12 April, 2023
Unlock the doors to real estate success
Read time: 5 minutes
Disciplining The Undisciplined


Source: Helloteam

I wonder how it was like when for the first time a human tried to tame a lion.

Foolish would perhaps have been the first thought of the onlookers. But soon after, there was a phase where lions jumped through rings in circuses and entertained millions.

If you want to be successful, be prepared to be criticized.

Picking up from where I last left off, having adopted the wealth manager mentality to the real estate jungle, it was now time to make it much more structured.

But how do you manage to institutionalize one of the lesser-reputed industries in terms of organized work, especially 10 years ago?

I recall as John Wanamaker once said - One may walk over the highest mountain one step at a time.

My approach was no different. I had transitioned from an obsessively process-driven banking sector to the most recognizably unorganized residential real estate industry when I started out.

Institutionalizing this mammoth-sized industry certainly was not a cakewalk, especially with all the backlash. It is one of the most fundamental laws of the universe that people will push back against something new.

The first hurdle I wanted to deal with was, how to build the right type of organization in this industry? Real estate had a number of players already but interestingly, none of them had managed to build a pan-India image. Unquestioningly, something was not clicking.

What this industry needed was proper systems and processes at every step. People had for long run it in a disorganized manner, hampering the potential productivity highs. Their philosophy was simple – what is the need of processes and systems when the work is getting done?

Well, I see processes to be beautiful and majestic. Once you put them in place, you can easily replicate them to scale your business exponentially.

Let’s go on a field trip

I am taking you to a car manufacturing factory. It is one of the most systematic environments with one process following the other smoothly. Do you see how these large-scale manufacturers always have the cars’ chassis ready? Keeping the chassis ready allows one to make subtle changes to the top of the car and launch a new product.

In our case, the chassis of the car is the process and systems required for smooth functioning. Now to get people to abide by my process-imposed functioning was surprisingly an uphill task! The pre-existing industry professionals did not believe in this system.

When I started at IndiaHomes, I decided to bring in people from sectors who had lived their entire corporate lives following a systematic task chain. I hired several people from the financial services sector. They were already accustomed to working methodically and were patient enough for results.

I divided the company functioning into five main functions – I call them the 5 pillars of real estate.

The Five Pillars of Real Estate

  1. Inventory
  2. Maintaining an updated inventory and categorizing properties based on various factors like location, size, and price is important to provide customized solutions to clients and maximize their satisfaction. Use real estate management software to maintain an updated inventory, conduct market research to understand the needs and preferences of your target audience, and regularly analyze your inventory to ensure it meets the changing demands of the market.

  3. Marketing
  4. Effective marketing is important to reach your target audience and showcase your properties to potential clients. Use digital marketing tools like Facebook and Google ads, SEO, and email marketing to reach your target audience effectively. Use social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook to showcase your properties with high-quality images and videos. Offer virtual tours of your properties to enable potential buyers to view the property from the comfort of their homes.

  5. Sales
  6. Focusing on maximizing customer satisfaction over making a sale is important to build strong relationships with clients and increase the chances of long-term success. Develop excellent communication skills to understand the client's needs and provide tailored solutions. Use online tools like Zoom or Skype to conduct meetings and virtual tours. Ensure that you provide prompt and efficient follow-up after meetings or property viewings to keep the clients engaged and increase the chances of conversion. Prioritize maximizing customer satisfaction over making a sale. Build a strong relationship with your clients by understanding their needs and providing them with the best possible solutions. Develop excellent communication, negotiation, and problem-solving skills to close deals and create a win-win situation.

  7. Operations
  8. Streamlining your operations and monitoring your team's performance is important to ensure efficient and effective management of your real estate business. Use project management tools like Trello or Asana to streamline your operations and monitor your team's performance. Create a checklist of administrative tasks and regularly review and update it to ensure legal compliance and avoid penalties. Develop training programs to help your team improve their skills and productivity.

  9. Collections
  10. Developing a robust collections process is important to ensure timely payments and avoid financial losses. Use secure online payment methods to avoid delayed or missed payments. Develop a legal agreement that outlines the payment schedule and details the consequences of non-payment. Regularly review your collections process to identify and address any issues that may arise.

Bringing in these many processes into the real estate was unheard of. People had labelled me as the Wrong Guy.

But soon after, we put in the hard work, let these newly hired men undergo training sessions to follow our plans and ultimately, the results were positive. In no time, people were now addicted to this organized functioning, it let the company scale with no hiccups.

We had now managed to generate around 10 crores in revenue. There were over 500 sales representatives reporting to me. All of this took nothing but some organized functioning and tons of consistency.

I cannot stress enough on the importance of these processes. Every now and then we get to hear stories where the promoters have taken more debt than they can deliver or the quality of construction not being up to the mark.

Unfortunately, the root of all these hindrances is the absence of processes in the system’s functioning. With no processes in place, there are no system checks or balances, allowing such mishaps to happen day in and day out.

In the next edition, I will deep dive on the sales function and how to it can be setup for maximum results.

That’s it from my side for this edition and until the next one remember that:

Your network is your net worth.

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By Ashwinder R. Singh
Step up your real estate game with exclusive access to tribal knowledge accumulated over decades.
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