As Broker-in-Chief (not to be confused with Commander-in-Chief) of a real estate brokerage and also as head honcho our short sale operation, I spend much of my day chatting with agents. When agents ask me to hold them accountable for their productivity in weekly meetings, I often hear them tell me things like “But, I was busy” (also… “I was too busy” or “I’m too busy”).
When I hear that battle cry, I almost feel like the late Gary Coleman when he would say to his actor brother, “What you talkin’ about, Willis?”
If you want to make big bucks in real estate, you cannot sing the “I’m too busy” song. You must try to find ways to evaluate your own productivity and to make yourself accountable. When you tell others (and yourself) that you are too busy, you are turning down the opportunity to do more and be more.
One of the easiest ways to be productive and make yourself accountable is to put things on a calendar. For example, if you are planning to send your sphere of influence a monthly newsletter, plan the whole year right now. Add the dates for printing (or sending to the printer) and mailing to your calendar now. And, use your calendar to keep you accountable.
Another issue arises when agents spend too much time fixing and fixating and not enough time prospecting and planting seeds. Evaluate what you did in 2011, what made you money, and where you lost a lot of time. If you took the same buyer to 105 properties and wrote 37 offers, yet he still wants to look around, that buyer might be a time suck. So, evaluate your productivity and learn from your mistakes.
Another way to avoid the I’m too busy mantra is to learn more about productivity tools and figure out ways to outsource time-consuming tasks by leveraging virtual assistants. Focus on what you do best, and let other people do the rest. In the short sale world, we help lots of agents with the short sale processing, while they work on building a strong pipeline.
Two years ago during the holidays I read Gary Vaynerchuk’s book Crush It! One of the big points that he makes is that for people who love what they do and are passionate about what they do, time doesn’t matter; those people never feel busy even though they might spend every waking moment doing what others might feel to be busy work.
Think about it. Are you working in something that you are passionate about? Or, does it feel like work? And, when was the last time that you said, “But, I was too busy.”
Some food for thought for 2012.