10 Ways To Get Ahead As A REALTOR®
So you’re a REALTOR@, which means you basically own your own business. And if you’re new to owning your own business and managing yourself, you may need a quick lesson in productivity. Our society glorifies busyness by praising individuals who lose sleep, work around the clock, take time away from family and friends, overload themselves with tasks, and endless work-based activities. But studies have proven those who multitask, lose sleep, and have too much on their plate are much less productive. And being productive and being busy are two very different things. We’ll help you clarify what productivity looks like and teach you how to become a master of efficiency in your own business.
1. Make Your Priorities A Priority
Being productive means prioritizing productive activities, and browsing the internet or scrolling through social media are not productive money-making activities. People think productivity looks like multitasking, urgency, no time to rest, and trying to do everything themselves. However, productivity really looks like focus, efficiency, keeping an eye on the bigger picture, prioritizing rest, and delegating and using systems.
A Mini-Lesson In Productivity
If you want to strategize for your highest potential:
-first, identify. Identify what’s important to you today, this week, this month, and this year.
-Second, plan; when will you work on these essential things, and what will it look like to be working on them?
-Third, act; break down your plan into actionable steps. Take time to follow through, show up, and do what you said you would to create the life and business you want.
-Fourth, acknowledge; recognize when you’ve completed a task and celebrate, or when you need to do better on something and what changes need to be made.
-Fifth, correct; be willing to make corrections to habits and behaviors along the way. Become aware of your process when working in and on your business, and be open to recognizing when something isn’t working. Take responsibility for the areas where you struggle, and be committed to finding new ways to do things better.
As a productive real estate agent, getting in the habit of doing a little reflection every day is beneficial. It doesn’t need to be a deep process, but spend some time each day to reflect on how you’re doing in your business. An uncomplicated way to do this is with an activity called one-and-one. Think of one thing you did well that day that made you proud of yourself and one thing you could improve on and how you could do it differently. Try not to think negatively – think in the language of improvements. This helps you focus more on what you DO want than what you DON’T want. A simple practice like this can turn your life around in the most beautiful ways. Because when you spend too much time dwelling on the bad days, it takes away from your overall productivity, creating roadblocks instead of a healthy workflow.
3. Clean House
Just as you should be able to recognize which tasks need to be prioritized, you need to identify things that need to be omitted. Sometimes, we don’t get to some items, and that’s okay. The more time you waste trying to knock every possible thing off your to-do list, the less time you focus on the things that make you money or have the potential to make you money. If specific tasks need to be placed on the back burner, that doesn’t mean you’re not being productive. It usually means the opposite; you know that other, more important things must be completed first. So don’t hesitate to be selective, keep the things that are working and get rid of what’s not. And remember, you can always add along the way as you become a productivity master.
4. Become A Great Decision-Maker
A good decision-maker selects actions that allow the best outcome for themselves and others and makes decisions wisely after researching alternatives and understanding the consequences. It also means you enter the decision-making process with an open mind and do not let your biases sway you. If you aim to make the best decisions for yourself and your clients, seek outside counsel when necessary and use data, knowledge, and intuition to shape your final decisions. Be clear on why you chose one particular choice over another, confident in your choice, and most importantly, follow your instincts. Your gut doesn’t lie.
Honing your decision-making skills is critical in real estate. Whether it’s deciding which listings and clients are worth your time, what to list a house for, whether or not to accept an offer, and a multitude of other things, decision-making is something you will be doing constantly and often under pressure. Regarding productivity as a REALTOR®, being indecisive can cost you and your clients a lot of wasted time and energy. Learning to make quick determinations is part of the job, so get good at it.
5. Maximize Your Resources
If you’re not utilizing your available resources, you could be restricting your productivity. Not everyone likes technology, and that’s okay. But, it would be beneficial if you tried to find something. An extra helper, for instance – that can assist you in minimizing the amount of tedious work that you have on your plate. Some apps, for example, may help you maintain a schedule, provide more accessible communication between you and your team, or automate tasks. Take the time to research methods that can help make your business more productive. And look for resources such as classes and courses, individuals you know who might be good connections, and books and podcasts. There is a plethora of material at your fingertips, don’t hesitate to use it.
6. Make It Your Own
Productivity is often strongest when born from commitment. While you may focus on completing a task, the question is, are you committed to it? If you’re not committed to the job, there’s no possible way to be productive. You will always find something else that pulls at your attention that you would rather be doing, and you will often venture off to do that thing rather than the thing you should be doing.
