July 19, 2011

Could You Do More or Should You Do Less?

You've probably had this reaction before, right?

You are out at a upscale restaurant and you order something that sounds delicious on the menu. You're enjoying a glass of wine while you wait for your entree to arrive. Perhaps a bowl of soup or a house salad and a nosh on some bread whets your appetite until the meal is delivered to your table. 
Photo courtesy of Rioncm on Flickr

The waitress arrives and puts down the item you ordered and you look at the nicely plated entree and think to yourself, "That's it?"

The serving appears small and the entire plate isn't even filled with meat or fish or pork or chicken and there certainly can't be enough potatoes or vegetables to fill you up. Not when you're used to everything being "Biggie-sized" or "extra large," right?

But as you take your first bite the delicious flavors simply ooze into your mouth. You savor the perfect blend of taste and aroma. The side items compliment the main dish perfectly and your enjoyment of the dinner is ideal. In fact, when the waiter returns at the end of the meal to offer desserts, you have to sadly pass because you're too full.

More Isn't Always Better

It's human nature to think that if it's more expensive, it must be better. If someone will give you twenty of something, that must be better than ten of the same thing, right? Shouldn't a headliner's show be better than the warm up act? Could a underdog really ever beat a favorite? "Do you believe in miracles?"

In our world of real estate, sometimes doing more of something isn't necessarily the answer. Doing less but doing it better might be exactly what is needed. Calling prospects for three hours might not be as beneficial as scheduling three face to face visits with past clients who have referred you business in the past. Sending 1000 postcards to a subdivision once a quarter might not prove as effective as sending 200 cards to a smaller section of the same neighborhood every 18 days.

Repetition is certainly valuable when learning any new skill but there must be some focused intent behind it. Are you repeating something so it can be memorized for a one-time event or so it can become internalized and called upon each and every time you face a certain situation. There is a big difference between repetition and redundancy.

If there is one thing that everyone shares, regardless of their status in life, their role in the work force or the balance in their bank account, it is time. No one gets more than anyone and no one gets less. Taking every task and allotting it the correct amount of time is so critical to your success.

Utilizing the MLS to search for houses is a requirement for most Realtors but spending 3 hours "surfing" the MLS to set up five showings isn't a better use of time. Holding a 90 minute sales meeting for the office because "that's the way we have always done it" might not be as powerful as scheduling 10 minute individual coaching sessions with the 20% of the agents who bring 80% of the business to the office. Sitting around in the office talking about last night's American Idol results might be fun but it's not going to deliver the results that knocking on two For Sale By Owner's doors could bring in the same thirty minutes.

Don't get fooled into thinking that bigger, longer, more expensive or louder is better. If the smaller, shorter, cheaper or quieter way doesn't work, you could always add some back...or perhaps, maybe even take more away?

"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery 

Until next time, keep building relationships, solving problems and having fun.