How to increase sales and free up your time

Spend the majority of your prospecting/connection time on the people that are making you successful.

How to increase sales and free up your time
Photo by Persnickety Prints / Unsplash

To increase sales and/or free up more of your time, start by understanding which of your prospecting activities are producing the best results.

Armed with this key info, you can focus your efforts to generate as many listings as possible with the limited prospecting time you have available each week.

In other words, you can focus on the tasks which give you the highest income return.


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How to work out your highest income prospecting activities

Make a list of all your past sales in the last 2 years.

If the list is less than 30 sales (in the past 2 years), include appraisals as well.

Put a shortcode next to each listing or appraisal designating where that lead originally came from.

Use the following categories:

  • PC (Past client) - Someone you have worked with in a real estate capacity. Maybe they bought or sold from you, or maybe they bought through someone else originally but just loved dealing with you!
  • REF (Referral) - From other agents, or your database.
  • DB (Database) - They receive some sort of regular communication from you and responded to it.
  • FF (Friends and family)
  • PP (Public profile) - They saw your signs or noticed you had other properties for sale in their area and got in touch.
  • REA (Real estate activity) -  You met the clients running open homes, or they enquired on one of your listings.

If you aren't sure which category to use, or perhaps two were involved (eg. a referral from a family member) then pick one option and carry on. Don't worry about being perfect.

Add extra categories if you need, to fit your personal situation but try to keep it as simple as possible.

Tally up the numbers from each category. You can also work out percentages at this point if you want to. Here's an example:

  • Let's say you were involved in 64 total sales in the last 2 years and 24 of them came from your past clients.

    Divide 24 into 64 to get a percentage figure.

    24 / 64 = 0.375

That means 38% of your business comes from past clients.

What you can learn from your numbers?

Which of your prospecting and marketing activities are bringing in the most listings?

Are these also the areas where you are spending most of your prospecting time?

Many of you may find that the majority of your listings come from referrals and past clients. Yet it's so easy to fall into a trap where we spend most of our available prospecting time focussing on finding new clients and spend very little time taking care of past clients or aiming to generate more referrals from our database.

Database =  the people that already know us, like us and trust us.

Most agents spend 80% of their time on activities that only bring in 10-20% of their business (public profile building, re-branding, prospecting to strangers, chasing up cold leads etc).

And spend the other 20% of their available prospecting time (if any) on activities that bring in the other 80% of their business (connecting with past clients, spending quality time with friends, emailing their database, writing thank you cards, sending email newsletters).

I personally believe this is because we are constantly told that 'prospecting' is about meeting new people and finding new business. Think door knocking, dropping flyers and cold calling strangers.

In a traditional sense that's true, but prospecting can also mean taking your favourite lawyer or mortgage broker out to lunch and getting to know them better, to cement that quality relationship and build a lasting connection.

The second option is more fun, more valuable to both parties and might just do more to grow your business. Most importantly, in my book, option 2 definitely counts as prospecting.

  • Think of someone who has referred you an appraisal lead or listing in the last 12 months. When was the last time you took them out for lunch or a coffee?

Back to the past sales - How do your numbers stack up?

If you are reasonably new to real estate, you will need to stay focused on meeting as many people as possible, building your database and creating valuable connections.

If you are already established, you may find that you are better off taking one of your key referrers out for lunch or emailing your database, rather than door-knocking your farm area.

Of course, you can always do all three, but knowing exactly where your business is coming from will help you focus your efforts where they will give you the best possible return on time invested.

Note: If, as a result of knowing your numbers, you choose to focus on more 'relationship-building' prospecting in future, remember that you need to be spending time with people who are in a position to refer you business. You can't just take your best mate out to lunch every week and call that prospecting!

Don't get me wrong, taking your best friend out for lunch is a great idea, but to grow your business you will also need to step outside of your comfort zone and build connections with people outside your inner circle.

Key Takeaway:

Make sure you spend the majority of your prospecting/connection time on the people that are helping you succeed.

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When you talk about prospecting, it’s easy to feel like you are pushing something on people that they don’t actually want. It makes me think of door-knocking and cold-calling. This year, rather than thinking you need a prospecting plan, reframe it as a ‘connection’ plan.
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