We’ve officially entered fall. The kids are back in school; snowbirds are making their way back to the Valley; business levels are waking up from their summer slumber; and we’ve officially entered the fall home selling season.
For many real estate agents and mortgage lenders, fourth quarter is crucial – to assess current business levels and determine what objectives need to be met to achieve those year-end goals. How often have you said, “If I only had more time,” or, “I wish there were more hours in the day?” We don’t really need more time in the day to achieve our goals. What we really need are strategies to better manage our time.
Here are four tips to help you eliminate mental distractions and finish the year strong.
Implement a Time Block System
Map out your ideal work week using a time blocking system that includes a start and a stop time every day, as well as time for yourself and your family. Key components to incorporate into the schedule include: daily team meetings and emails; power hour spent selling – either on the phone prospecting or face-to-face with clients; afternoon appointments (listing, buyer and channel appointments); and follow up. Having a structured, time blocked schedule to follow will ensure you are consistently marking off tasks that will help you make those monthly/yearly goals. I have personally found success using The CORE Training’s Ideal Work Week – developed by Reeta Casey and Rick Ruby. Their structured calendar and time block system has been a game changer for my productivity.
2. Set Up Your Voicemail Message
This one may seem obvious but can make a huge difference in managing your time. Explaining your communication process upfront with your clients not only establishes boundaries but sets expectations for the relationship moving forward. Creating a voicemail that reiterates your hours of operation and when you’ll return voicemails provides the space you need to recharge and connect with family.
3. Delegate Your Emails
Admittedly, one the biggest disruptors to your productivity is emails. Having a member of your team manage your inbox will do wonders for your time management and eliminate those unnecessary distractions. Tip: Create an email address that no one knows about and have your team member forward time sensitive messages to that address to be answered from your business email address during your “scheduled” time block twice a day. Imagine what you could do for your business if you replaced five hours a week spent on answering/responding to emails with five additional hours of prospecting?
4. Schedule “Brain Dumps” Into Your Day
A ‘brain dump’ is a scheduled 15-30 minute meeting every week with yourself or the appropriate team members. Meeting topics can include operations, marketing, leads and client gifts. Each team member brings their operational updates, success stories, issues or roadblocks to be discussed (unless it’s a fire). The key to these brain dumps is learning to table these topics for the weekly meeting vs. interrupting one another’s time throughout the week. I then schedule one hour in my calendar post meeting to address any time sensitive issues.
Effective time management is possible when you have a plan and stick to it. This means being disciplined, setting priorities that communicate clearly what’s really important, making wise decisions that help set realistic goals, and setting firm boundaries that allow us to keep the promises we make to ourselves and others.
Additional information about the Ideal Work Week and The CORE Training time block system referenced in this article can be found in the book “The Roadmap to a Profitable $30 Million Real Estate Business,” by Reeta Casey and Rick Ruby.
I hope you guys found this article and some of these tips helpful. If there are other time management tools/systems you use, I’d love to hear about them. Feel free to let me know in the comments below!