No matter if your organization is large or small, effective systems and processes are simply a MUST. I’ve been there, the guy operating from a spreadsheet — or maybe even a bar napkin. #notquitethatbadbutclose
And you know what? Spreadsheets are awesome for a lot of things. But using spreadsheets to manage the workflows and intricacies of the day-to-day real estate investor is probably hurting your operation and your growth.
Now, before every spreadsheet lover tries to find me, don’t fret completely. I’m not suggesting that you get rid of all spreadsheets in the universe. I’m suggesting you supplement spreadsheets that are tracking the operational side of your business with Podio or something like it. We love spreadsheets for tracking specific jobs before we close them out, but we found that they were simply not organic enough and not robust enough to help run a real project.
How I Bought, Rehabbed, Rented, Refinanced, and Repeated for 14 Rental Properties
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Write Out and Implement a Workflow
How many steps are within your processes for finding a deal, putting it under contract, receiving contractor bids, having inspections performed, completing closing, and pushing through renovation processes? What’s the timeline for the renovation? Did they complete all the work? Did you have weekly checks at the property? Do you have a quality control process?
The list of what you need to do, understand, or check goes on, and on, and on.
First, if you don’t have a workflow, don’t worry. Start by white boarding every step in your process, bullet point by bullet point. What does it look like? When does 1, 2, 3 occur? Is it something you do most or all of the time? Great! Write it down. Add it to your workflow. Write it down, take a picture of it, create it as a Word document, Evernote it, and have it nearby. Read it to your spouse at the dinner table. They will LOVE it. Seriously, like a bedtime story about contractors, closings, and linear feet of such and such.
Anyway, once you have your workflow written out, understand the interactions of the processes and where information is being updated, transferred, or handed off to a new team member or outside person. For instance, once you have a deal under contract, it needs to go to your title person. How does it get there? How do you remember to send it? If you aren’t the person responsible to send it, then who is, and how do they know?
Define, Create, and Refine Your Apps
There are a lot of great basic real estate-related apps within Podio. Don’t try to get complex with them, at least not at first. Think through what you need to track things effectively. Do you need properties or addresses? Do you need leads or people’s contacts? Do you need to run an actual renovation project or just get the deal out to your wholesale list (and click a button within Podio and send it there)? Within our business, we have a lead app that houses leads, we have a listing app that has all the potential deals, and we have a project app that runs the projects.
We have gone through four or five iterations of these apps. Don’t worry, it won’t be perfect the first time. The amazing thing about the apps is if you think about what you want it to do, you can in real time apply the changes. We are always refining the apps and refining the information in them. Within Podio, the basic version is OK, but if you are serious about getting the apps talking (and your team getting real time workflow updates), get Globiflow. It’s a game changer, with way more flexible and intuitive workflows.
Get Your Apps Connected
One of the absolute coolest things about Podio is the way the different apps within Podio can interact. For instance, you have a wholesale deal sold? Great. Mark it pending or under contract in your listing/deal app, and then have that action create a series of repeatable processes with a different app. In real time, the investor buying your wholesale deal signs the contract, and then you can have Podio automatically email the contract to your title person and your coordinator or to you. Wherever you want it to go, you can set it up to automate.
On our team, we now have five active people who are operating within Podio on a daily basis. We have to have clarity not only on WHO is doing what, but on HOW we document it.
So, within our listing app, which houses the listings or deals we are considering buying, we have literally every bit of information you could ever want about each property. The address, price wanted, intended closing date, the workup or numbers of the deal, the combo or MLS information to enter the property, what the intended end game is for the property — whether it’s a turnkey, a retail flip, or us keeping it. In one place, your entire team can see what kind of deal it is and all the details.
Then, within our workflow, we have the listing. Once we know it’s a deal, we create a project within the project app. This can transfer information you need without any manual effort over to the new app running the project.
Can you say #killer? Podio is a total game changer.
I am not a naturally tech savvy person, and I can update, create, and tweak Podio with ease. Especially once you upgrade to the Globiflow, the workflows are seriously awesome.
Within your business, create your workflow, identify repeatable processes, and create those into intuitive-click-of-a-button operations within Podio. The interface is easy to access from anywhere on the planet using you laptop, tablet, or smartphone. My team and I use it every day, and it has completely transformed our business.
How has Podio changed your business? What other programs do you rely on to run your business?
Leave your comments below!