A Quick Minute of Motivation

In this new motivational series, I’ll highlight how to become a Peak Performer.

In today’s Peak Performer Series message I’d like to talk to you about time management. Do you have a daily routine to get you energized and focused for the day? Do you make time to work ON your business and not just IN your business everyday? Learn more more about the importance of time management in my latest Motivational Minute message.

Need more motivation? Give me a call at 703-652-5777 or email at scottmacdonald@remax.net

Now go sell something! 

 

A Quick Minute of Motivation…

Peak Performer Insights – Part 1

In this new motivational series, Scott will share some highlights on how to become a Peak Performer.

Step One – Time management and scheduling. Set up a to do list, prioritize them, add them to your calendar, stick to your schedule to accomplish more tasks – no multitasking.

Need more motivation – feel free to contact Scott at 703-652-5777 or scottmacdonald@remax.net

Avoid Road Work Ahead!

There are many keys to success and planning and preparation are near the top.  So many times there are instances when I will receive an urgent phone call, text or email from an agent who didn’t plan or prepare for a certain situation.  These situations range from their business is no longer supporting them, to the market is changing and what should they do, to them not having a key to one of the offices where they are meeting a client.  My belief is they do not treat their business as a business.  They get too focused on the day to day activities and don’t work on their business to see the big picture.  Don’t get me wrong, putting your nose to the grindstone and working hard is great but sometimes you need to pick your head up and see where you are going!  You have to see the pot holes in the road, the curveballs that are being thrown at you and change your course or path you are taking to avoid the turbulence.  The question is, how do you do this?

· Have a true business plan – every company on Wall Street has one and so should you too

· Take time each week to review your plan and see if it is on target or not and if not, what needs to be revised to make it work and achieve your goals

· Plan out each day in advance – on paper and prioritize them to have a successful day – it only requires an extra 15 minutes so wake up earlier

· Meet one on one with your broker to see if there are suggestions to improve upon or determine what may need adjustments

· Schedule time for trainings, reading information about the market, and networking with other top agents to learn where the market is headed and how you can take advantage of it – don’t get left behind

· Operate your business like a business and understand the importance of touching all the bases of your business – planning, lead generation, systems and process improvement, and education

· Work your strengths and hire to your weaknesses

· Pay attention to the details so nothing slips through the cracks

· Take the time to get organized – an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure

· Know your company and how it operates – if you don’t know, ask

· If you have several offices, visit them while out on the road and speak with their office manager or yours and determine office protocols, policies and procedures – it will only take 5 minutes but will save you time and embarrassment later

There are many more items or tasks that can help you get successful and stay in the business but you can see it starts with basic planning and preparation and it takes only a little time to do it.  If you get yourself organized, put your plan of action on paper and do it – you will see results.  Get it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!

Don’t Stress It!

As Realtors we often don't take enough time for
ourselves – letting our business take over.  The article below has some
great tips from agents and brokers, including myself, who have developed
systems that carve out space for everything they must do along with those
things they want to do.
 

Who Ya’ Gonna Call? Stress Busters!
Overcoming Stress by Staying Organized and Fit

By Michele Lerner

Time is money, particularly for independent contractors such
as Realtors®. Unlike salaried workers, agents won’t continue to earn money when
they take a day off.
Under those circumstances, Realtors® may be tempted to work as many hours as
they can until they collapse from the lack of sleep and pressure. Yet some
agents do manage to stay on top of their careers while maintaining a satisfying
personal life. How do they do it?
Spending a day at the spa or a week at the beach may seem like the ideal way to
de-stress, but many busy Realtors® find taking that much time for themselves
impossible. Some agents and brokers have developed systems that carve out space
for everything they must do along with those things they want to do.

Organization and
Scheduling: The One-Two Punch For Fighting Stress

“There’s no one way to do business, and many agents have different systems that
help them, but I believe the best way to handle it is to be extremely organized
in your business and in your personal life,” says Maureen O’Hara, managing
broker of a Long & Foster Real Estate office in Reston. “I know that agents
have to be even more flexible than brokers, but they need to make a daily,
monthly and yearly plan, even if they have to change it later.”
O’Hara concedes that every day has to have an allowance for the unexpected, but
believes that certain things should remain consistent.  She stresses the
importance of having something related to business development on a Realtor’s®
daily to-do list, such as working on lead generation by getting in touch with
past clients and potential new ones.

