A system can be defined as a procedure, process, or method, or course of action. Systems are put in place to achieve a specific result. They are the critical building blocks of your business. When effective, they work together to provide results that are consistent, measurable, benefit your client, and validate and enhance your value proposition.
For your business to be successful you need to have a processing flow that is documented from start to finish. You can create massive opportunity but if you don’t have a solid plan to handle it you will not convert well or create the experience needed to ensure your clients come back and refer you to other people.
Regardless of whether you are in mortgage or real estate, your business system should be made up of three parts: opportunity – which is how you prospect and nurture leads, pipeline management – which is how you handle deals in progress, and database management – which is how you keep in contact with your past clients and mine them for referrals. Within each of these sections you have what I call blueprints or recipes. These are the written step-by-step formulas that you use to accomplish the things you do.
Unless you work for a really unique company, it is unlikely that these written systems will exist in your company. I’m constantly amazed that our industry lacks this level of professionalism and the technology required to succeed. In most cases it will be up to you to determine how you like to work and what is effective. If you aren’t by nature a person who has a lot of discipline and structure in your business, writing out these blueprints or recipes – how do I handle leads referred, how and when do I communicate during the process, and how do I stay in touch with my database after closing – will give you a consistent method of performing these tasks.
Once you have documented systems in place then if you have a support team, you must communicate with them exactly how they supposed to work. Then if things don’t work as planned you’ll know if the system needs to be tweaked or if clearer communication and teaching of what is expected is required. The beauty of a blueprint is that you can modify or change it.
An important aspect of prospecting is creating an experience and process flow for how you handle any lead or referral. Whether on the phone or in person you should decide ahead of time what discussion flow and tools you’re going to use. You will also share this with anyone that refers business to you so they know what to expect as well. This business system is all about how you handle new leads. It is a blueprint or recipe that contains everything about what to do when you receive a lead. It should ensure that every time you are presented with an opportunity you go through the same ritual. This should include an incubation plan based on where the prospect is in the buying cycle. If your CRM or customer relationship manager, doesn’t have call, email or text campaigns built you should invest in one that does or create your own.
You need to create a process flow and communication system that you can use once a deal enters pipeline. You know exactly what it is you are supposed to be doing every step of the way. You know what your role and responsibilities are as well as the roles and responsibilities of others. You know the deadlines you need to stick with based on contingency removal dates and close of escrow dates. Managing your pipeline with consistency is the key to ensuring your database will come back to you for future loan or real estate needs and refer clients to you. All communication should be layered with your Referral Efficiency Script (request for 2 referrals per year) and allow them to provide feedback.
How you manage your database long-term will determine how successful you are in creating a sustainable business. If you receive 2 referrals from every person you do business with and convert 50% into closed sales, you will already have built a predictable flow of business that will stay consistent. Building a system that you commit to upfront will ensure that in any market you follow through on obtaining as much business as possible.
An effective and efficient way to manage your database is to choose the right Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) that does the follow-up and tracking for you. It takes into consideration your marketing plan and holds you accountable. Having a CRM that sends emails, tracks interest rates, market values and includes direct mail will make it easier to stay in touch. It should also tell you when clients have birthdays and transaction anniversaries so you have an opportunity to call them.
If you don’t commit to having business systems, your business will run you and you will not have replicable results. Customers want to work with people who are methodical and yet relational. You need to build a business where you offer both!