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Why your real estate business needs to have systems
Home Home Real Estate
By: Alan Cowgill Email Article
Word Count: 882 Digg it | it | Google it | StumbleUpon it


Having sound business systems in place is truly the key to have success. Even if something where to come up that you didn't have a system in place for, just create the system on the spot, document it, and your ready for the next time. I wanted to share with you a great example of how even the smallest system can effect your bottom line.

My team and I travel around a lot. In the hotels where I stay, I ask someone to deliver milk to my room to have with cereal; I get different techniques of delivery.

I understand that it’s not the hotel that is deciding how to deliver my milk. That decision is being made by whoever was bringing it up. Everyday I had a different person knock on my door to deliver my milk, and they put the tray together. I know what the system is; this guy wants milk so throw something on the tray. They think they're making me happy. So, sometimes, they do those dainty little containers. They give me a couple of thimbles of milk for my big bowl of cereal. Now they have to send those things through the dishwasher and clean them. I am impressed. These decisions are based on cost. So if you're trying to trim cost, would you want your employees to be delivering volumes of milk in a large container? Or did you want to impress somebody and do the dainty little thimbles?

If labor is more important to you and more expensive, why would you have somebody take it out of a carton and put it in to the dinky things that now have to be washed later. A carton of milk would have been okay. For the record, a carton of milk is ok with me.

What I just described with the milk can give you a vision of what I'm trying to get across to you. I'll give you another example. When I am in a hotel, I don't want the maids in my room moving things around. So I don't do maid service. I put the privacy sign on my door. If I need towels and things like that I catch them in the hall. I travel to Florida, Arizona, you name it. Everywhere I go, I have the same system.

There‘s one hotel that I stay at regularly, I went there recently to stay. On the first day, the maid had taken a plastic sack and stuffed in some hand towels and bath towels and some soap. She then hung it on my door. That doesn't normally happen. I thought, "Well that's a nice touch." They were thoughtful and she was thinking about me. That hasn't happened since. Oh well. My privacy sign hasn't come off. So would the owner of the company want the plastic bag full of towels and soap hung on the door every time or just sometimes, and who's making that decision? The decisions are being made by the people trying to do a good job. But is it the way the owner wants it? Because in every decision like that, there is a cost or a value added, like it or not. And I didn't need the big volume of milk on day one because they ended up with one of the glasses going back. All I needed was the carton.

But the point is who's making the decision on the milk or bags of soap and towels in your company? The owners of those hotels need to replicate themselves to keep customers happy and keep costs down. Maybe you'd rather have the big container of milk and not the carton. People have a different taste, that’s why we have chocolate and vanilla. What is most important is that you create the system based on how YOU want it handled. Leaving it up to employees could result in 10 different ways to do the same thing. Talk about chaos. That is no way to run a business, let along something as complicated as real estate and flipping houses for profit.

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E. Alan Cowgill is the owner of Colby Properties, LLC. and President of Integrity Home Buyers, Inc. Since 1995, Alan has bought and/or sold hundreds of single family and small multi-family investment properties. His home study system, 'Private Lending Made Easy', shows others how to find private lenders for their very own real estate business.

His website is

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