Managing Your Time in Real Estate

Managing Your Time in Real Estate

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  Managing your time in the real estate business.   First, this is something people struggle with in general, not just Realtors.  However, in the world of real estate sales, it appears to be magnified even more as it’s a commission only business.  If you’re being paid hourly or salary and mismanage time, for the most part, it's become accepted. Of course, it’s a contributing factor to the lack of productivity, yet, for the most part, things go forward.  As a Realtor, you have a much shorter fuse before you find yourself out of time, money or both. As a commission only, independent contractor this should very well be your #1 priority. Talk to us about your experience with having a schedule to follow, maybe what you did and any suggestions you may have for our agents in action. When we think about having a schedule, we often have some amount of resistance to this process.  Often, we feel it’s will be restricting and cause conflict with the discipline necessary to follow a structured schedule.  I know this because it’s what I used to think myself until I changed how I looked at my schedule.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has often said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  So true! Try it, take a step back and be open to other ways to apply meaning to things that take place in life.  Instead of seeing your schedule as something that is “hard” to follow or stick to or we resist by saying things like…”I left corporate America and got into real estate so I would be able to have more flexibility in my day…(as a side note, that way of thinking is a quick way to find yourself, back, working a corporate job) I want to suggest doing what I did years ago. Going forward, I want to recommend you look at your schedule like a GPS. It tells you how to get from one place to the next. What did people do back in the CA gold rush days in the late 1840’s - early 1850’s? We’ve all seen them, the maps with the dotted lines that eventually lead to gold and their riches. I know it may be a silly way of looking at it, yet when you imagine you have a big X on your map (these represent your goals/dreams, the things you’re most passionate about) and you follow a dotted line (which represents the daily tasks to complete along the way to reach your destination - your goals) you are now connecting in your mind...‘when I follow this process (schedule) it is leading you, closer and closer, with each step you take to accomplishing the goals you I have set out to achieve. Isn’t that better than all of the other negative emotions we typically have when we have attempted to follow a schedule in the past?  Trust your schedule and be thankful for it...it is a tried and true system for you to strike your goldmine! Bottom line on this, we do it every day, when we don’t know how to get somewhere and need directions, we rely on a map, GPS or some kind of system to help us get to our destination.  I trust this is making sense and I am getting through to you - following your schedule is the KEY to getting to where you want to go. It’s your friend, not the enemy. Let’s look at some tips from Todd of ways he’s learned over the years to help manage his time and follow a schedule for success.   Start your day at the same time each day - Treat your business as if it was a “real” job. What would this mean? That you’re accountable for your actions, production, showing up on time, leaving when your “shift” is done (not early) you need to conduct yourself in a manner that wouldn’t get you fired. What was interesting is how often I noticed the agents in my coaching schedule that were having success, were the ones that came from a previous job/career that had a very structured day and they carried it over and treated their real estate business the very same way. Simple, have some kind of consistency in when you begin working each day. Establish a consistent morning routine - If you’re having a challenge managing your day, focus on mastering your morning routine. Tell your clients and family you're on an appt until noon each day. As I would take on a new client, I would let them know how I operated and what I would be doing throughout the day. (Of course, we need to know this to be able to do this) This doesn’t only demonstrate your professionalism; it sets proper expectations for how to communicate with you. The morning routine is 8a - Noon. Nothing, unless it’s a true emergency can get in the way. A true emergency life or health matters, someone’s safety, is at risk or major issue with a child.  It’s something to think about in advance, how will you define what can cross this line?  If you don’t get really clear, you will notice distractions somehow finding a way to pop up.   No drama zone - Easier sometimes said than done.  Drama is the #1 productivity killer. Are you constantly in crisis mode? Are you reacting to life or responding? Why? If you’re willing to take a step back, you may be able to get a clear picture what’s causing this.  Sometimes, we do this to ourselves and don’t know how else to behave. It eats up precious time and zaps your energy. It also will drive people away from you.  Sellers/Buyers can see the drama coming a mile away and won’t have any interest working with you. Watch out for technology traps - We need to realize that things like our phone, emails or text messages or worse, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of them … if you haven’t noticed, are consuming our lives. These tools are either working for you, or against you.  When you are focused on your lead generation time, (a Realtors ONE Thing, staying in the 20% activities that bring you results) don’t allow technology to get in your way.  