Each of us is issued exactly 24 hours every day. Over the years, how we invest those sixty minutes in each hour makes the difference between a rich and satisfying career, and an extraordinary life... or regret.
You can't do big things if you're distracted by small things. - Kanye West
Being efficient with our time enables us to be more productive in our careers and also have the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor with those we love.
As a real estate professional, what is the most productive use of your time?
It isn't scheduling your listing and home showing appointments. Your personal assistant can do that, or you might consider a virtual assistant. (This is 2014, and there are some very good services available.) You might also consider sharing an assistant with another agent in your office.
It isn't preparing documents and delivering them. By all means check to make sure all the t's are crossed, and i's dotted, but your assistant(s) can handle most of this.
It isn't running errands. A personal assistant can take care of these, or you can schedule these to be completed in a single block, a few times a week, during the least productive times. Running to the dry cleaners during prime selling time is inexcusable.
It isn't researching the market, the MLS or the competition. Again, your assistant can handle this and give you a weekly report. There are also many licensed agents who aren't active or doing well who would love to do this for you from their homes.
It isn't camping out at an open house. Your assistant can put in many of the lonely hours, and call you when there's a genuinely interested prospect. If you choose to sit there, invest the quiet times nurturing the leads in your CRM with thoughtful follow-up emails and calls.
It isn't researching and writing the next brilliant blog post. Consider having your assistant coached in effective blogging, or hire a content marketing professional.
It isn't preparing your email newsletter. Jot down the news you want covered, then let the copywriter and creatives at the content marketing agency prepare it for your final approval and emailing.
Social media... it may or may not be productive. If you are curating content, or making an announcement of a new listing or blog post, get someone else to do it. If you're actively engaging with "warm" prospective buyers and sellers from your CRM, this may actually be valuable selling time. Be honest with yourself, because social can be a huge time waster. This is an area you, or your assistant, will almost certainly want some coaching in, to maximize every minute.
Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. If you have an aptitude for repairing your own car, keeping the computer running, shooting your own listing photos, entering data into the MLS, or even being your own webmaster, the money you save will usually be penny wise, dollar foolish. Real estate can be a very lucrative profession, but you have to treat it as such. I very much doubt your attorney or periodontist closes the office to tinker on the website or do an oil change. It's simply not professional.
I believe it goes without saying that Netflix, shopping for ties at the mall, having your nails done, and texting friends and family are bad for business. There's a time for those relaxing diversions, but certainly it isn't during business hours.
The best place for you to spend your time is face to face with your clients. Period.You studied to be an agent or broker and adviser to buyers and sellers. And when you do that well, you are compensated handsomely. Every minute you're squandering, mired down in the "necessary evils of the business," or worse, should be delegated to someone else or eliminated.
Elon Musk is one of the most efficient people on the planet, and swears by the time blocking method, Musk carefully plans his day out in five-minute increments or 'time blocks.' Each time block is assigned with a specific task or activity.
If you're not already doing this, you need to take inventory of your work week. Keep track of how you spend every minute of your time. With the many time logging apps available for mobile devices, this has become incredibly easy to do. Log your time by category. At the end of each week, re-evaluate how your time was invested. You might pinpoint something else you could delegate to someone.
Cole Wiebe helps brands and professionals grow their influence and value online; so they can “out content”™ their competition. Cole is a content strategist, content writer, conversion copywriter and online marketing coach.