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2011-03-15 20:32:47

What’s Wrong with your Time Management….

Are you working longer and harder and not seeming to get ahead? Are you wondering just how to break through those ceilings of achievement? Yes, I know you get lots of advice from everyone. Unfortunately, so much of that comes across as platitudes, like Work smarter, not harder.

Gee, I always thought that, if I knew what that meant, I’d do it! In fact, it can be very confusing. So, how do you decide what to do, when to do it, and how much to do? And, how do you decide what to put off? Yes, it's okay!

Take the 'time management test'. I've put together 10 critical questions about how you spend your time--and the answers.

A tool for you: Want to analysis your time?  Click here to get my time analysis tool.  It's worth 15 minutes of your time to re-prioritize your business and double your results!

Where Your Time Management Problems Start

Most people’s time management problems start with

Not knowing how they spend their time.

or

Not being able to discern priorities

But, some people’s lack of success simply stems from

Refusing to start the habits of success.

Which are you?

All of those things leads to poor time management habits—and those are very difficult to break.

The First Step to Re-Align your Business

The first step in re-organizing your time is to recognize how you are spending it now—and, more importantly, what you think about it.

So, let’s take the time management test. Here are 10 questions to ask yourself about time management. Grab a pen, because I’m not going to give you ‘hints’ about the answers!  (But, I will give you the answers later in this article.)  In addition to answering the questions, write your attitude about the question. Is there resistance there? Are you working hard to avoid what you know to be true?

 1. What is—or should be--your highest priority every day?

            Are you actively working this way?
            If not, what’s getting in your way?

2. Do you regularly pro-actively lead generate?

            Are you actively working this way?
            When?
            How much?

3. What are your three best sources of ‘leads’?

4. What’s your conversion rate of listing presentations to listings that SELL—in normal market time?

5. Do you have a systematic interview/qualification process for sellers? For buyers?

            If not, why not?

6. What’s your ratio of buyer presentations to buyer sales?

            Are you wasting time with buyers who really don’t qualify to work with you?

7. How many times do you put people in your car to sell one person a home? (just the law of averages)

8. What do you consider business-producing activities?

9. What’s your ratio of time spent in business producing activities vs. business-supporting activities?

10. Do you regard your business as a ‘next’ business (each new contact is a good one)—or a ‘retain the client’ and get more referrals business?

How would someone be able to see which approach you took? (Database, marketing plan, etc.?)

How Much Did You Know About your Business?

What did you think as you took this time management ‘test’? Which of the stumbling blocks to creating a better business apply most to you?

Not knowing how you spend your time
Not being able to discern priorities
Refuse to start the habits of success.

The Answers to those Time Management Questions

Here are those questions again, with my answers in blue. Plus, I’ve provided notes to managers in red.

1. What is—or should be--your highest priority every day?

Lead generation.

2. Do you regularly pro-actively (go after them, not wait for them) lead generate?

If you don’t, you’re missing the opportunity to jump-start your business. You’re relying on chance or dumb luck. The important point here, for you, too, is your attitude. What’s your attitude about pro-active lead generation? Have you been rejecting it for those ‘dumb luck’ opportunities?

When?
Lead generate in the morning. Why? Because you’re fresh. You’re ready to go.

How much?
If you want to generate a strong business, lead generate two hours a day, 5 days a week.

3. What are your three best sources of ‘leads’?

In Up and Running in 30 Days, I prioritize the sources of leads, and recommend numbers of contacts for each. Generally, an agent’s best source of leads will be the warmest ‘leads’ they have. For experienced agents, that will be past clients. For newer agents, that will people they know, people they meet.

But, what if you don’t have enough lead sources in your ‘favorite’ source? You’ve got to drill down into more lead sources. It’s that simple. You don’t want to? Then, you’ll have to accept the level of success you have now. 


