Well, if this isn't the be-all-end-all of the real estate business, I don't know what is. Motivation and discipline are the keys to succeeding in this business, and frankly, I could use some. Being poor is certainly motivating. It's those times when we are nursing a few deals through escrow, and there's money in the pipeline for the next couple of months that we become complacent, and the wheels come of the wagon. Then, the money comes; we're set for a few months; everything's okay; however, then we start to worry about when the next deal is going to hit, and we scramble about, trying to get that next saleable listing, or talking to people looking for that next buyer to fill the pipeline. How do we manage to stay on track, ensuring a constantly-filled pipeline? A schedule! What a novel idea! Actually managing my time.
I know that one of the biggest problems for agents around the world is time management. We can very easily become sidetracked by our websites, our email, this website, and a host of other activities that do not generate leads and sales. I love to tinker as much, or more, than the next guy. I love technology. But technology has got its harry paws wrapped around my productivity, and is gently sqeezing the life out of it. If I take my laptop computer to the office with me while trying to prospect, there is literally no end to the distractions that become available. I have repeatedly made vows to myself that I will have the computer on, and that only two programs will be running: my contact management software, and my local MLS system. Those are literally the only two things I need to be productive. Once any other program or piece of software is open, all is lost.
There's a little "beep" from the computer; a scrolling message pops up: "New Mail," and a brief description of its contents. My hand itches. (Three Times As I Type This!)
While browsing the MLS for expired listings, I suddenly notice how quiet it is in the office. Maybe I need some soft music. Out of the corner of my eye, there's a little burnt-green monkey peeking from behind the Windows Media Player icon. Perhaps some smooth jazz? My body spontaneously produces tension in my jaw and temples that can only be assuaged by smooth jazz.
Has anyone visited my Website today? There's nothing like the sense of pride that comes from knowing that 30 people (none of whom will actually contact me) visited my site yesterday, looking for something. This brings to mind that lady from Realty Times who promised that for only $400, and a monthly maintenance fee of an additional $30, I could potentially have a few hundred more (according to her, thousands) people visiting my site each month (who will also not call me).
Do I need those Talking House thingies? Maybe that lady whose calls I have been avoiding like the plague for 2 months is right. My nasally and iritating voice playing over a shortwave transmitter on the radio outside the home will inspire people to buy the home! Furthermore, the neighbors will be so impressed that they'll want me to sell their homes! Hmmm.
Oh! I know! I could sign up with one of those lead generating programs so that I won't have to work at all! The leads will flow in from the land of milk and honey, and I'll have to start hiring new people to handle all the calls that need to be made.
Oh boy. I am being pugnatious again. I am totally cognizant of the fact that the only thing that's going to keep me afloat in this business is actually going to the office, sitting my butt down, eliminating all distractions, glueing the phone to my ear, and dialing the buttons. I'll need to call expireds, FSBOs, past clients, centers of influence, and referal leads. I'll need to drive the area previewing property, and delivering marketing materials.
I wonder if I have Attention Deficit Disorder, with a dash of Obsessive Compulsion thrown in for good measure. Is there a drug for this malady? Someody hook me up!!