Time Management Tips for Realtors + Free Tool To Help.
Welcome to the women rocking real estate show, I am Jen Percival and I am on a mission to help you get out of your own way so that you can finally create the life you were meant to live and over the last decade of working with women trying to build thriving real estate businesses, the most common road block that keeps women from getting the results they desire is TIME.
This is not a new topic, it has been covered probably more than any other topic out there, but my lord, it bears unpacking over and over again, because if you can’t get your time management under control, you will never and I repeat never, build the consistent business you desire OR you’ll never have a life outside of your business.
Like seriously there’s really only two camps that people fall into.
Either you don’t have enough business OR you don’t have enough life. There is only a very small percentage of people that have managed to strike this balance well and the one thing they ALL say, is that they have mastered the art of managing their time.
For the rest of us trying to build a business, It’s like there’s no middle ground. It’s either your business is in the shitter or your life is in the shitter and we all want to find that sweet spot where our business is doing great, but it’s not at the expense of our lives. Ie we’re not sacrificing everything for the business and we’ve found that harmony between the two.
To complicate things, all of the advice out there and most of the strategies suggested to take better control of your time, don’t always work in real estate. We don’t have the luxury that most businesses have, when it comes to time. Because our business is expected to be operational 7 days a week and well past when most people call it a day at 5 or 6pm. We often feel like our time is being held hostage by our clients and that we need to drop everything we’re doing whenever our clients need our attention. However we often use that as an excuse and kinda throw the baby out with the bathwater and just give up any hope that there could be another better way.
But there absolutely is a better way and what it really all boils down to is this….time management is about self discipline with your time, it’s about spending time on the right things. It’s about having purpose every single day where you have a laser sharp focus on what you’re supposed to be working on and for how long and then mastering the art of saying no to everything else. We can’t do all the things. As exciting as they sound, as much as we think our business needs them, we can’t do everything all at once. If you try, you’ll just get a whole lotta nothing done and be left with that feeling like you’re going in circles accomplishing nothing. Effective time management is also obviously about being productive when you’re spending time on the right things and not allowing yourself to become distracted by time sucking vortexes that do nothing for what you’re trying to achieve.
So if there is one self development area that you can focus on this year, that will have the biggest impact on your results, it’s working on getting better at how you manage your time, even though you’re in real estate and that is what today’s episode is all about. If you think you’ve heard about this topic enough already, but you haven’t found that sweet spot of your business doing great and still lots of time to enjoy your life, then it’s time to get real with yourself and do something about it.
But here’s the truth. Unless you are serious about getting better at this and are ready and committed to making changes, nothing is going to change. You’re going to have to do some work. This is a skill and a habit that needs to be built and that will take effort. No matter how badly you want it, your relationship with time is not going to miraculously change on it’s own. So if you’re ready once and for all to stop complaining about your lack of time and blaming everything on it and instead actually do something about it, then today’s episode will help you get started.
Ok before we dive into the details, a few housekeeping items. First and most important are my shout outs of love. This month I’d like to give a big virtual hug to Katie, Brookielyn, Doublezizzle, TheVetAgent, Tamara, Anna, Kacie, Jessjean, SweetPrincess, Haley and whoever titled their review “motivational” thank you so much ladies for taking the time to leave a review. I so appreciate each and every one of you and also those that send me emails and messages in Instagram. Love you all.
Next item on the housekeeping agenda is that doors open today, March 1st for the next cohort of the ATTRACT Accelerator. This is my signature 90-day coaching program that teaches you a proven system to generate more consistent business from people you know, earn more referrals & get discovered by new clients searching for a Realtor online…all without using any out-dated tactics like door knocking and cold calling.
What I really want listeners to understand, is that this is not another online course that you will not finish or implement. This program has been designed using the latest research oh how people not only best learn, but how to help them actually implement what they’re learning….and it’s NOT through self-paced online courses with no access to to the course creator.
I have literally changed my entire coaching methodology to use cohort-based learning and the difference in agent’s results are incredible. There’s agents that were in my old program for a year and had access to this exact training and didn’t do anything with it. But after they joined the accelerator, they’re suddenly taking the actions and making incredible progress on implementing the strategy.
So if you want a direct roadmap of how to get there, instead of the trial and error method of figuring it out on your own, you can apply for a spot in the next cohort where you will join a community of other like-minded women in real estate and together you will learn and implement the strategy together in 90 days.
Between myself and your accountabilibuddies, you will get the support, accountability and the feedback you need, to take consistent action and actually implement what you’re learning.
But here’s what I’m going to tell you. Do not apply if you’re not serious about changing your self-sabotaging patterns or committed to taking action and using this strategy in your business. Because You’re wasting your time and your money and that is a perfect segue into today’s episode…..
If you want to find that blissful harmony, where you have a consistent business that is producing consistent income AND you have life that you get to enjoy outside of your business, you are going to have to invest something to get that. You are going to have to not only accept but actually embrace that you’ll need to invest either time or money into your business. If you don’t have time, then you must invest money. If you don’t have money, then you need to invest your time. If you don’t have either, you better have a lot patience and low expectations, because building a sustainable business without investing money or time, is going to take a really long time. So set your expectations up accordingly.
