CHECKLIST YOUR BUSINESS
By: Walter Sanford
When I first got in the business, I found myself with a manilla folder and hundreds of bits of pieces of paper stuck any which way with no regard to purpose, chronology or importance. Then the day came when I received the phone call from a grumpy seller. I frustrated the seller because of my lack of ability to answer his questions and thus was born my need to become systemized under a checklist format.
Let me tell you about the excitement of having a checklist mentality:
1. You don't have to store the information in your brain. Once you make an addition to a checklist, the step has been remembered forever!
2. Every time you go to a seminar and receive a brand new idea, don't you find it frustrating in its implementation? Well, add it to your checklist. The idea almost certainly fits under some category and in that category it's going to get done! Just go back to your office manual (a binder of checklists!) of the main business systems that you do, and enter it under the appropriate checklist number. Now, your brain doesn't have to remember it, and it automatically gets handled as long as you have the discipline to complete your checklist. The last item on most of my checklists says I can't take the file off my desk until I finish the checklist!
3. Remember the times you shook your head and wondered where all the money went. Well, let me tell you, it went to overhead. It went to all those necessary (spur of the moment) emotional expenses that you just had to write a check so you could save, increase or improve your business. Over the years I have found that most of those checks written were unnecessary and a checklist is a perfect form for going back to and cutting. You will see your totals drop out of your Schedule C. Yes, that's right. When I tell you that you need to bring your overhead to less than 25% of your gross, where do you go back and cut, that's right, you cut line by line out of your checklists. Go back and ask yourself the question, what could have been eliminated that nobody would have missed. It's a refreshing experience.
4. Another reason for checklists is simply it provides foundation and basis for delegation. As you may know, all the mega agents that I've ever counseled, trained and coached have had to do the actual business systems themselves then generate checklists, and then were able to finally delegate the task to a less expensive widget maker who followed the pro's step.
5. It may even provide the basis for your next career like mine. (Speaking and training)
6. How about selling your business someday - won't it be worth more if you have directions on how to run it?
So there you have it, lots of reasons to checklist your business. It not only will increase your speed and efficiency, but most important, one of the greatest aspects of customer service is consistency. Remember, do the best the same way all the time and soon you'll never have to prospect for new clients again because they'll be self-generating. Just spend the time to write down all the things you do the next time you commence a new business system. Preparing a lifestyle, making the presentation, marketing the listing, closing the transaction, lead generation, follow-up, even opening the office can all be checklisted tomorrow. I have over seventy checklists that I used in my top performing real estate business that I now use to coach top performing agents all over North America.
This checklist is the first step for growing, maintaining and developing raving clients and increasing that elusive net! I hope you put them all to good use.
Walter Sanford is a top producing real estate agent and speaker who travels the country delivering systems and strategies to top producers for higher productivity and client satisfaction.
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