Hey, Agents! Are You Being Productive?
One of the hottest topics in the real estate industry right now is the notion of productivity. As most agents don’t work a typical 9-5 job with a consistent salary, they really need to make the most of their time, ultimately, by being as productive as possible. That being said, there has been a lot of debate and research as to what it means to be “productive.” While some may think that this means taking on a lot of tasks at once, staying up late, and doing as much as you can in a single day, studies have actually proven the opposite – that those who multi-task, don’t sleep early, and try to put too much on their plate at one time, are actually being much less productive. As Nick Baldwin from LCA has said many times, there’s a difference between being “busy” and being “productive.” So, which one are you?
If you want to be sure that you’re being productive, then hang this up in your office. Remember what each letter stands for, and whether or not you can define what you do as “productivity.”
If you want to be productive, then you need to prioritize certain tasks over others. You must create deadlines for yourself that come up before the actual deadlines. Prioritization is important for both workaholics and those who need an extra push. If you finish what you’ve prioritized, then it’s okay to take a break. Likewise, prioritizing tasks helps people to spend time only on what matters at the moment.
As a productive real estate agent, you should do a little reflection each and every day. This doesn’t need to be formal, but spend some time at the end of workday thinking about what went well and what you would like to do better the next day. Never think in negative terms – just improvements. Another way to go about this is to have a little journal where you write down what it feels like every time you have an amazing day. This will be useful to look back on when you’re having a not-so-good day down the road. After all, people spend far too much time dwelling on bad days which takes away from the overall productivity.
Just as you should be prioritizing tasks, you need to omit others as well. Sometimes, we just don’t get to certain things, and that’s okay. The more time you spend trying to knock every possible thing off your to-do list, the less time you have to focus on the things that are making you money or have the potential to make you money. If certain tasks have to be set on the backburner, that doesn’t mean you’re not being productive.
Determine has two meaning when it comes to productivity in real estate: Being determined and making determinations. Being determined, of course, means that you’re going to continue working hard in order to achieve that end goal, whatever that means for you as an agent. Making determinations means that you will constantly need to decide which listings and clients are worth your time, and which ones aren’t. As an agent, you’ll never really stop making these determinations.
Are you utilizing all the resources available to you? If you’re not, you could be restricting your productivity. There are many apps, for example, that can be used to help you maintain a better schedule, ensuring constant contact with your team, or automate your mailing list. Not everyone likes technology, and that’s okay. But, you should always try to find something – an extra helper, for instance – that can help you minimize the amount of tedious work that you have to do yourself.
Productivity is based on commitment. While you may be determined to complete a task, the question is, are you committed to it? Because if you’re not, then there’s no possible way to be productive. Sure, we all have things that we don’t love doing, but if you love WHAT you do, then you should have no problem staying committed, even through the mundane tasks.
Many people tend to think that wasting your time playing or experimenting with things can distract you from your business. But, it’s quite the contrary. Those who take the time to tinker – whether that means playing a game that has absolutely nothing to do with real estate, or trying out something that might be beneficial for your business – are often times, much more productive.
Those who have role models tend to be more productive than those who have nobody to look up to. Even if you’re at the top of your game, you should have someone who inspires you or motivates you. There’s always something to learn from others, no matter how long you’ve been working in real estate. Having someone you idolize can teach you more productivity techniques that you may not be familiar with.
Being productive means trying to understand how something will look before it happens. It doesn’t mean that you don’t take risks. It just means that you take the time to understand what the best case and worst case scenario will look like. Taking the time to brainstorm and visualize various situations helps to have some control when a lot of the real estate world is unpredictable.
Finally, the best way to be productive is to be fully engaged in what you are doing. This means putting away the phone (unless you have apps that are helping you!), and being present in your work. Likewise, this also means that you should be engaged with other aspects of your life as well, outside of work. Real estate agents who know when to say goodbye to work for the day and dedicate time to their hobbies, working out, friends, and family, end up being more productive. It’s not about how much you work – it’s about how much of the time you spend being focused on the work you need to do.
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