In Real Estate the concept of extra time is a bit like the concept of bigfoot, we acknowledge that it could exist but most folks never actually see it for themselves. Our profession is one heavy with commitments that eat away at our time. From the client who calls for a “quick five minute chat” that ends up begin an hour long call – to the last minute request for data from another agent who needs it “five minutes ago” – we find ourselves pulled and stretched to accomplish just to accomplish our daily goals.
On a recent stint away from home I packed with me several books and training documents I had gathered over the past few years with the idea of re-visiting the information to find new inspirations that may improve upon the success that we’ve already enjoyed in 2009.
My goal was to look for time management advice and then to see how it might apply to my office and its Brokers. I quickly discovered after re-reading the materials, that there seemed to be one common thread that connected these top producing teams who authored these training materials. This common thread was the concept of “blocked time”.
Blocked time is simply time set aside during the day when all outside interruptions would be postponed and dealt with later, for the sake of accomplishing a goal. In most teams, this time was used to try and bring in new leads. Now for some of us busier Brokers, we here about these concepts and immediately think “that would be nice, but my day is far too busy to implement something like that”. But the truth is, that these teams are incredibly successful, and it stands to reason that if more than one of these top producing teams are successfully using the same system – it could work for you and your team.
The idea is not that we ignore requested and incoming calls, but rather that we set aside an hour or two in the morning, to dedicate this time to specifically bringing in new leads. During this time if outside communications are coming in, or phone calls are coming in – the Broker would have their receptionist take messages indicating that they would be followed up soon.
Doing this, buys the Broker time to thoroughly hit their database or lead capture sources in order to make new contacts that may eventually turn into deals. Once this “blocked time” is over, the Broker simple resumes business as usual following up with clients and messages. But the idea is, we all have things we would like to implement in our own business, whether it’s a great new marketing method we’ve heard about, or a flashy new website that can bring in more referrals, but in most cases we always end up saying “once I have time I would love to try that”. Well, a good thing to remember here, is that you are never going to “have the time”. So those ideas can either sit idly by on the backburner, never seeing the light of day – or we simply “block out time” to make sure that we try them.
This concept is something we are currently implementing here at Chaparral Realty Group, and we are anxious to see how this can help us to become more in touch with our POTENTIAL CLIENTS. This also allows us to focus more clearly on how we bring in new clients. In reality, it’s all about creating structure. Once we become used to blocking out this time, we find it becomes part of our routine. This is a great thing, because we now realize that we are dedicating time to not only servicing our existing clients, but also dedicating time to creating new relationships.
For some this time might be best “blocked out” to occur in the morning, first thing. Other may find it easier to block out time after lunch.
Bottom line is, if we spend on hour a day (at minimum) to block out all distractions in order to bring in new business – we end up spending a minimum of 5 hours each week to find new clients. That translates into 20 hours per month (give or take), and 240 hours of time (again approximately) per year. Not bad for a simple change to our day, that has the potential to steadily increase our business.