Real estate is a 24/7 gig. Once you achieve any level of success, it becomes increasingly hard to find time to work on your business, not just in your business.
That's why this lockdown period can be a gift if you use it the right way.
Note: Even if this doesn't apply in your area, you can use these tips anytime to install new prospecting systems and improve your business.
From my experience, finding time to work on your business each year, away from phone calls, appointments and office distractions is critical if you want to keep growing and improving.
During my sales career (2007 - 2019) I always aimed to spend at least 3-4 days a year away from home and away from the office, doing business planning for the 12 months ahead.
A snap lockdown is a perfect opportunity to do this.
To get maximum benefit from this time, you need to remove all distractions and create space for deep thinking. Treat it like you are at a conference. Turn off your phone for 2-3 hour blocks and avoid checking your emails. This time is about creating the future you want for yourself.
Before you get started!
If you live with family, invest time in them first. Don't jump straight down into the office and start working on real estate stuff or you may come back to a grumpy household. Our partners and kids put up with a lot - accepting that we often take phone calls during meals, leave family time for appointments and have an ever-changing schedule.
So first things first, start this lockdown by investing time being present with your loved ones. Once you have filled that cup, you can block out a few hours to work on your business.
Start by asking questions...
Q: How do you feel about your business right now? What is your biggest challenge?
Example: I need to be more consistent with my prospecting activities.
Q: What parts of your business are most in need of improvement?
Example: Generating leads / listing presentations / securing more vendor marketing investment.
Pick one and make a strategy for how you plan to get better. If you want to improve your listing presentations, check out our guide on the subject, and set aside time to video yourself every week. Role-playing is no one's idea of a great time, but it's the fastest way to get better and a small improvement in your delivery could add tens of thousands of dollars to your bank account over the next few months.
Q: What parts of your business are you most proud of?
Take stock of what is working for you.
Q: Where has your past business come from?
This is critical and you should set aside a decent amount of time for this analysis. If you don't know where your current business is coming from, how can you make smart decisions on where to invest your time? When I run through this exercise with coaching clients the results are often surprising.
You can find a complete guide on how to analyse your past sales here (paid membership required):
Here's an extract from the guide above...
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.
Q: What are your goals for the next 12 months?
I believe in setting realistic goals that are actionable, but that stretch your comfort zone. Before you jump straight into picking an income figure you want to reach, try and expand your thinking a little wider to all areas of your life. Reading this guide will help:
Action step: Pick one new system to install...
One of the challenges we face in real estate is that there are literally endless choices when it comes to how you choose to promote yourself and run your business.
This plethora of options can lead to procrastination as you search for the silver bullet that will help you grow. It can also lead salespeople to jump from one idea to another every few weeks or months, searching for instant gratification.
Both of these outcomes are seriously unhelpful. So here's a tip:
Employ a maximum of 5 listing-generation strategies at any one time and give each one 6 months to work before you make a change.
Don't try and do everything at once. Less than 5 is ok too!
Here is an example mix:
- Be consistent with your regular weekly email newsletter
- Direct mail drop to 500 houses every fortnight
- Take a key referrer to lunch every week and send a gift to one more
- Make 10 connection calls at least 4 days of each week
- Get your website / blog up and running
Other options: Monthly local networking events, regular volunteering, sign-written vehicles, hire a personal assistant, seminars and of course, everyone's favourite: door knocking!
You can add your own ideas to the mix as well. There are no silver bullets in real estate (except for email marketing) and every location is different, so you will need to experiment and find out what works for you.
Planning is cool but I need more listings asap!
If your business requires an immediate injection of potential sellers, these step-by-step guides are the place to spend your time right now (paid membership required):
Last but not least, here's my favourite lockdown tune right now...
Be sure to follow the Agent Monday playlist on Spotify, featuring loads of great music for open homes and general office productivity.