- FSBO Finding - Drive around and identify homes that are for sale by owner or spend time on FSBO sites or even look in the want ads of your local and community papers. Yes - you know that buyers don't look in papers much anymore to find homes but most FSBO's don't know that.
- FSBO Facts - Do your research and learn about the neighborhood, their original mortgage balance (if available through MLS or other tool), how long they've lived there, etc. No need for a full blown CMA now - they haven't hired you yet. Just learn enough to discuss their situation and current market conditions.
- FSBO Follow Up - Schedule an appointment. Once again, you could take the easy way out and mail them something, you could call them or you could stop by. You'll find that when you actually make the extra effort and have done your research, you will have a better opportunity of getting an appointment with the Seller and you will have begin the process of showing them that there is a difference between brokers. It's easy to throw a mailer away and it's easy to hang up on a telemarketer but it is much harder to slam the door in someone's face.
- It gave me an opportunity to learn from those Realtors who had "been there and done that." Agents from all different companies from all parts of town who all do business in different ways with different people. If you can't learn something from them (even if it's the way you don't want to do something), you're just not a good listener.
- It lets you feel like your helping to support the organization that helps support you. Stop for a second and think of all that you get for the small amount of dues you pay to these organizations.
- The next time you're negotiating a contract with a fellow Realtor with whom you've built a relationship while serving on a committee or attending a local function, you'll be glad for that prior opportunity to get to know them and for them to have known you.
Appointments - Other than "talking to people," this is what our focus should be on each and every day, week and month. Without appointments, we'll never get to the closing table and a commission check. Preferably these appointments should be listing appointments and Buyer Counseling Sessions but you may also have walk throughs prior to closing, builder appointments on new construction transactions, home inspections and hopefully closings.
Time Needed: Ideally 50%+ of your time should be spent in appointments that will get you closer to a closed transaction and a commission check.
Tech Time - Maybe you're very skilled with the computer and you've figured out ways to maximize your time and energy on line. Perhaps you have implemented systems and have software that helps you stay in touch with customers, current clients and past clients. Good for you. Keep it up.
For many of you however, actually scheduling some time each day, week and month to get on-line is a great idea. First, it will help you avoid getting "lost in the sea" of the world wide web, especially social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube. I speak to so many agents who are on Facebook but they are never "on" Facebook. Schedule 15 minutes into your calendar each day to jump on and update your status, connect to a few friends and see what some of your friends are up to. This information will come in handy if you would happen to run into them at a grocery store or kids sporting event.
How about exploring or keeping up to date with blogs? There are some fabulous blogs about real estate, negotiating, general sales, personal health and motivation and much, much more. Build in dedicated time to stay up to date on blogs. You could also subscribe to them and save the reading until your next open house or phone duty time. It's better use of that time than reading Cosmo or filing your nails.
Does your company have an on-line learning system? Could you improve your skills on some aspect of technology? Think of how much more confidence you'll have when you can learn how to better utilize the tools in your own "Realtor's toolbox"?
Time needed: 5-30 minutes per day for social networking (at different times throughout the day). 1 hour per week for technology classes.
Personal Time - Why are you in this business in the first place? My guess is your answer isn't "to work 85+ hours a week, be ready to go at the snap of my client's fingers and make enough money so I can spend time with my kids after they have grown up and moved away," is it? Start putting your own needs into your calendar. What time does your kid have soccer practice and games? What night is your golf league? Do you try to attend church regularly? Are you the kind of spouse or partner who has a "date night"?
Time needed: this one is up to you? How much do you need?
Don't compromise on these times because that helps you be a better, more focused agent when you are "at work." It also allows you to forget about real estate every now and then. One of my favorite quotes for us workaholics is this"
"The work will wait for you to look at the rainbow but the rainbow won't wait for you to finish the work."
I hope this list has given you some good ideas to build into your business plan and daily, weekly and monthly schedules. What else do you have on your schedule that helps you be a better Realtor? I want to know so I can share with others. Please leave a comment one your scheduling habits.
Until next time, keep building relationships...solving problems... and having fun.