If you were on a listing appointment, sitting with the seller at their kitchen table, would you stop in the middle of the presentation and check email, respond to a text or answer your phone?  Of course not, yet for some reason we don’t treat our appointment (time block to lead generate) the same way and wonder why we’re not going on more listing appointments and closing more deals  Simply put, these tools can be great assets to you or robbing your time and ability to accomplish your goals. Be honest, to some degree technology is distracting us, some more than others. What is it costing you?   Track your time, every hour for three days - This isn’t for anyone, only if you’re really ready for a change. If you really are serious about making improvement with your time management skills, you have to take a look in the mirror and get really honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to see what’s really happening.  If you want to something to change, I encourage you to take inventory of exactly what you did each hour of your work day for three days in a row. Don’t sugar coat it, leave something out or go easy on yourself.  Be 100% transparent and write it down. At the end of the 3rd day, you will have an opportunity to review exactly what you’re doing with your time.  I’ve done this several times and can be an eye opener if you will follow through and of course, honestly note what you’ve done with your time. Color code your day - After you’ve tracked your time, you can now go back and issue a specific color to the various activities you’ve noted.  You can pick any colors you wish. I recommend taking a highlighter, let's say one that is yellow, orange and green. Green: Highlight everything in green when you did something that was an income producing activity. Examples could be lead generation/prospecting, lead follows up calls, going on a listing appointment, showing property or negotiating a contract.  All would be activities that can lead you to income. Obviously, we want to see a lot of green if we want to make a lot of green. Orange: Highlight everything in orange when you did something income servicing. Examples could be calling your listings with feedback on showings, dropping off a sign, lockbox, or making a flyer, inputting a listing in the MLS etc. Yellow: Highlight those things you could have delegated to someone else. When you really examine this, you didn’t have to be the one to complete that task.  When we can get some leverage on our time, we can free ourselves up to get more “green time” on our calendar.  What is your time valued at?  (If you don’t know, figure it out) As a simple baseline calculation, let's say you take two weeks off each year as unpaid vacation time. Then you would be working 50 weeks of the year, and if you work a typical 40 hours a week, you have a total of 2,000 hours of work each year. In this case, you can quickly compute the annual salary by multiplying the hourly wage by 2000. Example: Your hourly pay of $37.50 is then equivalent to an average annual income of $75,000 per year. If you’re making $150K, of course, that’s $75.00 each hour.  My point is this...if your time is worth $40, 50 or $75 per hour, why would you do a task someone you can hire out for $12 an hour? Often, we can find admin type support that is paid at the closing. Don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions about the terms someone would accept. Keep seeking out the right people to help you get your business moving in along more efficiently. Check in/out with a co-worker, coach, family member or all of them - I remember, at times I would call someone at a key point in my day to “check in” as a form of accountability. If you are having a hard time getting to the office in the morning, then go ahead and arrange with someone that you will call them at 8:30 am every day  for a week or two, in order to begin making that a new habit. Or, if you want to commit to lead generating for an hour each day, call when you begin and again when you end. If you’re really wanting to play at a high level, go ahead and report out what your results were. ie: calls made, contacts made, appointments set, leads generated, etc.  Don’t hide from doing things that will lead you down the path you wish to be on.  We only have to apply the new discipline as long as it takes to become a habit.   Begin a 66-day challenge - When we’re looking to change a habit, in this case working on improving the use of our time, keep in mind it will take some time to see the results we’re seeking.  Patience is key!  We often hear about doing something for 21 days, and it’s a habit.  That may be the case for some, I have studied this (being a certified trainer on The ONE Thing Book), and there is research out there to suggest it can be as little as 18 days and as many as 261 days. The authors tell about a researcher that found 66 days to be what is referred to as the point of automatically.  This means the new behavior is at the point where the individual no longer has to exhibit energy for the desired behavior to occur...it occurs naturally or “automatically.”  Pick something (recommend one thing) you want to see change and the goal is to do that for 66 consecutive instances.  Most months have 20-21 work days M-F.  If you were to do this Monday through Friday, it would be just about three months to complete.  Each day you execute the new activity, you get to check off one day, then two, three and so on...the goal is you can’t break the cycle. The days must be consecutive, don’t break the chain or you have to begin over at day 1.  This should be a fun way to install a new habit into your life.  Make a game of it. What you’ll notice is once you get past day 4 or 5, you begin to “protect” the momentum you’re building and don’t want to have to start over.  Something as simple, yet challenging as a 66-day challenge can really begin to set you up for great things to come.  
