The Secret to Productivity and Time Management for Realtors
Being a Realtor is exciting and rewarding. However, the if there is one profession that is time deficient, its real estate. Like any job, working longer hours is only effective to a certain point. If work-hours keep getting maxed out, productivity starts to decline. We are exploring practical productivity and time management tips that can help any Realtor get more out of their workday with huge benefits to their real estate business.
No man is an island. Trying to buckle down and do everything yourself doesn’t work on a long-term basis. It’s exhausting and overwhelming. Not only that, but it slows down processes and hurts businesses. In fact, there are even 3 Scientifically Backed Reasons Why Working Less Leads to More Productivity. Delegating work is the best way to get rid of the overwhelming/burnt out feeling.
Delegating tasks does not necessarily mean hiring a full-time employee. Today, part-time virtual assistants are a great, cost-effective way to take some of the workload off of Realtors’ shoulders. Delegating is also one of the best ways to grow any business and actually have a great ROI. Fiverr, The Mom Project, and Zirtual are all great places to find a virtual, part-time office assistant.
2. Choose Smart Tech
Technology is another way to delegate and up your time management. Automating computer workflow is a lifesaver. Tools such as IFTTT and Buffer allow you to schedule social media posts for any time in the future. This frees up time to focus on tasks that require more attention.
Other time-savers include CRMs with integrated IDX. These CRMs track what leads are looking for in a home (i.e. 2bd/2ba townhouse) using IDX capture. This allows Realtors to send targeted listings that match a leads search history before even speaking to the client. It turns leads into clients more quickly. CRMs also manage contacts, automate lead distribution and management, send SMS messages and emails, and schedule call reminders, cutting down hours of work every week.
3. Create A Detailed Work Plan
This goes beyond a to-do list, to include long and short-term goals as well as daily and weekly goals. Going with the flow might not cut it. These work plans should be as detailed as possible to ensure they keep you on track. It is important to include monthly and weekly targets (how many showings a day, when your call hour(s) will be, etc.). You can further break them into daily targets.
This is necessary because:
1. It gives a mental picture of the day/week/month. A great work plan ensures every minute of the day is scheduled. This prevents filling the hours with non-productive tasks.
2. It becomes an accountability tool that shows you what was to be done vs. what should have been done. If the two are worlds apart, this definitely jolts one into action.
3. It’s a clear indicator of what works and what doesn’t, thus allowing one to re-work or tweak the schedule to improve time management and productivity.
4. Fight Procrastination
There are always some enjoyable tasks, as well as some that just seem to zap the life out of you. It’s so easy to avoid them while not really filling the buffer periods with any meaningful, useful tasks.
A better way to go about this is to handle the unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning. During these hours, you are energetic, well rested and optimistic about the day. Use these feel-good hours to get the unenjoyable tasks out of the way. By doing this, whatever is left on your plate is slightly more enjoyable.
Using apps like Forest allow Realtors to focus up on work and turn off distractions like social media or other apps for a set chunk of time.
5. Cluster Activities
Group similar activities and locations and handle this on the same day, or parts of the day. For example, if you have showings around the same area, group this on the same day (your weekly work plan will help you with this). Allocate intervals for in-office activities such as meetings, cold calling, client interviews and so on.
Clustering comes with the following benefits:
• The preparation for similar tasks is the same. For example, calling, negotiating and scheduling a photographer will take a certain time-frame.
• Clustering showing appointments for clients that live in a similar location saves on travel time.
• Focusing on similar tasks helps complete them quicker and more effectively. Aside from the periods wasted in between switching tasks, multitasking and task switching could lower your productivity by 40%.
6. Recognize Yourself as Your Most Valuable Resource
Schedule activities you love doing, and that motivate and energize you to keep chasing your goals. It is also important to sleep well. Inadequate sleep affects your mood and your ability to focus. When you have a long to-do list, spending two hours on a task that would ordinarily take an hour is a bad way to spend your workday.
Reward yourself for small and big wins as well. When you are in good health and well-rested, you’re at your sharpest, most-productive state.
7. The Little Things Count
As a real estate agent, there are time-guzzlers that you hardly notice. Say lunch, for example. It’s a bad idea to skip lunch. However, consider the minutes you could save carrying a healthy packed lunch to work as opposed to finding somewhere to eat.
Social media is another time-guzzler. Schedule time to check favorite apps and websites during a set 30 minutes. This is the easiest way to improve time management. Did you know the average person spends 35 minutes a day on Facebook? That’s roughly 1 year and 7 months of an average lifespan dedicated to Facebook alone! On average, people spend 2 hours a day on social media.
Embrace time-blocking. A great tool to help you do this is the Pomodoro technique. This helps you schedule your day into high activity blocks, where you work without distractions and focus on individual tasks for specified periods of time. The Pomodoro technique suggests blocking tasks into 25-minute sessions and taking small breaks between each session.
Despite the myth that they might be able to, Realtors cannot and should not be working 24 hours a day. Delegating, using smart tech, having a plan, fighting procrastination, clustering tasks, practicing self-care, and minding the little things are all important ways to practice time management and grow real estate businesses.