How the Curse of Paper Was the Catalyst for Success

We’ve all seen real estate agents…

…hunched over, lugging around heavy briefcases, sometimes on wheels, full of transaction folders. In 2009, when I was a practicing Realtor, my team and I was no different. That year we sold a record number of homes and we had three or four huge files for each closing. Each of my staff members had their own files for every transaction and each file averaged more than 200 pages. With 264 closings in 2009, that equaled more than 1,000 files that I had to save and store for years. My growing success came with an issue: an endless mountain of paperwork.

One Tuesday afternoon, I got a call from one of my sellers…

…asking if I could give her a status update on the closing of her property. I shuffled through all the paperwork I could find but came up empty handed. After a bunch of time and trouble, I finally found what I was looking for. It turned out that my files and my assistant’s files didn’t match. The disorganization wasn’t an isolated occurrence. Often time someone in my office would have a particular piece of the transaction that no one else had.

I had to efficiently scale my business

That day I realized that I wasn’t being efficient. I wasn’t using a scalable model. I needed a better system because I couldn’t handle the amount of business that was coming in. It seemed impossible with the growing number of properties I was selling. In fact, the more I sold, the more difficult it was to constantly keep all the files updated. I promised to give all of my sellers a weekly update but at any given moment, I had about 30 clients. I was having real problems keeping my promise and managing my business at the same time. The more successful I became, the more properties I sold, which created an endless cycle of growing paperwork.

Liberating myself from the paper albatross

This was how I came up with the idea that would eventually become SkySlope. Having a centralized place for all the paperwork, that was accessible by anyone in my office (AND my clients) was the perfect solution. Not only did it solve my problem but it also allowed me to spend even more time with clients and ultimately, I became even more successful.

What’s your albatross? Leave it in the comments or tweet me!