So before you do anything else this year to grow your business, you need to decide upfront what you are going to invest your time into and what you’re going to invest your money into and then recognize and accept that either option is going to suck at times and be painful.
You will hit a point where you’ll question whether you should be spending so much time on something or you will hit a point where you will question whether you should actually be spending money on it. This is the first strategy for learning how to manage your time more effectively. You have to make the decision whether you’re going to invest time or money into something but before you can ever do that, you need to know what the investment will be.
It’s like deciding to renovate your house only to find out after you’ve already gutted it, that you don’t have the money to renovate it. You would never gut your house without getting a quote on what the job is going to cost would you? You would also need to have a budget and you’d need to have contingencies put in place for when unexpected things come up. You may also need to cut spending in other areas of your life for the time being, so that you can invest more into the Reno if needed.
You know all of that right? Well I want you to think of your time in exactly the same way. Anything that you decide to implement in your business is going to take an investment of your time and it requires the same planning and budgeting, as well as planning for contingencies and making compromises by eliminating other things.
You can’t start anything new, without understanding how much time it’s going to take or without having a plan for how you’re going to make time for it, because last I checked you can’t buy more hours in a day. You also need to have a plan for contingencies – when things go wrong and something else comes up that needs your time, how are you going to manage that? Lastly, you’re likely going to need to make some compromises, what are you going to say no to, so that you can say yes to this opportunity? When we try to just squeeze more things in, without taking stuff out – that’s how we get into time debt. Getting better at managing your time, starts with treating your time like a finite currency. It’s not like money, you can’t go make more of it. You’ve got 24 hours in a day and you need to decide and plan for how you’re going to spend it. That’s the foundational mindset that you need to start with to overhaul your relationship with time.
Step #1 – Know Your Time Budget
So step number one is know your time budget. How much time have you got to work with and how much time are you going to have to spend to to do everything you need to do in both your personal life and your business.
Now guess what, this exercise is going to take some time, but if what you’re doing isn’t working for you, then it is worth the time to do this because you usually have to slow down in order to speed up. Now to help you with this, I have created a tool that is going to break this entire process down step by step and that is going to help save you a bunch of time. You can find it on my website under episode #53 or you may be able to find it in the show notes.
We can’t begin to budget your time without knowing first how much time you’ve got to work with, So the first thing you’re going to do is to start by making a list of all the things that you absolutely have to do on a daily and weekly basis in your personal life and how much time it takes you to do those tasks. In order for this to work, you need to document everything – Sleeping, exercising, meditating or journaling, getting ready in the morning, making breakfast for the family, taking your kids to school, picking them up after school, doing homework together, making dinner, taking them to hockey practice or ballet, giving them a bath, reading bedtime stories, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, watching TV, family pizza night and the list goes on and on. Some of you might even have a part-time job in there as well. The goal here is take inventory of what hours you need to invest to live your life outside of work and then to add up all those hours in a week and see what you’re left with.
That’s your time budget for work. That’s what you’ve got to work with.
Now it’s important to distinguish that there are three different types of activities we do in real estate and these are listed in order of motivation to do them and a willingness to make time for them:
Client Attraction Activities
Business Scaling Activities
So if we first look at client-centred activities. This is working IN your business and includes things like showings, drafting offers, going on listing appointments and submitting paperwork to name a few. These are activities that you are obligated to do for your clients, they are very unpredictable activities and there can be wild swings week to week on how much time you’ll need to invest in them.
However you will never not find time to do them, even if you are super “busy”.…and yes I’m using air quotes when I say that. Like have you ever or would you ever say to yourself “I know I have that listing presentation scheduled in my calendar for today at 2pm, but I am so busy and have so many other things I need to do, so I’m just going to delete that from my calendar.”
Said no realtor ever.
You are intrinsically motivated to find time to do client-centred activities for two reasons.
One, they are directly correlated to getting paid and
Two someone else is relying on you and we are much more likely to complete tasks when someone else is relying on us to do so.
The amount of time you need to budget for client centred activities will depend on where you’re at in your business. If you’re brand new you can start with a lower percentage. If you’re well established, you should budget no more than 70% of your dispensable time to client-centred activities. If you can’t get all of your client centred work done in 70% of your dispensable work time, then it’s time to invest money and leverage people, systems and processes so that you can free up more of your time.
So as an example, if you have 35 available hours in a week of dispensable time for your business, you’ll want to budget 70% of that, which is roughly 24.5 hours to client-centred activities.
The other activities we do involve working ON our business and there are two general types of activities we can do to work ON our business. The first are Client Attraction Activities. These are all the things that you can do in your business to attract clients to you. Now you will probably be able to justify anything you do, as a client attraction activity and that’s why you need to really challenge yourself and ask whether it is the most effective way you could be spending your time to attract clients. So anything to do with lead generation falls into this bucket – if you’re in the old school camp still, that would involve cold calling, door knocking and calling your database, etc. If you’ve transitioned to the new world, it involves content marketing.
