Top-performing real estate agents may be lucky. But as the saying goes, “luck is what happens when preparedness meets opportunity.”

So if you want to take your business to the next level, you may want to consider…

1) increasing the number of opportunities you get, and…
2) improving your “preparedness”

There are many things you can do for number one. Among the smartest ways is to get a steady stream of buyer and seller leads from your target market every single month. Because the more leads you get, the more opportunities you’ll have to engage with potential clients.

As for number two, the solution is to improve your systems so that they result in a database full of lifelong clients and a higher commission income. If you want to learn more, you’re in luck because helping you implement the most effective real estate systems is what this article is all about.

All Real Estate Systems Work Best With a CRM

Think of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system as the central hub of your real estate operations. It’s like the control center that keeps everything organized and interconnected. Without it, you might find yourself juggling disconnected tools, dealing with duplicate data, and missing out on the efficiency that comes with an integrated approach.

Here are eight of the many things a robust CRM can do for your business:

  1. Centralize Info: Keeps all client data in one organized place.
  2. Streamline Communication: Makes emails, calls, and appointments efficient.
  3. Automate Integration: Orchestrates seamless automation across various systems.
  4. Manage Tasks: Helps you stay on top of deadlines and tasks.
  5. Track Leads: Monitors leads from contact to deal closure.
  6. Personalize Marketing: Enables personalized marketing based on client preferences.
  7. Facilitate Reporting: Provides accurate data for financial and performance reporting.
  8. Scale Business: Makes it easy to handle growth without chaos.

So, it makes perfect sense to deem CRM software as an essential tool you can’t do without. But with so many CRM options available now, finding the right one for your business can be a bit tricky.

To speed up the shopping process, we put together a quick guide so you can know what to look for: Learn how to find the best real estate CRM.

Systems for Growing Your Real Estate Business

✔️Lead Generation

Expert real estate coaches Tim and Julie Harris put it this way: “​​Real estate lead generation is the most important aspect of any career in the real estate industry. There are no sales unless there are leads.”

That’s why this is first on our list. The long-term health of your business depends on the lead generation systems you have.

To thrive regardless of market conditions, you must have a system in place that helps you “cast a wide net” and create as many lead sources as you can so you can consistently build your database. For example, here are the broad categories of lead sources that you need systems for…

✔️Lead Follow-Up & Lead Nurturing

Having processes, procedures, and structures in place that help you generate leads is a great start. But all of that is almost pointless if you don’t know what to do with your leads as they enter your database. So you definitely need to set up systems for lead follow-up and nurturing.

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all follow-up plan that will perfectly accommodate the needs and timelines of every kind of lead. But here’s an example of a system you could implement for all of your new leads.

Day of Initial Contact:

  1. Send a personalized introduction email immediately.
  2. Give them a call to thank them personally.
  3. Send a quick “thank you” text later on that same day.

Day 1: Send an information-gathering email to learn more about them and how you can help.

Day 2: Send a follow-up text to ask about their communication preferences.

Days 3 Through 8:

Implement an email drip campaign (sending one email per day) that truly adds value. For example, you might send them a home-buying guide, listing updates, your marketing strategies, or local housing market insights.

Day 10: Call your new lead to see if you can make contact. If not, send a final text message that invites them to call back and makes sure they’re aware you’re available to help however you can.

Of course, your 10-day follow-up plan might look different. But here’s the point: make sure you have standardized, organized systems in place so that over time you can test and optimize your approach and increase the likelihood that more of your leads will turn into lifelong clients.

Real Estate Systems for Improving Efficiency

✔️Plan How You’ll Manage Your Time

This isn’t just for people who like routine. This is for every real estate agent who wants to avoid burnout, maintain a healthy work-life balance, and increase productivity—all at the same time.

Start by creating a system so that you can focus on high-value activities and avoid getting bogged down in time-consuming details. Identify and prioritize key activities that are related to your lead generation and income goals.

Consider using time management techniques like the Eisenhower Matrix or Pomodoro to stay organized and maintain focus. Utilize digital calendars and reminder apps to schedule appointments, set reminders for deadlines, and stay on top of your days.

