The Four E Process

You’ve heard me say that all businesses are simply products seeking distribution. In real estate our product is service, and I believe that service is made up of three things: industry expertise, market knowledge, and transaction management. The way we distribute our product is through what we call a service plan. The service plan is culmination of all the processes you use for helping buyers buy and sellers sell. Our priority is to distribute your service through leverage: people, processes, and tools. The Four E process is a way for you to constantly be evaluating how you are doing on the distribution of that service through four different channels.


Are the buyers and sellers you sign making it to the closing table? At minimum 85% of the listings that you sign should meet this goal. Alternatively, on the buyer side, you could reasonably expect at least 75% of the people you are signing to move from agreement to close. If you find that your numbers are less than this, then we know there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. This is how we gauge your effectiveness. Are you delivering the service plan to the people who have signed up for your product?


This is where your clients get to rate the distribution of your service plan.  This is done in two ways. Number one: 75% of your clients should leave you at least one five-star review. Number two: 50% of your clients should give you at least one referral by the end of the closing or within two weeks post-closing. If we aren’t achieving these benchmarks why not? What’s not happening that if it were we would be realizing the 75% review received and 50% referral received standard?

Learn more about gaining 5-star reviews in our interview with Tony Baroni, and for more information about crafting the ultimate client experience, read our blog post about the Promise.


Evaluation is your own rating of your distribution of the service plan on a per-transaction basis. If you are scoring yourself on how you did from start to finish with this listing or buyer, from 0-10, what score would you give yourself? If you’re working within a team or you have multiple people who were involved with that transaction, have everyone involved rate it and simply average out the scores. Then ask yourself “What are the lessons we learned from this transaction? What are the patterns that continue to show up?” Repetition of this process is what’s key, do this over and over again. In addition to closed transactions be sure to also include transactions that fell apart.


There are three questions to ask regarding expectations: 

  1. What expectations are we not setting that we should be?
  2. What expectations are we setting that are not being heard?
  3. What expectations do our clients have of us that we are not hearing?

Bringing it Together

After a transaction is closed or even when you’ve had one fall apart, simply run through the Four Es and see what you discover. Was it effective, yes or no? Did you get the review? Did you get the referral? What did you learn regarding the evaluation step? How will you do a better job at setting expectations in the future? 

Follow the links for a spreadsheet and a visual aid to show you how this works and I invite you to take these ideas and implement them. This is how you move the service side of your business from good to great. I trust that this was helpful. Thank you for investing your time.