Do you frequently write down notes on scrap paper only to recopy them into your records later? Are you relying on your memory or cumbersome steps for tasks that could be automated or streamlined?

Inefficient systems leave the door open to costly mistakes. Missed deadlines jeopardize transactions. Lost paperwork and unrecorded details increase your risk of lawsuits and fair housing claims.

Conversely, more effective systems give you more time back, reduce mistakes, and help you increase productivity. They can also eliminate frustrations.

Consider these examples of systems to improve:

Don’t leave your listing appointments to memory or chance. Make a checklist to ensure you collect all the information you need, gather all the materials you want to share, cover important information, and follow up on time. A low-tech solution could be a simple checklist document or spreadsheet. Or you can use an automated system or app that helps track and manage tasks.

Create a workflow for each type of transaction you handle. There are many actions and timeframes to keep track of throughout the lifecycle of your transactions. Multiply that by the number of transactions you are working on, and it is a recipe for tasks falling through the cracks. Solutions can be as simple as a spreadsheet with columns for every important deadline, or a Gantt chart. There also are many excellent project management programs and real estate transaction management applications.

Remember: the best system is one you will use consistently. If several people in an office or on a team are involved, be sure that systems are easy for all to access and update. The investment to create systems now can pay big dividends in the future.