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  Managing your time in the real estate business.   First, this is something people struggle with in general, not just Realtors.  However, in the world of real estate sales, it appears to be magnified even more as it’s a commission only business.  If you’re being paid hourly or salary and mismanage time, for the most part, it's become accepted. Of course, it’s a contributing factor to the lack of productivity, yet, for the most part, things go forward.  As a Realtor, you have a much shorter fuse before you find yourself out of time, money or both. As a commission only, independent contractor this should very well be your #1 priority. Talk to us about your experience with having a schedule to follow, maybe what you did and any suggestions you may have for our agents in action. When we think about having a schedule, we often have some amount of resistance to this process.  Often, we feel it’s will be restricting and cause conflict with the discipline necessary to follow a structured schedule.  I know this because it’s what I used to think myself until I changed how I looked at my schedule.  Dr. Wayne Dyer has often said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  So true! Try it, take a step back and be open to other ways to apply meaning to things that take place in life.  Instead of seeing your schedule as something that is “hard” to follow or stick to or we resist by saying things like…”I left corporate America and got into real estate so I would be able to have more flexibility in my day…(as a side note, that way of thinking is a quick way to find yourself, back, working a corporate job) I want to suggest doing what I did years ago. Going forward, I want to recommend you look at your schedule like a GPS. It tells you how to get from one place to the next. What did people do back in the CA gold rush days in the late 1840’s - early 1850’s? We’ve all seen them, the maps with the dotted lines that eventually lead to gold and their riches. I know it may be a silly way of looking at it, yet when you imagine you have a big X on your map (these represent your goals/dreams, the things you’re most passionate about) and you follow a dotted line (which represents the daily tasks to complete along the way to reach your destination - your goals) you are now connecting in your mind...‘when I follow this process (schedule) it is leading you, closer and closer, with each step you take to accomplishing the goals you I have set out to achieve. Isn’t that better than all of the other negative emotions we typically have when we have attempted to follow a schedule in the past?  Trust your schedule and be thankful for it...it is a tried and true system for you to strike your goldmine! Bottom line on this, we do it every day, when we don’t know how to get somewhere and need directions, we rely on a map, GPS or some kind of system to help us get to our destination.  I trust this is making sense and I am getting through to you - following your schedule is the KEY to getting to where you want to go. It’s your friend, not the enemy. Let’s look at some tips from Todd of ways he’s learned over the years to help manage his time and follow a schedule for success.   Start your day at the same time each day - Treat your business as if it was a “real” job. What would this mean? That you’re accountable for your actions, production, showing up on time, leaving when your “shift” is done (not early) you need to conduct yourself in a manner that wouldn’t get you fired. What was interesting is how often I noticed the agents in my coaching schedule that were having success, were the ones that came from a previous job/career that had a very structured day and they carried it over and treated their real estate business the very same way. Simple, have some kind of consistency in when you begin working each day. Establish a consistent morning routine - If you’re having a challenge managing your day, focus on mastering your morning routine. Tell your clients and family you're on an appt until noon each day. As I would take on a new client, I would let them know how I operated and what I would be doing throughout the day. (Of course, we need to know this to be able to do this) This doesn’t only demonstrate your professionalism; it sets proper expectations for how to communicate with you. The morning routine is 8a - Noon. Nothing, unless it’s a true emergency can get in the way. A true emergency life or health matters, someone’s safety, is at risk or major issue with a child.  It’s something to think about in advance, how will you define what can cross this line?  If you don’t get really clear, you will notice distractions somehow finding a way to pop up.   No drama zone - Easier sometimes said than done.  Drama is the #1 productivity killer. Are you constantly in crisis mode? Are you reacting to life or responding? Why? If you’re willing to take a step back, you may be able to get a clear picture what’s causing this.  Sometimes, we do this to ourselves and don’t know how else to behave. It eats up precious time and zaps your energy. It also will drive people away from you.  Sellers/Buyers can see the drama coming a mile away and won’t have any interest working with you. Watch out for technology traps - We need to realize that things like our phone, emails or text messages or worse, Facebook, Twitter and the rest of them … if you haven’t noticed, are consuming our lives. These tools are either working for you, or against you.  When you are focused on your lead generation time, (a Realtors ONE Thing, staying in the 20% activities that bring you results) don’t allow technology to get in your way.  If you were on a listing appointment, sitting with the seller at their kitchen table, would you stop in the middle of the presentation and check email, respond to a text or answer your phone?  