As busy real estate agents, our time is always in demand… somehow, around pitching, listing, hosting opens and negotiating with buyers or renters, we need to fit in all the admin that helps ensure we are 100% compliant. If time management and just staying on top of each week is starting to become impossible, our regularly-updated time management hacks for real estate agents might be just what you need!
Planning your time effectively and setting goals
- The great thing about ‘the cloud’ is your calendar is accessible everywhere. Prepare for a busy week by opening your calendar on Sunday and not just scheduling in meetings, but blocking out time during the week for all important tasks, even if you are the only person involved.
- When writing your ‘to do’ list for the week, rather than writing everything on one page, write your biggest priorities on page 1, the next most urgent tasks on page 2 and so on. Start on page 1, then turn to a new page of tasks ONLY once you have completed the current page. No peaking!
- Many people say schedule your most difficult tasks in the morning, but what if you’re not a morning person? When scheduling your tasks in your diary, schedule by your personal energy trends… if you’re most energetic in the afternoon, save the most difficult tasks for then.
- We’ve always been told multi-taskers are doing it right, but what if multi-tasking doesn’t come naturally to you? Performing a single task, without ‘multi-tasking’ distraction can actually mean you get the job done faster and to a better quality, so you can move on more quickly. Try ‘single-tasking’ this week and see if it’s more ‘you’!
- Task creep is one of the biggest obstacles in time management. You take on a task, think it take 10 minutes, but you let that time creep out until 30 minutes are gone, and you don’t know where. This week, try setting yourself hard deadlines for EVERYTHING, and use your phone alarm to remind you when your time is up and you need to move on!
- Create checklist templates for everything! Checklists remind you what tasks need to be completed within a certain project, motivate you to keep focused, and give you a sense of achievement when they are complete! A great listing or marketing template can be a game-changer!
Automating and scheduling communication to save time
- If you have some spare time on a Sunday evening, use it to hit the ground running at work this week! Respond to all the emails you didn’t get to last week and schedule them to send first thing tomorrow morning. You’ll be ahead of the pack and your clients will feel like first priority on Monday!
- Reduce your tasks for the week and cut down on admin and thinking time by using Facebook or Hootsuite to schedule all your posts on Sunday… then, don’t worry about socials for the rest of the week!
Being mindful, relaxed and removing distraction
- As agents,our demanding work schedules mean we are often thinking several steps ahead of the present. This Sunday, take some time to relax and reconnect with ‘the now’ through this simple, short mindfulness meditation session offered by Dr Craig Hassed of Monash Univeristy and the ABC. Move into a new week more grounded, in the present and able to focus on all of your clients’ needs.
- Staying focused is all about reducing distraction. Sometimes, what distracts you most is actually something you set up to make things easier or improve time management, but ironically, you haven’t had time to review to see if it actually works, and remove or refine if it didn’t. Look at tools like phone alarms, on-screen email notifications, push notification sounds, and if they aren’t actually helping, get rid of them!
- Don’t overthink things! Setting yourself too many tasks that require your brain to be in overdrive is exhausting and can lead to errors or poor work. Set yourself a maximum of three tasks each day that require ‘full brain power’ and complement them with the tasks that take less thought but need to be done!
- Do you plan your calendar for the week? Are all your regular tasks in? Have you scheduled in a break each day? Having even a short lunch break can make you more focused and more productive — don’t underestimate how powerful a few minutes of downtime can be!
Review your processes
- Start this week by looking at last week — especially if you feel tired, over-committed and worn out. Retrospect is an amazing thing: work out what tasks you did last week that you really didn’t need to do, or that took longer than they should have, and either don’t allow them into your schedule this week or set a rigid time frame for completion. With your new awareness of time wasting, stick to the plan!
- Want to know how much time you are spending (or wasting) on tasks during each week? Hours Tracker is a great app you can use to categorise activities, monitor how long you spend on them and even calculate how much, in dollars, a sale or management has cost you over the week.
- Once you have your Hours Tracker app in place, you will be aware of how much ‘real’ work you get done every day. Set yourself a minimum target of achieving five ‘real’ hours of work every day.