How productive are you?

Real Estate Agent with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 PA License - AB067198

I was reading this short post today. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand trust company, reduced its workweek from five days to four. Productivity jumped 20%. Last October, the firm made the switch permanent. This past summer, Microsoft Japan trialed the same thing. Productivity rose 40%, electricity costs fell 23% and pages printed fell 60%; maybe because standard meetings were slashed from 60 to 30 minutes! In 1860, work weeks exceeded 60 hours.

As agents we often work long weeks, putting in many hours a week, working weekends as well as this is often when our clients are available. Some firms have encouraged their agents to make family time a priority, but this has tended to hurt their clients as agents are not available at weekends. But, if we are more productive working shorter work weeks, how do we apply that to our businesses.

How is it that when we are getting ready for a vacation we are always able to crank out much more work that at other times. How productive are you? How many hours a week do you work?

Some of us enjoy working longer hours, to keep ourselves occupied and not feel lonely or bored. But, others of us, enjoy working as little as possible and enjoying life. That doesn't mean these people do a worse job, it just means they work differently.

For me, I like earning a big salary, but once I reach a certain amount I am more motivated to make time for myself and go out. I would rather live the day, than when I am way off what I need to earn to support myself.

Maybe productivity comes down to motivation as well? What motivates you? 10 or 100 deals a year or maybe $80,000 or $250,000 a year or more, or maybe it is to have time to spend with children or grandchildren. Working a shorter week would help with those two latter motivations.

Just something to ponder and think about, how can we become more productive, work less time and still give our clients superlative customer service? Let me know your thoughts.

Posted by


Nick Vandekar
Nick is a Tredyffrin Easttown Residential and Commercial REALTOR selling The Main Line, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties.

Giving you the confidence to make
the right decisions.

92 Lancaster Avenue
Devon , PA 19333
Mobile: (610) 203-4543 [call or text me]
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If you are buying or selling on or around
Tredyffrin Easttown or along the Main Line, 
we can help you, contact us.


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marti garaughty - Montreal, QC
a highly caffeinated creative type...



Dec 02, 2019 11:51 AM #1
Lisa Weiler
PM LLC - Los Angeles, CA
Interior Design Expert & Home Stager

I like this idea about increasing productivity by taking more time off work

Dec 02, 2019 11:58 AM #2
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I wish I could have a set schedule and only work 4 days each week, but I am definitely not to that point yet.  Prospective buyers and sellers still dictate my schedule.

Dec 02, 2019 12:10 PM #3
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

marti garaughty thank you.

Lisa Weiler I think we all would.

Brian England totally agree, but we do still get plenty of flexibility in our days.

Dec 02, 2019 12:25 PM #4
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

I think it all depends... While working for a Fortune 500 Company, they implemented a program like this. 9 days Monday through Thursday, 3 day weekends. Long story short, it didn't work because of customer demands and commitments. Employees were working harder, longer, and exhausted. 

As a self-employed, I work better managing my own time and can still get my transactions done seamlessly or by arranging back-up if needed. 

Dec 02, 2019 01:23 PM #5
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Nick... as I've already retired from two careers at this point in time with grown kids and grown grandkids I don't worry about reducing the time spent working... I enjoy it. And when I feel like taking time off, I do. But I don't think about work/life balance very much at all.

Dec 03, 2019 05:04 AM #6
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

Hi Nick,
This is an interesting subject and it really is about individual preferences and priorities.  Corporate jobs are different than being a commissioned real estate agent in that we can't totally leave our work behind at 5:00. There is ALWAYS something more to do.

It is true agents get more done when they are getting ready for vacation because they are working ahead. Doing stuff they would do tomorrow or the next day. Each person has to decide for themselves. 

All that said, it doesn't mean we can't be more productive when we are working!  Thanks for the pondertunity.

Dec 03, 2019 09:39 AM #7
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP I agree and enjoy my work, and when it requires more time it is part of the job, I chose it.

Nina Hollander that is one of the reasons I have always liked real estate, the flexibility one has especially nowadays with all the technology we use.

There are many ways we can become more productive, time blocking for example Carol Williams.

Dec 03, 2019 09:46 AM #8
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Success can be measured in so many ways. Money is great as it often gives us freedom to do the thing we want to do, such as travel, or gift to others...however, how much is enough as you mention. I see so many burnt out agents spinning their wheels and chasing numbers. We are not like that...we ebb and flow depending upon our priorities. However, as you mention, it's easy to stay busy, but not productive. Time blocking and sticking to a list can give us a lot more free time to enjoy life. 

Dec 04, 2019 07:04 AM #9
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Nick - pondering productivity.  A process?  A plan?  Proper Preparation...perhaps I think that's more than simply a possibility.   

Dec 04, 2019 08:43 AM #10
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD busy is the enemy of productivity.

Michael Jacobs having a plan definitely helps as does laying out your schedule.

Dec 04, 2019 12:23 PM #11
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Nick I am self motivated and needless to say I work until the deal is closed no matter how many hours or days I have to get it done.... Endre

Dec 05, 2019 10:55 PM #12
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543 I'm semi-retired.... I work because I enjoy marketing and I can do it from the comfort of my own home!  but I have plenty of time (as much time as I want) for my family and to spend time doing things I enjoy .... volunteering and working out.... 

Dec 07, 2019 07:35 AM #13
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

I've learned to balance things pretty well as long as I plan. There are those times when life - personal or business - throws a curveball.

Dec 08, 2019 01:29 PM #14
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Much like Endre Barath, Jr., if I have to work longer hours to get the deals done, I do. I very much work by a time-blocked calendar and do include personal/fun time. However, I often have to be reminded to add friends and family to my calendar!! 

Yes, I'm a self-professed workaholic but, will say that I LOVE spending time with family and friends so, I will never be working through a 'gathering' or trip that I should have taken to be with family. 

I will not be on my death bed, asking myself if I spent more time working but, I will care that I spent enough time with those that I love!

Dec 08, 2019 03:57 PM #15
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Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543

Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line
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