Time is your most valuable asset. The problem is most people don’t know how to control their time and get appointments to fit in around previous commitments. 

So, today, I’m going over four key ways you can master the art of rescheduling so you can manage your time more effectively. 

A lot of agents say yes to everything, especially when— 

  • They’re new in the business
  • They’re trying to build their business up or sell more properties
  • They’re intimidated by the client

I’m not saying you should never say, “Yes.” What I’m saying is to be mindful of your schedule because there are certainly times when a client will suggest a time that doesn’t work for you. 

A lot of agents will say yes anyway and feel like it’s on them to move their life around to accommodate their client’s first suggestion. 

That’s what it often is, too: a first suggestion. It’s not the only option, whether your client is asking to go look at a property, asking you to come by their home, or wanting to schedule a call. 

They don’t know your schedule or your prior commitments. But you have just as much right to keep your commitments as they do to keep their own. 

Fortunately, there’s a way to navigate these situations that honors both.

#1—Use the X or Y technique

One of the key things I learned early on in my career is one of the most simple scripts you’re ever going to see, and it’s as easy as this:

“Hey, unfortunately, that time’s not going to work. I have eight o’clock available, or I can do four o’clock in the afternoon. Which one’s going to be better?”

This may seem simple. When you give people a choice, invariably they will pick one because you’re giving them options, which is a key component of being a great salesperson. 

A lot of real estate agents are afraid to give any sort of resistance on the scheduling. But it really is as simple as— 

“Hey, unfortunately that’s not going to work. I’ve got X or Y available.”

If you want to be very smart about this, offer a time before the proposed meeting from the client —and a time after that person wants to meet.

That way you avoid the objection of “Well, you couldn’t get me in there soon enough,” or “You weren’t available to meet early enough.” If those objections do come up, you can say, “Well, I gave you two options. You picked the later one.

This is one of the easiest scripts out there. Pick an earlier time and/or a later time and leave it up to the consumer. 

#2— “I have an appointment then…”

People don’t care what you have going on personally. So if you want to reschedule appointments around your personal schedule, the easiest thing to do is to tell them— 

Hey, you know what, Wendy? I’ve got another appointment scheduled, so unfortunately I can’t meet you at two. I could do 12 o’clock that day, or I could meet you in the evening at six o’clock. Which one is going to be better for you?” 

Now, that appointment could be— 

  • Having a meeting with your accountant to do your taxes
  • Getting a haircut
  • Working out
  • Picking up your kids from school

Nobody cares what you have going on personally. And when you tell people things like, “Hey, I’ve got a baby shower to go to,” or “I’m going to a holiday party,” or whatever else, it’s going to lower their opinion of you as a professional. Is it fair? Absolutely not. Is it reality? 100%.

Consumers don’t care about what’s going on in your life. They care about what’s going on in theirs

So, don’t tell them what you have going on. Tell them, “I have an appointment.” You’re not lying. It’s an appointment with yourself. And if it’s in your calendar—and it’s one of those rocks you schedule around—it’s easy to schedule around it using the X or Y technique. 

You don’t owe anyone an explanation for the appointments you’ve set, whether they’re personal or work-related. And I repeat: Nobody cares. 

#3—Mornings are for income-producing activities

We know, as real estate agents, that mornings are the best time for income-producing activities. That’s when you should be on the phone having conversations because it’s much easier to control the morning than it is to control the afternoon when— 

  • You’ve got meetings happening
  • You’ve got people coming in
  • You have deals you’re negotiating

All the whirlwind of the business comes into play there. So instead of saying, “Hey, I’m prospecting for new business in the morning,” try this:

“I have a standing meeting every morning, so the earliest I’m going to be able to meet you is after 11 o’clock.”

I stood by this standard in my business. It was a personal standard for me. I still do it. I’m still making calls every day, and I make about 700 phone calls a week. 

Having a standing meeting every single morning and not bending on it will make you literally hundreds of thousands of dollars if you’re committed to making calls, prospecting, and setting appointments. But you’ve got to make the decision to do it. 

When you prioritize income-producing activities, it’s easier to detach from the outcome to let things play out and control your business more. Because you have predictable income coming in, thanks to predictable income-producing activities. 

But don’t tell people, “Hey, I’m calling expired listings, or “I’m circle dialing.” Say this: 

“I’ve got a standing meeting every morning to get my business ready to go, and I can meet you after 11 o’clock. Is that going to work with you? Or I can meet you at 8:00 AM.”

Use the technique we went over in number one: the X or Y method.

#4—Create and stick to a set schedule

This is going to be the most important because everything else is scripting and training. 

The fourth key is to have a schedule in the first place. It must be time blocked with your rocks, which are the most important things in your personal and professional life: 

  • Personal commitments: your morning routine, exercise, etc. 
  • Commitments you’ve made to your spouse, your kids, etc. 
  • Commitments you’ve made to daily and weekly income-producing activities
  • Meetings you’ve got to attend for your team/company/brokerage/organization

Whatever it is, those things have to be on your calendar. Because when you start booking things, you’ll forget whatever you haven’t already put on there: 

  • Doctor appointments 
  • Date nights with your spouse
  • Picking up kids from school/work (if you’re a parent)

So you need to put everything in your calendar. When you don’t, it shows people—and it would show me if I were to inspect it—that you’re just not committed to doing anything, really. And that’s where you can get lost. 

When you have the same schedule every day, sure, it may be boring, it may be mundane, it might not be exciting. But it’s going to make you a heck of a lot of money and help you get your business to where you want to go because it’s scalable and repeatable. 

So, whatever daily commitments you want to remember—calls in the morning, appointment times, slots in the afternoon, meetings you have going on from a training perspective, skill building—have the same schedule every day, at least Monday through Friday, and it’s going to be way easier to stick to it. 

Put every single thing possible in your calendar so that way when you have to use the X or Y technique, or you have another appointment you need to be on, you know exactly when everything is happening. 

I know this all sounds simple. I guarantee you that if you implement it all, you’ll have more control over your time. You’ll be more efficient, more effective, and ultimately more committed to what matters most, which is the main thing. 

And the main thing in real estate is selling houses.