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Time Management Strategies for Real Estate Agents

Welcome to Mike Ferry TV. It is the week of May 20th. If you recall, last week we went through the entire Mike Ferry sales system and at the end I said, we’re going to take each of the steps now over the course of the next few months. Share with you some of the techniques that we keep teaching to help people like yourself be more productive.

Step 1: Time Management

The first Mike Ferry TV will be on time management, and I wrote down six thoughts on time management. I want to share them with you if I may.

Determine Your Workdays

Let’s today, and I mean today, determine for the next 12 months how many days you’re going to actually work, how many days a week are you going to put in? Then subtract 10% for the days you’re not feeling well or just flake out and that happens to everybody. This will take the guilt out of the days that you don’t do your job. The biggest advantage we have in real estate, and it’s probably our biggest disadvantage also, and the biggest advantages, we’re independent contractors. We can pretty much do whatever we want to do. The disadvantage, of course, and you’ve heard me say this before, is that if we don’t do anything, there’s no consequences to that outside of you not having the production and income that you would like to have.

If we determine first the number of days we’re going to work, I think there’s someplace around 260 to 270 actual work days in a government-based work year. And if we work from that kind of a thought, the average top producer that we work with probably works about 225 days out of 365, but they plan in advance what they’re going to be doing. Their schedule each day when they open it up has a list of activities that they are to be involved in.

Have a Precise Schedule

Having a precise schedule can solve almost any production problem that you have provided you follow it. So, for example, most of the top producers role play first thing in the morning the scripts they are going to use that day. They’ll return phone calls from the day before that they did not talk to those people, and then they prospect any place from 1 to 3 hours on normal, in most cases, a quick light lunch. After lunch, return phone calls, then they do their lead follow-up, they do their pre-qualifying of their appointments, and then they go on appointments. So that is all preset in advance. Now it’s there to be interrupted, which we’ll talk about in just a few minutes. But understand that the precise schedule is always going to be the driving force behind what you actually do every day. Think about a precise schedule that can solve almost any production problem that you have.

Treat Your Business as a Real Job

If you had a sales job and they were paying you 2 or $300,000 per year to do that job, would you show up every day? Would you be there when the superior, the boss, says to be there? Would you go home at the appointed time? See, in a real job, your schedule is pretty much set between you and your superiors. But in real estate, we set a schedule. And sometimes that schedule is blank for days at a time. Or we’re on Facebook and social media too much. Point number three is treat your business as if it were a real job, which makes the schedule easier to follow and a better path to the production goals you’ve set for the year. Most people would prefer to have a blank schedule and say, well, just in case something comes up. And of course, in most cases, nothing comes up. The really good news about having a precise schedule: it gets you participating every day in production-based activities, and that’s really what we’re there to do every day.

Track Your Time

Keep track of, by the way, this is the tough one of the points I’m going to give: keep track of your time, hour by hour, for two weeks, to identify both your strengths and your weaknesses, and you’re really evaluating your time management schedule. And don’t be surprised if you’re not mildly discouraged. All top agents go through this exercise. I went through it probably 45 years ago when I hired Doctor Günther Klaus to do a one-day evaluation of my work effort compared to what the job function was, and it was interesting. He said, what time do you get to the office? I said, 7 A.M. He said, I’ll be there at seven. He said, I’m going to sit in the corner with an eight-and-a-half by 11 scratch pad, and every five minutes I’m going to be writing down what it appears you are doing or not doing. At the end of the day, we’ll evaluate that. And it was expensive. It was 15 or $1600 for the day and this was a long time ago. But boy did I learn a lot about the fact that I thought that I spent my day involved in productive activities. So we did a critique from 5 to 6 that night, and ever since that day, I keep saying to myself, even though I don’t have a real job because I own the company, I’m a coach, I’m a speaker, I’m the company functions as if we all had a real job.

Be Flexible

Your schedule is a working document. So be flexible. And if you want to become more efficient, pretend I’m sitting next to you and watching you. Several years ago, at one of our retreats, I said to the audience, I’ve got a great idea. We should auction off 5 or 6 days of Mike Ferry and one of you, and we’ll start the minimum auction of 5000, and all the money will go to a charity. Now, think about it. I’m going to sit right next to you Monday through Friday critiquing your day. And of course, we had nobody in the auction. And I kept asking people, why would you not want that to take place? And they would always laugh and smile and say, because if you critique what I’m doing and found out I’m not doing anything, do you know how embarrassing that is? I said, but that would be a learning experience for you. Your schedule is a working document. Be flexible with it because, you know, let’s say that you have prospecting from nine until noon and one of your potential sellers calls and says, if you can come over now and get the listing, we would appreciate it. You have to be flexible with your schedule.

Develop a New Habit

Following your schedule is simply developing a new habit like any other habit that you have. The more often you do it, the easier it becomes. And remember, it takes time to create any habit, whether it be a good or bad habit. We are nothing more than a combination of the habits that we have, and some of those are very positive and lead you to listings and sales, and some are not as positive where you get disinterested, disengaged, distracted, distracted, I should say, from what you’re trying to accomplish.

Closing Thoughts

The real estate market in the US, and I can’t speak for our Canadian friends, is telling us we’re going to have probably 4.1 to 4.2 million transactions take place this year. I did some research, and I found out that over the last, say, 15 to 20 years, we’ve been averaging about 4 million transactions a year. We had that unusual market in 2022, post-Covid when we had 6 million plus transactions. But then last year, 2023, we only had about 3.7. They’re predicting 4.1, 4.2 million. And I guess the question I would ask each of you is how many of those do you want for yourself. Let’s watch this. Let’s put this time management into play. Let’s be a little tougher on ourselves, and the production will come back and give you the results that you’re looking for. Thanks for watching Mike Ferry TV. Talk to you next week.

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