Every part of life as a realtor can be seen as a small project to complete, regardless of the position you are in. When flipping a house, for example, you have to make sure that every step – from actually buying the house to remodeling it and getting it ready for sale - is completed correctly and in a timely manner. There is no doubt that project management is a valuable skill to have when you are in real estate.
Unfortunately, project management is a skill that often gets neglected by those wanting to be more successful in this field. There is no better time to start improving your project management skills as a realtor than right now, and we have just the tips and tricks to use in this article.
Know the Project
The first thing you need to do when a new project arrives at your doorstep is take the time to understand it completely. What are the objectives you want to achieve with this project or task? What are the things that need to be done to achieve those objectives? More importantly, what are the things to track to make sure that the project is successful?
Knowing the goals that you want to achieve and how to measure success in achieving them is a great start. It is a way to establish a strong foundation for the project. It is also a great way to get everyone on the same page if there are other team members involved.
Know Your Project Management
The better you are at project management, the easier it will be to tackle different types of projects. Taking the time to improve your project management skills is an investment worth making. Even better, there are plenty of courses and short programs in project management that you can now take online.
Finding the best project management training is easy. You can start your search by visiting findcourses.com. There, you will find over 300 project management training courses to choose from.
Course search portal lets you compare courses and dig deep into details for each one. You can sharpen a specific project management skill (i.e. budgeting for your projects) by taking more specific courses. With the right skills in hand, managing projects will certainly be easier.
Begin with a Plan
Planning is 50% of good project management. Entering any task without a clear plan is not something you want to do in today’s competitive market. You risk making mistakes and missing your marks, which may result in your performance as a realtor being hampered.
Now that you have identified the objectives you want to achieve, and have the skills needed to achieve them, it is time to formulate a plan for the project. Planning involves setting a timetable for the project, establishing a budget for it, and prioritizing tasks that need to be completed during the project.
Learn to be Flexible
Having a clear plan for a project is a must, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be flexible along the way. There are plenty of things that may require you to make adjustments to your plans. With the real estate industry growing rapidly, changes are not uncommon.
What you want to do is make changes to your project plan in a methodical way. Rather than throwing the plan altogether, make small changes to phases within the plan and make sure everything else stays true to the project objectives.
In a remodeling project, for instance, discovering issues with the property may throw the project timeline (and budget) completely off. Skipping those issues instead of fixing them is not an option either. What do you do? You make the necessary changes to keep the project going smoothly.
If you’ve been in real estate for a long time, you know that there are a lot of problems to deal with on a regular basis. Many of the problems associated with real estate projects are actually easy to anticipate and rather repetitive, which is why taking them into account when planning the project is a must.
Don’t wait until you face difficulties before seeking solutions. Create contingency plans as you start planning for the project. You’ll find dealing with emergencies and sudden changes to be easier to do when you already have plans for different situations.
I know how tempting it is to do everything yourself; I also know that managing everything – down to the very last detail – is tantalizing. If you want to get things done correctly, you better do it yourself, right? Well, not really.
Trying to do everything yourself is the kind of approach that stops you from reaching your fullest potential. You’ll end up spending more time micro-managing small tasks rather than focusing on the bigger picture and working on growing as a realtor.
Learn to delegate, provide clear instructions based on the project plan, and stop micro-managing the tasks you have in hand. It takes a bit of practice, but being able to trust team members to do their job is exactly what you need to get more things done more efficiently.
Larger projects don’t always have to be more complex to manage. As long as you don’t micro-manage everything, you can have team members focusing on specific tasks and getting them done properly. The next thing to do is make sure that you get the insights you need from everyone involved.
Creating a feedback loop allows you to manage projects better without having to actually be involved in everything. Make sure team members can provide you with insights and tell you about (potential) issues openly. Let them convey concerns and be prepared to listen to their input.
One of the skills you also want to master as a project manager and realtor is active listening. The better you are at listening to others, the more effective you’ll be at providing solutions to their concerns and problems.
Balance the Triangle
Every project is bound by a rule known as the Triple Constraint Triangle. There are basically three elements to every project that you need to balance: scope, time, and budget. For a project to be effective and efficient, it needs to have these elements configured for maximum balance.
Keep in mind that you can’t have everything; you can’t have a large project completed quickly and cheaply. You usually have to prioritize two out of the three constraints. If you want the project to be affordable and extensive, you have to extend the deadline. If you want it done quickly and cheaply, on the other hand, you have to limit the scope of the project.
These constraints can be used as leverage too. A large project that needs to be completed in a timely manner is actually doable; you simply need to allocate more money to get more workers and resources for the project. Can you see how project management is a balancing act?
Last but not least, don’t let one or two issues deter you from completing a project. Any good realtor will tell you that perseverance is an important quality to have. Sometimes, you just have to stick to the plan and move forward.
With the project management tips and tricks that we discussed in this article, however, pushing forward and getting your projects done effectively will not be a problem. You have what it takes to perform brilliantly as a realtor.