One of the most important aspects of a career in real estate is the ability to keep things organized. There’s a ton of information and paperwork to keep track of, and it’s just going to keep adding up with each new transaction.
By keeping your files organized, you can help yourself stay on top of things, find exactly what you need when you need it, and maintain control of your data. This will help you to become effective and successful in the real estate world.
To begin, we first need to address the issue of paper versus paperless. We’re going to organize these files with a paperless system. I prefer paperless because it requires a lot less space. There are no filing cabinets required or having to constantly buy file folders and other items. Also, if you upload everything to a cloud service, it can be accessed anywhere, which can come in handy if you need to look something up while you’re on the go. For agents especially, we’re rarely at a desk!
For now, we’re going to look at organizing your clients’ information and paperwork. You’ll need 3 main folders:
Within this folder, you’re going to create sub-folders for your buyer clients. I like to name each folder with the client’s last name. Inside their folder, you need to keep any important paperwork pertaining to them, including their buyer agency agreement, any written offers, and any other important files required.
Once they have an offer accepted, I like to create a folder with the address of the home and keep the contract and all other paperwork through closing in here. This helps to keep the transaction’s paperwork separate from other unrelated paperwork, such as rejected offers.
This one is going to get set up similarly to your buyer’s folder. We are going to start with sub-folders named with the clients’ last names. Inside of that folder, you need to make another folder that’s named with the property address.
Now, inside the folder named after the address, you will add your listing agreement, floor plan drawings and measurements, photos, disclosures, descriptions, and any other important information that you need for your listing. If you have a checklist of your duties for the listing, this is also a good place to put it to keep track of what you need to be doing as the selling agent to get your listing sold!
This folder isn’t going to have any new paperwork that isn’t found in the other two folders, but I like to have a way of keeping all of my closed transactions together and easy to search. Once a transaction has closed, I copy the folder named for the address of the property and paste it into this folder.
I don’t like to move entire client folders here, because I’m hoping that they will be repeat clients in the future! It’s also easier to search through closed transactions by the address of the property, rather than by the client name. It’s possible that in 5 years, someone who bought your listing might choose to have you list the home, and if you’ve kept it here in the Closed folder, you can easily look back through and refresh your memory about the home.
Once you reach the end of the year, you should take the Closed folder and rename it to reflect the year (for example, at the end of 2019, rename it from “Closed” to “Closed 2019”), and create a new Closed folder to start the new year.