“The real estate business is stressful when you are not in control of your time
or your clients,” says O’Hara. 


Staying organized and keeping a daily schedule with something planned for each
day to generate business can help agents feel less stressed.

“Anyone who tells you that you can balance your life is crazy,” says Derek
Blain, a Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty in McLean. “All you can do is
counter balance it.”

Blain uses time blocking and scheduling to handle stress. “I schedule lead
generation time and time for administrative tasks and vacations, too,” says
Blain. “I also schedule time for exercise.”

Scott MacDonald, a broker and owner of two Re/Max Gateway offices, including
one in Chantilly, says that setting goals should be the first step toward
handling stress.

“You have to know what you need to do to attain your goals daily, weekly,
monthly and yearly, and then you need to manage your time to get yourself
there,” says MacDonald. “I schedule my work time very tightly by meeting with
agents in the morning one-on-one, then doing other brokerage work from 11 a.m.
to 2 p.m., then working with clients in the afternoons and evenings.”

MacDonald also closes his door at the office when he isn’t meeting with staff
or clients so that he can focus without distractions.

Controlling your Clients and your Communication

MacDonald uses a BlackBerry for emails and sets priorities for the urgency of
every message so that he can set aside time to deal with each one.

 “I recommend that everyone remove the ‘sent from my BlackBerry’ signature
line from their emails, because once you have that, everyone expects you to
answer every email immediately from your BlackBerry.”

 MacDonald also pays about $30 per month for a service that automatically
turns every voice mail into an email.
 “Instead of listening to my voice mails, which can take a lot of time, I
can read them quickly and then forward them to someone else to answer if that
makes more sense,” says MacDonald. “The great thing about this system is that
you can keep your own number, unlike [other systems], which [require] an 866
number.”

O’Hara suggests that agents take control of their clients and their
communication.

“Recently I left someone a message whose voice mail said they return calls
daily between 3 and 5 p.m.,” says O’Hara. “That’s a great idea, because then
you don’t get caught up in this cycle of constant calls.”


She suggests that agents attempt to have their clients work with them on their
preferred schedule whenever possible, which allows the agents to have some
control over their time.

MacDonald coaches two basketball teams for his children in addition to
maintaining a complex work schedule, so he schedules his practices and games as
appointments.

“When I am working with clients and they ask to meet during a practice time, I
just tell them I have other appointments, and we schedule our appointment for
another time,” says MacDonald. “Actually, when you are working with clients I’m
not sure it’s so great to say you are wide open. People don’t want to work with
someone who doesn’t have any business.”

Agents can easily lose control of their time by being constantly available for
phone calls or other communication with clients.

“I prioritize my emails and my voice mails, because some are urgent and some
are not,” says Blain. “Anything that can wait, I will leave for the morning,
which is a great time to catch up on less urgent emails.”

 

Outsourcing and the
Team Approach

“I share an assistant with other agents so that I can pay her on an hourly
basis,” says Blain. “I also outsource as much as I can, such as direct mail and
brochures, which can be streamlined through my office.”


Hiring part-time help as often as possible to help with routine administrative
items and things such as direct mailing works for Mike Malferrari, a Realtor®
with Avery Hess Realtors® in Springfield, who does not have a full-time
assistant. 

MacDonald works with a real estate team and a team of managers for his offices.
“I really believe that you should ‘do what you do best and then delegate the
rest’,” says MacDonald. “I’ve been very careful to hire people who work well
together, and this has increased our volume of business tremendously.”

 MacDonald maintains that good time management begins with being able to
communicate well with everyone. All of his meetings have an agenda that is sent
to participants ahead of time, so that each meeting can be as short as 15
minutes if possible.

Diane Edwards, a Realtor® with Century 21 New Millennium in McLean, says she
relies on back-up support from her office, especially for brochures.

“One thing that helps me with stress is the ability to work from multiple
locations,” says Edwards. “I have a completely outfitted home office so that I
can relax physically while still getting work done. If I need help, I can get
online support from my regular office.”

Reaching out to your Broker and Colleagues
While some agents think handling the roiling real estate market of the past
few years may require professional mental health counseling, others rely on
their office mates for “talk therapy.”

