. Often businesses are set up for immediacy.

Another issue is capacity. I have a strong belief that the days of the single agent are diminishing; with our customers’ expectations and the reality of what is required to work at a high level and manage all the workflows in a real estate business unit, it is becoming increasingly impossible for an agent in a single capacity to handle.

Workflows allow us to build our core product, which is trust. I have written before how we build trust through consistency and the experiences that we give our customers. I have no doubt that the real estate business of the future will be about workflows, but also allowing individuals to add some personality to these flows.

I believe there are somewhere between 10 and 12 workflows that should be forming the basis of any great career. So the next time you see a top performer why don’t you ask a different question – who did they take the business from and how were they able to do it?

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Mark McLeod

Mark McLeod is the Ray White Group's Chief Strategy Officer for Real Estate. He works alongside agents and businesses across Australia, helping them reach their ultimate potential to achieve success.