Aug 07, 2017 by - Barry jenkins

You Don’t Need More Hours in the Day to be Successful, You Need to do This!

If you’ve been an LCA member for more than two hours, you’ve seen people ask what CRM is the best. I think most agents are looking for ways to organize and simplify their life. This is why the image of having a better CRM is so appealing to agents everywhere. We are overwhelmed with work if we are busy and we are overwhelmed with anxiety if we aren’t busy.  

I was encouraged to read “Eat This Frog” by Brian Tracy at the recommendation of LabCoat Agents book club. One thing Brian Tracy attempts to get across in his book is that we all have 24 hours in a day but some people are consistently able to do more in their 24-hour period than others. In his book, Tracy explains that ultra high performers in any field choose what’s a priority and what isn’t. He calls it the 80/20 rule. This approach has been groundbreaking for me personally. I run a team of 20 and we are on pace to close over 200 transactions this year. I am constantly on the go.  

What’s the 80/20 rule?

The 80/20 rule plays out in my business in this manner: I have a list of 10 things to do today. Eight out of the 10, someone else on my staff can do. Two out of the 10, only I can do. I task out the eight and spend my time on the 2 things that only I can do. 

So am I saying you need a huge staff and team to follow the 80/20 rule? No. 

I was a solo agent for 14 years without any admin or support. I’m familiar with the pain of having too many irons in the fire. I remember the first day I hired my first assistant. I was literally freaking out. $12 an hour to sit at vacant properties while my investor client had a home inspection done. It was SUPER difficult for me to make the call to hire someone to do this. After weeks of stressing, I finally took the plunge. I decided that if I pay this person for five hours a week, that was $300 a month. My metric for whether or not this was a smart move was based on if I was able to use those five hours a week to sell one more house a month. The ROI would be huge!  

How did it change my business?

The first month I hired my first admin, I sold 2 extra homes as a result of not sitting at a vacant property. So then, the lightbulb turned on…. I would hire her for TEN hours a week and sell FOUR more homes!

Unfortunately, this didn’t work out exactly like that. With more deals, came more work. I had to hire someone to help manage the transaction for me. The same stress began to hit me and I used the same logic I had used previously. I said to myself, “Will this help me sell more homes?” 

Fast forward four years, and now I have four admin and 20 agents. I’m out of production and have a better quality of life (re: work/life balance) than at any point in my career. Hiring someone helped hire myself back as a salesperson. 

Increase your efficiency.

A great benefit of being a part of the LCA crew is being exposed to better tools to supplement your business. Now most of my focus is streamlining processes for both my sales people and my admin to increase efficiency. My transaction manager used to be maxed out at 15 transactions, now we are helping her manage 50. We utilize technology and automation to increase her effectiveness.  

For you, no matter where you are in your business, 80/20 your day. What are the things that ONLY you can do and what are the things you can pay someone else to do? Start somewhere and delegate. You have to let go to grow. Let go of the control that limits you and start trusting people around you. 

You only have 24 hours in the day. I know hundreds of agents that work longer hours than I do but don’t get as much done. Rather than finding the efficient way of running their business, they get hung up in doing things that either a service or a platform could assist with.

Here are a list of tools/resources that helped my team and I to really grow without hiring a ton of staff: 

  • CRM – Lion Desk is a highly recommended CRM with LCA. I personally use Follow up Boss. 
    • Helpful because it organizes lead flow and automates emails and tasks. If you’re not setting this up, you’re missing out. I have seven months of emails I wrote that email leads to engage.  
  • Zapier – In short, Zapier changed my life. Service that connects different services together. Example: My agent fills out a form in Wufoo we created when you ratified the contract. Immediately via Zapier, the buyer’s info and closing date is put in a spreadsheet, my number-tracking graph is updated, the buyer gets a welcome email from us automatically, the attorney and lender gets an email from us automatically, four tasks are created in Wrike—our project management software—and the tasks are pushed to our Slack channel. This is all via Zapier.
    • Helpful because it cuts down on data entry and takes automation to new levels. 
  • Scheduler – Software that makes it easy to set appointments so you don’t forget to meet with folks. Services like X.AI is an artificial intelligence scheduler assistant, Calendly allows your clients to pick appointment times from your schedule, @FollowupThen is a great service similar to Boomerang. (Think email reminders.)
    • Helpful because if you don’t control your schedule, your schedule will control you. Services like this make it easy to not only make the appointment, but help you organize your life. 
  • Communication – Slack, a Free Messaging service.
    • Helpful because I have a sales channel and an admin channel. Our entire team communicates, collaborates, and assists one another via this service. By having one main conversation going (you can have private ones too), the team is able to be aware of what’s going on in the company. 

Implement this rule slowly, if need be.

If you’re not living an 80/20 lifestyle in business (re: you’re doing 10/10 things on your list), then this post probably overwhelms you. You see what you’re doing wrong, but you have no way out. Let me encourage you with something: Just pick one thing a month to apply the 80/20 rule to. After 12 months, 12 things will be taken care of. After 3 years, 36 duties will be streamlined. This is a marathon and it’s not a sprint. Take your time, breathe, and don’t let the Myth of needing more time in the day to be successful fool you! 


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