I remember the first day I set foot in an office. My shoes were polished, my tie was straight and my hair was slicked.
I looked the part but I didn’t have an hour of experience to my name. Joey, one of the big dogs, piffed a Yellow Pages at my desk and suggested that I “Give them all a ring”. I looked at that phonebook for a good five minutes after he left. Surely he didn’t expect me to dial thousands of numbers and speak to hundreds of strangers I knew absolutely nothing about.
It sounds bizarre but that’s how prospecting was in those days. It was a game of Russian roulette; of shooting bullets blind. It was a “Hi, my name’s Ben from so-and-so Real Estate” followed by a harsh slam of the phone and a long, lingering beep. It was a cold, hard rejection and it was a nightmare that I had to relive on the hour.
Ok, so it wasn’t that bad. I got the occasional warm lead but more often than not, it was a massive waste of time. It was working in circles and chasing leads in the dark and that is why direction is so important to real estate agents. You don’t want to be busy doing work that gets you nowhere, you want to focus on tasks that bring in the dough; that get you closer to securing listings.
Here’s how you do it:
Write it down:
Plan your day before you start it. Write your actions on a sticky note and pin it to the corner of your desktop. Don’t make the list too ambitious, if you sprint through your day you’ll hate your job. Make it manageable and highlight each activity as you complete it. There is nothing more satisfying than binning each task, knowing it’s done for the day
Prioritise your jobs:
I came to real estate straight out of high school. I was so used to being told exactly what to do and precisely when to do it. You don’t have teachers in real estate. You’re virtually self-employed and that kind of autonomy is dangerous. It’s easy to get distracted so define your bottom line and make sure the tasks you complete are productive; that they’ll get you there.
Do the tasks you hate first:
You get more restless as the day goes on so smash out the stuff you don’t want to do before 11am. Review the contract that’s been sitting on your desk for weeks, call the woman who can’t make up her mind and write up a blurb for the dump you’re never going to be able to sell. Getting those things out of the way means you can look forward to a cruisy afternoon.
Let technology take a load off. There are products designed specifically for the real estate industry. They’ll automate emails, send you reminders, build newsletters and flag highly engaged prospects. It’s all about targeted communication and being efficient. Remember time is money. In fact it’s more valuable. You can always make money but time, well time is limited, my friends.