Most of us got into real estate so we could have a sense of freedom. We dropped the boss, lost the schedule, and gained freedom, but along with that comes the necessity of self-discipline.
That’s the hard part.
Do you ever feel like you’re wandering around in the wilds of real estate, not knowing what to do next, which activities are most productive, and which are just busy work?
Meanwhile, while you’re trying to figure out what to do today in real estate, you have to keep your deals together, navigating inspections, appraisals, contingencies, and financing hiccups! It’s easy to lose control of your time, and along with it control of your goals.
Zig Ziglar said, “Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have 24-hour days.”
That’s why it’s imperative that you become crystal clear on what to do during those key 24 hours! You can’t make any more time, but you can become more efficient and effective, especially on work days, so here is your step-by-step guide for a schedule to do just that.
Decide today what you’ll use for scheduling
Are you old-school, and use a planner, or do you track everything using Google Calendar? There are so many apps to choose from, both analog and digital. Choose what you will actually use. It can’t be overly complicated, require a tutorial, or be a pain to navigate. Choose today and commit to it.
Take your schedule and put a little ‘$’ on every day that is a ‘work day,’ and a smiley face on your days off, holidays, travel days, etc. This is to show you that though each month has thirty days, at best, most people have twenty ‘work days.’
It’s a little self-reminder to make the most of those 24 hours, in both cases, work and play. Strive to work on your work days and play on your play days.
Much of the daily stress in real estate happens to you when you’re supposedly taking a day off, but you’re checking your phone every five minutes and negotiating something. Similarly, stress occurs when you’re working, but missing your kid’s recital or ballgame. An early mentor of ours said of this technique: “Learn to flip the switch. Change the channel.”
Use visual aids for accountability
Know if you are on track, ahead or behind every day, by using and updating your visual accountability whiteboards. You should be tracking all of the following, based on your goals:
- Active Listings
- Pending closings
- Closed transactions
Each of your whiteboards has an actual dollar value. You should write it in the corner of the board. For example, perhaps you have five million dollars worth of active listings which are worth approximately X to you based on your commission agreements. Maybe you’ve already got X amount of pendings on the board. This way, you’ll always know if you are on track, ahead, or behind!
Benjamin Franklin said, “You may delay, but time will not.” Take your schedule seriously. Each day, you are either self-employed or self-unemployed depending on what you’re doing with your allotted time!
Review your finances every day
Use Mint.com as your ‘dashboard’ of key performance indicators. Your savings, checking, credit cards, investment accounts, investment properties, and everything else financial is visible using Mint.com. This includes your credit scores as well as your upcoming bills and actual budget. It’s a fantastic tool and super easy to use.
Expand your network
Make contact (a conversation with a decision-making adult about real estate) with at least the same number of people as transactions you must do this year. If you must close 20 transactions to meet or exceed your goals this year, you must make 20 actual contacts daily to meet that goal. Adjust as your skills increase.
Focus on people who are most likely to sell.
Speak with your existing listing leads you just need to close on, expired listing opportunities, for sale by owners, probate, relocation, past clients, and referrals. Just Listed and Just Sold calls don’t count unless they are directly around your own listing(s), because you have no proof that they are interested in selling. Those calls are easy but not productive.
Twenty contacts may seem like a lot until you realize that you can easily speak with at least five people from your center of influence, friends, past clients and neighbors (otherwise known as your database). From there, you have lead follow-up and your other sources to attack.
Schedule quick follow ups
Follow furiously fast lead follow-up on 100% of your leads, 100% of the time, with no exceptions or excuses. There is nothing worse than a real estate professional with a voicemail that’s full or takes days to return calls.
So much business is missed with this bad habit. Commit to being furiously fast with your follow-up, starting today.
Set at least one new prequalified appointment daily
The goal of both your daily contacts and follow-up is to set at least one new prequalified appointment before noon, ideally with a potential seller.
If you haven’t achieved that following your morning routine and you have no appointments for the afternoon, it’s time to either stay on the phone or door knock on unrepresented sellers (FSBOs), Expired listings with no phone numbers (you’ll have virtually no competition) or any of the other opportunities which cost you zero money. Buying leads is not the solution.
Talk to all pending clients with transaction updates
Don’t be ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ This should take you no more than one hour daily, assuming you do it every day. If you use a transaction coordinator, speak with them daily and your pending clients weekly.
Prioritize self care
Spend at least one hour working out, going on a walk or taking a class at a fitness center. Group exercise is better for your business, as it can expand your center of influence. This can be an amazing source of business.
It’s time to get control of your time, and along with it, your goals. If your schedule doesn’t reflect your goals, you’re unlikely to succeed. Your No. 1 affirmation for 2023 is a simple one, “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me!”
Tim and Julie Harris host a podcast for Realtors called Real Estate Coaching Radio. They’ve been professional real estate coaches for more than 20 years, helping agents succeed in many different market conditions.