Most Realtors are remarkably comfortable operating in a state of constant chaos. I speak to agents all the time who seem to take great pride in their “ability” to function with few or zero organizational systems.
Whether this is good for their cash flow is another question, entirely. (Hint: It’s not.)
I am not a naturally organized person, either. In fact, very few Realtors are. If we were, perhaps we would have pursued a career in accounting.
That said, if your goal is to complete 50+ or 100+ deals per year, you must learn to use some basic organizational skills to increase productivity and decrease anxiety. The following ideas are so ridiculously simple that if you’re not already doing them, you can start immediately. I mean today.
1. Stop relying on your memory
Have you ever made a mental note about something you needed to do, got distracted and then completely forgot all about it? Has your memory ever cost you $10,000 or $20,000 (a missed opportunity to pick up a new client, for example)? Even if you can honestly answer “no” to that question, it’s probably only because you don’t remember!
How many ideas do you think of and forget every day – ideas that could improve your business or increase the likelihood of a future sale – that never get implemented?
Personally, I’ve got “Brilliant Ideas” and “Things To Do” popping in my head like popcorn, 24/7, which I immediately write down in my Gmail Tasks List. I’ve named my list “Brain Clutter” because it allows me to get the clutter out of my brain and onto a list.
If I’m on the run, I simply tap the tasks app on my phone and quickly write down whatever Brain Clutter I have going on. Usually, one or two words are enough to trigger my memory later, when I review the list.
The habit of writing down thoughts and ideas prevents me from forgetting things and frees up my brain to concentrate on the big picture.
Do you ever find yourself using all your powers of concentration trying to remember six different little things? I use Gmail, but there is a tasks list or to-do list included with every email application, so use whatever you have already. Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be.
The main point is to stop relying on your memory and start writing things down. But not on cocktail napkins.
2. If it takes less than two minutes, do it now
Often when you think of a simple task, the most efficient way to get it done is to do it now while it’s fresh in your mind.
Actually, when I think of a short task, I typically write a word or two on my Brain Clutter list first. Then I complete the task and delete it. This ensures I don’t get distracted and forget. Plus, it’s ever so satisfying to delete tasks from my Brain Clutter list.
3. Keep a prospects/current clients list
Unless you are an absolute pro at using your CRM, I strongly recommend you keep a very basic spreadsheet with a list of all your current prospects and clients. Prospects tend to get buried deep inside our giant CRMs, so I like to view all my current clients and prospects on a single spreadsheet that I can access quickly whenever I have time.
This spreadsheet can be as simple as three columns; Column A for last names, Column B for first names and Column C for the date and most recent activity. For example, “Feb. 24 – Sent an email recommending showings this Saturday”. Simple!
You can start with this ultra simple three-column spreadsheet and immediately feel at least 50 per cent more organized. You will be shocked at how many prospects you would have forgotten about before implementing this simple system.
4. Review your lists regularly and establish a morning routine
Now you need to review your tasks list and your prospects list regularly. You can do this throughout the day whenever you have time. And, I strongly recommend adding this into your morning routine.
You probably already have a morning routine and don’t even realize it. For example, you sit down with your morning coffee and review your emails. Now, simply add a complete review of your tasks list and prospects list into your routine every morning and act on at least a few of the items. For example, set up an “appointment with yourself” in your calendar to take care of Task A and send an email to Prospect B about the new listing that just popped up. Once you’ve dealt with the item, remove it from your task list.
Few Realtors are naturally organized, but those who make the most money are the ones who learn to utilize simple organizational techniques. So try these four and tell me I’m wrong. Just go to your task list right now and write, “4 simple rules”. That’s all you need to do for now. This will trigger your memory when you read it later and have more time to implement the ideas.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I’ll remember to do this later,” go back and read #1 again.
Stop relying on your memory.