An enthusiastic shout out to all my kindred spirits out there – the creative and hardworking entrepreneurs of our beloved real estate industry. Would I be off base if I were to assume the majority of us started our businesses with three others with an uncanny resemblance to ourselves? I’m referring to those seen in our reflection – me, myself and I.  You (or the three of you) have done an admirable job. Pat yourselves on the back three times… three times because you don’t want to leave anyone of yourselves out. Your business grew because people learned about you, they started to like you and ultimately they trusted you. Soon you had too many clients and tasks to handle yourself so you hired help. You needed to replicate yourself. You likely implemented systems on how you handled specific tasks, client interfacing and vendor negotiations. You made it possible for someone else in your organization to replicate a method, a technique or even a mannerism by following a system. Not all systems are written down although they should be.

This month I want to touch on those proverbial wrenches that get throw into your systems. I’ve trained my staff and coached my clients to understand that “You manage to the rule (or system) and handle the exception(s).” If something is done in your business more than once it should be written into a system. The system is managed and measured using specific key performance indicators. Systems should run today as they did yesterday and how they will tomorrow. When an exception is recognized (prospect change, regulatory update, whatever?) halt the system and assess for significance. Exceptions will happen and should be treated as one offs unless you decide to change the system. When an exceptional, unusual or generally “not supposed to happen event” occurs the system can be changed for the better or left alone. Address the exception and get the team back on track. You will find decision making will become easier and faster when you implement more systems and question exceptions against the intention or results driven by any one system. If the exception doesn’t enhance or benefit, the system it should be addressed and forgotten.