4. What’s your conversion rate of listing presentations to listings that SELL—in normal market time?

If it’s 100%, you’re probably being too careful in what you list! But, if it’s less than _____% (you fill in the blank), you’re wasting time and money—and ruining your reputation. Depending on your price range, a conversion rate of 75-85% puts you in the winner’s circle in a more challenging market.

Note to managers: Do you know what the conversion rate is in your office? If it’s terrific, you have a great hidden recruiting tool!

5. Do you have a systematic interview/qualification process for sellers? For buyers? 

Most agents don’t have a good ‘screening process’ for clients. This is one of the most critical aspects of your career. I know. If you are newer, and kind of desperate, you don’t want to screen much. But, what will it mean to you when you can’t close a buyer? What will it mean when you can’t get that listing to sell? How much will it affect your self-esteem? What do you need as ‘wins’ to keep going?

Big idea: Not screening enough causes low self-esteem, which causes depression, which keeps you out of the field.


Note to managers: Teach your agents a well-planned, well-practiced screening method for both buyers and sellers and you’ll see your closing ratios soar.

6. What’s your ratio of buyer presentations to buyer sales?

This goes back to the screening. If you’re running yourself around with unqualified, or disloyal buyers, you’re going to get into that spiraling-down self-esteem thing again. This ratio should be about 4 to one. That is, for every 4 people you start to qualify, you sell someone a home.

7. How many times do you put people in your car to sell one person a home? (just the law of averages)

This ratio is 8 to one. Put someone in your car 8 times, and you’ll sell someone a home (not the number of homes they look at). You’re thinking you can sell homes without showing them? That technology thing, right? Well, sometimes you can. But, you can’t create a loyal client. You’re creating a ‘next’ business instead of a ‘retain the client’ business (see more below).

Note to managers: When your agent is spinning his/her wheels, find out how many times they are putting people in the car—and not selling a home. Now, find out where the problem lies (it’s always qualifying) and re-train.

8. What do you consider business-producing activities?

Lead generation, qualifying buyers and sellers, listing properties, showing homes, selling homes, your listing sells. That’s it.

9. What’s your ratio of time spent in business producing activities vs. business-supporting activities?

Did you use the time analysis tool? Click here

Based on how you spend your time, what’s your job description?

Here’s the formula for doubling your business: Lead generate pro-actively 2 hours a day, 5 days a week; polish your qualifying/interviewing skills so you choose the best prospects to take forward in the sales process; learn to sell effectively; learn to negotiate well. Now, your income will double. 


Note for managers: You can see the amount of training or retaining needed to help the agent optimize those leads he/she is capturing through lead generation. Train your agent in these sales skills and their confidence and competence will soar. So will your profits.

10. Do you regard your business as a ‘next’ business (each new contact is a good one)—or a ‘retain the client’ and get more referrals business? 

It’s really old news to work any business as a ‘next’ business. Businesses internationally have one mantra today:

Keep the customer!!!!!!!

Yet, we in real estate are still trying to do the ‘next’ type of business. The downside is that

It costs 6-9 times more
It’s a lot harder
Strangers don’t like us nearly as much as those who already love us


How to Put your Time Management Insights to Work

It’s one thing to figure out how you work. The next thing is to grab a plan for yourself that has all those priorities built in—a plan that allows you to measure your successes along the way and make adjustments. Check out Up and Running in 30 Days. Even if you’re really seasoned, this simple, straightforward 30 day plan will get you back in the game with clear priorities. (They’re already programmed in so you don’t have to guess).  So, go to it!

Click here to grab that time analysis tool.

Managers: This is great to use with your agents to help them get ‘unstuck’.

 

 

 

Carla Cross, CRB, MA, is an international speaker, writer, and coach, specializing in real estate management. A National Realtor Educator of the Year, Carla was recently named one of the 50 most influential women in real estate. Join her newsletter community, and receive Carla’s new eBook, Getting to Yes: Ten Tools to Remove Barriers to a Decision. Click here.  Contact Carla at 425-392-6914 or http://www.carlacross.com.

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