Watch Out - Your Sales Pipeline May Be in Danger

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Broadpoint Properties Cal BRE #01324959

real estate lead generationDo you ever get to the end of your business day, look at the clock, and wonder where the day has gone? Today, as I write this, it is high noon, and I had planned to get down to business about three hours ago. Where has the time gone? Between taking a few calls, paying a few bills, and solving a few problems, three hours has elapsed. Does this ever happen to you?

Working “On” and “In” Your Business

As real estate professionals, each and every workday needs to include two types of activities: those related to working “on” your business and those where you work “in” your business. That’s an important distinction, which Michael Gerber makes in his book The E-Myth Revisited: Why Some Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. Of course, while it would be ideal for the people working “on” the business to be different from those people that work “in” the business, that is just not possible for most real estate businesses. Most real estate agents fly solo.

What Gets You to the Closing Table?

When you work “in” your business, this is the work that you do as a real estate agent in order to get the deals to the closing table. This is you writing and negotiating contracts, attending listing appointments and inspections, and showing properties. This is the technical work that is required to get your deal closed—so that you have the money necessary to work “on” your business. But sometimes, the work “in” the business takes so much time. You plan to go to the office early, put in a few hours creating content, making calls, and posting a few tidbits on the social media sites, but just as you are driving into the parking lot, the phone rings. It is the buyer’s agent on one of your pending listings. He has arrived with the home inspector at your listing and there is no key in the lockbox. You then spend the next few hours tracking down the key and delivering it to the buyer’s agent. How many times has some version of this problem happened to you?

3 Time Management Tips that Produce Positive Results

Time management and real estate may not seem to go hand in hand. But, they really must. If you are going to balance your time between the things that you must do to make fast money and the things that you need to do in order to develop a sales pipeline that withstands the test of time, you’ve got to have balance. Here are three things that can do right now to avoid falling into the time management Bermuda Triangle:

  1. Schedule appointments with yourself. How often do you cancel an appointment with your doctor or CPA? Probably, not too often. Well, make those same appointments with yourself, and do not cancel them. When you have important work to do that relates to the long-term sustainability of your business, what does that say about how you value yourself if you are constantly cancelling those appointments?
  2. Turn key tasks into habits. Set aside a regularly scheduled time for each of your tasks; this is what creates habitual actions. About 12 years ago, I started working from home on Fridays because my kids got out of school early on Fridays and commuting back and forth just didn’t seem feasible. At that time, Fridays become my day to write my blog posts, schedule my email newsletters, and work on my social media and other advertising and marketing projects for the following week. Now, I’ve only got one kid still in school and he’s a senior, but I still stay home on Fridays. My Friday turned from a task into a habit—and it is one that has worked for me for the last 12 years!
  3. Create a game-changing plan for 2017. I’d like to invite you to have a look at Pipeline Planner, the Ultimate Sales Tracker and Daily Planner for Real Estate Agents. It's an updated version of my old planner, which was endorsed by ABC Shark Tank's Barbara Corcoran. In the planner, I've put together everything you need to get your 2017 in high gear.

In the meantime, I’d like to ask you a favor. Starting today, before you go to sleep, ask yourself this question: “If I live every day the way I did today, what kind of future would that create?” Did you like your answer? If not, maybe it’s time to make a few changes.


Re-Blogged 2 times:

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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
Designations Earned CRB, CRS, CIPS, GRI, SRES, TRC


Congratulations on being awarded a feature for an outstanding post.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

Dec 17, 2016 06:58 PM #23
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Hi Melissa - I have bookmarked you post.  I am a fan of Gerber's E-Myth and E-myth Revisited.  You made good suggestions.

Dec 17, 2016 07:38 PM #24
Jeremy Marquez
J Marqeting - Sacramento, CA
Virtual ISA at J Marqeting #iCallYouClose

You can never be to organized it is a key and we never have to much time staying organized is part of this...

