"Real" Real Estate vs. "Virtual" Real Estate - How to fit BOTH into a 24-hour day...
Most people on ActiveRain will agree that "Virtual" Real Estate CAN lead to new business in "Real" Real Estate (i.e. income-producing business) - It certainly has for me! It also CAN be addictive. It CAN detract from other priorities in our lives like family time (Is ActiveRain Your Significant Other?) and doing activities that directly produce income, like prospecting, follow-up and showing property.
So this is the question we all face: How can an ActiveRain member be a valuable contributor and participant while maintaining balance with other priorities?
I can't answer that question for anyone else, but I've come to a conclusion for myself. It's DISCIPLINE. Kinda like saying "No" to that yummy-looking dessert and "Yes" to a walk around the block. The truth is that I'll enjoy and appreciate ActiveRain more if it's something I look forward to, and not something I'm feeling guilty about because it's taking over my life.
A few days ago, I was exchanging emails with Brad Andersohn and said something to the effect of this: I've gotta focus on "real" real estatei now (meaning at that exact moment, not in general) . But then he replied that he had to get back to his "virtual" real estate. This brief exchange helped define my dilemma.
I LOVE "virtual" real estate, but too much of a good thing is not good for anyone, and maybe that applies to this pastime I enjoy so much - one that has produced live warm-bodied clients for me and many thousands of dollars in commissions, not to mention many new friends around the country.
While income-producing (real) real estate CAN include "virtual" real estate, it MUST still include the basics, as well:
- Prospecting and follow-up
- Listing property
- Showing and selling property
- Writing and presenting contracts
- Handling negotiations
- Continuing ed classes
... not to mention preparation time for all of the above and administrative details that go with those activities. These basics cannot be sacrificed for "virtual" real estate if I want to make any money in this profession.
I guess some people have figured out how do all of this without leaving their computer chair, but I haven't. I still have to get up and get dressed in professional attire, go meet live warm-bodied clients, and do all those other things necessary to produce income.
After having this little conversation with myself, I decided to make it official: At 9 a.m., I'm logging off of "virtual" real estate to practice "real" real estate. If a post is unfinished, it will wait until the next day. The opportunity to log in at night will be totally conditioned upon my contacting at least five current, former or prospective clients that day. Since I'm gonna want to sign in to ActiveRain again for reading and commenting, this should give me the incentive to do what I MUST to succeed in real estate... prospect and follow-up.
(And maybe I'll add that much-needed exercise to my self-imposed requirements. LOL)
I'm not suggesting YOU should do this... only that I plan to try out this routine. If it helps provide balance in my life, I'll let you know. It may also produce more commissions - I hope so.
With four decades in real estate, you'd think the basics would be habit for me by now. But who knew that "virtual" real estate would come along and tempt me to spend every waking moment online!
Okay, folks, it's 9:00 a.m. Signing off now...
Images: iclipart.com and istockphoto.com
Copyright 2009. Margaret Woda
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DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.
Margaret Woda, REALTOR & Associate Broker
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc., 2191 Defense Hwy., Crofton, MD 21114
Direct: (410) 451-6245 or click on EMAIL
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