The Importance of Systems and Processes for Success in the Real Estate Industry
by Ashley Durham, REALTOR®, Prestige Properties, Auburn
January 19, 2021
As we begin a new year, it is important to take time to reflect over the previous 12 months and evaluate what contributed to our successes and where we have opportunities to grow and improve in 2021. Keeping a constant pulse on what is working well and what is not allows us to pivot when needed in order to best serve our team and, most importantly, our clients. With 15 years of real estate experience, I have found that implementing systems and processes is necessary to thrive in this industry.
Creating processes that run in the background while we are managing our day-to-day tasks establishes organization and alleviates confusion, allowing for maximum productivity. Processes are important for a single agent, as well as large teams. They save time and foster efficiency. Our team consists of six professionals and we pride ourselves on serving as an exceptional resource to our clients. We can do this because everyone on our team has a specialty in which they focus - seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, new construction manager, closing coordinator, and marketing assistant. Each individual knows their role and how it contributes to the success of our group as a whole.
We begin each week with a team meeting. Ours are always on Monday to ensure that we start the week strong and are all on the same page. Many brokerages have weekly meetings, but it is the consistency and systemic nature that makes them so important. This meeting is at the same time every week and the order of the meeting never changes. Everyone on our team knows the order in which they present and is prepared to discuss their ping points for the week. This has proven to be a successful process for us because it allows everyone to prioritize the days ahead. We outline expectations and can work together through problems and stall points. While everyone has their specialty, this meeting encourages us all to work together and support one another to benefit our clients. Once everyone knows what is expected and on their to-do list for the week, they are able to maximize productivity.
Another system that has proven to position our team as an exceptional resource for clients is the relationships we have established with leading industry professionals. We have identified the “best of the best” in our area and work with them to get homes ready for the market in a timely manner. They are experts in their fields and we know we can trust them to have homes in the best shape possible when they hit the market. These experts are essentially an extension of our team; the extension allows us to better serve clients by alleviating the six of us from focusing on tasks that we can delegate. To maintain organization, we have created an extensive checklist for getting a home listed. This includes the staging consultation, professional photography and videography, Matterport design, MLS entry, lender letters, marketing plans and materials, weekly communications with clients, and more. We are able to do more for clients because we have established these relationships and have streamlined the process.
The third system our group has established which we find to be extremely beneficial is automated client communication. We have created workflows that automatically prompt a timely and customized message to be sent to clients when their buying or selling status changes in our system. For example, when a buyer transitions from “Actively Showing” to “Under Contract” in our system, an email is sent to the buyer explaining how the contract process will work with step-by-step details of what happens next. This automation is a huge time saver for our team and serves our clients well, as it gets them the information they need at certain points of the buying and selling process.
I encourage you to incorporate new systems and processes into your business this year and watch how they elevate your brand and promote success for you and your team. A strategic planning session to realize where systems can improve your business and create a more efficient workflow is all that’s needed to get the ball rolling.
Ashley Smith Durham has been a REALTOR® at Prestige Properties since 2006 and is the Team Lead for The Auburn Opelika Lifestyle Group and owner of @HOME with Prestige Properties. As a lifelong resident of Auburn/Opelika, Ashley’s real estate career launched with a passion for introducing people to, and placing them throughout, her community. Now, she is fulfilled by helping other REALTORS® grow in the industry. Real estate, for Ashley, is all about connecting a person with the lifestyle they desire, whether that is in a new home or in a buying or selling agent role. Her goal on a daily basis is to fulfill the hopes of her clients and sales team, while maintaining a healthy work/life balance with her husband, James, and three children, Raleigh, Rivers, and Rosie. She believes in an open line of communication, connectivity with clients, and the power of an amazing team!