How to Prioritize, Delegate & Focus on What Matters
The most common misconception about real estate agents is that what you do is a piece of cake. You set your own work schedule, have plenty of free time and still rake in gobs of money.
In fact, this misconception is what leads many right to the doorstep of the real estate industry.
Sadly, the truth is that there is no “flexible schedule,” especially for the new real estate agent. It’s even rare for many established agents. And, according to a Market Leader study, established agents make up a group known as “the least happy” in the industry.
Sure, as time goes on the schedule may ease – typically to a 10- to 12-hour workday, 7 days a week.
But, it’s the agent who needs to learn flexibility, not the schedule.
Once you get this, and understand how to prioritize, delegate and, most importantly, let go of the small stuff, life in real estate land will be so much better.
As we move into the holidays, clients trail off and your schedule will lighten up. Many agents take advantage of the lull to plan next year’s business. It’s also a good time to plan on — and commit to — balancing the two competing halves of your life.
“Delegation” isn’t a dirty word
According to a NAR statistic, 14 percent of agents use an assistant. The reason for this low number is that many agents tend to tie the timing of the hiring to a certain, albeit elusive, income target. “I’ll hire an assistant when I’m making $75,000 a year,” or something similar.
Or, perhaps by transaction count: “Once you hit 40-50 transactions per year, your production will be capped at that level unless you hire an assistant or someone else to help you manage your business,” claims Bernice Ross at Inman.com.
She does have a point, though – your production will be capped.
The truth is, there’s no chicken or egg thing going on here — most agents’ incomes increase when they hire an assistant.
This makes sense when you understand that your assistant relieves you of the mundane tasks that currently take you away from money-making endeavors. Answering the phones, checking email and making copies of transaction paperwork don’t make you money and they suck time.
The same holds true for writing your own blog posts (hire a writer), telephone prospecting and follow-up calls (hire a licensed assistant), posting to social media (hire a social media manager) and marketing (hire a marketing assistant).
Consider taking on a partner
Ok, so you’re not ready to fork over the bucks it takes to hire help. Have you thought about partnering with another agent? If not, consider this:
“You can take vacations – real vacations – ones where you do not work. In addition, you can take days off and if you’re sick you don’t have to answer the phone. In short, you will experience a higher quality of life,” says Kelle Sparta, real estate trainer, and coach.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re thinking about taking on a partner or forming a team.
Pick up a copy of “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent,” by Gary Keller for some tips. You’ll also find information on structuring teams and partnerships at Realtor.org.
Tools and systems
Your tools and systems should be working for you, not the other way around
Sure, choosing the right tools and systems for your business is a chore in itself, but technology can help set you free, therefore it’s time well spent.
Automating the more important aspects of your business, such as ongoing branding with your target market, will play a big role in helping you find that balance between your work life and your private life.
Two of our most popular and effective ways to help you automate continuous contact with your target market are,
- The Market Dominator – A 12 x 15 poster size, 2-sided, direct marketing piece that is delivered to your exclusive carrier route on a monthly basis, establishing you as the go-to professional in that neighborhood.
- Automated Just Listed/Just Sold Postcards – This done-for-you service integrates with your local MLS then generates postcards for your listings when they are active and sold.
Schedule “me” time
“You have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy,” Laura Stack, author and productivity expert in Denver tells WebMD.
And, what better way to “make a little time” than by scheduling it?
Keep a log of your daily activities over the next week or two, paying close attention to those days on which nothing much is going on. Come on – we know you have one of those. By moving the activities of that day to another, or even spreading them out among six days, you can conceivably, actually, blessedly take a day off every week.
Make a commitment to remain unplugged on that day. That means taking no business calls (oh, yes, it will be painful) and no internet. In fact, get out of the house and leave the phone at home.
Guess what? The real estate world will continue to turn without your help for 24 hours.
If a full 24 hours to yourself is unthinkable right now, consider grabbing a smaller block of “me” time. Start with a half hour – get out and walk, workout, watch TV, do the laundry – anything but real estate.
Then, over the course of the next few weeks, expand that block of time by 15 minutes or half an hour.
One Detroit agent we spoke with weaned herself off the 12-hour day by leaving work 30 minutes earlier for a week. The next week she left an hour early and gradually built it up to where she eventually took an entire day off each week.
“Instead of just letting life happen, people who achieve work-life balance make deliberate choices about what they want from life and how they want to spend their time,” claims Harvey Deutschendorf at fastcompany.com.
Start automating your Just Listed/Just Sold postcards with MLS Mailings today and begin the process of freeing up your time for what matters most.
Need help targeting the perfect niche of buyers or sellers? Use our mailing list tool to create the ideal list (it’s easy) or call our support team for assistance at 866.405.3638!
PLUS: When you have time…here are 3 free ways we can help you STILL CRUSH IT in 2018!
1. Become a Listing Legend.
Ready to take a vertical leap in your real estate career? If you’re looking for inspiration…and the tools and methods to dominate a market and go to the top in real estate…you’ll find them in this free book. – Click Here
2. The 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan.
The Real Estate Marketing Planner is a powerful 12-Month-Guide that strategically defines what marketing to do when. Four key market segments are included, Niche Marketing, Listing Inventory, Geographic Farming, and Sphere of Influence – Click Here
3. The Free Online ROI Calculator.
Consistency and automation are the keys to success. Discover how effective direct mail marketing can dramatically increase your bottom line. Enter your statistics in our Free online ROI Calculator and click the ‘CALCULATE MY ROI’ button to see your results instantly! – Click Here
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