Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed with the amount of work on your plate? In today’s business climate, it’s natural to feel this way – but it’s not okay to allow sloppy habits to ruin your sanity and cost you money!
The following are some of the most common bad habits that real estate agents fall into. If you see any of these deadly ruts reflected in your own business, take the recommended steps to improve them before they have a disastrous effect on your business and your life!
Lead generation is the lifeblood of a real estate agent’s business. Without new clients, you don’t have a business at all (or, at the very least, you have an angry manager staring down the back of your neck).
Now, that doesn’t mean that prospecting is all fun and games. It’s hard work, but it’s work that absolutely must be completed regularly. If you find yourself procrastinating on this important habit, take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that this task is done on time – before you start losing money as a result.
Here are some simple strategies to help you break through procrastination:
A. START!….on time. Set a timer and make sure you actually start ON TIME. The first call is always the toughest…but it’s magic. It switches the Law of Inertia from working against you….to working for you. Even just taking the first step creates amazing momentum .
B. Find an accountability partner. This could be another agent in your office or a close friend who is willing to kick your butt to keep you on track. Make a pact to each other that you’ll contact a certain number of new prospects each day or week and check in with each other regularly to remain accountable.
C. Give yourself a reward for getting your prospecting work done. As an example, you could promise yourself a Friday lunch at a nice restaurant if you reach out to a certain number of potential clients during the rest of the week. It doesn’t need to be a big reward – just something that will remind you why you’re making prospecting a regular habit.
D. Establish a penalty for failing to prospect. Alternatively, if you respond better to the avoiding pain, set up a system of penalties that go into effect should you fail to hit your prospecting commitments. Be strict with yourself, or use an external accountability tool like StickK.
Of course, if there’s one thing that can be even more costly than “prospecting-procrastination,” it’s failing following up with the potential clients who respond to your outreach efforts. Think about it – how many times have you listened to a promising voicemail response, only to save the message and swear to yourself that you’ll return the call later?
Here’s a newsflash for you – you won’t do it later! You’ll find just as many excuses when “later” happens as you did in the moment. Maybe you’ll tell yourself that you’re too busy to return the call or maybe you’ll just ignore the fact that you’re too afraid of failure to get in touch with prospective clients. Either way, no return call equals no future clients!
To prevent this habit from costing you a fortune in missed business opportunities, set a specific window of time during your day to return calls on the phone messages you’ve received. Put it on your calendar and make it a non-negotiable part of your schedule until you get into the habit of returning calls as soon as they come in to your office.
Failing to leave enough time to get to your destination on time is a huge trap for many of the real estate agents I know. You can be ready to walk out the door on time – and then decide to fire off one last email, return one last phone call or print off a few last documents. Before you know it, you’re running late enough that – barring a no-red-light run down the freeway – you’re going to be late to your appointment.
Although this habit is all too common, running perpetually late is disrespectful to your clients and makes you needlessly stressed out before important meetings and will cost you more business than you will ever realize. Being late is a habit. And the solution is amazingly simple, schedule yourself to arrive at appointments 15 minutes early in your calendar than they’re actually set to begin. Doing so will relieve a ton of stress from “running late” and will give you a few powerful moments before your appointment to mentally prepare for a great consultation.
Raise your hand if you’ve got a stack of business cards, Post-it notes and scraps of paper with contact information scrawled across them piled up on your desk! Now, raise your hand if you’ve promised yourself that you’ll get around to entering all that information into your database as soon as you have a “spare moment!”
Remember, an organized real estate agent is a good real estate agent. If you can’t call up important contact information when you need it most, you risk missing out on new clients, new sales or both. Since all of these scenarios cost you money, you’d be wise to get a contact management system in place ASAP!
Finally, as you probably already know, there are tons of different systems that real estate agents can put into place to make the management of their businesses easier and more efficient. In fact, I’ve referenced a few of them above when I talked about scheduling time into your calendar to return phone calls or setting departure times earlier in order to arrive at meetings on schedule.
But unfortunately, these systems only help to improve your performance if you actually USE THEM consistently! Failing to follow through on the commitments you’ve made yourself won’t do a thing to help relieve these bad habits, let alone help you to recoup the money that is leaking from your business due to your negligence.
To make sure you’re using your systems consistently, try any of the techniques described in Habit #1 to help manage procrastination. By being diligent in your attempts at self-improvement, you’ll help to both maintain your sanity and prevent the financial ramifications these bad habits can have on your real estate business. So pick one or two or more of these bad habits that you’re sick of…and commit to taking a few simple action steps each day to create habits of success that will eliminate these negative habits and put more wins in your business and life.