Being a real estate agent is an exciting and rewarding career that offers incredible flexibility for you and your family. While having the ability to work remotely and choose your hours comes with significant benefits, it also poses challenges. As does today’s new market.
Working, at least some of the time, from home requires lots of self-discipline and planning, especially when you have a spouse, partner, or young children who also need your attention.
Use the following ten tips to stay motivated, focused, and productive, so you continue growing your real estate business.
1. Set regular office hours.
It’s not uncommon for agents to work around the clock, especially when they’re just starting out and don’t want to miss a potential lead. However, overworking and neglecting self-care can quickly result in burnout and leave you wondering if real estate is right for you.
Setting and sticking to a regular work schedule, when possible, is the best way to set boundaries and protect your mental and physical health.
Also, let your family and friends know when you’re working and ask them not to disturb you in that window of time unless it’s an emergency. Being interrupted blurs your focus and reduces productivity, leading to working longer hours and a downward spiral.
2. Create clear business goals.
Set realistic and achievable goals for your real estate business. It’s an excellent way to stay motivated while working from home. You might set specific numbers for the following:
- Open houses to attend each week.
- New leads to find every day.
- Listing appointments to complete each week.
- Closings to achieve each quarter or year.
- Follow-up emails you send to potential clients.
- Marketing results you receive through various advertising channels.
- Social media posts you make.
- Online real estate education to complete.
3. Get dressed for work.
Even if you aren’t leaving the house, get dressed for work. It can help you mentally switch to “work mode” and stay motivated to power through your to-do list. Plus, you’ll be ready to jump on a video call with a potential client or quickly meet a client as needed.
4. Invest in the best tools.
There are dozens of tools, apps, and software to help you stay organized and productive while working from home. Trying out one or more of the following could boost your motivation and make dreaded tasks more fun.
- Asana is a project management tool for keeping track of tasks and goals.
- Canva is a free resource for creating beautiful visuals for marketing and social media posts.
- Edison Mail is a unique email app for managing and organizing your inbox.
- RescueTime is for tracking work with reports on your online behavior, project work, and overall productivity.
- A standing desk or comfortable chair is critical for supporting your back and keeping you energized throughout the day.
- Noise-canceling headphones are an excellent tool for reducing distractions, listening to music that helps you concentrate, and maintaining your focus.
- Quality webcams and microphones make you look more professional on video calls and webinars.
5. Try time blocking.
Time blocking can help you avoid distractions and stay on task when working from home. It requires you to schedule blocks of time in your paper or digital calendar and only work on a specific task during that period.
For example, you might block off a couple of hours in the morning to work on new leads and an hour at midday for marketing tasks. By setting time to achieve critical tasks, you can stay focused and know you have limited time to complete them.
6. Manage your email wisely.
Edison Mail says that your email can either be a time sink or help improve your productivity and recommends setting specific times each day to check and respond to email messages. For example, you might check your email first thing in the morning and then again in the evening.
7. Take a “mental commute” after work.
Working from home can make it challenging to clock out for the day and focus on your personal life. If you worry about work when you should be enjoying downtime with family or friends, take a few minutes at the end of the day to “commute” home.
For instance, you could walk around your neighborhood, turn off work notifications, change your clothes, go to the gym, start dinner, or jot down plans for the next day. Whatever it is, some after-work activity can help you turn off “work mode” and truly unwind.
8. Make time for marketing.
Marketing is an integral part of any business, but it’s essential in real estate. Your listing clients rely on you or your brokerage to market their homes for sale. Marketing yourself to attract new sellers and buyers continually is also essential. Plus, you should create a personal brand that gives you a positive reputation in your community.
Schedule time each week for various marketing tasks, such as posting on social media, improving your website, and sending email newsletters. Keeping a steady stream of potential clients in your sales pipeline is the best way to avoid the typical “feast or famine” experience of being an entrepreneur and stay motivated.
9. Build a support network.
Another great way to stay motivated when you work remotely is connecting with colleagues in your field, such as real estate brokers, agents, property managers, insurance agents, and mortgage professionals.
Join online forums and attend industry events to stay connected and build your real estate business. Plus, having a solid professional network helps you weather the ups and downs of the housing market.
10. Take care of yourself.
Sometimes staying motivated when working from home comes down to prioritizing your personal needs, like exercising, eating healthy meals, and getting enough sleep. You’ll be better positioned to take care of your real estate business when you take care of yourself.
Laura Adams is the author and host of the Money Girl podcast.
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