Mastering Time Management in Real Estate
Real estate isn't just about buying and selling houses. From following up leads to attending industry events, there are several important tasks a realtor has to attend to aside from getting homes off the market.
Beyond their professional commitments, real estate agents must also find spare time to cater to their families and other non-business activities.
With so many activities on an agent's to-do list, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and suffer burnout.
However, by developing good time management skills, busy real estate agents can maximize productivity and smash all their personal and business goals without feeling overburdened.
Time management is a critical skill found in most successful people. Knowing how to prioritize your daily tasks and get them done quicker and more efficiently can save you from stress. It can also open up your calendar to enjoy leisure activities you missed out on previously because of your busy schedule.
This article discusses some of the most effective time management hacks realtors can use to increase productivity, reduce stress levels, and develop a better work-life balance. Let's dive in!
What You Should Know About Time Management
The interesting fact about managing time wisely as a real estate professional is that your focus isn't on how long you spend at work daily. Instead, it's on the number of tasks you work on at the office.
Effective time management is about cutting down your everyday activities and focusing only on specific tasks with the most value to your personal and career goals.
You can choose to outsource everything else or take them off your calendar completely. This idea of focusing on the most important tasks that directly contribute to your goals is based on the 80/20 rule.
Also called the Pareto Principle, the 80/20 rule states that 80% of results come from 20% of causes. In other words, 80% of the successful outcomes in your career and personal life are a product of 20% of your activities.
Managing time effectively is about focusing immediate attention on the 20% that yields more returns.
To put it more precisely, you need to identify the most critical tasks on your to-do list that will get you to your career goals faster and prioritize those activities.
For instance, if your primary goal for the year is to sell 20 homes, you should pick out and spend time only on the marketing/business strategies that can help you reach that objective quicker.
You can delegate non-urgent tasks that aren't essential to this goal to someone else. This way, you aren't juggling the most important tasks on your schedule with the unnecessary ones.
7 Vital Time Management Skills for Real Estate Agents
Once you've built a priority list of tasks in your business, you can now leverage time management and planning skills to get them done more efficiently. Here are some core time management skills to incorporate into your personal and work life:
Time-block Each Week
Time-blocking is a time management technique that involves separating your day into blocks of time, with each block devoted to completing a specific activity or a group of related tasks. It's an effective method to increase productivity and improve your prioritization skills.
However, the problem with time-blocking is that most people focus on creating their time blocks every single day. While this method can be helpful to a large extent, developing new time blocks every day can be time-consuming and stressful.
Instead, you can save time by focusing on time-blocking your weeks. In other words, pre-plan your activities weekly, scheduling similar tasks for each day.
For instance, you could set out Mondays for lead generation and nurturing efforts, while Tuesdays are for contracts and paperwork.
Wednesdays could be for home showings, Thursdays for appointments and meetings, and Fridays for updating your listings on your website. It's best also to set out time to unwind with friends and family during the week.
By scheduling each day in a week, you have a definite routine to follow and can complete tasks more efficiently since they've been broken down into simple blocks.
One of the most important time management skills you can develop today is knowing how to mono-task. In the age of smartphones and social media, it's easy to combine various tasks simultaneously, even if they're unrelated.
For example, you could decide to follow up on leads on social media while listening to your favorite real estate podcast. However, while you may feel engaging in different tasks at a time is a great way to get more work done quicker, statistics show that multi-tasking can cost you up to 40% of your productivity.
In fact, you're more likely to make a mistake when you're juggling challenging tasks simultaneously. Based on these facts, it's best to stay focused on one activity at a time.
Don't combine drafting your content calendar with replying to colleagues on Facebook. Pay attention to one task at any given moment, and finish it before starting something else.
Eliminate Digital Distractions
A vital part of limiting multi-tasking is to keep gadgets, like your smartphone, away from your office space.
Our mobile phones follow us everywhere these days, and as earlier said, we can often juggle using them and attending to other urgent tasks simultaneously.
However, our smartphones can eventually become distractions that keep us from focusing on one task at a time.
Not only can they lead to multi-tasking (replying to emails while writing website content), but most people end up ignoring crucial activities because they can't put their smartphones down.
If you intend to use time productively throughout your day, it's best to keep your smartphone away from your office space while working.
Of course, smartphones are also vital work tools for many people, and you may want to use yours for important tasks (such as responding to leads or uploading real estate content). In this scenario, we recommend freezing or disabling notifications on applications that could distract you from these activities.
You should also develop some discipline to ensure you don't move from replying to leads or creating content to scrolling and commenting on posts.
If you struggle with discipline in your social media use, you could use social media automation tools to schedule and publish your posts and respond to your customers without touching your device regularly.
