Operating System Failed

February 19, 2009

Operating System Failed

I don’t know about you, me-though, I have this love-hate relationship with computers. When they work, I turn it on, it does what I want, I love it. Quite the opposite is true when I find myself with a computer in the shop. Three times in the last 8 months, each of my computers have been in for repairs. This week, the catastrophe was a failed operating system; it would not even accept my password. Such a small piece of equipment holds my livelihood within the 168 square inches of space it takes up on my desk. It doesn’t matter if I have the data backed up, it throws a wrench in my day, my life. I want things simple and easy. Turn it on, it works!
I take all these things in stride, after I throw a fit:) I’m lucky to have three computers and an external hard drive where I can access my data, so while I have to redesign my day a bit, my work can continue. This latest computer crisis had me thinking; “How do I handle my business when the operating system fails?” What is my backup plan? Is there a way to design my business where everything continues to flow smoothly before the hard drive is destroyed? Me being the hard drive!

The Owner is Responsible

Whether you are a one-man show, a team leader or the broker, you are the owner of your real estate business. Having an operating system in place is not an option. Planning how your business will continue with a missing piece is imperative to your success.While I am working from two computers right now to accomplish the same performance I could easily do with my one computer, I find my time is being stretched and time is my resource. What’s a woman to do – or man for that matter.

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Systems Quelch Fires

In this business, there always seems to be a “right now” situation arising, some call them fires. Every fire we put out takes a bit more time away from our plan. So we need a fire extinguisher. A plan for extinguishing fires efficiently. Actually, everything we do needs to be completed with efficiency. Enter – an administrative assistant. This person for me, is full time, licensed and groomed to replace me at a moments notice. They should know everything I do, my inventory, my processes, my systems, which should be replicable. And they should be trustworthy! Fixing my computer is easy – finding the perfect admin assistant, not nearly as easy!
Our operating system should also include a plan for growth, how to grow, when to grow and how to manage the growth. Buyer agent associates also need a system in place for handling their business. Once again, replicable! Every system we have needs to be on back up, a hard drive, so the flow of business suffers no interuption.

Me – I’m off to make sure my business doesn’t suffer from failed operating systems. You – how do you manage your systems?

I speak to agents across the country on a daily basis.  This economy and the real estate market is one of the toughest markets the majority of them have ever seen.  Sadly, many real estate agents are not making enough money today to pay their bills.  Many haven't had commission…
The End of an Era? I am not sure what knuckle-head came up with the ability for Twitter users to automatially direct message those who follow them, but they really could have used their skillset elsewhere.  The entire premise of social media is personal interaction.  But what I don't want…

Paula is team leader for The "Home to Indy" Team in Indianapolis . She is passionate about education and client care and believes an empowered client is better prepared to make good decisions for themselves. You'll find her online at Agent Genius,Twitter and sharing her insights about her local real estate market at Home To Indy.


  1. “Three times in the last 8 months”

    ALL your computers?


    1. You don’t know HOW to operate a computer. You are probably deleting or corrupting system files that run the OS (operating system) and that’s why ALL your computers are being affected.

    2. You may be using a “spyware” or “malware” program that is interfering with the operating system.. Find out what it is and uninstall it..

    3. Are you using M$ Office on a system that can’t handle it?

    4. Are you using XP? Vista? I use 3 computers every day and never had an operating system failure. 2 Vista Home Premiums and an XP Home. I use Network Magic, SugarSync, and Norton Internet Security 2009. No problems… Firefox and Thunderbird. I also decided to go back to Top Producer 8i even though I despise Move.com LOL…

  2. Jim – I know – I have wondered the same thing – what could I be doing? Not all have been a failed operating system, only the latest!

    I have a desktop – Windows XP, in which the hard drive needed replaced.

    A windows Vista laptop where the screen went black and needed repair.

    The latest was a failed operating system. I swear it had something to do with my family being here last week and a few of them using my computer, one to watch a movie – but don’t know.

    Maybe, it is the Spyware – I’ll check it out.

    Thanks for your advice and input – I have 8i also, a double edged sword:)

  3. Aha! It’s the kids! LOL!

    Maybe you should create another user account.. and use Firefox extensively…

    Just a suggestion

  4. This is an excellent post with excellent questions.

    We have many computers with a 50/50 mix between PCs and Macs. The PCs are all high-end, brand name (IBM and Sony) with fast processors and plenty of RAM. Same for the Macs. Most of our servers are with Godaddy. We are sticklers about updates and maintenance and, as such, it is rare that any of our computers go down.

    Our primary work, relational database development, is performed on live (production use) servers located at Godaddy. This means that if one of our computers were to go down, we can simply log on to our company databases from any other computer. To give some perspective: we can be on a call with a customer and, if a computer fails, simply move to another computer without exiting the call.

    Our primary data files are backed up every 30 minutes, then those backups are backed up twice a day to separate remote locations.

    I appreciate your broader point about having a plan for your business. For computers, however, you should plan on them failing (especially if you buy budget PCs) and employ redundancy for the contingency.

  5. Oh Paula, I am surprised you could even write this.

    When the genius at Apple Store transferred my files to the new MacPro, they deleted them from my Sept on Sony Viao.

    So I went to my back up and nothing was there. When the Geek Squad set that up in Sept they said just plug in at night, leave laptop on and it will back up.

    I never checked it until I needed it just assumed it was working.

    Never again. As the techy from U of M. told me, it is not IF but When.

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