The Level Up Your Business Podcast

Show Notes

 Clickable Show Highlights:

[00:58] Topic of today’s episode
[01:19] What makes the best organization most successful
[03:12] What are Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
[03:50] Advantages of using SOPs
[05:24] How and when you should create SOPs
[06:20] 10 easy steps you need to follow to create SOPs
[06:34] Step 1: Determine the format
[06:43] Step 2: Consider your audience
[06:58] Step 3: Determine who should write it
[07:13] Step 4: Keep the purpose of your SOP in mind
[07:27] Step 5: Determine what to include in the SOP
[07:44] Step 6: Thoroughly describe your process
[07:48] Step 7: Be concise
[07:59] Step 8: Test the SOP
[08:11] Step 9: Review the SOP
[08:23] Step 10: Implement the SOP
[08:38] Tools to create SOPs
[10:02] Summary

Quotes:

"If you want to run your company like a business instead of a hobby, SOPs will make all the difference."

THE LEVEL UP YOUR BUSINESS BLOG

 The Free Tool That Makes Your Business More Productive With Predictable Results 


In today's show I'm going to discuss a free tool you can use to get very predictable results in your real estate business. 

But why is that important?

The reason is because predictability allows your business to continuously improve, while reducing cost; it allows you to become more efficient; and it makes your business more effective and productive. 

Today on the Level Up Your Business Podcast you’ll discover the free tool you can use to make your business more productive with predictable results.

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Using  Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)
Is The Secret Sauce to Getting The Results You Want In Your Real Estate Business

You know exactly what to expect when you order a burger at your favorite restaurant because they use standard operating procedures for predictable results.


Close your eyes and imagine you’re at your favorite restaurant. Or, maybe you’re not much of a restaurant person - so let’s say your favorite fast food joint

You’ve walked up to the counter…

… been greeted by the cashier...

… taken the time to review the overhead menu behind the counter with the 100’s of selections...

… placed an order for your food...

… been upsold by the cashier, “can I offer you a super size fry and jumbo size drink with your colossal burger?

… and finally you receive your food and head to your seat to indulge in that first bite.

Alas... that first bite is exactly as you expected. The burger doesn’t taste any better or any worse than the last time, it’s exactly the same. Which is fine with you, because that’s EXACTLY what you wanted. 

As a matter of fact, pretty much everything was exactly as you expected. The greeting from the cashier, the menu, the way you placed an order, the fact that you were upsold – all of it was what you expected. 

This isn’t by accident. It’s because your favorite restaurant uses STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPs) to make sure you have a predictable experience every time you come there to eat. ​​​

So Now That You’ve Got Me Stomach Rumbling... What’s This Have To Do Me?


My fast food example was meant to open your eyes to what makes the most successful businesses thrive. 

They don’t operate their businesses by the seat of their pants, hoping that things will go well with every transaction. 

Instead, they use SOPS so that their systems and outcomes are as predictable as possible. If you want to run your company like a business instead of a hobby, SOPs will make all the difference.

What Are SOPs And How Do They Apply to My Real Estate Investing Business?

S·O·P: The documented processes that a company has in place to ensure services and products are delivered consistently every time.

Businesses like McDonald’s are successful because you know what to expect when going there as a customer - and their employees know what to expect because they have systems in place to produce predictable results for you.

As it relates to your real estate business...

"SOPs are the secret sauce that will reduce your time spent training the people that work for you, help you maintain a consistent quality of work, allow you to be more efficient when you’re working, and allow you to scale your business."

I'm going to share with you some of the advantages of using SOPs in your real estate business. I use virtual assistants to take care of many of the activities that drive my business on a daily basis (and I highly encourage you to also consider hiring a virtual assistant to take routine, tedious tasks off your plate).

So, in the examples I'm going to give you, “staff” can refer to either virtual assistants or local staff.

Some the advantages of using Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in your real estate business:

  1. Save you significant time training people because you’ll have written processes in place.
  2. Create structure in your business activities so nothing slips through the cracks.
  3. Make it simpler for VAs/staff to do their jobs.
  4. Your VA/staff don't have to guess how you want a task done.
  5. Your VA/staff can enjoy more predictability in their jobs and hone their skills to raise overall performance.
  6. Reduces errors or variation so you and your customers know what to expect.
  7. Make it easier to conduct employee reviews.
  8. Make it straightforward to compare performance of staff doing the same tasks.
  9. Make it painless to replicate processes in order to scale up and expand to other markets.
  10. They force you to think thoughtfully about your business - which can only make you and your business better.

