Bob Corcoran asked:
“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” Shakespeare
Two thousand three-hundred hours. If you’re a typical REALTORÂ®, that’s how many hours you’ll work this year, according to the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ®. That’s a lot of time to get sidetracked and end up down an unproductive, frustrating and rocky road.
Has it happened to you? It happens to us all. But knowing – and embracing – dollar-productive activities can keep you on the smooth, freshly-paved freeway to more profits, more efficiency and more fulfillment in your real estate career.
First, you should know that there are only four tasks that will actually make a REALTORÂ® money:
1. List 2. Prospect 3. Sell 4. Negotiate
When you became a REALTORÂ®, these are the activities you signed up for. The rest is time spinning down a just-flushed toilet.
How many of your 2,300 hours are you flushing? Has the flushing sound become a common sound in your day-to-day work?
Putting up signs – Flush! Making copies – Flush! Setting up meetings – Flush!
These are precious minutes – time that could be spent fattening your bank account and doing what you do best as a professional.
So how do you stay focused on these four tasks to maximize your time? Here are three easy ways:
1. Inventory Your Time First, you have to know where the problem is before you can fix it. Inventory your time. Write out everything you’re doing now to find the flushing sounds.
When I first started working with one of my clients, Char MacCallum, CRS, Char MacCallum Real Estate Team in Olathe, Kan., we broke down all her activities and assigned a dollar figure to each one.
Then, where it was more profitable to hire someone to check listings or put up signs, for example, we hired an assistant at a lower pay rate instead of paying the high cost of Char’s time.
2. Build a Team As you can gather from what MacCallum did, a team is fundamental. If nothing else, just hiring one assistant is one of the best moves an agent can make. Unfortunately, and much to their detriment, many REALTORSÂ® try to do it all by themselves.
One of the top producers in the country admitted to me that he used to try and do it all. Zac Pasmanick, CRS, of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, told me he was “the CEO, CFO, GM, VP, chief brand creator, global marketing director, dynamic web developer, internal quality inspector, logistics coordinator, rainmaker, accountant, chief cook and dish washer.”
We worked together to designate areas of responsibility, establish a chain of command, clarify his role as the CEO and hire a first-rate team. Now Zac meets weekly with his team to review what he needs to know – numbers, reports, completed projects and the like.
“Sometimes I fall back into micro-managing, but now I have a management team that tells me â€˜That’s not your job,'” Zac said.
Zac’s advice to agents (and I agree whole-heartedly): “Adopt a positive, pro-active mindset. Don’t wallow in problems, focus on solutions.
3. Have a Plan If you don’t have a plan, you’re begging to be swept away in the frenzied current of minutia and chaos. A plan helps you take charge as a proactive REALTORÂ®, not a reactive one.
The number one time waster comes in the form of this reactive-laden question, which I hear often from agents: “When would you like to meet?”
REALTORSÂ®; need to learn how to run their businesses like a doctor’s office, with appointments that fit their schedule. By setting up specific times in your weekly plan when you can meet your clients this is easily accomplished. Agents need to learn how to say, “I can meet at these times.”
I remember MacCallum telling me that she often found herself reacting to the day instead of planning for the day.
“I’d get stuck in reactive mode, dealing with paper jams and phone calls instead of working a plan that would increase my profitability,” she said.
So we developed a plan that spelled out systems and tools that helped her gain control of not only her time but also her team’s time. Systems with detailed checklists that covered everything that happened in her business – from how the phone would be answered to how leads that came in via the Internet were to be handled.
Now her business is on auto-pilot and she’s in control – and believe me, she’s flying high!
Twenty-three hundredd hours. Can you imagine how much more successful you could be if you spent each and every one of those hours doing what you – as a professional – do best – List, Prosepect, Sell & Negotiate?
The possibility is right there inside you. And the time is now. I wish you the best!