A career like real estate is unlike any other. Part sales, part admin, part tour guide—there are a million and one things happening at once. For those who get easily distracted, it can spell disaster.
The topic was recently addressed during RISMedia's latest webinar—"Strategies for Avoiding Distractions and Increasing Productivity"—sponsored by BoomTown and moderated by Sherri Johnson of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting.
"The best thing about real estate is that it's flexible. The worst thing is that it's flexible," said Johnson of the biggest trap today's real estate agents face: the freedom to pave their own way without the discipline to stay focused.
Even the most innocent distractions can prove fatal for business—and that includes the friendly social chatter that permeates most real estate offices in the mornings.
"One of the biggest distractors are things that don't matter in the morning like unproductive social. And turn off the news—you're not going to change anyone's mind," said Scott Kooiman, an associate broker who leads the operations, sales and marketing for Klaus Team Real Estate Solutions.
The best method for avoiding distractions is to simply tackle the easiest thing fist, said Zach Sikes, broker/owner of Homestead & Co., and that is often the environment. Sikes recommends that industry professionals put themselves in a space where they know they'll be productive, and maybe that's an office phone booth for lead generating.
When agents go into work, they should be ready to work, especially during their time-blocked period. Of course, that's easier said than done—something panelist Mac Hill, advocacy and influencer manager at BoomTown, emphasized during the session.
"It sounds simple on the surface, but it takes a while to get those habits in place. Consistency is important," said Hill.
That's why Kooiman said it's necessary to focus on the 20% that's most profitable and productive, and not the 80%, which is what eats away at everyone's calendars. Here’s where scheduling comes into play.
"If it's not on the calendar, it doesn't exist. And if it's not on your calendar, you don’t know what you did during that time period," said Kooiman.
By blocking out time on a calendar, agents can mentally prepare themselves for lead generation, team and brokerage meetings, client meetings, etc. You set the expectation and that makes it easier to commit.
When team or brokerage meetings are involved, you can ramp up the accountability efforts even more.
"We have weekly meetings and daily huddles. And we have one-on-ones," said Kooiman. "It's tough not to be accountable when you're staring at someone who is holding you accountable once a week."
As an accountability practice, Johnson also suggests that industry practitioners constantly set goals to stay on track.
"Have a goal for the number of listing appointments per week. Cast a wider, bigger net. You want predictable income," said Johnson.
And an easy way to keep track of all this is to lean on technology that streamlines the entire process. According to Hill, agents should "choose a system that will take those consistent activities, keep you organized and keep you moving forward."
When all else fails, Sikes has a method that allows for self-reflection, which provides all the information agents need to determine whether something is productive or if it's just another distraction.
"If you're not sure whether or not you should be doing something, ask yourself, 'If I didn't do it now, what would happen? Is it really that important?'" said Sikes.
To learn more tips for avoiding distractions to boost business productivity, check out the full webinar below:
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