What can you do with fifteen minutes?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

What can you do with fifteen minutes?

Because a day in the life of a real estate agent is often dotted with appointments, you clocksometimes find yourself between things, with ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes before the next commitment.

When I was an agent, I found it frustrating to have those “wasted” chunks of time. Most of the phone calls I needed to make were apt to run over the time I had. I couldn’t settle down to write an ad because I’d just get my head into it when it was time to go again.

Maybe that was enough time to make a quick trip to the nearby mini-mart for a snack and a bottle of juice – and sometimes that was a good idea.

For the most part, those were wasted minutes. Instead of doing something constructive, I joined into the office chatter. They were mere minutes, but by the end of a week, they added up to hours.

You’ve heard the phrase “I’m just killing time until…” You may have even said it yourself. And what a waste that is!

Ben Franklin would not approve. In fact, he said “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

Had I had someone around to nag me back in those days, I could have avoided killing time and made good use of it instead.

I didn’t have that someone. In fact, I was surrounded by people who were merely killing time.  

I can’t go backward and make up for lost time, so instead, I’ll just nag you!  

email mailboxRemember that I stopped selling real estate about the time that people in our small town were just beginning to use the Internet and email. No one here had heard of texting at that point.

Things have changed. Now, you can use those few minutes to connect with someone.  You can send a quick “keeping in touch” email  or text message to a past client or someone in your sphere. You can remind a seller of a showing appointment or send a confirmation to a buyer you’re scheduled to meet later in the day.

There’s plenty more you can do, if you prepare ahead of time.

My suggestions:

  • Make a master list.
  • Create spreadsheets.
  • Make a daily list.

First, the master list. Write down all the tasks you can do that can be done in 10 or 15 minutes. In addition to sending keeping in touch messages, your list might include checking your email for anything that needs an immediate response, entering checks and cash purchases into your bookkeeping program, writing a thank you note, or sharing a blog post on Facebook, LinkedIn, or one of your other social media accounts.

Next, the spreadsheet, or spreadsheets. Get out your sphere of influence database and transfer all of those names into a spreadsheet. If you need reminders about who they are, note something about them: kids, pets, hobbies, etc. Include several blank columns after each name. Now do the same with past clients.

At this point, I’d print the list and the spreadsheets and keep them on my desk. You might prefer to keep them in your computer – but either way, both the list and the spreadsheets need to be handy and easy to use.

The daily list:

How many times have you gotten to the end of a day and thought something like “Oh darn. I intended to order ink cartridges today?” Maybe you intended to look up the definition of a word or find a recipe – both tasks that would have taken only a few minutes, but got overlooked in the busy-ness of the day.

Maybe it would do you a world of good to shut your eyes and meditate for ten minutes. If so, set a timer and go for it!

Put your short tasks on a list that you’ll see when you’re waiting for your next appointment.

Now, use those tools.

When you see that you have 10 or 20 minutes before you need to leave for your next appointment, resist the urge to goof off. Instead, look at your lists and choose an activity. Then do it.

If your choice is to send “Saying hello” texts or emails, do it, then use the first blank column on your spreadsheet to record the date. This will ensure that you contact everyone on your list over time – not just the few whose names come to mind first.

When you have enough time, make phone calls to those folks, and in addition to the date, note anything important about the call so you can reference it on your next call. For instance “Did (child) have a good time at summer camp?” or “Have you gone to (city) to see that new grandchild yet?” or “How’s the new puppy doing?”

QUOTES OF THE WEEK

“Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. One man gets only a week’s value out of a year while another man gets a full year’s value out of a week.”
Charles Richards

“The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.”
Stephen R. Covey

…………………..

Invest the time to get personal.

As you know, I believe you should keep in touch with everyone by sending market reports, Birthday greetingsnewsletters, and other “mass messages” via mail or email, so they can’t possibly forget about you when someone mentions real estate.

However, personal messages are important. They’re an indication to people that you care about more than just business – you’re interested in them as individuals.

In fact, if you have the information, another spreadsheet would be beneficial, but the information on this one should be entered into your daily calendar to-do lists. That one would list birthdays or other significant events in people’s lives.

Remember that phones are still used for making phone calls…

Making time to call on those special days will go a long way toward showing people that you’re more than a salesperson.

Birthday Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Clock and mailbox images courtesy of Stuart Miles @ freedigitalphotos.net

This post originally appeared at: https://copybymarte.com/what-can-you-do-with-fifteen-minutes/

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Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem 08/13/2018 09:05 AM
  2. Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%! 08/19/2018 10:02 PM
  3. Debbie Reynolds 08/28/2018 05:59 PM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
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Tags:
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Rainer
323,831
Muhammad Mushtaq
Weichert, Realtors® - SBA Group - Fall River, MA
Broker/Realtor

The majic of 15 minuets could make a real difference in our lives if we plan properly. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Aug 11, 2018 04:41 AM #27
Rainmaker
3,630,799
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff,

So glad to see this post featured. What great ideas because we often find ourselves with 15 minutes to spare and all great ideas to help u spend them being constructive!

