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Investing Today, Saving Tomorrow: Efficient Business Practices

by Peter Thomas Ricci

The housing market may be recovering, but is your business in the proper place to capitalize on that comeback? Aaron Woodman explains in his latest blog.

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The housing market is back in a big way – are you ready to capitalize?

Many of the Realtors I consult have the same problem. They’ve hit a plateau in their sales figures, and faced with the opportunity to take their business to the next level, they become timid about investing the time or money in the resources that will take them there. Often they already feel so overwhelmed by their daily schedules that anxiety keeps them from taking on more clients.

With all of the user-friendly technology and young talent available, it’s time more agents adopted this mantra: “Work smart, not hard.”

Paperless Transactions

When a single document has been faxed, scanned and copied, you’ve already spent three times as long managing the paperwork than you should have.

DotLoop is a transaction management system built with agents in mind. It contains the forms you need in its database, and allows you to collaborate with your clients and cooperative agents from inside your account’s database. You can add checklists for clients and make changes to the contract digitally, as well as share the documentation with attorneys, mortgage brokers and other parties involved in the transaction. So far, it’s the most comprehensive management system built to ease the paperwork load on Realtors.

DocuSign for Realtors, designed to retrieve and manage signatures digitally, is another option for going paperless. Using this software, you can tag contracts and other documents with places where your clients will need to sign, and your clients can then create a digital signature, review the paperwork and execute where needed from any device.

Cloud File Storage

Information is everything in this business, and agents need access wherever they are. Luckily, the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has given agents access to important emails wherever they are. But agents who aren’t also using a cloud storage service (like Dropbox or Google Drive) to store and sync important documents aren’t using these devices to their full advantage.

When you have a Dropbox folder on your computer and the app on your devices, you can load the same files from anywhere just as they’re organized on your computer – by keeping current client folders in your Dropbox, you can access important listing details while on a showing, or the particular preferences of a buyer when driving by a for-sale sign. Dropbox space is limited, though, so for cost-effectiveness and security it’s best to keep current client records in the cloud, move closed client folders to a hard drive and periodically back up your hard drive.

Assistant

Surround yourself with people as brilliant as you are. A great assistant won’t just bear the load of paperwork and scheduling, but will inject your marketing efforts with a dose of creativity and free more of your time for prospecting. If you can take the leap of faith to invest in strong talent, you can open the door to more deals and more commissions – that will pay the salary of your assistant and then some, lining your pockets with extra cash for even greater opportunity.

The challenges of hiring an assistant include training and transitioning to a shared workflow. Investing your time in training an assistant  will make them more effective from the outset, saving you time in the long run. They’ll also recognize how their role fits into the grander scheme of your business, which will make your professional chemistry flourish. The business is about knowledge, whether you’re an assistant new to the industry or one of the most accomplished power brokers.

Each of these ideas requires an investment of your time to learn how to effectively integrate them into your business. However, if you can work them into your routine seamlessly, your business will grow – as will your free time.


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Aaron Woodman has sold more than $200 million in real estate assets and has managed a portfolio of more than 1,600 multifamily units, working for several large property management companies as well as for EXIT Realty and Keller Williams Realty. Recently, he has focused his efforts on using his breadth of experience to act as a consultant for a variety of real estate businesses, including individual residential brokers across the country, national property management firms and real estate technology start-ups.

Find him on twitter.com/aaronwoodman and woodmanconsultinggroup.com.

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