The Confident Rookie Series - Secret Five - Cheerfully Waste Your Time

Education & Training with Sell with Soul

Regular readers of my blog know how I feel about wasting time. I'm all for it! Especially for rookies. This is one of the main reasons I'm opposed to rookies jumping into the biz only half-way (that is, part time) - when you have to carefully guard your time, you can't risk wasting any of it... and that's a shame.

Even as an almost-thirteen year agent, I still cheerfully "waste my time" every chance I get.

What do I mean by that?time

I mean that you should take every opportunity to be out there in the world talking about or looking at or learning more about real estate. If you are doing something that accomplishes one of these items, that's  time well-spent, even if the activity is not leading you directly to a paycheck. Not only are you learning more about being a real estate agent, you're also putting yourself in front of people who could end up being your biggest fans.

When you're new, take every opportunity to learn something, even if it takes time, even if it takes gas. Think about it - would you rather practice on someone who may NOT buy or sell right away, or someone who will? Sure, on the surface, you'd rather work with someone who is leading you to a paycheck, but there's certainly a strong argument for perfecting your technique on non-clients first!

So, what might be some "time-wasters" to embrace?

  • Showing an office listing to an already-represented buyer who calls off the sign?
  • Helping a friend protest her tax assessment by providing sold data?
  • Helping a friend protest a low appraisal for a refinance?
  • Meeting with a potential seller when you know full well he isn't going to hire you?
  • Showing homes to a buyer who can't yet qualify to buy a home, but thinks he can in six months?
  • Helping a relocating renter identify the right neighborhood for him or her?

All of these activities teach you more about your market and give you practice communicating market data to potential clients. They also give you an opportunity to impress someone who might end up being your biggest client and/or referral source. Sounds like a good use of time to me...

Here's a snippet on Wasting Time from a Real Estate Radio USA Interview I did last summer.


 The Confident Rookie Series:

  1. Know Your Systems
  2. Practice with Your Printer (sounds silly, I know)
  3. Preview, Preview, Preview
  4. Drive Your Route Ahead of Time
  5. Cheerfully Waste Your Time
  6. Find Your Handyman
  7. Let Your Seller Prospect Do Most of the Talking
  8. Get Comfy with Your Commission
  9. Admit that You're New
  10. What to say when you don't know the answer

Stay tuned...


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April 18
Representing Your Buyer in a Short Sale

April 22
The Art of Commission Negotiation

May 13
REALTOR Moms - How DO You do it??




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Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Yvette Gardner 04/10/2009 03:40 AM
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Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Jennifer -- You have a very keen perspective on things and I am really enjoying reading your series. :-)

Apr 09, 2009 11:57 AM #38
Bridget Cella
Re/Max Connection - Sewell, NJ
e-Pro, Realtor

I am so glad that you wrot ethis post because lately all I feel like I am doing is wasting time.  But every opportunity is a learning one which will benefit you down the road whether you realize it or not.

Apr 09, 2009 12:51 PM #39
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

Ah, but I do waste my time - as a "part-timer" - because I can use my time to learn my craft as a realtor, becasue I have already mastered my craft as a teacher. You raised some very valid points for all realtors and I agree with most of them wholeheartedly. I just don't agree with you when it comes to the part-time thing. As a matter of fact, my broker would say that I've been wating my time here on ActiveRain - but that's about to change....

Apr 09, 2009 12:52 PM #40
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I needed this post today because I have been wasting so much time recently, it has been taking its toll.  LOL  I feel much better now.

Apr 09, 2009 02:23 PM #41
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

What a good perspective. All those little "time wasters" teach us about our business and make us better for the long run.

Apr 09, 2009 02:52 PM #42
Kristi DeFazio
RE/MAX Advantage - Colorado Springs, CO
Colorado Springs Rea lEstate 719-459-5468

What a good perspective. All those little "time wasters" teach us about our business and make us better for the long run.

Apr 09, 2009 02:52 PM #43
Joanne O'Donnell
Chic Home Interiors - Oakland, CA

Jennifer, what great advice for all of us.  As a stager and trainer I always tell my students exactly that, every conversation should be taken as a learning experience.  Sometimes we learn more from the shoppers than the real clients...

Apr 09, 2009 04:11 PM #44
Lori Churchill Cofer
Beasley Realty - Pullman, WA
Realtor - 509-330-0086 - Pullman, WA


It is always great to get out and meet others and you are right, you can learn a lot!

