When I was about nine, I was looking for an excuse to go to the local shopping centre to play arcade games. I didn’t have any money so I asked my Mum if she needed anything from the shop, as I would be happy to go out and get the household’s daily shopping.
She was on to me, but played along and said “sure, there are quite a few things I need, but I am not sure you will be able to carry everything”. As you can imagine this would have been a big task for a nine year old, but if it meant getting a few coins to play Space Invaders I would make it work – challenge accepted!
Mum started rattling off things that we needed only to see me staring back at her with a blank look on my face. Then she said “let me make you a list”. It took a while as she checked the cupboards and fridge, mumbling things to herself as I nodded, pretending to know what she was on about while silently urging her to hurry up so that I could get down and play the machines. Finally the list was done, she took some money out of her purse, which was more that I had ever had in my hand before, and as I ran out of the door I remember her saying to make sure the shopkeeper double-bagged and to use the change to get myself something. Mum knew the rate of exchange and had already figured I had ulterior motives.
I got to the shops in about two minutes flat. I had to buy the groceries first because I had no idea what was going to be left over. As I got into the shop it hit me – I’d never done this before, what do I do know about shopping? After a while I remembered the list – I could check that to see what we needed.
There was more than I thought, but I grabbed a trolley and began to follow the list. Other than having to do a few detours and about turns, to my amazement it was actually very easy and straightforward – it wasn’t rocket science! I had it all done and in the trolley in about 10 minutes, leaving me loads of time to do what I really wanted to do and that was play Space Invaders.
This experience has stuck with me over the years and I have used the lesson learned as a nine year old in just about every business I have had.
In real estate there are so many variables and so much we need to do. The work is never-ending and unless you use a checklist for just about everything you do you will never get enough time for yourself or your family, for you to enjoy the benefits of your hard work.
But it’s not just about time management. Forgetting to do things or failing to ask the right questions at the right time can have catastrophic consequences for your business. In a lot of cases it can mean you have an unhappy client (who won’t recommend you to others) or missing out on business.
Also, as you progress from being an independent agent to running support staff and a team, you need to know and monitor what they are doing and they also need to know what you want done – a bit like my Mum creating her list and me going out and fulfilling her wish list.
At Real Estate Brilliance we have created checklists for just about every situation so you can get through that particular task or activity effectively without wasting valuable time. It’s as simple as ticking the box and moving onto the next item. Here are just some of the checklists that you are should have:
- Checklists for all marketing material, making sure it has everything that is needed on it to get the correct response
- Pre-appraisal checklist
- Presentation checklist
- Closing checklist
- Home open checklist
- Auction checklist
- Launch party checklist
- Rapport building checklists
- Post listing checklist
- Sale to settlement checklist
And the list goes on and on.
I remember carrying the bags home. It was hard work and I had to go a little slower, especially because those 1L glass cold drink bottles were pretty heavy, but I had an accomplished grin on my face. I’d had some fun and it was totally worth it. I’d also learned the benefits of having a list.
So, make sure you register for my upcoming FREE half-day Real Estate Brilliance webinar and find out how you too can make your life easier and better with lists.