✔️Decide How You’ll Make Communication Easier

Communication is at the heart of just about everything you do as a real estate agent. But it can definitely slow you down if you don’t have a plan for streamlining it.

Consider using video-conferencing platforms like Zoom, Slack, or Microsoft Teams, for example. They’ll help you minimize back-and-forths, waiting for callbacks, and battling traffic jams for short appointments.

✔️Standardized Processes & Checklists

For some agents, reading a subheading like that feels like they just found their happy place. But depending on your personality, you may feel like we just hit the panic button.

If that’s you, don’t worry. Adding a bit of structure by refining the most foundational real estate systems you use every day can offer significant advantages to the way your business operates. It’s the key to saving time and being more productive. For example…

Listing Process Checklist

Break down the steps from signing a client to getting a property listed. For example:

  • Initial client meeting
  • Property assessment
  • Photography and virtual tour
  • Listing creation
  • Marketing plan development
  • Regular updates to the client

Buyer Consultation Process

Outline the stages from the first meeting with a potential buyer to closing the deal. For example:

  • Needs assessment
  • Property showings
  • Offer negotiation
  • Inspections and due diligence
  • Closing process
  • Post-closing follow-up

Open House Preparation Checklist

Ensure a smooth open house event with a detailed checklist. For example:

  • Clean and stage the property
  • Create marketing materials
  • Set up signage
  • Register attendees
  • Collect feedback
  • Follow up with potential buyers

Transaction Coordination Checklist

Keep track of essential tasks during the transaction process. For example:

  • Contract preparation
  • Contingency periods
  • Appraisal and inspections
  • Closing coordination
  • Document submission
  • Communication with all parties

Client Onboarding Checklist

Streamline the process of bringing on new clients. For example:

  • Collect necessary documentation
  • Explain the selling/buying process
  • Set expectations and timelines
  • Provide contact information
  • Schedule regular updates

✔️Social Media Marketing Systems

Not only will exploring real estate systems related to your social media marketing enable you to avoid racking your brain for the best idea as you’re also trying to work through the day’s to-do list, but it will also help you be more strategic with your social media marketing in general.

Check out platforms like Hootsuite, Planoly, or Later, for example, that make it easy to schedule and automate real estate social media marketing plans.

✔️Business Management Systems

Collectively, the systems you have in place to manage the “back end,” logistical side of things all contribute to the efficiency, growth, and sustainability of your real estate business. Here are just four kinds of operational systems to consider implementing.

1. Transaction Management Software

We’re referring here to a digital solution designed specifically for real estate professionals to centralize, automate, and simplify the management of transactions, from listing to closing. That includes administrative tasks such as document management, task tracking, and communication. It serves as a comprehensive platform to streamline the entire transaction process, enhancing efficiency, organization, and collaboration.

2. Electronic Signature Solutions

Of course, e-signing documents saves time, increases productivity, and accelerates the path to closing. These are all things that have a direct impact on your commission income. Read the agent’s guide to e-signing real estate contracts.

3. Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping in real estate involves systematically recording financial transactions, categorizing expenses and income, reconciling bank statements, and tracking property-specific finances. Using accounting software like QuickBooks or FreshBooks simplifies these processes, offering features for budgeting, forecasting, and tax preparation.

4. Systems for Monitoring Business Performance

Data tracking and progress monitoring doesn’t have to be time-consuming and complicated. It can be as easy as creating a basic table in your favorite word processor or spreadsheet software, writing down all of your goals in the left column, and using the rest of the columns to note your performance each month (or week).

To make it even easier, we’ve created a downloadable template you can use. You’ll find that, along with many other valuable ways to improve your real estate systems, get more clients, and set yourself up for success for years to come in our Real Estate Business Plan…

Want to create an effective plan that results in more leads and more closed deals? Download the 8-part Real Estate Business Plan for free.

Real Estate Systems for Getting Client Feedback

Getting feedback from past clients (in the form of testimonials, reviews, interviews, and success stories) can be extremely valuable for two reasons:

  • Hearing about their experience working with you helps you know how to improve and identify ways to get more leads and clients.
  • Their feedback can easily turn into powerful and effective marketing tools you can use to build trust. And trust is important because when potential buyers and sellers in your area trust you, they’ll be more likely to become leads.

