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Time management is one of the biggest struggles for real estate agents, especially as we head into a time of year when three-day weekends and cutting out of work early on Fridays become more common.  

Right now, it’s more important than ever to get the most out of your time. 

So I’m going to break down the three buckets where you should spend your time in a real estate business.

When you start to consider time management, you want to first sit down and see how much time you’re spending on your business. 

I work 50 to 60 hours a week, sometimes even more, but I always track and measure how I spend my time. The goal is to spend it in three different buckets. 

The 3 buckets

Bucket number one is appointments because you have to go on appointments to get in the arena and help people. 

Bucket number two is lead generation, prospecting and follow-up because you have to talk to people to set appointments with them. 

Bucket number three is skill building. Now, this isn’t just working on your scripts and dialogues or understanding how to run an appointment better. It’s also getting the knowledge that you need to better answer questions and be that knowledge broker that’s out there helping consumers understand the market and their options. 

Once you determine how much time you’re spending on your business, it’s time to consider how you manage it.

#1—Appointments

Appointments tend to be tricky. A lot of real estate agents just give an automatic “Yes, I’ll meet you whenever,” and they don’t want to manage their time. 

I did a video a few weeks back with Ashley from my team, and she talked about the alternate choice close. 

“Hey, I can’t do this time, but how about [time number one] or [time number two]?

When you’re managing your schedule aggressively, appointments should fall into the time slots you have available in your calendar. 

So, how do you manage appointments? First, you need to know when you can’t go on appointments and block that out (“I’m not available for appointments at this time”). That way you’re not scheduling meet-ups when you need to be focusing on other tasks. That should include bucket number two, which is lead generation prospecting and follow up. 

Next, you need to know when you can meet with people and maybe put a time block in there available for appointments. But if that’s a five or six hour time block, that can get pretty messy when it comes to travel time and getting to places. 

Instead, I would suggest that if you’re starting all your appointments at one o’clock and you’re going to go until six or seven o’clock—let’s say seven in this scenario—you have three different two-hour time blocks. 

That way you can fit in three different clients you’re meeting on a daily basis.

“Hey, I can do one to three. The whole two-hour block is yours. We can look at one home, we can look at five homes. I can meet you at your home, I can be there at one. I’ve just got to be out of there by three for my next meeting.”

Break down those two-hour time blocks and allot them for clients. That way, you’re not rushing around, and you’ve got travel time involved. It’s an easier way to manage it rather than trying to squeeze in a showing here, a listing appointment there, a consultation here, etc. 

The two-hour time blocks also give you choice. 

“Hey, I’ve got this time, this time or this time. Which one’s better for you?” 

#2—Lead generation, prospecting, and follow up

Bucket two is the lead generation, prospecting and follow up blocks. To me, this should be happening in the morning. And this also includes when you are prepping: 

  • the script you’re going to use
  • who you’re going to call
  • what your intention is

If you don’t have appointments to go on, spend 80 to 85% of time in the lead generation, prospecting and follow up time block because that’s where you’re going to set more appointments. 

Eventually, you want to get to a point where you’re working that appointment time block, just like I explained, in an aggressive way where you’re having to make it all work and you’re being super efficient. 

When you’re building momentum, when you’re building a business, when you’re looking to fill your pipeline, you want to make sure you’re spending a lot of time generating those appointments. That’s going to be really, really important. 

This involves—

  • Calling the leads in your CRM
  • Calling your clients
  • Working your sphere
  • Understanding what you’re doing to get listings and to get buyer appointments

Whatever strategy you included in your business plan, which you probably completed at the end of last year, implement it during that time. 

Follow up is just as important:

  • Are you sending the properties that you promised? 
  • Are you sending the pre-appointment emails? 
  • Are you getting the information folks need to see? 

#3—Skill-building

This involves role play, practicing your appointment, and learning scripts, but also getting the information that you need. 

  • How much time are you studying the market? 
  • Can you articulate what the Fed meeting means for buyers and sellers?
  • Can you explain the agreement of sale? 
  • Do you know what happens when a buyer has a home to sell and how to navigate all that? 
  • Are you well-versed in all the different financing packages that your lender or lenders have to offer? 

If you can’t articulate these things and you can’t answer questions when you’re in front of somebody, then the appointment may not go well. 

You could do all the things right, but because you didn’t build your skills and your knowledge base, you’re putting yourself in a position where you may not be able to execute at the appointment. 

Thoughts on timing and duration for each bucket

These three buckets should be in your calendar on a regular basis. And you want to see how much time you’re allotting. 

Skill building doesn’t need to be a lot; it could be a half hour a day. 

As for appointments, I’d be running those in the afternoons or the evenings because the mornings are when you can do prospecting, follow up and lead generation. 

Those are your time buckets. So sit down, have a meeting with yourself, and see if you’re really implementing those. If you’re not, take a look at your calendar and make sure you’ve charted out, “Here are the days I’m working, and here are the days I’m not working.” 

Because if I’m taking a three-day weekend (and I’m a big believer in taking time off), I want to make sure I get every single ounce I can out of my work schedule Monday through Thursday so I’m not feeling guilty on Friday. 

I’m not letting the fact that I didn’t do what I needed to do on Friday weigh on me. That’s the game right now. 

And that’s what you want to be working on. 

Join me at BAM BBQ on July 17, 2024—BAM’s FREE virtual event of the summer. I’ll be talking specifically about time management for real estate agents, sharing the best strategies I know for making your time work for you.