As a real estate agent, you might have several deals on the go at any given time, and you may be nurturing many client relationships in the background. When your career has so many moving parts, it’s important to stay as organized as you can.
Hopefully, in this day and age, you are doing most things digitally. If you prefer notebooks and paper planners that’s okay, but digital record-keeping can make your life much easier.
Organize Your Real Estate Contacts
Most real estate agents carry a smartphone everywhere they go. Each time you meet someone new, enter their information into your phone’s contact list right away. You’ll be able to find the information in a few seconds, whether you’re at your desk or on the road.
Another way to keep your contacts organized is to use a customer relationship management (CRM) system. There are many CRM options and some, like Hubspot, have very useful free options. Price points vary, depending on how many contacts you have and how you plan to use their information.
CRMs can integrate well with your email and your deal management system, so you can easily keep track of every conversation you have with a client. This will come in handy, helping you remember details about people, if you haven’t talked to them in a while, or when you need to look up deal-specific information. They are also a great way to handle your marketing campaigns.
Organize Your Documents
Real estate agents often have many balls in the air. Since minor mistakes can send clients packing and serious ones could result in lawsuits, be sure to keep your documents in order.
You might need to try a few organization strategies before settling on the system that works best for you. If you are lucky, your office or team will set you up, but most agents must figure things out for themselves. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Organize Your Office
- Create a filing system that makes sense to you so you will use it
- Clear your desk at the end of each day
- Create a checklist to make sure you collect all the information and documents you need for compliance
- Create process checklists to guide you through activities such as listing a home, closing a deal, or running an open house
Organize Your Files
Some agents choose to work from their office, keeping phone calls, emails, and documents all in the same place with one secure desktop computer.
You might prefer working from various locations such as home, office, coffee shops, listing locations, or your car. If that’s the case, cloud storage is a lifesaver.
Whether you use MS Office, Google Drive, or your brokerage’s networking cloud, make sure all your documents are stored securely and organized well. Online, use file folders and create a consistent naming system so you can retrieve files at a moment’s notice.
Organize Your Email
Are you going to be the agent completely overwhelmed by 10,000+ emails or the one who aims for inbox zero every single day? Chances are you’ll be somewhere in between.
To keep on top of email, use rules and filters, in your email program, to keep promotional mail separate from important business messages. Try checking your email only at 2-3 designated times throughout the day. That way, you can deal with them right away, without distractions.
Time management gurus say that work will expand into the time that you allow it. With that in mind, planning is essential! In this industry, we need to be flexible because time-sensitive commitments will pop up, but you should always have some boundaries in place.
Some people really benefit from time blocking, where you schedule certain tasks at specific times. For example, make all your client calls from 9:00-11:00 each morning or set aside Monday morning to return emails and schedule your week. Batching tasks makes it easier to get things done without shifting your focus.
Consider Hiring an Assistant
Some of us have trouble in the organization department and it’s okay to recognize that. If you would much rather be networking, drumming up new business, and closing deals than spending time on administrative tasks, consider hiring an assistant. They can take care of the mundane tasks so you can focus on the ones you enjoy. You’ll be more efficient, have a better work-life balance, and be more satisfied in your career.
Ready to Start a Real Estate Career?
Not an agent yet? No problem. We’ve got the pre-license training courses you need to become a real estate agent in California. Choose between flexible in-person classes or independent online learning options to fit your lifestyle. If you’re nervous about the California real estate exam, build your confidence with a full-day review class or one-on-one tutoring services.
Feel free to reach out to us with any questions about our courses or your future real estate career.