How do you block out time?
There are a lot of things to do within a day as a real estate agent. From working your sphere of influence (SOI) contact plan and doing your daily activities, to making calls to your contact list for your upcoming client appreciation event… These “smaller” tasks often fall by the wayside when an agent is bogged down with listings and closings. It’s important, however, that you do not do this. Do not let your daily activities slip between the cracks, no matter how “busy” you are with “more important” tasks.
On top of all your daily activities, listings, closings, etc., you are also taking phone calls. And the phone calls can happen at any time! Same thing is true for emails, texts, social media messages — you can get bombarded throughout your day. This is where time management as a Realtor can prove to be very tricky.
Realtor time management: run your business by design
Time blocking is key. It is important to have portions of your day time-blocked off for your essential activities. By constructing your day piece by piece, you are running your business by design.
I’d wish I could say, “Just time block everything! That’s the key!” But it isn’t realistic that you will always stay true to the time blocks on your calendar. It just isn’t that easy. You need to anticipate roadblocks and interruptions.
Some may advise that you can simply turn your phone off when you’re not time blocked to receive/respond to calls. I would not advise to do this. I don’t think it’s something that you would be able to stick by, regardless. But, I’ll explain a little bit more about why this is a bad idea in a minute.
Respond, not react
Here is the big tip to take away today. The key is to respond, not react. Respond quickly and react slowly. Get back to people right away — but take time to react (change what we are doing based on our time blocked calendar) more slowly. This is a key for Realtors when it comes to time management!
Let’s say I’m setting up action plans in my CRM. I have two hours time blocked to get it done. I start working on it, and all of the sudden, my phone just starts lighting up. It’s one of my active sellers.
I bet right now, you are visualizing this scenario, and the hairs on your arm are standing up. You may even be reaching for your phone. This reaction is instinctual for real estate agents! You feel the need to react immediately and be Johnny on the spot all the time.
So, instead of reacting and helping my active seller immediately and answering the phone, I would respond via text. “Hey, I saw that you called. I’m in an appointment. Is it okay if I call you back in an hour?”
Nobody will ever have a problem with this response. In this example, I responded promptly, so my active seller is not annoyed that I didn’t respond at all. This buys me time to finish up what I’m doing and react with more preparation in an hour.
Keep your phone on
This is why I don’t like turning the phone off all the way. If my active seller calls me and my phone is off, that will alarm the active seller. They get nothing back until I turn my phone back on and listen to their message. I’m not responding to them, so the seller is getting worked up while they wait for a response. They might even freak out and decide that you aren’t doing a good job, and may look to find help elsewhere. Realtors may feel that turning their phone of is a key to time management, but I’d argue otherwise.
Keeping your phone on allows you to respond quickly, and then finish what you are busy doing and react slowly on your own time. You calm your client, show that you are attentive, and that you plan to call them back.
Build personal and professional respect as a Realtor through time management
This is huge. When you time block and respond, not react, to incoming calls/texts/messages when you are busy, you are building respect for your profession. You may think that your clients want you at their beck and call, and some may — but, at the end of the day, your clients will respect you more if they know you respect your time. They will get the sense, through your quick response, that you are busy, yet attentive. Clients want a successful agent to help them, and successful agents are busy! You are a successful Realtor, and proper time management will give you a healthier work/life balance.