Like many of you, I get a lot of windshield time as I travel throughout northern Illinois, Chicago and the suburbs making presentations at office sales meetings.
In my attempt to limit dangerous interactions with my mobile device while driving, I have fallen in love with podcasts. One of my go-to podcasts is “The BiggerPockets Podcast,” which focuses on real estate investment through interviews with real estate entrepreneurs who’ve scaled their businesses using systemization and automation.
My incessant blabbing about podcasts is probably also why my boss invited my feedback on a new Illinois Young Professionals Network (YPN) podcast featuring successful YPN alumni sharing tips and best practices for success. I noticed a few nuggets of wisdom that had to do with systems:
“ Control the hours, the minutes, the seconds you have in your day (with) time blocking. Doing things intentionally, not by accident.”
– Tommy Choi
Weinberg Choi Residential, Keller Williams Chicago – Lincoln Park
“I track all of my communication with my clients (through my CRM)… I know who I haven’t talked to in a while, and so I know… I need to call that person and just check in.”
– Jayme Ahlden Fay
RE/MAX Realty Associates, Champaign
“Don’t spend money you don’t have. Start with the free stuff…Illinois REALTORS® would be a great resource to go to.”
– Brian Kwilosz
EXIT Real Estate Partners, Downers Grove
Then, the other day on Tom Ferry’s podcast, the former CRO of HubSpot explained how to identify what systems your business needs when you are trying to scale (or just take a vacation).
Systemization and automation seem to have woven themselves into the fabric of our industry, but what do those words really mean?
Josh Kaufman, author of “The Personal MBA” says, “A system is a process made explicit and repeatable. Systemization is the act of creating a new system.”
Techopedia defines automation as “the creation of technology and its application to control and monitor the production and delivery of various goods and services. It performs tasks that were previously performed by humans.”
Then about two weeks ago I was giving an office presentation and it hit me like a kick in the pants delivered by a Rube Goldberg contraption: Many Illinois REALTORS® benefits can be used to automate and systemize so you can scale your business!
As Harold from my five-year-old’s favorite book series “Captain Underpants” often says, “No Doi!” Well, now I’ve seen the light on Illinois REALTORS® systemization and automation tools and want to share a sampling of them with you.
Solving Consumer Problems Efficiently and Effectively:
Does your office receive phone calls from consumers with tough-to-answer questions or complaints about service from other real estate professionals? Do you run around in circles trying to find the answers and worry you’re only getting one side of the story? Systemize your response by referring them to the Illinois REALTORS® Consumer Helpline and Ombudsman Program (www.IllinoisRealtors.org/disputes)
Follow up later to ask them about the experience and capture them as a future client and referral source.
Are you currently budgeting for consumer- or education-focused content to identify new leads? What if you could reduce or eliminate this spend? Try using Illinois REALTORS® RVOICE Consumer brochures (www.IllinoisRealtors.org/RVoice) as free marketing content. Most of the guides can be co-branded and used in a variety of formats. Additional content is available through www.RealPropertyAlliance.org and the National Association of REALTORS® has customizable marketing content available via REALTOR® Content Resource (www.nar.realtor/realtor-content-resource).
Less time spent interfacing with content consultants and more time spent on relationship development.
Whether you’re a new or seasoned agent, when a local government gums up a transaction or gets into your business it can be overwhelming. What is a pre-sale home inspection, how are transfer stamps issued, what is landlord licensing or the International Property Maintenance Code? You do not have to become an expert on municipal government and regulations; with one email or phone call to your Local Governmental Affairs Director (www.IllinoisRealtors.org/advocacy) you can tap into a vast set of resources. And if you’re a managing broker who’d like to automate email forwarding Calls For Action to your office, you can enroll in the Broker Involvement Program (www.realtorparty.realtor/member-consumer/brokers).
Client knowledge that your industry is fighting for home ownership rights.
Go forth, systematize, automate and scale! And if you’d like to share these and other tips with your team or company, invite one of the Outreach Team to give a presentation at one of your company’s meetings – you can automate that too by making it a standing annual event.
Member Outreach Manager and Local Government Affairs Director