It is very easy in commercial real estate to waste a lot of time. People will flow in and out of your day asking questions and wanting meetings; on top of those issues you will have plenty of work to get done. How you respond to those requests and work pressures will impact your results. In simple terms you are in charge of your time and you must exercise total control of that.
It is a fact that the top agents of the market are very ‘time aware’ and will only commit to something if it fits the right criteria of business opportunity or deal negotiation. Choices are really important in our industry.
To help you establish a comprehensive time management model as an agent, consider the following as guidelines:
- Set your goals at a personal level, and review them frequently as they are like the ‘signposts’ to your activities and help you get the results. Goals should be set when it comes to listings created, prospecting results, commissions written, listing time on market, and referrals.
- When you set appointments, be on time every time. Nothing is more unprofessional than setting an appointment and then turning up late. Respect your client’s time and get to the appointment when you say you will be there.
- Plan your days before they start. In this way you can do the things that matter and avoid those interruptions that will always happen.
- Some things will be very important to the results you achieve as an agent. Prospecting, marketing, and client contact issues are very high on the agenda. Spend some of your day following through on those things.
- Write things down in a ‘monthly notebook’. This is in addition to your diary. Your monthly notebook will allow you to capture ideas and issues for response and action at a later time. Every meeting, telephone call, idea, and conversation should be written into the notebook for review and response at the end of the day.
- Use one simple diary system that you can access anywhere. With smart phones this has become easier. In saying that, the smart phone diary is not a work planner. You will still need to write things down in a ‘day book’ in preparation and planning for your working day.
- Delegate where things can be passed to others. Sometimes we forget that we are the money earners in the real estate brokerage. Administrative staff should be available to take away the time wasting low priority issues.
- Work to your deadlines and not those of others. Your priorities must take prime spot in your day plan. If others want to meet with you, ask them to do that outside of your high activity periods.
- Communicate clearly and handle paper once only (where possible). Putting things off will only create stress, so a part of your day will need to be set aside for low priority paperwork and follow-up.
- Your mobile telephone and your email will be with you all day. Don’t let them shift your priorities and plans that are already made. Answer the telephone and your emails twice per day unless it is deal related.
The salespeople that get somewhere in our high pressured industry are usually very time aware. Maybe you cannot control all of your day but you should be able to control at least 75 % of it; do one thing at a time and do it very well. Use that 75% of your day to focus on the issues that matter to growing your commercial real estate business.