Are Your Hands Full?

Education & Training with The Lones Group, Inc.

The Lones Group, Inc.

Are Your Hands Full?

I want you to imagine you are out with your family at a picnic. You come across a large meadow full of blackberry bushes that are full of ripe juicy lush blackberries. You start to pick them and realize after a few minutes that your hands are full and you have nowhere to put any more blackberries. You didn't plan on finding blackberries and you weren't prepared to be storing them. Unfortunately, you only have two hands and you are now tapped out.

You weren't prepared for this "event" and you didn't have the right tools for the job.

This reminds me of many real estate agents I have met over the years that are holding onto so much unnecessary stuff that they don't have room for the things that will really make a difference in their business.

To improve, grow and get to the next level of anything in your life you have to let go of what is not working for you. You have to make room for greatness. You need to be ruthless when it comes to getting rid of what is not serving you well in your business or your life. If your hands are always full, you will never be able to grasp new opportunities.

I talk to agents every day and there are a number of common themes I hear over and over again. One of the most typical ones is that they don't have time to contact their past clients because they are too busy with current clients, doing things that they probably should be delegating.

For example, recently a client told me she had been too busy to get her monthly mailer out to her past clients. Her reason for not doing this crucial task was because she had to go over to a potential seller's house to help with gardening and yard clean up that she suggested they do before listing. Her past clients suffer and don't hear from her because she is too busy trying to be a gardener. She should have hired a landscape professional to help the seller instead of getting her hands dirty. Even after all this help she gave, she called me to tell me she was furious because the seller had opted to go with another agent! I told her to stop filling her hands with tasks that she should not be doing so her time would be freed up to do what she should be doing - taking care of her the past clients that were so important to her.

Another big problem I see is when agents invest precious time, energy, and money into online leads. These take time to cultivate and the lead often does a terrible job of responding. The challenge is that most of these potential leads will never end up doing anything with you. The amount of time you invest and the false security blanket you are paying big bucks for eventually drives you to hopelessness. What if you simply divert the money you are spending on online leads that are not turning into anything into a monthly past client mailing program, cultivating the relationships you already have. Maybe that money would have been better spent on an assistant who can take some of the more-basic tasks you spend your time doing, allowing you to connect with past and potential clients and doing a great job with your current clients.

When you are too busy, when you take on too much, and when you are full, you have to edit all those things out of your life and your business that are not serving you well. You never know when you will need your hands available to pick some luscious blackberries!


By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI - The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

The Lones Group, Inc.

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Hi Denise Lones it's important to prioritize.... there are many tasks and not all of them are priorities.... new business is most important.... there are other ways of keeping in contact with potential sellers than spending time weeding!!! OMG...

Apr 13, 2018 09:11 AM #1
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Denise- good analogy. We need to be prepared for what might come our way by editing and prioritizing what we do. Weeding and lawn work cost this agent more than she realizes.

Apr 13, 2018 09:41 AM #2
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224


Apr 14, 2018 06:31 PM #3
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Denise. This analogy is interesting and also apt in my view. Well done.

Apr 15, 2018 05:48 AM #4
Dorie Dillard
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Denise Lones ,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her "Ah-ha" moments for the week! You make such a valid point! When your hands get too full things start slipping through your fingers! I could never do the volume of business I do without a full time assistant in the office!

Apr 15, 2018 07:04 AM #5
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

Hi Denise,
Weeding for someone that isn't even a client yet is crazy. Weeding for an actual client is almost just as crazy. This kind of stuff reminds me of an Earl Nightingale quote: "You can keep busy in a rocking chair but you won't get anywhere." When will people learn "busy" and "productive" are two different things? 

Apr 15, 2018 07:20 AM #6
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

Brilliant Denise! The only thing I find that's worse is when an agent tells me they're so, so busy then I see them at the beach or out on their boat. You've now made it so that I keep a tote bag handy so I don't ever miss out on those luscious blackberries. Here via Kathy Streib.  

Apr 15, 2018 11:19 AM #7
Fred Griffin
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  Not only get rid of mundane tasks (the "gardener" in your post), but get rid of deadwood clients.   The "I just can't decide what I like" $100K buyer that I dropped several months ago just bought a house through another agent.   I feel no remorse, because I would have showed him multiple houses all over the county, and lost 40, 50, or 60 working hours that were better spent elsewhere.

Apr 15, 2018 02:46 PM #8
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

I'm glad Kathy featured this post.  I would have missed it otherwise.

Right now, I'm training a new agent who has already overloaded her hands.  She's taking on way too much in her first deal.  She'll learn the hard way.

Apr 15, 2018 02:55 PM #9
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

Wonderful analogy - we do need to eliminate things that are not helping our business to focus on those that are.

And now I want some wild blackberries.

Apr 16, 2018 05:54 AM #10
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL Real Estate GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Great analogy and comments that we should take to heart.

We get what we prepare for. Don't prepare, don't expect a lot from your efforts.

Systems are a great way of being prepared to handle abundance.

Apr 18, 2018 06:49 AM #11
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

Great analogy. Planning and preparation can greatly increase the chances of success, sometimes twofold or more. Thank you for sharing.

Apr 18, 2018 12:35 PM #12
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Denise Lones

CSP, MIRM, CDEI - Real Estate Coaching & Branding
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