Real estate is an extremely stressful profession. Here are a few helpful tips to help you improve your efficiency in managing time.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you're the pilot." - Michael Altshuler
Michael Altshuler, an author, talks about time management in the most elegant way possible, in just one sentence, he tells us, how important time is, and how it is up to us to make the best use of it.
Real Estate is a stressful business to be in, realtors and agents, specifically are always juggling work-life balance day after day. It can get stressful sometimes, and it is therefore a must in such a work environment to make the best use of your time.
• Set Business Goals:
Deciding on what you and/or what your organization does is extremely important, and to do that you have to ask yourself certain questions.
What are your business goals? What kind of an agent do you want to be? Do you want to be just in the residential space or just the commercial space? Do you want to be in both commercial and residential? Do you want to just show townhouses and not get into raw land deals?
Do you want to stick to only a particular part of a city? Will you be a specialist buyers-only agent, or look into just investment properties? Do you want to do this part time or full-time?
Questions like these will help you set an agenda for yourself and therefore, as an extension of the organization you are a part of.
• Set Expectations:
You can’t be everywhere, all the time, make sure you understand that and explain the same concept to your clients, things like your business timings, your emailing schedule, your property visit schedule, put it on your business card if it helps or email it to them after the first meeting.
Setting expectations not only helps you make better use of your time but it also helps you not being embarrassed or defensive when you don't answer your client’s call at a particular time!
Before your clients drive down to the property they are interested in, make sure they have seen photos of it online or on paper, and make sure they understand the amenities of the property and the location.
Being prepared in advance about the property not only makes you seem professional but also helps you in managing your time better.
• Prioritize & Track Your Time:
Set your priorities from the get-go. It’s useful for an organization or even an individual to have their priorities in place, they help in saving time and make one more productive. Prioritize everything, your clients, your properties and most importantly your time.
Use apps on your phone or your laptop to figure out where you’re spending most of your time in a day and understand where and how you need to focus your energy instead.
• Make Notes:
Write down everything you hear or think which could be of any importance, you could use your phone’s built-in notes app, having notes about things like the clients preferences and content ideas, helps in not taking mental notes, being less stressful and thus, being more productive and being able to manage your time better.
• Appointments & Tasks:
Ideally, you should use a calendar app like Microsoft Exchange or Google Calendar on your phone or on your laptop to schedule appoints and be on top of the tasks at hand. One should also consider downloading apps like Things 2 or Microsoft’s To-Do to get things done, tasks managers and calendar apps work side-by-side.
Appointments for meetings and task managers for errands and everything, which aren’t appointments, are the best way to get everything done in a systematic and efficient manner.
• Batch Tasks:
Undertaking similar tasks constantly is annoying, hence one should try to process things of a similar nature at the same time. Decide which day or what time everyday you're going to make sales calls, follow-up calls and when you're going to upload content on your website or other social networking platforms, etc. and stick by it.
This process is called batching and is one of the best ways to manage your time more efficiently.
• Business + Social Networks:
Get your organization to adopt a productive and social interaction platform like Slack, which helps in individuals of an organization being in touch with each other constantly, boosting the morale at work and also helping in saving time as duplication of work is reduced, and ideas are constantly being exchanged.
When working with team members, make sure they know what their assignments are for the day, week and month, use a shared calendar on Microsoft Exchange or Google Calendar for this too.
Learn to trust your team; they will get done with the tasks assigned to them. They might have a different approach to them or they might even do it faster/slower than you would, but you have to understand that it wastes your time to constantly check their progress. Surround yourself with people you can trust to delegate work to.
• Work Smart:
Working smart does not necessarily mean working hard. You can get a high jump in productivity if you use the technology available at your disposal, instead of (ex.) manual data entries, even though entering data manually is more harder than it is to have the computer working for you.
• Be Positive:
Don't let a bump in the road become the end of the journey. The buyer’s heart will change from time to time and it is important to not dwell on negativity and let disappointment bring us down, re-focus your energies into another deal which is around the corner, and bring your A-game to it.
Not surrounding yourself and dwelling in negativity helps in you prioritizing right, rectifying any mistakes you might have made during the deal and sticking to the plan, which is an extremely important part of time management.
• Power Down:
If you have scheduled way too many meetings in one day, chances are none of them will go well. Mainly because you're trying to exceed what a person is capable of by stretching yourself to your extreme limits.
Learn to relax and take things in a more calmer way, power down on a weekend, take a holiday, move around in the office if you have been sitting for too long, de-stress yourself!
I hope the above mentioned points help in you unleashing your full potential as a real estate agent and you help yourself to grow in the field, while also making the best use of your time.