Commitment comes when you connect with something meaningful to you. And it’s challenging to find meaning in work you’re doing for someone else that doesn’t interest you. But if you can find a way to take what you do for others and make it your own, that’s when the magic happens. As humans, we weren’t intended to be uninspired robots. We were meant to connect, inspire, collaborate, and grow. We’re wired to crave being a part of a community while still maintaining our individuality. So, if you aren’t prioritizing these factors in your business and your work with others, you will find it tedious to stay on task, and your productivity will tank.
And sure, we all have things we don’t love doing. But if you find meaning in what you do by putting your spin or mark on it and making it your own, you can learn to find joy in even the most mundane tasks. And if no matter what you do, you can’t connect with the work, it may be time to consider something new or a sign to go deeper into the work you do on yourself.
7. Give Yourself A Break
Many think wasting time playing or experimenting with things can distract you from your business. But, it’s quite the opposite. Those who take the time to play and spend some time out of the box – whether that means going for a walk, trying something new, throwing around fun or funny ideas, or taking a dance break- often find themselves stumbling upon some of their best ideas. Consider the concept of recess in schools. Schools that have recess more than once a day have higher test scores, fewer absences, fewer incidents of bullying, and happier, more well-balanced students overall.
This is because it’s important to prioritize rest and play to make us more productive in our work. Even taking a break mid-day to meditate or read a book that has nothing to do with real estate might benefit your business. The benefit comes from relaxing, releasing the mind, and allowing yourself freedom within your schedule for brain breaks to prevent burnout. Again, we are not robots; but even a robot needs to recharge its battery to continue doing its job.
8. Become A Fly
Most individuals have role models or someone they admire who inspires them. And into today’s world of social media, we even have people we don’t necessarily like, but we like what they’ve achieved. Whether it’s in your office, in your relationships, or through social media, you have the power to become a professional observer. You have the opportunity to be a fly on the wall to a crazy amount of conversations and content. Watching someone else do something and succeed or do something and fail can be beneficial to you and your business. Being open to learning from others and having the intelligence to sit back and observe to expand your knowledge and experience is next level. It makes you a better business owner, a better coworker, and a better individual.
Being productive also encompasses visualizing how something will be before it’s happened. A person with the power to imagine what they want before they’ve received it, and hold that vision in their minds-eye, will often bring that vision to life. Brainstorming and visualizing various situations generates excitement and the meaning we discussed earlier. Take the time to visualize on your own, but also find like-minded individuals who enjoy talking about grand visions and get excited too. Visualization is essential to keeping the mind sharp, engaged, and interested; all things that increase productivity and amplify success.
10. Take Action
If items one through nine on this list are the cogs and gears of a clock, taking action is the key that winds them up and makes them move. You can visualize, observe, plan, play, and discuss all day, but nothing will happen until you take action. And we know from experience that action is the scary part. All the other stuff, it’s like practicing and watching from the sidelines. Taking action means you have to get in the game, which can be tough. You don’t know if you’ll throw a touchdown or an interception. But we’ll let you in on a little secret. You can’t learn to throw a touchdown without first throwing a ton of interceptions.
People are terrified of failure but fail to realize that failure is the only path to success. No one in history has become great at something immediately. You crawl before you walk, doggy paddle before you swim, and fail before you succeed. And you never get good at anything without trying.
And we know it’s hard, uncomfortable, embarrassing, cringy, and you’re worried about being judged, but we don’t care. Because we know what’s on the other side of that stuff is a life well-lived, a life that’s full of experiences and growth and ultimately success. And if you’re surrounded by a bunch of critics who are holding you back, instead of a bunch of cheerleaders encouraging you, it may be time to find a new squad. So stop your endless preparations and dive right in. You’ll learn ten times more from failed actions than never trying. Productivity is efficiency in action, so make your time count.
Living Houston Was Built For REALTORS®
At Living Houston, we pride ourselves on not talking the talk but walking the walk. We can speak to everything above because we’ve been there ourselves. We know it’s not about how much you work but how much time you spend focused on the work you need to do. Our Broker and founder, Laura Weisman, specifically built Living Houston not only to house real estate agents but to educate them. It’s what sets us apart and will set you apart from the thousands of other agents in the Houston metroplex if you’re interested in joining us. Contact Living Houston for more information.