As a real estate agent or broker, how you operate in your business on a day-to-day basis is just as important as how you serve your clients. Having clear routines in place and implementing effective workflow systems are just a few ways to reduce stress, increase productivity, and ultimately increase the amount of money you make.
However, real estate professionals have some unique needs when it comes to time management. While structure is beneficial, it must be a flexible structure.
Here are 9 tips to better time management routines for real estate agents:
- Every day starts the day before. End each day by reviewing your To Do list. Throughout the day, cross items off as you complete them and add new items as they are presented. You may choose paper or digital lists but only have one and have it with you at all times.
- Know your personal peak energy hours. Organize your day and focus on concentration-rich projects during your peak energy time period. While you wont always be able to schedule clients around your peak hours, encourage them by offering them YOUR preferred times first.
- Control interruptions and set proper boundaries. Drop-by visits, personal phone calls, and continually checking your phone for messages, texts, and status updates eats up valuable time. Block off 30 to 45 minutes of uninterrupted time to work on tasks. Once the time ends, check your messages to do call backs as needed. Remember, you wouldnt answer your phone when you are showing a home so its OK not to answer it when you are working on a project. Just be sure to return calls.
- Focus. If you are easily distracted, remove all items from your workspace that are not related to your current project.
- Use a calendar. Keep a calendar on your desk, your computer, or your phone, to record upcoming meetings and appointments. Do not rely on sticky notes as they often get misplaced or stuck to other paperwork and there is nothing worse that missing an important meeting because you did not enter it onto your calendar.
- Unsubscribe and set up email filters. If you are inundated with emails on a daily basis, unsubscribe from mailing lists that are clogging up your Inbox. Create filters and rules to route incoming emails to folders based on your preferences.
- Use a contact management system. Set up email templates and auto-responders when appropriate. Process business cards from associates or networking affiliates within one week. Once you have entered the information into your database, toss the cards and try to remember not to take those cards again. Business cards are a source of clutter and create overwhelm.
- Set aside blocks of time. If practical, rather than opening emails as they arrive, try to block time each day to read and respond; clean out your Inbox (electronic and paper); follow-up with phone calls, work on administrative tasks, and file paperwork.
- Review and Repeat. At the end of each day, review your To Do list and in order of priority, transfer the items not completed to the next day’s To Do list.