But most of the time, you won’t get feedback automatically. You need to set it up as one of your real estate systems. For example…

✔️Email Survey Invitations

Send personalized email surveys to clients after completing a successful transaction or achieving significant milestones. Tools like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or Typeform can help you quickly and easily create professional-looking surveys with specific questions tailored to gathering testimonials (often for free!).

✔️Use Online Review Platforms

There are many tools created for this specific purpose that can serve the dual purpose of providing you with real estate testimonials to use for marketing purposes and improving your online presence. For example…

✔️Testimonial Request Forms

You could also set up a review form on your real estate website, allowing clients to submit their testimonials directly. Tools like WPForms, JotForm, or Wufoo, for example, enable you to create customized forms with fields for gathering testimonials.

Learn the other ways to get feedback and all about how getting real estate testimonials can help you generate leads!

Real Estate Systems for Getting Referrals

One referral often leads to many more, which can eventually become a steady (and passive!) lead generation source. So it’s a great idea to come up with a system for getting referrals, rather than relying on luck, hoping people in your network happen to send people your way. Here are some systems to consider.

✔️Use Automated Client Follow-Up Systems

Implement automated email campaigns or messages to stay top-of-mind with past clients. Regular, personalized communication keeps your name fresh when they encounter someone in need of a real estate professional.

✔️Referral Reward Programs

Another way to get more referral leads is to create a referral program for which you offer incentives for clients who refer others to you. This could be a discount on future services, a gift card, or even a small token of appreciation.

✔️Host Client Appreciation Events

Obviously, happy clients are more likely to refer friends and family. To elevate your lead generation strategy, consider integrating regular gestures beyond mere past client follow-up: Host events or send personalized gifts as a thoughtful way to express appreciation (and increase the likelihood that you’ll be the agent who comes to mind when a referral opportunity comes up).

If all of this piques your interest, be sure to learn these five ways to build a referral-based business.

Real Estate Systems for Team Leaders & Brokers

If you’re wondering how your team or brokerage can grow, a good first step is to assess your company culture, the way your team functions, and the current operational processes you have in place. For example, consider the following…

✔️Training and Development Programs

Establish training and development programs for team members to enhance their skills, knowledge, and productivity. This can include regular training sessions, mentorship programs, access to industry resources, and ongoing professional development opportunities.

✔️Standardized Processes and Checklists

Make your team function like a well-oiled machine. Setting operational standards helps everyone work more efficiently and decreases the likelihood any revenue-driving tasks will fall through the cracks. For example, take a close look at how your team handles lead follow-up, listing presentations, client onboarding, and transaction management.

✔️Performance Incentives and Recognition Programs

This is a great way to motivate and reward your team members for their achievements. Depending on your situation, that might include bonuses, commission split increases, awards, or fun recognition ceremonies. However you go about it, do your best to foster a culture of excellence. Not only does it improve morale, but it also drives growth.

✔️Use Market Leader Teams

Market Leader Teams, the new one-of-a-kind system that’s built for the specific purpose of supporting interdependent, highly collaborative real estate teams. It provides a hub where all team members have shared access to each others’ activities so they can communicate seamlessly with contacts (as a team or one-on-one) and complete tasks on each others’ behalf. The system also includes a customizable team website, marketing and lead nurture automation tools, and a robust marketing center with a library full of design templates.

Learn more about how Market Leader Teams can enhance your real estate systems, fuel productivity, and increase your overall commission income.

Get Your 2024 Real Estate Business Plan Today!

Get this guide to learn real estate marketing ideas which will take your business to the next level in 2023!Planning is the first step in getting more leads and increasing your commission income. Download the free 2024 business planning guide today where you’ll get the full version of what was covered above and much more:

  • Step-by-step guide to crafting a business plan
  • Simple worksheets & brainstorming prompts
  • Excel & Google Sheet templates for tracking expenses
  • Progress tracker for monitoring goal achievement
  • Tips for ensuring your business will thrive in 2024
  • Business-planning advice from experienced agents

Submit your email address below to have the “2024 Real Estate Business Plan” sent to your inbox!