“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” – Jim Rohn, entrepreneur
We all have the same 1,440 minutes every day. So how do some agents make it look easy, crushing their to-do list like warriors? Let’s find out!
Writing down his schedule is key for Luke Mori, a real estate agent with Fair Realty in Nelson, B.C. “The evening before the next day, I make a list of items to take care of,” he says. “It really helps me visualize and mentally prepare for the next day. It helps organize and pre-plan my daily tasks. I also have a written planner and use email notifications to remind me of upcoming appointments and important dates.”
Distractions are huge time thieves. Limit them as much as possible as they rob you of your precious minutes. Only check your email at designated times throughout the day. Turn off phone notifications so you aren’t distracted every time you hear a beep. On your computer, block off websites that suck your minutes when you’re working. You get the picture.
David O’Malley, a broker with Engel & Völkers Montreal, finds that his schedule is one of his greatest time management tools. “I wake up at 5 a.m. and from 5 to 7 a.m., I’m connected to my MacBook Pro. We have a small 5 a.m. club with other top Engel & Völkers brokers and managers and we motivate each other in the morning by sending small motivational notes or messages.”
O’Malley continues, “My morning routine starts by answering emails and completing administrative tasks, which are both very time consuming. I prefer getting that out of the way early in the morning when my mind is at its sharpest. My best tool in the morning is my Nespresso Vertuo machine, which gives me my edge.”
Consider the amount of time you work. Decades of studies on productivity have shown that working more than 40 hours a week actually makes you less productive. Seventy-hour work weeks up your stress level and don’t give you time to recharge, making you a less effective agent in the long run. Being busy doesn’t always equate with being productive.
Trust is the main time management tool for Mark Eugeni and Tina Pickle, sales representatives with Manor Windsor Realty in Windsor, Ont. “Without a doubt, trust in our team, trust in our process, trust in our systems. This permits us to go about our other duties and responsibilities to serve our clients. By no means do we mean the duties are less important. On the contrary, they are all part of the process/system of client care, but teamwork, systems and trust in everyone and everything is and has been the most important aspect.”
Having a CRM and a task management system that works for you can be a huge timesaver. It can save you hours a week with a side perk of nurturing potential leads until they become a deal. If you receive a lot of website leads, consider using a website that has an integrated CRM.
A list of things fine-tuned over the years helps Jessica Yates, a sales representative with Century 21 United Realty in Peterborough, Ont., with her time management. “When electronic signatures became legal in 2017, all of us Realtors began to save a ton of time. We used to have to drive across town for an initial (signature). Now it is simply a click of a button. This leaves us with more time to focus on what clients really hire us for,” she says.
“Pre-qualification is also huge. Understandably when you’re new in the business, you feel sometimes that you need to chase every possible lead. Putting my time and energy into what activities I actually see a return on is key for me. I also have systems put in place for every aspect of my business and a full-time client care specialist who is a massive help and time saver.”
Other ways agents master the clock include:
Track your time so you know where your minutes are going.
Hire a virtual assistant to take care of your mundane duties or train someone who can help with your workload.
Use time blocking (schedule a large chunk of time to focus on one important task.)
Knock out the thing you dread the most as your first task of the day.
Delegate, delegate, delegate.
Join a team or partner with another agent to share the load.
Stop multi-tasking; it has been proven ineffective.
Let go of perfectionism.
Focus on activities that have a direct impact on your business.
Utilize the Pomodoro Technique (take a break every hour for approximately 10-15 minutes so you can return to your task recharged.)
Don’t allow non-crucial disruptions to interrupt you.
Take care of your physical and mental health to ensure optimal productivity.
COVID-19 has forced people in the industry to tweak their time management habits. O’Malley wasn’t a fan of FaceTime calls pre-COVID but now his clients welcome them; he finds virtual follow-ups to be an impactful tool for building client relationships.
Mori now uses Matterport to give tours of homes online and connects with clients through Zoom for video messaging and online appointments; he likes that it helps keep people on time and keeps things to the point.
Eugeni and Pickle have rediscovered the importance of the digital aspects of the industry, specifically photography/videography, digital signatures (Authentisign/DocuSign) and social media. Yates appreciates that COVID-19 has led to fewer buyers who are not pre-qualified or serious. Also, since she isn’t doing open houses anymore, her weekends can be spent assisting buyers who are looking for homes or marketing client’s properties.
Once you learn to fully utilize your time effectively, you will be able to get more accomplished while working fewer hours.