I want to give you five time management hacks that you can implement into your business immediately. It’s never good when you’re so busy that you feel overwhelmed. You’re running around like a chicken with its head cut off and you’re not really getting anything done because you just have so much on your plate. This can turn everything into a disaster. Therefore, I want to give you five things that I actually do in my business that you can start to do so that you can better manage your time. Time is all we have in this business, and so if you want to make a lot of money and you want to do well, you need to know how to manage your time.
I recommend that you start these time management practices early on. Even if you’re not that busy, it’s good just to get into the habit of doing things.
The first time management hack for real estate agents is going to be to use callback times. Callback times are one of the absolute best ways that you can manage what you’re doing all while setting the right expectations with your clients and leads. It’s easy to implement callback times. It’s simply just letting everybody know when you typically return calls. No matter what time, somebody calls during the day, they hear your voicemail and on that voicemail, it lets them know what time they can expect a return call. That way, you’re not sitting in a meeting with another client or trying to get something done and all you’re thinking about is who left that voicemail and what they could have wanted. This will set the right expectation and nobody should be upset that you are letting them know that you return phone calls between a certain time every day.
While on the subject of callback times, the second time management hack is going to be to time block. Time blocking is super important and in a nutshell, it’s just simply managing your own schedule. You’re telling yourself what time you’re going to be doing certain things. Unfortunately, a lot of people think of time blocking as simply placing something in the calendar when it comes up. That’s not the right way to time block. When it comes to time blocking, you want to put everything in your calendar ahead of time. Add to your calendar what time you’re going to lead generate, what time you’re going to take lunch, what time are you going to call past clients back. Also, what time are you going to go on listing appointments?
Put all of these things in your calendar as your time blocked activities. When you are time blocking, don’t deviate from the schedule you create. It’s going to be a little hard at first because it’s something new and you’re trying to get used to it. I would start off with maybe put two or three activities that you definitely want to block out. Then, get into the habit of doing those every day. Once you’ve done that, you can add another activity. Then you can add another activity. Before you know it, your calendar is going to be completely blocked.
The third thing is going to be to overestimate the timing of things. Let me take a moment to explain that.
As agents, we have a habit of wanting to be quick and wanting to be the best and wanting to take the shortest amount of time doing things, and that’s great if you have that time. But that can lead to chaos. For example, if a lead or a client calls and says, “Hey, can you send me X, Y, and Z?” You say, “yeah, I’ll get right on it and it’ll be in your inbox in the next five minutes.” Did you just distract yourself from something else? Better yet, you know that five minutes is probably the minimum amount of time that it’s going to take. So, was that smart to promise the client a 5 minute turnaround time?
If you know that something takes five minutes, tell them it’s going to take 10 minutes. If you want to get somebody something within the next couple of hours, say you’ll get it to them by the end of the day or the next day. Set a longer expectation and when you get it to them in a shorter amount of time, then it’s going to make you look like a rockstar because you actually got it to them early. Whatever you’re doing, tell the other party that it’s going to take twice as long as it normally would.
The fourth time management hack for real estate agents is to set theme days for yourself. Theme days are just certain days that you’re going to do certain activities. We know that there are those activities in real estate that we have to do all the time. We have to lead generate, we have to call our leads, we have to call our past clients, we have to call referral partners. We need to do all of those things weekly but trying to fit all that into one day can get crazy. So what you can do is you can set theme days. In your business, you should be making phone calls every single day. What your theme days will tell you is what phone calls to make on that day. For example, in my business, I have client update calls every Tuesday, so every Tuesday my current clients can expect to receive a call from me Tuesdays to let them know what’s going on with everything and what we plan on doing next and all that type of stuff. It keeps them on a schedule.
If there are past clients who you haven’t talked to in a while, call those people back on a certain day. That’s what theme days are for. That way, when you block your calendar, you have those two hours that you’re going to be making your prospecting calls, you’re going to tie that in with whatever the theme it is for that day.
Last, number five, and this is a big one, It’s learning to say no. You are a real person and you’re trying to manage your business. You can’t be a yes man or yes woman to everything. Although we want to do everything for everyone, it’s just not practical. If someone calls you right now and wants you to hop into the car and go show a property and that’s not what you should be doing at that moment, it’s okay to say no. If someone wants you to come to some party and you know that you have a million and one things to do, you can say no.
You don’t have to say yes to every single thing. Doing that is going to spread your very thin and you’re going to end up getting super stressed because you can’t do it all. Then your business is going to take a toll on you and your family. When you learn to say no, it’s gonna make everything better because you will be able to block out things that aren’t necessarily the best uses of your time and you’re going to know ahead of time whether you can even accommodate certain requests.
Using these 5 time management tips will surely give you better control of your energy and your business. There are a few things that we have complete control over and one of those things is our time. How we use our time can make a difference in our attitudes, our growth, and also our finances. Let me know down in the comments what time management hacks you have placed in your business.
Chastin J. Miles is a full-service real estate agent specializing in Dallas real estate, brand management, and client representation in a comprehensive spectrum of classes including single-family residential, condos and developments, commercial real estate, and luxury leases.