Today, as I write this, it is high noon, and I had planned to get down to business about three hours ago. Where has the time gone? Between taking a few calls, paying a few bills, and solving a few problems, three hours has elapsed. Does this ever happen to you?
Working “On” and “In” Your Business
As real estate professionals, each and every workday needs to include two types of activities: those related to working “on” your business and those where you work “in” your business. That’s an important distinction, which Michael Gerber makes in his book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Some Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. Of course, while it would be ideal for the people working “on” the business to be different from those people that work “in” the business, that is just not possible for most real estate businesses. Most real estate agents fly solo.
What Gets You to the Closing Table?
When you work “in” your business, this is the work that you do as a real estate agent in order to get the deals to the closing table. This is you writing and negotiating contracts, attending listing appointments and inspections, and showing properties. This is the technical work that is required to get your deal closed—so that you have the money necessary to work “on” your business.
But sometimes, the work “in” the business takes so much time. You plan to go to the office early, put in a few hours creating content, making calls, and posting a few tidbits on the social media sites, but just as you are driving into the parking lot, the phone rings. It is the buyer’s agent on one of your pending listings. He has arrived with the home inspector at your listing and there is no key in the lockbox. You then spend the next few hours tracking down the key and delivering it to the buyer’s agent.
How many times has some version of this problem happened to you?
3 Time Management Tips that Produce Positive Results
Time management and real estate may not seem to go hand in hand. But, they really must. If you are going to balance your time between the things that you must do to make fast money and the things that you need to do in order to develop a sales pipeline that withstands the test of time, you’ve got to have balance.
Here are three things that can do right now to avoid falling into the time management Bermuda Triangle:
- Schedule appointments with yourself. How often do you cancel an appointment with your doctor or CPA? Probably, not too often. Well, make those same appointments with yourself, and do not cancel them. When you have important work to do that relates to the long-term sustainability of your business, what does that say about how you value yourself if you are constantly cancelling those appointments?
- Turn key tasks into habits. Set aside a regularly scheduled time for each of your tasks; this is what creates habitual actions. About 12 years ago, I started working from home on Fridays because my kids got out of school early on Fridays and commuting back and forth just didn’t seem feasible. At that time, Fridays become my day to write my blog posts, schedule my email newsletters, and work on my social media and other advertising and marketing projects for the following week. Now, I’ve only got one kid still in school and he’s a senior, but I still stay home on Fridays. My Friday turned from a task into a habit—and it is one that has worked for me for the last 12 years!
- Create a game-changing plan for 2017. I’d like to invite you to have a look at Pipeline Planner, the Ultimate Sales Tracker and Daily Planner for Real Estate Agents. Launched as a successful Kickstarter campaign, we’ve sold thousands of planners and are offering some special deals during the holiday season. It’s an updated version of my old planner, which was endorsed by ABC Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran. In Pipeline Planner, I’ve put together everything you need to get your 2018 in high gear.
In the meantime, I’d like to ask you a favor. Starting today, before you go to sleep, ask yourself this question: “If I live every day the way I did today, what kind of future would that create?”
Did you like your answer? If not, maybe it’s time to make a few changes.