August 2014 Article

Top 20 Real Estate Time Wasters

If you want to earn more income selling real estate, then you have to self-manage your business, and that means managing your time. But there are gremlin-like time wasters ready to gobble up your day. Here are the typical top 20:
  1. Poor leadership skills – Without effective leadership skills (i.e., selling skills) sellers and buyers will take the lead, which could result in a frustrating roundabout path to their goals. Learn how to guide with effective sales skills.

  2. Vague goals and objectives – Set specific achievable goals with deadlines to jazz up your sense of purpose and effectiveness.

  3. Overpriced listings – The only thing worse than no listing is an overpriced listing, because placating frustrated sellers takes time and energy. Be assertive about the effectiveness of pricing competitively.

  4. Doing CMAs for unmotivated sellers – Do a brief preliminary CMA, and promise a comprehensive update when they decide to sell.

  5. Cluttered or unorganized work area – Clear the deck of distractions. Pilots call this the “sterile cockpit.” You’ll be more effective with fewer distractions, and make fewer mistakes.

  6. Pandering to seller advertising demands – Paying for expensive ads just to keep sellers happy is less effective than counseling them about pricing and staging.

  7. Non-business commitments – Too busy for real estate? Maybe you need to prioritize and energize your business goals.

  8. Taking on too much at once – Feeling overwhelmed leads to anxiety, wasted motion, and procrastination. Prioritize your to-do list.

  9. Inconsistent actions – If a process works, repeat it. If not, try something else. You’ll eventually develop very effective real estate practices.

  10. Showing too many properties – This makes deciding too difficult for buyers. Carefully assess your buyers’ desires up front, show them the most appropriate properties first, and prepare them to make decisions.

  11. Ringtone intrusions – Do you have to answer every call? For non-priority callers, your voicemail greeting could tell them you check messages twice daily, and at what times.

  12. Email – A time-gobbling monster. Use an auto-responder that says you speed-check emails twice per day, and to call or text you with urgent matters.

  13. Procrastination – No, it won’t be easier to do it later. And in the meantime, you’ll let unimportant activities distract you.

  14. Pre-closing crisis – Do not leave transaction loose ends for later, because they might fester into deal-busting disasters.

  15. Fatigue – Get enough sleep, reduce sugar and carbs, and exercise your body and brain to keep your enthusiasm and concentration tiptop.

  16. Demands from other people – Learn to say “No” with tact and compassion.

  17. Worrying – Fretting can ruin your day. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?”

  18. Interruptions – Find a workspace where you won’t receive too many got-a-minutes (i.e., “Hey, have you got a minute?”)

  19. Lack of post-contract routine – Use checklists to make paperwork and follow-up after sales and listings timely and efficient.

  20. Poor planning – This is a prescription for frustration and failure. Plan your next day’s work each evening, and be true to that plan the next day.

Managing your time will make you feel more empowered, lead to greater real estate success, and will give you more time for your personal life.

For more time management best practices, take a free non-CE course: “Control Your Life by Managing Your Time” from our Free Training courses.

By Jim Luger, CDEI
Certified Distance Education Instructor
Continuing Ed Express

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