Aug 11, 2018 05:24 AM #28
Rainer
384,144
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

I was in some type of sales position for over 35 years of my career before I ventured into real estate, for something to do. (Imagine that), well anyway I remember we used to say...Plan your work and work your plan.

Aug 11, 2018 07:08 AM #29
Rainmaker
2,351,705
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Making time count for something is always a good subject to explore

Aug 11, 2018 09:55 AM #30
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D - You have a very refreshing attitude about time gaps. Good for you!

Julie Chapman I admire people who can stick with time blocking - because I'm not one of you!

 

Aug 11, 2018 12:20 PM #31
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Kat Palmiotti By now you know I'm nothing if not a consistent nag.

Thanks Matthew Klinowski, PA - I appreciate you stopping by.

Thanks Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem - I do sometimes think that many have forgotten that phones are for actually talking with people. I don't like to admit it, but my firstborn child is one of them - he was here for a long weekend and I asked if he'd talked with his wife. He said no - he'd texted her.

Aug 11, 2018 12:23 PM #32
Ambassador
588,759
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Lakeland, FL
New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida

You know I didn't think about before - I also keep motiviational books on CD abd educatioal books on CD in my car.  I am thinking of buying a Rosetta Stone Book o CD to learn a second language.  I have a lot less time in a car than most of you as a work out of a model home complex with 3 furnished models........

Aug 11, 2018 01:37 PM #33
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Julie Chapman Back when I spent time in the car, I always had CD's like that going - unless someone was with me, of course. It's a half hour from home to town, so I always had at least an hour day to listen.

Aug 11, 2018 01:56 PM #34
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector Thanks for the tip! That must be why I could take short naps back in college - and now a nap just makes me want to sleep all day. I'm going to try setting my timer for 15 minutes.

Muhammad Mushtaq - Yes, there can be magic in minutes.

Aug 11, 2018 02:00 PM #35
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Dorie Dillard I used to watch people in the office use 15 minutes - or maybe an hour and fifteen minutes - just gossiping or playing computer games. What a waste!

Raul Rodriguez - and planning what to do with spare minutes is part of it.

Thanks Richie Alan Naggar - Yep, we only get so much of it.

Aug 11, 2018 02:03 PM #36
Rainmaker
934,786
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Love this post!  It's critically important to be mindful of time.  And you're so right about 15 minutes.  We waste that time because we would run late for our next gig if stopped and dailed, wrote a post, researched something.  Great thoughts here!

Aug 14, 2018 03:01 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Jan Green - Lists work for me. If I had to stop and decide what to do with fifteen minutes, by the time I thought of a nice short chore, the fifteen minutes would be up.

Aug 14, 2018 03:16 PM #38
Ambassador
1,860,757
Michelle Carr-Crowe Just Call 408-252-8900 Top 1%!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Marte thank you for these helpful tools and reminders to be mindful of our time.

Aug 19, 2018 10:00 PM #39
Rainmaker
3,266,630
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Marte. Interesting. I think there is always something to do but just being is good too.

Aug 20, 2018 07:13 AM #40
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thanks Michelle Carr-Crowe-Top 1% Diamond Certified Real Estate Team Sells Cupertino San Jose Homes-Just Call 408-252-8900 - time is the one thing we can't buy. We only get how much we get.

Sheila Anderson - I agree. Sometimes just being is the best use of your time.

Aug 20, 2018 04:34 PM #41
Ambassador
3,972,121
Debbie Reynolds
Platinum Properties - Clarksville, TN
Your Dedicated Clarksville TN Real Estate Agent

Time is precious and getting more and more so the older I get. 

Aug 27, 2018 06:41 PM #42
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Debbie Reynolds - I agree! It makes me really not fond of people who enjoy wasting my time.

Aug 27, 2018 08:46 PM #43
Rainmaker
4,589,404
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
"Franklin MA Homes"

Good morning, Marte Cliff the more organized we are, the more quality work we can complete in 15 minutes.... one would be amazed....

Aug 29, 2018 03:59 AM #44
Rainmaker
3,630,799
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.346.1799 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Marte Cliff,

I was glad to see your post featured. I caught it earlier and then read it again when Debbie Reynolds re-blogged it! Time management works when we utilize all the time afforded us! Using technology properly is so important.

Aug 29, 2018 05:21 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,449,559
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Yes, and you are one of the most well-organized people I've ever known, Barbara Todaro.

Dorie Dillard - I agree. Technology can be a time saver or a time waster.

Aug 29, 2018 09:02 AM #46
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