Are you wasting time doing repetitive work in your real estate investing business? Chances are good that you are. Most businesses in Pennsylvania, regardless of industry, require the completion of tasks that must be done many times.
Often, these tasks do not take long to complete – but the repetition eats into your available time that could be spent finding and closing more deals.
There is a solution: create systems to help you streamline those tasks and make them quick and easy to complete.
Here’s how to do it…
Step #1: Identify Processes That Can Be Documented
The very first step is to identify the core processes that keep your business running. There will inevitably be some processes that cannot—by their very nature—be turned into systems.
Here are some guidelines to help you select the processes to document:
- The task in question should be something that needs to be done repeatedly.
- More than one person may have to complete the task.
- Your business would benefit from having everybody do the task in the same way.
You can use this method to choose processes on the front stage (those that directly affect sellers, buyers, and private lenders) as well as on the back stage (internal processes.)
Once you have identified those tasks, make a list of them and assign names to them. The names should be informative and easy to understand so that any person who has access to the systems will recognize them.
Step #2: Document Each Process
The second step is to document the steps required to complete each process. The key is to document each process in such a way that a new hire could follow along without difficulty.
- Break each process down into the major steps required to complete it.
- For each major step, include four or five points to illustrate how and when to do it.
- Keep the explanations simple – assume the person reading it has never done the task.
As you work, keep an eye out for unnecessary steps and areas where the person doing the process might be duplicating effort.
It might also help to keep the 80/20 rule in mind. It says that 80% of the results in any situation come from 20% of the efforts. You can streamline your processes by focusing on the most productive 20%.
If several people currently share responsibility for the process, then you may want to have them work out a shared process together.
In some cases, the documentation may include the creation of templates to be used any time the process is completed. In that case, the templates should be referenced in the documentation itself and included in your final reference guide.
Step #3: Review Each Process
The third step is to review the documentation and make changes as needed. The written processes will work only if the entire management team is on board with them.
This is the stage where you may need to make revisions or haggle over the details. If one member of the team doesn’t agree with the documentation, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board until you reach a consensus.
It’s important to get your entire team to agree on the processes as you document them to avoid misunderstandings and disagreements down the line. The idea is to make things easy, not to complicate it.
Step #4: Assemble Your Systems
The fourth and final step is to assemble all of your agreed-upon processes into a single, accessible binder where anybody who needs them can find them.
The easiest way to do that is to use your list of processes—the one you came up with in the first step—as a table of contents. Put it in the front of a binder and then put the documentation for each process behind it, in order.
Depending on your office setup and how many people need to have access to your systems, you may want to make copies of the binder.
The benefit of building systems like these is that you can refer to them as needed. As you move forward, make sure to update these systems as needed. As you upgrade software, for example, you may need to revisit the steps. Keeping them up-to-date ensures that there won’t be any confusion about how to get things done.
As you do this, you won’t be disappointed. Your systems will ensure that your key processes are done quickly, efficiently, and to the high standards you set for yourself and your real estate investing business.