When Should You Create SOPs?

Consider making an SOP for any task you perform more than once in your business. 

Now that you’ve know how important SOPs are to your real estate business, how and when should you create them?

Here’s the key: You should develop an SOP for any task or activity that you or your staff will need to perform more than once (i.e. running comps, putting together offers, loading homes on your site), then you should create an SOP for it. 

This will save you considerable time and headache teaching something over and over again, as well as make you more efficient if you’re doing the tasks yourself.

And don’t let the words “Standard Operating Procedures” freak you out and make you think that it needs to be something overly complicated - because it doesn’t.

SOPs can be in the form of checklists, process charts, or videos. The point is, it needs to be in a format that you can hand off to someone and they’d be able to follow the instructions to get your desired outcome.

Whatever is the path of least resistance to document those steps and make it easy for others to follow – that’s what you do 

How Do You Create SOPs?

Below I’ve provided ten easy steps you can follow to create SOPs.

#1 -  Determine the format - Decide if your SOP should be written in simple steps, a flowchart, or even a video.

#2 - Consider your audience - In other words, do the people using the SOP know the terminology. For instance, would the people using your SOP know what the word "comps" means?

#3 - Determine who should write it - If the person that will be doing the task is more familiar with how to carry out the task than you are, then have that person write out the SOP. That way you'll have the process documented for future reference.

#4 - Keep the purpose of your SOP in mind - Knowing the purpose and what the SOP should emphasize makes it easier to put together your SOP around those points. And, it gives the person reading it a frame of reference.

#5 - Determine what to include in the SOP - Some of the things you should include are: the title of the process; the date it was created of updated; who wrote it; clarify the desired results; and include any references as needed.

#6 - Thoroughly describe your process - Describe the purpose of of the process, roles and responsibilities, inputs and outputs.

#7 - Be concise - Use short sentences. For difficult to articulate steps, use charts, diagrams, pictures, or even video.

#8 - Test the SOP - Preferably have someone with limited knowledge of the process use the SOP, and then you can fill in the gaps as necessary if you see flaws.

#9 - Review the SOP with the user - Ideally you can even have the person using it be involved in the process of creating the SOP, in order to increase their buy-in.

#10 Implement the SOP - Implement the SOP and make sure the desired outputs are achieved and make sure your SOP stays current.

Download My FREE Cheat Sheet

THE STEP-BY-STEP CHECKLIST TO CREATING
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPS)
IN YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS 

Tools To Create SOPs

In order to be consistent and make creating SOPs effortless, I recommend having your favorite note taking application - like Evernote or a Google Doc - open at all times

If you prefer video, you can use free online tools like Screencast-o-matic or Zoom - and keep them open in the bottom tray on your computer while you’re working.

As you’re doing activities in your business, such as putting together a purchase agreement, you can document the steps you’re doing in your note taking application. Or, simply record your screen using Screencast-o-matic or Zoom. Then, narrate the steps so it's easy for someone else to follow.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, you want it to become second nature for you to document repeatable activities that you think will serve as good SOPs.

There's also a website called Sweetprocess.com where they provide user friendly software specifically for people that want to easily create SOPs for their businesses. It’s worth checking out.


As you become more consistent you’ll eventually have an SOP library that you and your staff can refer to for any of the important frequent processes that occur in your business.


I'm telling you this is a true ASSET!


It’s Time To Take Action

Now it's time to take action. Trust me, using SOPs is the tool that will be the difference between you running a real estate business with the structure in place needed for you to be able to scale your company and have predictable results…

VS...


..running a business that you operate by the seat of your pants, with your head on a swivel because you’re always reactive instead of proactive about getting things done.

Your next step should be to set aside some time to determine which standard operating procedures you need in your business.

Then, take some time over the next couple of weeks while you’re doing those activities to actually document the steps. 

And remember, taking the time to set up SOPs will not only help you become more efficient in your business and ensure your staff understands your expectations - it will also make you a better business owner since you’ll be taking time to think through your business systems and processes. This will make all the difference in your success.

Download My FREE Cheat Sheet

THE STEP-BY-STEP CHECKLIST TO CREATING
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES (SOPS)
IN YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESS 

Next Up In Season 2

I’m really excited about next week’s podcast and blog post. It’s all about The Power of the “ONE THING.” Many people struggle with productivity because instead of focusing on ONE THING, they try to focus on EVERYTHING - which actually makes you less productive. You’re going to discover how focusing on one thing can be the difference maker in your business. I’ll give you strategies that you can put into action immediately to get awesome results by narrowing your focus.