Don't Strike Out With Your Time Management
by Dirk Zeller
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
Strike one: The general public has little or no respect for us. They do not understand what we really do. Most people think that, if they call or page us, we should return their call within minutes and drop everything to show them a home or meet with them. They think we should show them our listing at any time of the day or night, even if they have no intentions of buying it, it is out of their price range, they have not met with a lender yet, or they have already selected another Agent who will be representing them in their purchase.
If the prospect on the other end of the phone has no respect for your time, that prospect will not have respect for the other parts of your service either. He will not have respect for you as a person. If a prospect has little respect for you, his attitude will not change when he becomes a client.
You must earn a level of respect for your time on the first call, whether you call the prospect or the prospect calls you. You must set the tone that my time is valuable, and, if I am going to give you, the prospect, some of my time, I expect to be paid. I am making an investment of my time with that prospect to turn him into a client.
How many times have you called an attorney to ask a few quick questions and were billed for 15 to 30 minutes of time? You will receive a statement almost every time. Attorneys rarely choose not start the meter when they pick up the phone. Of course they start it because the caller is buying their knowledge and their time. Why should we as Agents be different? That is truly what we are selling.
I know I provide as much value as an attorney, do you? What do you make per hour? Do you know that number? If you do not, you should. Focus on doing the activities that pay you what you are worth per hour. There are only a few activities that we do that allow us to be highly paid.
Strike two: We help perpetuate the problem by not controlling our clients. There are too many Agents who are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week. There is no other profession whose individual members are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Yet we seem proud that we are there for our clients at all times. Our clients do not work a schedule like that in their jobs, why should we? Take back your family time. Inform your clients of your days and evenings off and stick to your schedule. Do you really want to do business with someone who does not want you to have days off or family time? It is solely up to you to set a clear standard.
Strike three: We are independent contractors. We get to do what we want when we want. I have observed some of the work habits of my colleagues. It is not a mystery to me why many of my colleagues do not make any money. It seems to be the grand mystery to them for some reason, but not to me. If many Agents in the business left real estate sales for another sales job, they would not last a week. If you want to be successful, you must treat yourself and your career with respect. Show up at the office at the same time every day.
Complete your workday at the end of the day. Do not regularly take a two-hour lunch break. Treat this career like a real job or a real career. Your clients are counting on you to do so. If you have that philosophy, you cannot help being successful. I have never seen an Agent who came in early and put in a full day's work who was not successful. Remember that no one is going to help you develop the time management disciplines you need but yourself. Your broker or manager will not be able to magically give you that ability.
Do not start behind in the count. Take back control from your clients on the first encounter. If you are looking for more specific help, give us a call. We have products and services that will help you take control of your business and your life. Make the step of control today!
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