“I work with all my agents to identify the problems that are causing stress and
possible solutions to the problems,” says Jo Anne Johnson, managing broker at
Westgate Realty Group in Falls Church. “For instance, recently an agent was
facing an extremely frustrating situation with a client, and we eventually
realized that they just could not get along. I took over the final steps of the
transaction instead of the agent, including the walk through and the
settlement. Agents need to see that one solution for stressful problems can be
turning to their broker.”

Johnson says that she tries to be available at every possible moment for her
agents, no matter the time of day.


“If someone calls and they are in the middle of a settlement or have another
urgent problem, I need to be there for them no matter what I am doing,” says
Johnson.

Johnson fosters camaraderie among the agents in her office with guest speakers
and frequent meetings. They know they can trust her and each other to help them
with difficult issues.

Edwards agrees. “We work hard to share our frustrations and problems because we
can help each other with solutions or just by listening,” she says. “We also
have an extremely supportive manager. No problem is too big or too small to
discuss with our manager.”

O’Hara says work can actually be a great stress-reliever for people with
problems in their personal lives.


“If you can get involved in what you are doing you can sometimes leave the
other stress in your life at the front door of the office,” says O’Hara.

A
Sound Mind and a Healthy Body
“Working out is very important,” says
Blain. “Your body is a multi-million-dollar-producing machine, so you have to
work at keeping it in the best possible shape.”

Malferrari runs three to four times every week, usually in the morning. “I find
that while I am exercising I am free to think away from the phone calls and
emails that normally interrupt my time,” says Malferrari. “I like to do it in
the morning because it helps me plan my day.”

Morning exercise seems to work best for many agents as a way to find time for
themselves physically and mentally.


O’Hara says, “I get up early and I am exercising by 6 a.m. at least five times
per week. While I am exercising, my brain gets in gear, too, and by the time I
am dressing for work I am working on my mental list of things to do.”

The Upside of Down Time
When it’s time to take a true vacation
rather than an hour or a day off, many agents opt to schedule a trip between
late October and early January to take advantage of real estate’s traditional
slow period. 

“Luckily my child isn’t in school yet, so we are able to take vacations at
non-traditional times,” says Malferrari. “We plan our vacations around the
quiet times in the market.”

Refreshed by time away from home, agents can begin the New Year with enthusiasm
and plenty of plans for a productive year. Whether it’s relaxing at the beach,
unwinding on the treadmill, or commiserating with colleagues, busy agents
should take advantage of opportunities to minimize stress. These personal
investments ultimately will yield positive business results.

Article can be found here: 
http://nvar.com/PublicationsbrnbspampMedianbsp/UPDATEMagazine/2010UpdateIssues/JanuaryFebruary2010Issue/ArticleStressBusters/tabid/583/Default.aspx

Tips for Time Management

I was recently interviewed for the NVAR
Update magazine
about time management tips here is what was said!

First you must have goals – daily, weekly, monthly and
yearly.  We have an exercise where you
take a chart, put 5 year goals, 3 year goals, 1 year goals, 270 day, 180 day,
90 day, 60 day and 30 day goals and work backwards  to determine what steps  you need to take to accomplish them within
the timeframe set for yourself. 

Schedule these activities on your calendar and prioritize
them so you work effectively throughout the day.  Also, make sure you schedule family time; fun
time and friend time into your calendar to give you balance in your life.   Treat these activities as appointments like
any other appointment.

When you are at work – work – don’t waste time socializing
or hang around with others that do.  Be
focused on your activities to ensure they get accomplished.

Create task lists to keep you on track for accomplishing
your goals.

On your schedule, have a complete understanding of the
timing of events – if you don’t know ask someone.  You should know how long it takes to get
places, how long your listing appointments should last, home inspections, etc.

Develop a routine in your schedule.  Set your schedule to do certain tasks at the
same time every day.  As an example:   prospect first thing in the morning, return
emails and phone calls next, visit properties, conduct showings and listing
appointments in the afternoons, etc. 
Make your schedule a habit and you will see results.

Close your door at the office to minimize distractions.

As a general rule, delegate. 
Stay focused on what you do best and delegate the rest of the activities
that are not revenue generating activities.

Have an agenda for meetings to keep on track and not waste
time by getting off topic.

Utilize tools such as phonetag and blackberries to handle
phone calls and emails.

It is more important today than ever before to get organized
to get ahead in the business.  Get
it?  Got it?  Good!

Now, go sell something!