Principal Broker of Real Team Realty. Member of the NAHREP Top 100 Agents in the U.S. Highest Ranked NAHREP agent in Utah.
One of the things that I love about real estate is the large number of gears that have to operate efficiently in order to make the machine successful. There is so much to do, coordinate, negotiate, instruct and be on top of that it can often get overwhelming. Early in my career, I felt like I was always running a hundred miles an hour, and it was draining. I was overworked and overtired. There was always something else that needed to be done, and it needed to be done now. I became a slave to my calendar. I realized that I needed to find a way to win my time back. I had to take a step back and audit my days to see where I could be more efficient and take back valuable minutes each day. I offer you three tips that helped me do just that.
1. Make Meetings Shorter
I audited just how long I was spending in meetings and how effective those meetings were. The reality was that I was wasting a lot of time in meetings with small talk and introductions. While there is certainly a place for less formal meetings and some team bonding time, the truth is we schedule 45-minute meetings that could last 20 and 20-minute meetings that could last eight. We spend the first 10 to 15 minutes every meeting chatting and setting the stage, when in reality, if the subject is a simple one, it could go much faster. I started to consciously make meetings as short as possible without cutting corners. Some meetings need to be two hours long if a serious matter is being discussed, but many others could be held in under 30 minutes.
2. Train Virtually
When I first became a broker, I spent inordinate amounts of time training others. I felt the need to train my agents and be there for them. I planned trainings that were hours long. I wanted to make sure I was there for them to help them gain the knowledge and tools they needed to succeed. Until on one occasion, I saw an ad for an online training platform, and I decided to give it a go. At first, I felt a bit guilty. It felt like I wasn’t “there” for my agents 100%. I soon realized that while there are many trainings that are best done in person, there are many others that can just be held on digital platforms. A digital training library helped my agents learn on their time and at their pace. I set certain standards and goals of consumption and followed up, but I was no longer training in person for double-digit hours every week. To my surprise, the agents actually preferred many of the online trainings because they could come back to them and rewatch them to learn or refresh a certain topic. My agents also appreciated me taking the time to build a valuable resource for them. I won back an important chunk of time every week by doing this.
3. Delegate Effectively
Third — and in my opinion, most important — learn to delegate. Let’s be honest: Many agents have massive egos. We are told to look the part, act the part and talk the part of a successful entrepreneur all the time. This can be dangerous because it can lead us to believe that because we are the experts in the field; we are the Forbes Council Members. We have to do everything. “Nobody can do it as well as I can! If I delegate this task, it won’t be done as well as it needs to be!” was a common conversation I had with myself. The harsh truth is that you have to get over yourself. If you do not develop the ability to delegate, instruct, follow up and correct, you will never win back your time. You will always be stuck in the rat race of the day-to-day operations of a complex real estate transaction. There is too much to do, too much to organize, too much to keep track of for one person to do it alone at scale. It simply cannot be done. You must audit your daily tasks and ask yourself which of these tasks could be delegated effectively in order to win back your time. I started to realize that if I did a task at a 9 out of 10, I could delegate that task out, and although initially it may be a 6 I could very quickly get it to a 7 or 8, and that was enough. Perfectionism kills growth and stifles proper delegation and team building.
If you can effectively do these three things, you will start to see more open time slots in your calendar that you can fill with more productive tasks to scale your business. It does not mean you can hang out and take your foot off the gas because you have it under control. It means you have it under control so that you can put your time and effort into doing things that will truly propel you and your team forward.
Forbes Real Estate Council is an invitation-only community for executives in the real estate industry. Do I qualify?