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 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem 08/13/2018 09:05 AM
Topic:
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Groups:
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Ambassador
2,736,103
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Some great ideas for making the best use of time.  I do always take a book with me and read whenever I find I have a few minutes while waiting for the next appointment, but you've shared some other great ideas for me to utilize as well.

Aug 10, 2018 08:27 PM #19
Rainmaker
1,404,787
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Thanks Carol Williams.

You're welcome Debe Maxwell, CRS - However, logging in to AR to answer questions or comment is another good use of that down time.

Tammy Lankford, - I carry a book everywhere I go. Usually I'm with my husband and he seldom talks when he's driving - plus he wants to show up everywhere a half hour early.

I don't have a cell phone or I'd come here to read and comment.

Aug 10, 2018 09:00 PM #20
Rainmaker
831,150
Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, ePRO, CRS, RCS-D
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
& Host of Postcards From Success Podcast

Great post. Thanks to 's CRM my list is automated and on an APP. I can bang-out a few keep in touch emails, text or even video. Or iI can plug into a good book or Podcast; I love those gaps between appointments, they are as productive as the appointments themselves. 

Aug 10, 2018 09:35 PM #21
Ambassador
586,842
Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Lakeland, FL
New Homes Sales Lakeland Florida

Great post - I always use time blocking to keep me focused.And a CRM program really does keep you on target but you have to take the time to do the work and make sure your notes make you more productive.

Aug 10, 2018 11:47 PM #22
Rainmaker
1,204,797
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I could do much better at all of this. Thanks for the tips and the reminders.

Aug 11, 2018 03:31 AM #23
Rainmaker
292,598
Matthew Klinowski, PA
Downing-Frye - Naples, FL
Golf Community Real Estate Expert

Morning Marte, thanks for the great suggestions.  Always looking for ways to be more efficient.

Aug 11, 2018 03:37 AM #24
Rainmaker
201,051
Lesley Wilson-VanGoethem
Innovative Realty Solutions Group - Winter Springs, FL
Residential Real Estate Broker Associate

Briliant.. Love the statement phones are still made for phonecalls! 
Have been trying to help an agent in our office with time management..Will definitely be sharing some of your tips!

 

 

Aug 11, 2018 04:21 AM #25
Rainmaker
394,065
Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector
SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno - Bourbonnais, IL
The Home Inspector With a Heart!

Not only do Ii take a book with me, I have mastered the art of the Power nap, and can sleep for 15 minutes and wake up raring to go again. No more than 15 min is the key. Longer and you run the risk of deep sleep and then I might as well stay in bed all night. 

Aug 11, 2018 04:38 AM #26
Rainer
308,505
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
3,478,390
Dorie Dillard
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
369,409
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
2,294,314
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
1,404,787
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
1,404,787
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
586,842
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
1,404,787
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
1,404,787
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
1,404,787
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
897,822
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
1,404,787
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
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