Real Estate Time Management: 2 Methods to Rock!

by Korak

in Awesome Sauce

Real estate has flexible and unpredictable time demands. As a result, successful time management is a major secret to success. Making the most of your time is critical whether you are a solo agent just starting out, managing your own team, or running your own brokerage with all those responsibilities added on.

There are the same number of hours in a day for everyone. So why do some agents get so much more done than others? There are really only two reasons:

  • They Prioritize Very Well
  • They Focus Clearly When Working

Those two skills are the keys to success. The truth is most of us will NEVER get everything done that we think we ought to. Think about it. How many areas of your business could you work on right now? A typical list of work beyond current escrows could include:

  • Improve your website design
  • Test sign up forms for better conversions
  • Review and improve email follow-up campaigns
  • Get more organized so taxes next year are easier than they were this year
  • Contact past clients personally for referalls
  • Really figure out how to take advantage of your phone/ipad
  • Order replacement signs and flyer boxes
  • … on and on and on

So let’s start with prioritization. You probably already know the most important item on your list of to-do’s. Or at least which to-do’s are in the running (which is close enough). The best method I know of for organizing, planning, and prioritizing your tasks is “GTD”. This is a reference to David Allen’s book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity which is a national best-seller and whose principles have been featured by Fast Company, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and many more. So what’s so great about it?

Here’s the core concept: Get all of the things you need to do out of your head and into a system you trust so you don’t waste any energy and time re-remembering your to-do’s and trying to make sure you don’t forget anything. The book lays out an entire plan and system to manage everything. It sounds simple and I suppose the most effective methods usually are. Actually getting used to it and making it a habit takes some time but will be well worth it. It’s kind of like compound time instead of compound interest on your initial investment.

I wish that I could tell you what specific tasks you should prioritize but I can’t. No one besides you or a mentor who has an intimate understanding of your business can. However I can offer you some general guidelines of the general order I would go:

  1. Start with things that directly make you money
  2. Next are opportunities to save cash
  3. Next are time savers
  4. Finally legal and accounting tightening

The next topic to focus on is focus! This is an area that working from a home office or coffee shop can make very difficult. A simple and useful method I’ve found that works great for me is called the Pomodoro technique. Especially great is that all the information for it is totally free!

It boils down to spending a set, focused amount of time working on a particular task. When the time is up you take a mandatory break before continuing. Knowing that you have a limited amount of time to work focuses the mind while knowing that there is a break coming allows you to not feel too much stress about trying to focus.

I’m still adapting the technique for my own tasks and lifestyle but it seems to work well. To download a free copy of the technique just go to the Pomodoro Technique site and scroll down to the bottom of the page. You can download the book (it’s short… 38 pages with lots of graphics) as well as resource sheets to help you out.

Focus Booster is an onscreen timer for the technique that is simple, effective, and free. It’s hard to argue with that!

I hope that these time management techniques can help you get more out of each day. I’d also like to learn the tips and tricks you’ve found that help you get things done in a work environment that is really flexible! Please send them my way!

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