Do you have a plan that will help you manage your properties? How organized are your files and if the bank calls you regarding an invoice submitted three months ago or inquires about the details of a property, are you prepared? I help several agents remotely organize their files and provide different resolution based on their setup.
Here are a few tips that will help keep you organized. It may not pertain to everyone and depends on the current process being used.
• Get rid of the post-it notes. They are not meant to be used as long term solutions to tracking notes.
• Create a spreadsheet or pay an expert database designer to create a MS Access database that runs on queries. If you would like to create a secure online program, you will need to hire an expert programmer.
• If you are not ready to go paperless, I suggest using 3-ring binders and index tabs to keep your files sorted by banks and property address, and/or
• Use the correct folders so proper recording is maintain. Go to http://www.filesource.com/ for an assortment of real estate related folders, or use the classification folder with dividers, click here, and/or
• Use an online transaction management program for online storage and upload all pertinent documents to the BPO or bank system immediately and check off as completed.
• Upload your action plans online or use Outlook to track due dates and send out reminders.
• Only use one email address to communicate with the BPO Companies or banks. Multiple emails accounts increase the chance of mail being sent to the junk box or deleted. Include your full contact information in the signature line and account name section.
• If you find that you are always responding too late or missing the BPO orders, setup alerts through your Blackberry or a compatible email account such as Yahoo or Hotmail so you can receive your notifications via text message. You can also hire an assistant that will work as a backup to catch those that you have missed and begin the process of ordering photos, pulling comps, etc
• If you decide to go paperless, invest in a PDF converter that will allow you to extract documents, delete documents, sort pages, insert files, etc. As the transaction progress, you can add the new pages and/or delete the amended pages and more.
• Once the property has closed, remove all old and completed transactions. Archive each to CD or DVD. Make multiple copies if needed.
• Use the task reminder of you contact management program. Once you input a task based on a property, you will receive the alerts. This will increase your responsiveness to the bank and buyer agent.
•Use Microsoft Street & Trips to calculate proximity if you are looking for a reliable program.
• Keep an updated copy of all bank guideline at the front of the binder and/or store online within your OTM program.
• Store each property file separately on your computer and label each property using the property address. Example: 1234 Mockingbird Lane, Anywhere US 01234. Then create subfolders. One for the listing documents and the other for the closing documents.
• Add the full contact information for each bank, asset manager, accounts payable, etc to your Outlook contact file for the bank using categories. Print out the contact sheet and include it in your binder, folder, or online within the OTM program. This will provide quicker access to contacts when on the road and less searching on the PDA.
• Offer a fillable PDF of the Offer to Purchase and all bank documents on your website. By doing so, this will give the buyer agent the opportunity to present a clearly written offer with all required fields completed. You can also include a check list as a part of the download. If the agent doesn't provide all of the check list items, they don't have a serious buyer.
• Learn how to improve your process. If one method does not work, move on to something better, not worse.
• Know what you have in inventory at all times. A simple spreadsheet can be used to track your inventory and the status.
How do you keep your files organized?
Carolyn Dobbs, Carolyn@REOBookkeeper.com | www.reobookkeeper.com | www.onlinerepa.com | www.point2close.com