Delegating tasks is another efficient way to manage time constructively. By outsourcing tasks, you can take some activities off your schedule and devote more time to significant priorities.
Once you've separated your professional duties based on importance, you need to determine those you can take on and outsource the others.
For a start, you can choose to outsource tasks you're not so competent with. For instance, if your writing skills aren't so great, you can hire a freelance writer to handle writing tasks for your real estate website.
You can even hire a digital marketing agency like Ardor SEO to oversee everything about the site, including creating content and optimizing the website for search engines.
Managing a real estate website is one of those activities that demand a substantial amount of your time. With the time constraints already on your career, you may be unable to focus on your website and maximize its potential.
However, with an expert real estate SEO team like Ardor SEO running your website, you can focus on other important career goals while reaping the benefits of an optimized online presence.
Aside from critical tasks you don't possess expertise in, you can also get a virtual/in-office assistant to take on administrative duties, such as scheduling appointments and answering phone calls.
Take Advantage of Technology
Incorporating technology into your everyday activities can help you tackle several urgent and important tasks faster and more efficiently. For example, you can streamline your lead nurturing efforts using Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
Rather than waste time writing emails to prospects daily, a CRM suite with built-in automation features can take this task off your hands.
It would help if you also considered leveraging other AI resources (such as the aforementioned social media automation tools) to automate tasks on your social media platform and cut down on the number of daily activities you have to handle.
In addition, you can plan your day more effectively with calendar management tools like Google Calendar. You can schedule events and set reminders to navigate your day without missing any important tasks.
Furthermore, consider adding project management tools to your time management apps, especially if you have a real estate team.
Project management software, such as Priority Matrix and Asana, can help you collaborate with your team and organize and track project plans from just about anywhere without needing to schedule time-consuming face-to-face meetings.
Take Care of Your Well-being
Your physical and mental health is crucial to your efficiency in managing time. Even with all the time management abilities in the world, you won't achieve much if you push your body to the verge of burnout.
In fact, you're more likely to lose focus while handling your daily duties if you're mentally or physically drained. As such, an important aspect of staying productive is to take care of your body.
Ensure you get exercise regularly, eat healthy, and get enough sleep. Sufficient sleep can make a real difference in how you navigate your day.
In fact, sleep deprivation can trigger your body's stress response system, leading to increased cortisol levels and high blood pressure. Lack of sleep isn't just detrimental to your career; it can hinder your ability to enjoy leisure activities and have an all-round fulfilling life.
With this fact in mind, it's best to get as much rest as possible, regardless of your overburdened schedule. You should also learn to take time off difficult tasks when they begin to wear you down.
Learn to Say No
One common trait of individuals with poor time management skills is that they take on every activity, regardless of its value.
However, you can't attend to every meeting, client, or project. As a busy real estate agent, you should learn to pick your battles wisely and select the activities you want to devote attention to.
Don't spend time on meetings or projects that aren't productive. Avoid clients that have zero guarantees of doing business with you.
Learn to also put away phone calls and appointments when stressed and overwhelmed. By developing the habit of saying no, you can avoid activities that overburden your calendar and cause you needless stress.
Running a real estate agency can be overwhelming. With so many activities demanding your attention, you can quickly get overburdened and slip into work burnout.
To avoid these scenarios, you should invest in managing time more effectively. Develop planning skills to enable you to prioritize activities and schedule your week. This way, you'll have a defined routine and know what to focus on.
It also helps to delegate tasks to other members of your team or contract workers to reduce the number of items on your plate. Don't forget to leverage technology to automate some tasks, especially on your social media accounts and website.
Realtors often have so much to deal with in short periods. One of the most crucial activities they have to handle is running a real estate website. From content creation to creating lead magnets and optimizing your web pages for SEO and accessibility, there's usually a lot to pay attention to on a real estate website. Often it's impossible to handle these activities on your own.
One way to navigate them is to hire a real estate digital marketing agency like Ardor SEO. Their team of SEO experts at Ardor SEO possess years of in-depth experience helping real estate agents build websites tailored to search engine result pages (SERPs) and their target audience.
They will handle everything about your real estate digital marketing strategy, with guaranteed return on investments. The best part? Their services are remarkably affordable. Contact them today to find out more about their services.
Real estate time management revolves around investing your efforts into tasks and activities that contribute directly to your business goals. It requires essential skills, such as time-blocking and mono-tasking. Productive realtors also know how to delegate tasks and automate activities using technology.
The three Ps of time management includes planning, prioritizing, and performing. Basically, they involve scheduling your daily activities, outlining each task based on importance, and completing one at a time before moving on to the next.
Some ways to manage time efficiently in real estate include outsourcing tasks, time-blocking your week, eliminating digital distractions while at the office, and automating lead nurturing efforts using a CRM.