If your assistant was hit by the proverbial bus, how easy would it be for someone else to step in and take over?

The real estate industry is very dynamic when it comes to employing and retaining staff, especially in the property management sector which is renowned for having a high turnover of employees. When a staff member leaves your business, it’s not only expensive to replace the employee, but it also takes considerable time to retrain a new one.


Maybe I’m hung up on in-house procedures because of my reliance on them when I was an enlisted member of the military working as a flight attendant. We referred to these procedures as “Standard Operating Procedures” (SOP’S) and every single task we were required to complete in our day to day job had an accompanying SOP. Even the way in which we made a coffee inflight had an SOP. Why? For standardisation, consistency and above all else, safety. Sure, making a coffee doesn’t seem like a high-risk job, however, given the nature of the environment, it’s important to follow inflight procedures because you could….well…die (or at least get 3rd-degree burns from a steaming hot pot of coffee!)

flight attendant graduation procedures

Me graduating from flight attendant school where procedures were life…

So after religiously following instructions in the Air Force, you can imagine my shock moving into a real estate role where there were no instructions, guide or procedures. This is in part because no two days are the same in the wonderful and exciting world of real estate. But there are some things you can control in and that’s your admin and processes.

head shot real estate agent

First real estate headshot. Procedures? What procedures?

If you can document your procedures, your life as an agent will become a heck of a lot easier. Here are 5 reasons why:


  • It won’t take as much time to train new staff
  • It’s easier for someone else to step in and cover a staff member if they go on leave
  • All staff will be trained to the same standard
  • Clients will also benefit from receiving the same consistent service from your staff
  • You have a system in place which will be more appealing to prospective business owners if you ever decide to sell the business.

Although it might take you considerable time writing procedures from scratch, once you have them, it’s just a matter of updating them when the procedures change. You can use procedures for any aspect of your business. Use them to standardise how you like your CMA’s printed, save your scripts for buyer callbacks, how to do a letterbox drop, your online marketing plan, your weekly prospecting routine, how to request a testimonial etc. In your property management section, you can cover off anything from how to run an open for inspection to how to process an application.


Write down every task that you and your staff complete in a week. At the end of the week, review and consider whether a new person starting in your business tomorrow would be able to step in and complete these tasks with ease. Would they benefit from a step by step guide?”


When writing a procedure, ensure you include the following:

  • As much information as possible
  • Step by step instructions with hyperlinks and images
  • Use a standardised template
  • Save them somewhere that is easy to find and accessible by everyone
  • Ensure to review them regularly and update when there’s a change


Implementing procedures in your office will save you loads of time and energy. You also won’t be so stressed next time a staff member resigns/gets fired/or goes on maternity leave. With streamlined procedures in place, your next ninja/superstar/admin extraordinaire will be able to step in, read the procedures and start work immediately to the same standard you’ve become accustomed too.

Prepare yourself for a rainy day. Implement procedures for your business. And maybe tell your assistant to catch the train to work instead of the bus.

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