Dad Gum It! My blood boils when I see the views some agents have when it comes to taking time off from this business!
Lynda Eisenmann wrote a nice post, "Are You Taking Four Months Off A Year?" Lynda is right on target, and everyone should read her post.
Why am I upset? When I read the comments, I found that there were many who gave different "reasons" for their inability to take any time off. Too many replies fall into the camp that believes one cannot take time off, that one must sacrifice getting a "life" because of their job. My CyberStars(r) have shown me over the years that this is just not the case. Most lead full, rich lives that include frequent vacations to wonderful places, service to their community, both quality and quantity time with their family and more.
Why do too many agents think they must always be working? Why do too many agents work seven days a week? Why do too many agents take too few (or no) vacations? I think there are several main reasons:
- They are stuck in old ways of thinking, passed on to them by brokers and managers. There indeed was a time when we had to work too many hours and too many days in order to earn a good living. The world has changed! We no longer have to work such long hours. We have the Internet and a number of tools and systems specifically designed to save us time, save us money and make us money.
- They are unwilling to let go of their egos. I mean by this is that they are too familiar with the phrase, "No one can do it like I can." This is nothing short of egotism. Why do real estate agents think that they have to personally handle every aspect of the job? The CEO of Coca Cola does not stock the shelves at Safeway! He or she hires people to do “non CEO” tasks.
- They do not associate with and learn from top agents who do use various resources to reduce their work load while increasing their income.
- They have not invested in the tools and systems that enable them to make the same income in 2/3 of the time. I see this all the time at my seminars. All attendees see how top agents use today’s tools and systems that make them more money, save them more money and give them more time for life. Very few attendees wind up purchasing these tools and systems for their own use.
Here are just three ways to increase ones income while taking nicer (and more frequent) vacations.
- Get a Virtual Assistant and turn over 80% of your routine tasks to him or her. For a list of what a VA can do for you, see my previous post on the subject or visit Kim Hughes’s Web site. The main reason most agents do not have a VA was mentioned above: ego. They are right when they say, “No one can (fill in the blank) like I can,” but they are right for the wrong reasons: someone can do most of what you do better than you can! At least my VA can. She (Kim Hughes of Kim Hughes & Company, Mineola, TX) does all the “little things” that I used to do...or avoided doing or “did not have time for”...better than I can! My job: writing books, writing courses and teaching agents around the country. Her job: running my company.
If you think about it, you will realize that a good VA can do about 80% of what you do now. Oh, I know….”Nobody can do it like you can!” Folks who still believe that, who can’t let go of their ego in this regard deserve what they get: less money and too much time spent working. Case in point: one of my CyberStars(r) living in Atlanta has her VA in Texas do all of her CMA's. Time saving? You bet!
And remember: you either have an assistant or you are one!
- Start using tools and systems that allow you to get more done in less time while making more money! I have written before on the top money making tools my CyberStars® use. Here’s a brief recap:
- A deep, consumer-oriented Web site
- A real estate specific database such as TOP PRODUCER or Active Agent, whichever feels best to you
- A notebook or tablet pc
- VisualTour.com virtual tours
- A PDA (Personal Digital Assistant)
- A blog & podcasts
- Automatic prospecting & followup systems such as RealProSystems, Rainmaker E-Central and My Home Management Club
I would bet dollars to donuts that most of those saying that Lynda’s post was unrealistic don’t use any of the above. Agents have two choices: keep working too hard and keep complaining about it or solve your problem. There is a solution, but you have to grab it. To paraphrase the title of a great little book, "Shut Up And Live," by Marion P. Downs, shut up and do it! Take the plunge. Realize that times and technology have changed, drop the ego and invest in the tools and systems that make it happen.
- Start building your team….today. Several comments alluded to the fact that one had to spend time with buyers, to be at their beck and call. El Toro Poo Poo! Don’t want to spend time chauffeuring buyers? Nothing wrong with that….just hire a buyer’s agent and learn how you can compensate him or her out of what they earn while keeping part of the commission for yourself. Will your income go down? Not if you hire the right buyer’s agent….it’ll go up! How many of the award winners in your Association or franchise have buyer agents? What do they know that you don’t?
I could go on, but this is long enough. Besides, I’m calming down. :-)
I hope some of my points will sink in with some ActiveRainers. My main point is this: real estate should not be your life. Today’s VA’s and the right tools and systems insure that you don’t have to be “on call” all the time or be at the beck and call of buyers and sellers.
The purpose of a job is to provide you with enough income to enjoy life. I am in San Diego now for my granddaughter’s birthday. Miss Ellie and I will go to France in April for 12 days. Why? Because I got a good Virtual Assistant years ago, one who runs my company well and can run it well when I’m on vacation.
It’s a beautiful day here in San Diego….hope it’s a wonderful day wherever you are, too!