Lone Wolf Business Tips: How Efficient Are My Office Staff?

Lone Wolf Business Tips is a series of business ideas and concepts that are designed to advise a manager or broker/owner on quick actions that can have a significant benefit in a real estate brokerage operation.

How often do you W5 your company? One of the most common failings, in business and in life, is to fall into behaviors or patterns just because they are comfortable and easy. But are they really easy? Do we just do some things because that’s the way it’s always been done?

What owners need to do, on a periodic basis, is ask the following questions about each facet of their operation. WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? What makes sense when you had 10 agents and 1 office might not make sense any longer with 100 agents and 3 offices. We must all be vigilant for opportunities to improve our businesses.

  • Do we still print, fold and stuff agent monthly statements…Why not e-mail them?
  • Do we still write on deal folders or use sheet labels…Why not auto-print them?
  • Do you write checks to agents & staff…Why not use direct deposit?

If a common phrase in your office is “I don't have enough time” maybe it’s because of another common phrase “we've always done it that way” Be aware! There are lots of other little inefficiencies to be on alert for. Have you noticed a lot of adjustments being made in the process of your accounting being done? Are your agents providing the necessary information for your administrators to do the job right the first time? Is information being handled once and filed away. How many checks need to be reversed? How many deals need to be unfinalized? How many referrals are missed on deals?

Anything that blocks data flow is inefficient. Sharing data throughout your organization will greatly increase the efficiency of each staff member. Having good systems in place in a brokerage means that your staff can work at full capacity. A good example is having default file requirements established for each type of transactions to ensure that the required information is entered for each transaction before it closes. Have your staff design a standard sheet with the information they require from the agents for each transaction and have your system monitor it.

A great system would be one that e-mail agents before closing with what documents are needed to close. Asking staff for information and being told that they will get back to you with it is not the way to run a business. Your staff should be able to quickly access information, through a few keystrokes, that provides you with reports integrating data from all parts of your operation. And in order to empower you to be in charge of your own office, you should be able to enter your system and have your favorite reports available at the press of a button.