Apr 09, 2009 04:33 PM #45
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I guess it just depends upon your definition of wasting time.  My husband thinks I'm wasting my time when I'm sitting in my office doing tasks better delegated to others rather than being out meeting people.

Apr 09, 2009 04:48 PM #46
Daren Krause
Keller Williams Realty - Austin, TX

So when does wasting your time actually become an inefficient or ineffective application of a limited resource?

Attitude is huge.  My high school Spanish teacher gave the class this quote by Charles Swindoll and it took me another 15 years before I really got it

"The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”


Apr 09, 2009 04:54 PM #47
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

Jennifer.. Great post.... I need to find a way to regain some of my time that cintiunes to slip away.

Apr 09, 2009 04:57 PM #48
Shawn Murray
RE/MAX The Producers - Omaha, NE
Omaha NE - 402-250-7869

This is so true.  If you are not out selling real estate you should be learning the real estate business.  I also have a good one in that new people should practice on FSBO's.  You never know when they are about to give up.

Apr 09, 2009 05:23 PM #49
Ray Logan
Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors - Stacy Mathews - Houston, TX

Thank you for this post, I plan to share this with a Real Estate instructor or two that I know. Although these are not the things on a state exam, they are lessons on the practical side of Real Estate.

Apr 09, 2009 05:34 PM #50
Rama Mehra
Keller Williams Danville - San Ramon, CA

Learning is never wasting time ! It was fun reading your blog

Apr 09, 2009 06:37 PM #51
Dominic Tartaglia
Tartaglia Realty - San Luis Obispo, CA
GRI, SLO first-time homebuyer specialist

Jennifer, I was practically born into real estate and eventually was raised in my family's office. I have had my license for over three years now but I was also in college for two of them and this year I am finally alum and working real estate full time, sort of a rookie but not really. Anyways, your tips are spot on. I learned them the hard way but you got them all right and hopefully they can help other poeple avoid the hard way. Looking forward to the rest of the list

Apr 09, 2009 07:42 PM #52
Edward Berenbaum

Hey Jennifer,  You have a great perspective on Real Estate.  The only one of your points that I would refute is-

Meeting with a potential seller when you know full well he isn't going to hire you?

From what I can read from your writing, you should be able to go into any listing appointment with the confidence that you'll be able to earn the seller's business!

Apr 10, 2009 01:36 AM #53
Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul

Ooooh, Edward - you have a good point! I guess I should clarify what I meant by that... sometimes sellers just want market information to decide if they should refi or something like that. And sometimes you're pretty sure they'll FSBO - but your point is well taken because you just never know when someone will change their mind or move up their schedule or whatever! And, I guess... that's kind of the point of being willing to "waste your time." You just NEVER KNOW!

Apr 10, 2009 01:48 AM #54
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Jennifer: I like your approach. I may really cheerfully waste my time this morning and go hit a bucket of golf balls. I haven't done this in 6 months! And I read somewhere that it's o.k. to occasionally have a diversion. I believe this was your point. Keep up the great posts! I'm now ready to greet the day!

Apr 10, 2009 02:36 AM #55
Chuck Capan
REMAX River Cities - Moline, IL
REALTOR Licensed In IL. - Moline Homes Quad Citie


Yet another great post for newbies and the seasoned alike.  Since when is doing your job a waste of time?  I received a floor call on Tuesday about 11:30 AM, the caller wanted to "See what his house may be worth."  Yes it is REAL easy to blow this kind of call off but I did not.  So I spent 10 minutes looking up tax records to find assessed value, house type, square footage, age etc. plus did a quick check of sold comparables.

I did not put together a full blown CMA...just dropped by the house at 6:00 PM to get a quick tour and I'm going to give the guy a price opinion.

This guy (a widower with 2 small kids) may never sell his home.

I invested about an hour of my time.  In return I think I made a friend.

Nothing wasted here.

Nothing ventured...nothing gained.

Apr 10, 2009 07:23 AM #56
Adrian Alvarado
MGR Real Estate Inc. - Ontario, CA
Inland Empire Real Estate

Your a genius what a great idea to have new agents waste their time and get some great OJT (on the job training) while they are at it. Such a clever way of putting it. Thanks for the great post.

Apr 10, 2009 11:20 AM #57
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