It also involves activities around growing who you know and connecting with those people to nuture the relationship. So things like building a website start getting found or developing a robust CRM to help you better manage connecting with people.
I’ve always used the acronym GRASP to help prioritize client attraction activities. The activity needs to help you Grow who you know or Get found. It needs to help you build a Relationship or connection. It needs to help you demonstrate your Authority in real estate. It needs to help you Stay top of mind and lastly it needs to help you Provide value. If the client attraction activity will help you do all of those things, you’ve got a good GRASP of your time.
Spending 30 minutes scrolling through the instagram reels explore page, is not a good grasp of your time. It’s not helping you grow who you know or get found, it’s not helping you build relationships or connection, it’s not helping you demonstrate your authority or stay top of mind or provide value. Which means it’s not a client-attraction activity and you should not be spending time doing it. Now if that’s one of your guilty pleasures and you want to be able to spend time doing it every week, add it to your personal time budget and know that doing so, will reduce the amount of time you have for your client attraction activities. Which ultimately means less business for you.
Do you see how that works? Every time you’re saying yes to one activity, at the exact same moment you’re stealing time from another activity and there is always a consequence to that, so you need to be more aware of what you’re doing and the implication it will have.
Alright the last category of activities we need to do when working ON our business is activities that will help us scale the business.
They could be implementing systems in your business to help you scale or it could be weekly team meetings or time that you spend in a training program, or time that you spend managing your bookkeeping and accounting. These are all of the behind the scenes things that often need to happen to run a successful business.
So if you allocated 70% of your time to client-centered activities, the remaining 30% of your time is for client attraction activities and everything else. If you need more business, then client attraction activities need to be the priority. If you’re already busy with business and you need more time, then activities that will help you scale your business would need to be the priority. Either way, you’ve only got 30% of your time to allocate to both.
And this is where the tool I created is going to show you just how much time that is and you will likely quickly see one of two things….
You have very little time available for client attraction activities and as such, you will need to narrow down what activities you’re doing and have a lot of self discipline to be focused with the time you have.
Or you will learn that you actually have a lot of time available and will realize that you’re being very unproductive with that time.
Either way, the only way to fix the problem, is to know what the problem is.
When you do this exercise, you’re going to learn how much time you have to work with and then you’re going to learn how you need to be spending the time you do have.
Once you know that you’ve only got 10 hours a week to work on client attraction activities or business scaling activities, you need to actually block that time off in your calendar. Because you’ve heard it before, if it’s not in your calendar it doesn’t exist and you won’t do it. And because you’ve already allocated 70% of your available time to client centred activities, you should never not have time to do these business activities. You shouldn’t have to dip into the time that you’ve blocked off on your calendar, because you’ve already allocated time to do the things your clients will need you to do.
Now because this business is inherently unpredictable, there may be times when you do need to move things around. And for those situations, you need to use the Erase > Replace method. Meaning if you have to erase the time you blocked off in your calendar for client attraction activities, then you need to immediately replace that block of time somewhere else in your calendar. Don’t just erase it, you gotta replace it.
This tool is also going to really help you with shiny object syndrome, because you will realize you have a very small time budget as it is, so you can’t say yes to anything else, unless you’re saying no to something you were already doing. You can’t add more on your plate, without taking something off your plate and THAT is how we get better at managing the time we do have.
Now if you go through this exercise and realize that you literally don’t have enough time to run a sustainable real estate business, then you’re going to have to make some choices and some changes. Once you have a good idea of how you’re spending your time, you can then decide whether you want to continue with that activity, stop doing that activity all together or do less of that activity. The later of the three will free up more time for you. You could also look at all of the activities and ask where there is a way to automate or delegate it to free up more time. Lastly you will want to challenge yourself around the time wasters in your life. These may be things that you do or they may even be ways that other people steal your time.
But again, in order for this to work, it has to actually reflect how you’re spending all of your time, so you need to be honest with yourself and document it all in the tool I created.
Once we’ve figured out how much time we actually have available and how we want to spend that time, the next area we often get tripped up on is how we actually manage our time doing those three activities and are there ways that we could better organize our time and stay more focused and productive during that time.
And that is what I’ll be covering in Part 2 of this episode. We’re going to dive deep into strategies for better time management when working on client-centered activities, as well as explore strategies for being more efficient and productive during all of the activities we do to work ON our business.
If you want to get your time management on a solid foundation, I highly recommend you use the tool I created. You can find it on my website at women rocking real estate under episode 53. It even comes with a training video from me on how to use the tool.
Lastly, don’t forget that doors to the ATTRACt accelerator open today on March 1st, so if you want to join this cohort make sure you sign up as it won’t be running again until September.
Alright that’s it, remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn…..but only if you’re implementing what you learn.
Until Next Time.