Of course not, yet for some reason we don’t treat our appointment (time block to lead generate) the same way and wonder why we’re not going on more listing appointments and closing more deals  Simply put, these tools can be great assets to you or robbing your time and ability to accomplish your goals. Be honest, to some degree technology is distracting us, some more than others. What is it costing you?   Track your time, every hour for three days - This isn’t for anyone, only if you’re really ready for a change. If you really are serious about making improvement with your time management skills, you have to take a look in the mirror and get really honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to see what’s really happening.  If you want to something to change, I encourage you to take inventory of exactly what you did each hour of your work day for three days in a row. Don’t sugar coat it, leave something out or go easy on yourself.  Be 100% transparent and write it down. At the end of the 3rd day, you will have an opportunity to review exactly what you’re doing with your time.  I’ve done this several times and can be an eye opener if you will follow through and of course, honestly note what you’ve done with your time. Color code your day - After you’ve tracked your time, you can now go back and issue a specific color to the various activities you’ve noted.  You can pick any colors you wish. I recommend taking a highlighter, let's say one that is yellow, orange and green. Green: Highlight everything in green when you did something that was an income producing activity. Examples could be lead generation/prospecting, lead follows up calls, going on a listing appointment, showing property or negotiating a contract.  All would be activities that can lead you to income. Obviously, we want to see a lot of green if we want to make a lot of green. Orange: Highlight everything in orange when you did something income servicing. Examples could be calling your listings with feedback on showings, dropping off a sign, lockbox, or making a flyer, inputting a listing in the MLS etc. Yellow: Highlight those things you could have delegated to someone else. When you really examine this, you didn’t have to be the one to complete that task.  When we can get some leverage on our time, we can free ourselves up to get more “green time” on our calendar.  What is your time valued at?  (If you don’t know, figure it out) As a simple baseline calculation, let's say you take two weeks off each year as unpaid vacation time. Then you would be working 50 weeks of the year, and if you work a typical 40 hours a week, you have a total of 2,000 hours of work each year. In this case, you can quickly compute the annual salary by multiplying the hourly wage by 2000. Example: Your hourly pay of $37.50 is then equivalent to an average annual income of $75,000 per year. If you’re making $150K, of course, that’s $75.00 each hour.  My point is this...if your time is worth $40, 50 or $75 per hour, why would you do a task someone you can hire out for $12 an hour? Often, we can find admin type support that is paid at the closing. Don’t jump to conclusions or make assumptions about the terms someone would accept. Keep seeking out the right people to help you get your business moving in along more efficiently. Check in/out with a co-worker, coach, family member or all of them - I remember, at times I would call someone at a key point in my day to “check in” as a form of accountability. If you are having a hard time getting to the office in the morning, then go ahead and arrange with someone that you will call them at 8:30 am every day  for a week or two, in order to begin making that a new habit. Or, if you want to commit to lead generating for an hour each day, call when you begin and again when you end. If you’re really wanting to play at a high level, go ahead and report out what your results were. ie: calls made, contacts made, appointments set, leads generated, etc.  Don’t hide from doing things that will lead you down the path you wish to be on.  We only have to apply the new discipline as long as it takes to become a habit.   Begin a 66-day challenge - When we’re looking to change a habit, in this case working on improving the use of our time, keep in mind it will take some time to see the results we’re seeking.  Patience is key!  We often hear about doing something for 21 days, and it’s a habit.  That may be the case for some, I have studied this (being a certified trainer on The ONE Thing Book), and there is research out there to suggest it can be as little as 18 days and as many as 261 days. The authors tell about a researcher that found 66 days to be what is referred to as the point of automatically.  This means the new behavior is at the point where the individual no longer has to exhibit energy for the desired behavior to occur...it occurs naturally or “automatically.”  Pick something (recommend one thing) you want to see change and the goal is to do that for 66 consecutive instances.  Most months have 20-21 work days M-F.  If you were to do this Monday through Friday, it would be just about three months to complete.  Each day you execute the new activity, you get to check off one day, then two, three and so on...the goal is you can’t break the cycle. The days must be consecutive, don’t break the chain or you have to begin over at day 1.  This should be a fun way to install a new habit into your life.  Make a game of it. What you’ll notice is once you get past day 4 or 5, you begin to “protect” the momentum you’re building and don’t want to have to start over.  Something as simple, yet challenging as a 66-day challenge can really begin to set you up for great things to come.  
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