Successful real estate agents all have one thing in common: they know how to stay organized. A well-organized business runs more effectively, communicates clearly, and manages its time and resources well. In addition, office organization and time management can help reduce stress for both business owners and employees. Start by organizing your time with these ten time-saving tips for real estate professionals.
1. Manage Your Time Wisely
Your productivity and success boil down to how well you manage your time. Everyone has the same 24 hours in their day. But successful real estate agents and other business owners manage those 24 hours more effectively than most.
For starters, plan each day, carving out time for important tasks. Prioritize those tasks so that the most pressing concerns get addressed first, and save less important duties for another day.
2. Reduce Meeting Time
Have you ever been in a meeting and thought, “this could have been an email. I have other things to do.” Well, you’re right. While group meetings are essential, they can typically be shortened significantly. By keeping your meetings short and to the point – and by sticking to the topic at hand – you can reduce the time you spend in the conference room and increase your time completing tasks.
Make it a rule in your office that office meetings won’t drag on and on. Get in, get everyone on the same page, delegate tasks in needed, and get on with your day. If you shorten your daily meetings by even 15 minutes a day, you will add over an hour to your productive work time every week.
3. Avoid Multitasking
As Americans – and certainly as real estate professionals – we pride ourselves on our ability to juggle multiple tasks at one time. But here’s the thing: multitasking is a myth. While we’ve been led to believe that multitasking is the sign of ultimate productivity, research finds that’s just not true. Not only are we less productive when we multitask, but our cognitive function and memory aren’t as sharp.
Instead, identify which tasks you need to complete for the day. Then, focus on one task at a time. Our brains work much more effectively when we work on one assignment until completion, then move on to the others. Overall, you could save hours every week by eliminating multitasking from your daily work habits.
4. Keep a Clean Space
Physical organization can help tidy up your mental outlook, too. Each day take a few moments to organize paperwork and clean up your work area. Do an organizational overhaul to make your workspace more functional and appealing. Bring in some personal touches that make your office more appealing.
A tidy workspace doesn’t just increase productivity. It can also help lessen anxiety and give you a brighter outlook on your work as a whole.
5. Use a Checklist
Making a checklist is a great way to visualize your tasks for the day, week, or month, and then physically mark them off as you complete them. As psychologist Dr. David Cohen says, checklists are more than just a piece of paper or an app on your phone. They’re a physical representation of our daily structure, they dampen the chaos of our daily lives, and they are proof of our accomplishments.
Creating checklists can help you identify which tasks are most important and help give you an emotional boost when you complete that task. They’re an excellent tool for time management, organization, and motivation.
6. Download Time Management Apps
If you have trouble managing your time on your own, consider downloading an app that helps manage it for you. There’s an app for nearly everything these days, from tracking the time you spend on social media to managing your showings and daily meetings. By monitoring and managing your time, you’ll be more mindful of when you’re working, how you’re working, and how you might increase your productivity. Some apps can even give you more time-saving tips to help you better manage your work time.
We reviewed our favorite scheduling tools and time management apps in this article.
7. Turn Off Mobile Notifications
Few things are as distracting as our mobile phones, smartwatches, and email boxes. All day long, we are distracted by pings, rings, and notification screens. If you want to be more productive, turn off those notifications, and put your mobile devices away.
As real estate agents, this can be a tricky task. Our businesses rely on text messages, emails, and phone calls. But we can certainly turn off notifications for social media or news outlets while writing contracts, or even turn our phones to silent for a brief time while completing essential tasks. Without these distractions, we can complete jobs faster. Once you’ve completed your office work, you can more effectively focus on client calls, emails, and other client management tasks.
8. Choose Phone Calls Over Emails
It might seem counterintuitive to save time by making a phone call instead of sending an email. But think about the last email conversation you had. You receive an email from a colleague with a pressing question. You email back the answer. But the other agent doesn’t receive the email until three hours later, and by the time she responds, you’ve gone home for the day. Now, the issue won’t be resolved until tomorrow.
Instead, if you had picked up the phone and called the other agent, you would have provided the answer right away, the task would be done, and there wouldn’t be any misunderstanding or ambiguity.
While it might seem like phone calls and personal conversations take more time than a simple email or text message, these personal conversations tend to give us a faster result and save us time in the long run. So, instead of getting trapped in that endless group text, just pick up the phone and call.
9. Schedule Some Downtime to Avoid Burnout
Burnout among real estate agents is a real concern. We often work for weeks on end, with no downtime, trying to show homes, close deals, and finish paperwork. The stress can take a toll. Therefore, it’s vital that you intentionally schedule downtime into your week to take care of yourself and your personal relationships.
Just like any job, real estate can become all-consuming if you let it. Eventually, though, those 80-hour weeks will catch up with you, both physically and mentally, and you’ll hit a breaking point. Avoid burnout by taking time away from work, whether that’s a quiet dinner with family, exercise at the gym, time outdoors, or a vacation with your spouse.
By taking time out to recharge, you will be more productive and less stressed when you return to the office.
10. Delegate Tasks When Possible
Finally, if you’re already experiencing real estate agent burnout (as mentioned above), it’s time to reassess your priorities. Are there daily tasks that you might consider delegating to another colleague? Can you hire an assistant to sort through emails, return client calls, and send out monthly emails?
If you are struggling to manage your time effectively, consider delegating tasks to someone else. Sure, that might mean hiring someone to help you. But that’s money well spent if it means increasing your productivity and protecting your mental health.
Other Time-Saving Tips for Real Estate Professionals
These suggestions are just a start. There are many other time-saving tips for real estate professionals. From technology to sleep habits, Realtors have countless ways to increase productivity.
Have you discovered a method that works for you or your real estate team? We want to hear about it! Share your best time-saving tips in the comments below or contact us here.