Maximize Your Time
The one thing we can not get more of is time. How are you spending yours?
It is a common theme from agents I meet with. They feel overwhelmed and are looking to create more time in a day. They want more than 24 hours but in reality even if they had more time, they would still feel overwhelmed. It is not the time that is the issue, it’s the agent’s use of it. If we all given the same amount of time, how is it that some people get more done in their days than others? It is all about not wasting any time, being organized, streamlining processes, and routines. Agent’s need to take a long hard look at how they are spending their time each day and find out where they are wasting it.
There are so many things in a day that can take our time away from being productive. Do you spend a lot of time on social media? I don’t mean posting or replying to people’s comments. I mean do you sit there and scroll aimlessly through all of the posts? Put yourself on a timer and spend only a certain amount of time (i.e. 5 minutes) looking at people’s dog or kid photos.
When you set up your showings, are you doing it in such a way that you maximize your time or are you driving around all over the place? Use Google Maps or something that you can see all of the properties you are setting up on one map and plan your route accordingly. Also, if you are sowing condos it should not take a lot of time to show them. Plan for 20 mins for each that includes travel time. I hammer out 3 condos in an hour. Have a conversation with your clients about the schedule as well so they know they cant waste time in the showings they need to focus on if the place works for them and if not, move on.
These are just a few things that I have heard agents mention that I wanted to bring up. There are a million things that can waste our time each day, be aware of them so you know to avoid them or learn how to streamline whatever it is to cut out the wasted time.
This is something I implemented a few years ago. When I did a real assessment of how I spent my time each day and how I spent my weeks I realized I was taking waaaay too many meetings. Don’t get me wrong, I still take meetings but I am selective on the ones I take only saying yes to ones I feel will truly help my business or the office.
I know what some of you are thinking, it’s just 30 minutes for coffee, how is that wasting time? I thought the same thing for a while until I really sat down and thought about everything involved with taking the meeting. It’s not the meeting as much as everything that happens before and after. It’s the drive to get to the location. It’s finding parking (if you are in the city you know it is not always that easy to find parking), it’s the potential of someone running late, and it’s the drive back from the meeting place. When you look at it, a lot of meetings are an hour plus of time overall and most of that is time where you are not able to be productive becuase of the travel.
Instead, when you are asked to meet someone, ask yourself if the full time commitment for the meeting is something that is truly going to benefit you or your business. If not say no and use that time saved to be productive in other ways.
Time Your Awake
This is one of my favorite topics. How many hours are you awake each day? It doesn’t matter what time you get up or go to bed. What matters is how many hours are you awake? These are the hours where you are able to be productive. The more you are awake the more productive you can be. If you are looking to create more time in your day easily, look at the time you are going to bed and waking up. I wake up at 5:30 and go to bed at 11:30pm. I’m awake 18 hours in a day and I use pretty much all of those hours to be as efficient with my time as possible. If you are sleeping 9 hours a day, try working to reduce this by getting up a litter earlier each day. You will create a little more time each day and can work up to have potentially more hours available to you.
One thing that I am blessed with is the ability to find ways to streamline things. No matter what I am doing, I am always looking for ways I can do it more efficiently. Even this blog I have found short cuts to make my writing of it quicker. One of the best ways I have learned to streamline my day is by creating routines. I write down my routines and reference them often to keep me focused. Routines help keep me away from doing time wasting things becuase I know if I do not finish my full routine I can not move on to something else. For example, I have a morning routine for when I get up. A morning routine for when I get into the office and even an evening routine. It sounds military like but have you seen how efficient the military is??? Those people are on another level.
I have also streamlined how I work with buyers, sellers, leads, recommendations, and just about everything you can imagine. Without doing all of this there would be no way I can run my personal real estate business, own and run a real estate company, keep a wife happy oh and raise 20 month old identical twin boys!
I wanted to mention emails becuase I don’t think people realize how much time we waste on emails. We are constantly getting hammered by emails. All sorts of emails find their way into our inboxes. My advice would be to either unsubscribe from the ones you don’t want to see. Create filters to organize them. Or as I do, I do not answer emails until I do both my morning routines. Then throughout the day I will delete the emails I do not need and skim through my other emails only answering the ones that are very important and have to be answered right away. Then I will get to the other emails later.
Something to always keep in mind. People check their emails constantly. As soon as you respond they are going to respond back and now you will feel obligated to respond again. This is why I wait until my morning routines are done before I respond to anyone. I know as soon as I do, I’m going to get a response right away. A good piece of advice someone told me is to set the precedent with your clients up front. Let them know you will get back to them within three hours or something so they know not to expect a response immediately after they hit send.
Newsletters and Google Alerts
Something I feel strongly about is the ability to have a conversation with anyone I meet. I think this is extremely important in our business. We never know who we are going to run into and we need to find common ground with people fast. To try and read newspapers or scroll through site after site to get information would take a lot of time. So I sign up for newsletters so I get comprehensive info in one email and I have Google Alerts set up for key words I want to follow. Both of these simple things have helped me get a ton of information quickly that I can read and be up to date on as much as possible so I can speak to whoever I run into.
If you want to create more time in your day, think about all of the things you do in a day and cut out the things that are not going to generate you more business. We all have a lot going on at the same time with running our business and life in general
A tip that I used is to make a spreadsheet or a word doc and keep track of how you are spending your time each day. Be as exact as possible. This is the best way to know exactly where you are wasting your time. I did this for a week and it helped me really see how I can use my time more effectively.