As a real estate agent, you drive your professional success by action. Unlike a typical career where you punch in and out, real estate agents are mostly driven by commissions — which leads many agents to believe that in order to be successful you must work 70 hour weeks in pursuit of the next closing. Time management for realtors is widely different from any other industry, but its mastery brings you the ability to afford the financial success that you dreamed of when entering the field.
A real estate time management plan can help direct you by committing your efforts towards activities that will grow your business in the long run. Concepts such as time-blocking for realtors are essential and can be used to help keep your week on track. The secret to success with time management comes with the old saying, “work smarter, not harder.”
If you’re unsure of where to start, we have a team of experienced coaches that can learn about your current means of time management, and offer tried-and-true methods designed to improve your productivity. You can even sign up for a free coaching consultation to get started.
Improve Your Time Management Skills
First, you have to ask yourself what your real estate time management plan looks like. If you can’t think of any structure or if you base your days around when people will talk to you, crafting a plan will help you self commit to specific practices. Studies have shown that every time you get distracted, it takes around 30 minutes to get refocused on what you were working on. That means that having dedicated time for specific activities will improve your productivity dramatically.
When crafting a plan, identify some of the core activities you need to focus on. Time-blocking for realtors is an essential practice — and having specific times marked as unavailable on your calendar will help you navigate your day. Some examples might include:
- Lead Generation Preparation. This includes things such as making a list of contacts you need to reach out to. Practicing scripts and getting materials ready.
- Lead Generation. This is when you start to narrow your focus on interaction with others. Will you call For Sale By Owners (FSBO), expired listings, work your database, etc.
- Respond to Communication. Remember how we shared that distractions cost you time? If you answer every text message that comes through, you’ll quickly become unfocused and lose time. Setting aside specific time to check calls, texts, emails will only improve your efficiency.
- Lead Conversions. Your goal is to turn leads into clients, and this is the time that you would focus on those relationships that you’ve built where you know there is a credible possibility. Did someone send you an email and ask to see a house? This is the time when you should convert that into an appointment.
- Showings and Listings. This generally should be planned after lead generation and conversion — hopefully as a direct result of your earlier efforts.
- Lunch and Other Personal Responsibilities. It’s important to not forget yourself in the schedule. People are not robots, and we require food and other types of sustenance. Perhaps you need to take some time early in the afternoon for the gym. Real estate time management requires looking at your personal goals too.
- Start and End Times. It’s important to have designated times when your workday starts and ends. Having personal time is important for your sanity.
Practicing time management for realtors doesn’t mean you’re not able to change your schedule around to accommodate things. But it gives you a basis with which to create healthy habits.
As you craft your schedule, you will likely start looking at all of the activities you’re planning for and start to panic. No worries! It’s a healthy concept known as a sense of urgency. It works the same way before a vacation, where your productivity greatly improves because you know you won’t be available to work. As a result, you put in a lot of effort to get things done prior to leaving — with the hope that work won’t follow you.
What’s the Ideal Real Estate Agent Daily Routine?
An ideal schedule for an established real estate agent is going to be completely different than someone just breaking into the industry. Having said that, here is a sample schedule you might follow:
- 8:00 AM – 08:30 AM — Lead Generation Prep
- 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM — Lead Generation
- 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM — Business Communication
- 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM — Lunch
- 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM — Lead Conversion
- 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM — Business Communication
- 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM — Appointments
- 6:00 PM – End of Night — Personal Time
Time-Blocking & Goal-Setting
The practice of time-blocking for realtors ensures you have time set aside on your calendar for specific activities. In the interest of creating a false illusion of choice, you might decide to put more time down for something, knowing that you might infringe upon it for other things, like additional communication with clients.
As with any business that revolves around people, plans will change — and you should always create backup plans in case your original plan can’t work. This means that if you can’t schedule a closing at an appropriate time and have to break into time you would usually use to focus on lead generation, plan to make that up later in the week instead. Or, flip time in your schedule for later in the day.
There are five activities that you should ALWAYS practice time-blocking for:
- Your weekly day/days off.
- Your vacations.
- Holidays and family time.
- Personal time.
- Personal training & development time.
The concept of goal-setting is critical for determining if your process of time-blocking is working. You should create goals to see if the time you’re generating leads works or not — for example, if people aren’t answering in the morning, perhaps the afternoon would be a better time to call. If you are consistently scheduling appointments in the morning instead of the afternoon, perhaps it is better to swap activities so you don’t have to consistently modify your schedule.
Goal-setting helps you place prioritization on to-dos that are worthwhile while evaluating if you are spending too much time on things that aren’t working. For example, looking at how you are generating leads is a great place to set a goal. If you’re calling FSBOs and getting nowhere, but doing great with working your database, you might evaluate if you are missing something with your scripts or if the market isn’t allowing for potential there. In contrast, if your email marketing is doing great, you might pull from other times and work more on that instead.
Time Management Tips for Real Estate Agents to Seize the Day
Time management for realtors is not something that comes automatically. You build and evolve your schedule over time to best serve your personal and business needs. Having said that, here are some tips to help you make the most of your time when you’re crafting your schedule:
- Start with your morning routine. What are you doing before you get to work? Because your business and personal life are directly linked, getting the right start from the moment you wake up is essential.
- Block out appointment-setting time. The two top times to talk to people are 9-11 AM and 4-6 PM. By scheduling these two hour blocks for appointment setting every day, you give yourself an illusion of choice because you only need to complete one of the two options.
- Book lunch and coffee meetings. These are quick meetings designed to touch base with potential clients and other people in your database.
- Determine the best time to schedule appointments. The objective is to have your calendar filled with names in these sections!
- Allot realistic periods of time for activities. Work expands to fill the time we allow for its completion. So if you plan for one call in the morning, you will spend two hours working on making that one call.
- Utilize software. Use a program like Calendly that allows your clients to book time with you for appointments, showings, touch bases, based on your open availability.
- Decide whether to replace or erase. Is the activity critical? Replace it on your schedule if the initial time won’t work. The opposite is true if it’s an activity that’s not important — just erase it and move on.
Need Help Refining Your Schedule?
Your schedule should accommodate your life and business. That means that if you find yourself in a rut where you’re wasting your time, or spinning your wheels and gaining no traction, you might not be making the best use of your time.
If you’re a new agent or just looking to improve your real estate time management skills, our experienced team of coaches is available to help guide you toward optimized productivity. Having an experienced mentor that can direct you on how to spend your time to yield the most leads, get the most calls answered, and where to place your priorities can greatly increase your efficiency. To get started, schedule a free consultation with an expert real estate coach.