Time Management Starts Now!
Time management; something many real estate agents struggle with. No matter if you're new to the industry or a seasoned pro, time management starts now. We get so busy, battling distractions, serving clients, hammering out contracts, writing blogs and working social media you have to wonder;
Is Time Managing You?
I hear it all the time from agents that I work with "I don't have time", or "I'll get to it" which usually equates to the same thing. As busy as we get, it's important to have a strategy for how we're going to spend that precious time weekly and even daily. Otherwise, Father Time is sitting out there laughing his metaphorical butt off as we just desperately jump from one thing to the next. Decide what is important, make allowances, stick to it.
Time Management - What's Important?
There are four things that Realtors should keenly juggle, the latter one of the most important but most often neglected;
- Working with clients
- Personal time off
It's interesting to me, but if you think about it, all three of these are heavily tied together. It takes money to afford time for friends and family or for a little well-deserved time out. Many people read about time management, shake a stick at it and continue on in a haphazard way, stuck in a whirlwind that leaves one feeling busy but not as productive as one would like.
A Simple Plan is Best
Time with family and friends and also down time tend to revolve around work and best if planned for, but nothing wrong with a little spontaneity as time allows. So let's focus on making money and working with clients. Marketing covers a lot of territory, but to ensure the long term success of your career you'll need to be consistent. Everyone is wired so different, ask yourself the following questions before formulating a time management strategy;
- What time of day or night do I have the least distractions?
- What time of day do I have the most energy?
- When do I feel the most creative?
Marketing, Social Media & Working with Clients
Let's get the little and repetitive things out of the way. Having answered these questions for yourself, you now know when it's most productive for you to develop blog articles, work on special projects, create social media campaigns, etc. If you're a night owl that may be the best time to curate content and work on your next blog article, or prepare special tweets and schedule them. On the other hand, it could be early evening or early morning. The important thing is to choose the time(s) for this wisely, and then stick to it.
An hour a day, three or four days a week goes a long way towards creating a great content for social media. Pick those times when you are in least jeopardy of distractions. Curate content, get bored with writing and work on graphics for a while. Don't stress on it; when you're consistent with your efforts each week you don't have to "slap it together".
In addition to designating regular quality time for blogging or writing articles, find 10-15 minutes a few times a day to round-robin through your social media channels posting, endorsing, commenting on and sharing and you'll be surprised at your growth over time. There are a great number of intriguing authors on real estate subjects; I enjoy reading their posts.
Special Projects - Now for the Big Stuff
Everyone has projects, every person is just as different as every project. Make a "Master Plan", Excel and appointment calender are invaluable here. Still, keep it simple! Sometimes we choose a plan that creates even more work! Try this “keep it simple” idea to generate a plan with an easy feel for your schedule. Though this next section is geared for projects your regular repetitive activities like social media, blogging or following up with potential clients remain the same.
- Like a pyramid, your master plan should be all about things that must happen, start at the top and be wary of inflating your plan beyond reason with "would like to have happen" items. For example, you may want to create stronger, local personal branding, attend community events for greater presence with brochures and business cards on hand, schedule time to learn and become comfortable with social media, doing broad updates on your online information or cramming CE courses. Another item could be cleaning your office and getting a handle on paper work and files.
- Be pro-active in planning. Look at your master list/plan and calendar and determine each item's importance. It could be you have a few, or many items, but the key is each project on your master plan MUST be broken down into manageable pieces. If that's marketing, fine, now who will you market to? How will you market to them?
- Now break it down even more, create positive weekly or even daily steps. Make sure these little steps are doable in the time you allot and you won't feel disappointed or like you're not getting anywhere. For example, if your master plan includes more local marketing, spend a day developing a list - find newsletters or local sites to engage with, then a few days a week, schedule time to reach out, establish contact and ask for presence. If you don't plan for it, your odds of success go down rapidly. Scheduling keeps you self-accountable for your goals.
I use a simple calendar, with reoccurring appointments that also serve as "designated time allotments" for repetitive activities, keeping time open and somewhat flexible; Realtors all know how that works. I then have blocks of time scheduled for projects, each day or week the tasks change as I progress towards the goal. As a Realtor, a webmaster and manager of an internet team, I find this invaluable.