Document Source Control

By Bruce Firestone | Business Coaching

Jul 25

My real job is not real estate investment and business coach and realtor, it’s file clerk.

That’s right, file clerk.

My computer is the other half of my brain.

I keep great files and detailed notes so when a client calls me (even after a few years), I remember who his/her lawyer is, renovator, mortgage broker, architect, planner, marketer, bookkeeper, accountant, lender, even kids.

How do I remember?

I don’t. My computer files and CRM (customer relationship management) system (a simple, searchable excel spreadsheet!) do. Ha!

People think it’s so nice I recall their children’s names… This points out another factor–I schedule my calls and zoom (that’s like skype on steroids) meetups so I can PREPARE in advance. I also ask nearly everyone I talk with to send me an agenda prior to our call or online or in-person meeting so I am doubly ready.

If you want to be indispensable in your stakeholder group and create a sustainable PB4L (personal business for life), digitize every document that comes your way, give them decent names so you can search for them on your computer.

Become a Yoda-Master of information.

Even at my age (now 67), I can handle many more clients than I could 15 or 20-years ago, and many more than folks half my age who don’t have good e-filing habits.

I can’t believe how many lawyers I work with who can’t find practically anything and are coming to me and saying, “Umm, I can’t find the agreement of purchase and sale or amendments thereto, can you send me those again? Gulp.”

This often just days away from a completion. #Sigh

Document Source Control

Because I work with others, I have to teach them this and also how to properly share documents. I use dropbox but still stuff gets messed up. And because we are dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars and often millions of OPM (other people’s money), this is crucial otherwise what happens is this–

  1. My colleague creates a document
  2. I edit it
  3. I send it back to her or him
  4. They forget to delete their original
  5. The wrong agreement gets signed
  6. Client is really unhappy

Even if we are using a cloud service, bad stuff can happen–my colleague creates a document, I go in and edit it while not knowing he’s also editing the thing. I put my edited version back into (say) dropbox after which he uploads his new version. And so it goes…

I know there are many times this happens in huge software projects with millions of lines of code despite humongous efforts to put in place good document source control protocols, which is why so many large software projects fail–coders never know for sure they are working on the latest set of code.

Anyway, here’s an email note I sent to my colleague Simon Case today emphasizing document source control for a simple transaction:

From: bruce.firestone@century21.ca <bruce.firestone@century21.ca>
Sent: July 25, 2019 6:28 AM
To: Pierre
Cc: Simon Case 613-808-0893 <simon.case@century21.ca>;
Subject: amendment and notice of fulfillment

Pierre, Simon and I worked on these documents; see attached. Can you read them over and, if they’re ok, Simon will set them up for e-signature for Pierre.

Simon, I only changed Amendment-Sketch-Approval-Simon-Bruce-July-24-2019-DRAFT.pdf so make sure you delete your version of that document and use mine (attached). OK? DOCUMENT SOURCE CONTROL!!! Also, send them back to me. I’ll have to go see Billy personally because he’s not much of an email person and he’ll have to sign in-person. He’s an old-fashioned person😊

Best, Bruce

FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND BUSINESS COACHING THAT’LL HELP YOU PROVIDE FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY FOR 3-GENERATIONS, PLEASE CONTACT:

Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Real Estate Investment and Business coach
Century 21 Explorer Realty Inc broker
Ottawa Senators founder
1-613-762-8884
bruce.firestone@century21.ca
twitter.com/ProfBruce
profbruce.tumblr.com/archive
brucemfirestone.com

-MAKING IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE
-FREEDOM VIA REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT AND PB4L, PERSONAL BUSINESS FOR LIFE
-FEHAJ, FOR EVERY HOME A JOB
-MAKE YOUR HOME WORK FOR YOU, INSTEAD OF YOU WORKING FOR IT
-HIGHER ROI NOT JUST FOR OWNERS AND INVESTORS, BUT FOR TENANTS, GUESTS, VISITORS, NEIGHBORHOODS, COMMUNITIES, TOWNS, VILLAGES, AND CITIES TOO

Image source: made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.

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