A real estate agent’s work schedule can be highly unpredictable. So, how can you make the most of your time? Here are some time management tips to make you more efficient.
1. Focus. There are so many distractions today that it can seem impossible to focus. In order to work effectively, you need to eliminate as many distractions as possible. Turn off the phone, pause your email, and eliminate any other possible interruptions for a short period each day to review your schedule, allot time for specific tasks, and prioritize your work.
2. Create time blocks. While a real estate agent’s day is almost never predictable, you can block out time to get work done. Early morning can be a great time to get a few things out of the way. If you’re a night owl, you may want to take an hour before bed to review your work plan and adjust accordingly.
3. Track your time. Keep a running record of how you spend your time. Just like a budget helps you see where you spend your money, time tracking will help you revise your schedule to make it more effective and efficient.
4. Prioritize tasks. Prioritize tasks by importance and urgency. Then, divide your tasks by those that need to be done first and those that can be scheduled. Identify items that you can delegate and those tasks that you don’t need to or just won’t get around to.
5. Be flexible. This is not meant to be a contradiction, even if it is. Leave time for the unexpected by prioritizing work and follow through. Taking that early morning or late evening to push through those top priorities will free you should something come up.
6. Schedule email and phone check. Don’t let email distract you. Set a time each day to review and respond to emails. With the exception of emergencies, try to do the same with phone calls. Let clients know when they can expect to hear back from you based on the channel they choose. Ask clients, family, friends, and other business associates to only text if absolutely necessary.
7. Customer relationship management (CRM). Software can help you schedule and save time. A CRM program like Salesforce puts all of your most important information in one place. It ties your contacts, calendar, and sales funnel together to give you the big picture.
8. Automate. Social media posting and email drip campaigns can be scheduled for release as appropriate, saving you time and guaranteeing a steady flow of content.
9. Team up. Engage others on your team to brainstorm time-saving and work-sharing ideas that will benefit the whole group.
10. Get a typing app. Still “hunting and pecking”? Find a typing application and use it to learn to type. You’ll be amazed by how much time you save when you don’t have to keep looking at the keyboard. Unlike typing class in high school, these apps are often more like games and work very quickly to get you up to speed.
11. Hire an assistant. Consider hiring an administrative assistant or Inbound Sales Associate (ISA) to take on the tasks you don’t have time to get to.
12. Eat right and get some sleep. Health is an important factor when it comes to working effectively. The right diet and exercise will help you focus better. A good night’s sleep — a minimum of 7 hours at least — will not only help you focus, but help you better assimilate the work you’re doing and be a better problem solver.
13. Don’t overwork. It’s been said a million times — work smarter, not harder. Working a sixty-hour week is a recipe for failure. Studies show that more than 40 hours per week makes you less effective. It can also lead to bad eating habits and poor health.
14. Take a time management class. Can’t do it yourself? Attend a class or seminar on time management. You’ll be glad you did.
The Bottom Line
The real estate agent’s job is a stressful one. Better time management can make all the difference. It brings order and helps you identify the things you can can — and those you can’t.