The following are the 10 commandments of real estate productivity, used by the nation’s most successful real estate professionals to be more efficient with their time. Most are very simple, yet all are extremely powerful when applied to daily life. May these hallmarks of productivity help you close more deals, make you more money and allow you more freedom and free time:
1. Value Your Time
It’s cliche, but true, you can make more money, but you can’t make more time. Value your time. That means, don’t waste it…they’re not making more of it. Treat it like it’s the most valuable currency you have, because it is.
2. Plan Your Day
One of our coaches remarked, “I’m running the day, the day is not running me.” What she meant was that she planned out each day and stuck to her plan rather than letting little, unimportant tasks, eat up her precious time.
3. Have a Schedule
Some real estate professionals, especially investors, have this desire to do what they want when they want each day. That’s the opposite of productive. Have a schedule and stick to it. If you want to wake up at 11AM each day, that’s fine, but have a schedule during your awake hours of how much time you are going to spend working, with family, etc.
4. Recharge Your Battery
Christians and Jews call it the Sabbath; it’s the day each week that you are not working (both mentally and physically). Your mind and body need a day to recharge…it makes you more productive the other 6 days of the week. Real estate can be a 7 day a week business since the weekends are when most buyers and sellers are available, so you must be diligent in following this or you risk being less productive the next 6 days. Your day of rest does not need to be on Sundays, but it needs to be at least once a week.
5. Avoid Distractions
Distractions destroy real estate productivity. Set blocks of time each day whereby you check email and pick up incoming calls and set other times when you don’t. Certainly allow for the occasional emergency call but be aware how insidious distractions can be. One of our coaches exclaimed when talking about those who have a full time job and are also in real estate on the side, “Never cut on a TV.”
This is one of the biggest mistakes real estate professionals make; they don’t prioritize their actions. The night before, write down the list of the items that need to get done the following day and then prioritize them in order of completion, starting with the most money producing action first. If you never get to the other ones, oh well, at least you got to the actions that are going to get you paid. 20% of your actions produce 80% of your results. Always be adjusting your actions to the most money producing tasks first; do the 20%. And keep this in mind as well, the most uncomfortable conversations you need to have, are usually the most important, so don’t procrastinate uncomfortableness!
7. Get It Out of Your Head
Instead of trying to remember everything, get it out of your head and into a place where you can retrieve it. Contacts, notes, to-dos, everything needs to be written down, and by written, digitized so you have access to it anywhere. The more you get out of your head, the clearer you can think and the clearer you think, the more creative you are to finish tasks faster. We use ePartner for this, and also, have your daily plan typed into your smartphone so it’s easy to access and adjust.
8. Work with “Cool” People
Working with un-motivated sellers or the wrong team members can be a time vacuum, sucking your life away. Be very selective of your team (mortgage people, closing company, agents, contractors, etc) and only work with those who are solutions driven and don’t waste your time. One of our coaches refers to them as, “cool people” that “get it” and don’t have to be taught every little step of the way.
9. Choose Your Deals Wisely
Although this does not apply to beginners, since they should just be getting “reps in” by working on any deals until they get over the fears of talking to people, getting contracts signed, managing deal flow, and the like; for the intermediate and advanced real estate professionals, heed this advice: choose your deals wisely. You may love short sales and hate long term rentals. You may love rent to own landlording and hate short sales. You may want to just wholesale junkers in the ghetto. You may want to just take on listings. Do what makes you the most money and is also the most enjoyable and then assign the other deals to someone else. We teach on all real estate styles for a reason…everyone is different! Beginners won’t know what they want to do yet until they experiment so for beginners, work with any motivated seller and then over time, it will become strikingly clear what you want to do and what you don’t want to do. Choose your deals wisely.
10. Get Your Life Priorities Straight
God, Family, Physical Health then Financial Health. Limited time is NOT an obstacle. In fact, it can be a blessing. Studies have shown that humans will complete a task in the amount of time they have been given to finish it. It’s not how much time you have, it’s how you use that time. When your life priorities are in line, you will operate at maximum capacity and your working hours will be the most productive.
Those are the 10 commandments of real estate productivity. Apply the above and you’ll have made some dramatic strides towards making the best use of your real estate time.
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