Checklists are not unique in bringing a transaction coordinating business to order and nothing new to my fellow entrepreneurs.

Yet, many resist and often work much harder than necessary to get from start to finish. Many mistakes can be dramatically reduced or eliminated by putting together simple checklists and using them.

“Really?!” You say. Yes, in my office checklists are essential in making sure that we are managing everything the way our clients want.

And as a transaction coordinator, I’m not alone in knowing how impactful they can be. Consider the following who have implemented checklists that save lives, avoid disasters, and get more accomplished.

Medical Checklists Disturbed by the thousands of needless deaths in hospitals, mostly due to infections, renowned John Hopkins Hospital critical-care specialist, Dr. Peter Pronovost, put together a simple five-step checklist in 2001 for installing lines in the human body during care. Almost immediately, infection rates plummeted at John Hopkins. Sadly, Dr. Pronovost could not get hospitals interested, primarily because physicians felt they didn’t need checklists to do their job. Sound familiar?

Finally, Dr. Pronovost got the State of Michigan to try his simple checklists in a handful of the worst hospitals in the country. Results? Spectacular I must say; in December of 2006, the Keystone Initiative published its findings in an article in The New England Journal of Medicine: “Within the first three months of the project, the infection rate of Michigan ICUs decreased by 65%. In the Keystone Initiative’s first 18 months, the hospitals saved an estimated $175 million on business costs and more than 1,500 lives.”

Sounds to me like a huge success!

Checklists inspired by the B-17 Bomber – Boeing almost went bankrupt when one of their top pilots crashed a newly-designed bomber right in front of top military brass. Realizing their new generation of aircraft was too complicated for even the best pilots, Boeing created a simple checklist and proceeded to sell over 13,000 planes that flew over 1.8 million miles without a crash.

Real estate is complicated, as there are many moving parts and it can often get messy sometimes. Using checklists to keep you on track is the easiest way to ensure that you don’t overlook anything. Keeping it all in your head affects your ability to focus and saps your energy. It’s also a recipe for disaster like in the examples above.

Committing the details to a checklist, following the process, and updating it often, will help you manage your listings and contracts efficiently and effectively. My team and I use checklists to effectively manage thousands and thousands of transactions each year for our clients. We know there is no way we could do our work without them. When followed correctly one step at a time, to stop errors from being repeated, they can virtually eliminate procrastination and chaos.