Dec 17, 2016 08:48 PM #25
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Habits can be transformative.   I am going to embrace a schedule in 2017. Thanks

Dec 17, 2016 09:41 PM #26
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Melissa Zavala ,

Excellent post and glad to see it featured. I successfully time block and it works for me. I'm with Lou Ludwig ..we we mange our time we manage our activities!

Dec 18, 2016 05:28 AM #27
JoAnn Moore
The Mortgage Market of Delaware - Georgetown, DE
Home Loans in Delaware

I think a lot  of us can relate to this.  I will print out your planning tool. I like Barbara Corcoran. Thank you for sharing this wiht us. 

Dec 18, 2016 03:20 PM #28
Beth and Richard Witt
Long Island Cash Home Buyer - Huntington, NY
Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940

Great advice and certainly deserving of a FEATURE 

Dec 19, 2016 04:51 AM #29
Kari Battaglia, PA
PalmerHouse Properties - Nokomis, FL
Buy Sell Love Florida

Well said and well written. I am going to check out your plans tomorrow morning. I try to schedule all admin, blog writing, marketing, prospecting in the mornings and any appointments with clients in the afternoons. End of day is follow up. Thank you for sharing.

Dec 19, 2016 06:04 PM #31
Karen Steed
Tallapoosa, Bremen, Waco, Buchanan, Temple, Carrollton - Tallapoosa, GA
Associate Broker Haralson Realty

Wonderful inspiration...- “If I live every day the way I did today, what kind of future would that create?”

Dec 19, 2016 07:05 PM #32
John Shipka
3Di FOCUS - Clarendon Hills, IL
Social Media for Real Estate Professionals

Great article and good reminders!

Dec 19, 2016 07:05 PM #33
Mike McCann - Nebraska Farm Land Broker
Mike McCann - Broker, Mach1 Realty Farmland Broker-Auctioneer Serving Rural Nebraska - Kearney, NE
Farm Land For Sale 308-627-3700 or 800-241-3940

Hi Melissa Zavala   Thanks you for sharing the reminders and great info!! I had that happen just this morning when a "fire" emerged unexpectedly and it threw off my whole day....

Dec 19, 2016 07:42 PM #34
Janine Boulay-Seibert
Seibert Properties - Murphy, NC
NC & GA Real Estate Broker

We need to also schedule time for a life!
Fear of missing a great lead turns us into response slaves.

Dec 19, 2016 07:59 PM #35
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

I love the idea of turning a task in to a habit, great advice... and a good resolution to stick with.

Dec 20, 2016 06:29 AM #36
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Timely reminder to plan for next year and review our past successes and failures.  If we don't change our plan then nothing improves!  

Dec 28, 2016 12:53 PM #37
Sandra Padula
Realty ONE Group - San Diego, CA
Realtor | Trusted Advisor

Thank you for sharing. I am at this point in my career.....

Jan 02, 2017 11:00 AM #38
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County

Holding yourself accountable for production daily is key to staying in this business.  Coaching and outside help is find but in the end success is an internal thing.

Jan 13, 2017 06:06 AM #39
Cathy Starkweather
La Rosa Realty, LLC. - Celebration, FL

I try to commit time to my home office, I like the idea of commiting one full day each week, not a few hours a day or two here and there.

Jan 15, 2017 06:57 AM #40
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor e-Pro, CRS, RCS-D, Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Always appreciate the tips from you, thank you!

Jan 18, 2017 08:14 PM #41
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Melissa Zavala ,

I'm so glad Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS reblogged your post..I missed it! I always appreciate your valuable tips and especially liked the one asking yourself that question before going to bed..might make you stop and think!! Congrats on the well deserved featured post.

Jan 19, 2017 05:53 AM #42
Melissa Spittel
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westminster, MD
"Achieving Results Together "

My first broker would often refer to "working on" vs "working in" his business. Took me a little while to understand what he meant. Now, I follow that mantra frequently. Working on my business will enable me to work in my business.

Feb 02, 2017 06:25 PM #43
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Melissa Zavala

Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County
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