When you’re trying to squeeze in countless showings, client calls and other tasks, and sell as many properties as possible, time equals money.
If your workdays lately have felt more chaotic than consistently profitable, a few small adjustments may help you boost your productivity.
Find out how to conquer daily delays with the following 10 time management tips:
- Decide what to prioritize: Real Estate Insider Magazine recommends analyzing recent marketing and other initiatives that have provided the results you want, to clarify what you should focus on — and what’s a waste of time. For help calculating your revenue to cost ratio, check out Inc.’s One Simple Metric You Need to Determine Marketing ROI.
- Utilize to-do lists: Make a list of the things you need to complete each day. Then, rank them by most to least important, which can help you figure out items to remove, according to Realty Times. An online app, such as Daily Todo, may help you keep track of your tasks.
- Give yourself deadlines: Assign a beginning and end time to important activities and conversations to ensure your daily to-do list doesn’t become impossible to complete. Find out what habits highly organized people use to get things done in PCMag.com’s Get Organized: 5 Tips for Meeting Deadlines. Additionally, check out My Minutes, a $2.99 iPhone app that monitors the time you spend on chores and lets you put a cap on certain activities.
- Determine what’s slowing you down: Keep a detailed account of your errands, conversations and other activities for three to five days to make sure you’re sticking to your schedule — and find out where you’re losing valuable time. Time-tracking apps like Toggl (available for free or for a $5-a-month pro version) are designed to track billable hours, but can help you, too, by showing you what’s taking up most of your day.
- Set goals: Determine how many prospective client meetings you hope to have, calls you want to make, marketing materials you want to create and rental listings you hope to close in either a week or month. Then, block time on your calendar to ensure you can complete these goals. Add an incentive to reach your goals with Beeminder, an app that charts out your progress (and is free, provided you stay on course), or 21habit, which asks you to choose a free option or pledge $21 for 21 days, returns a $1 a day if you meet your goals and donates the rest to charity.
- Combine tasks: RealEstate.com recommends grouping errands you need to run, using drive time to make personal calls (with a hands-free headset) and preparing two days’ worth of lunches at once to save time. Packing a lunch will also save you money, as Americans who eat out twice a week spend an average of almost $1,000 a year.
- Take a break: You may think you’re beating the clock by working nonstop. However, focusing on a task without interruption for a solid 25 minutes, then taking a five-minute pause, will help you work quicker, according to ABC News.
- Maximize technology: About a quarter of real estate agents and brokers spent between $501 to $2,000 on technology from mid-2013 to mid-2014, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a critical technology tool for anyone with clients; it can help you track current and potential client activity, contact information and other details. Zillow’s Choosing the Best Real Estate CRMhas tips on what to look for in a system. Learn about other apps and tools that can help you respond to leads and manage email in Realtor.com’s 4 Secrets to Success: How to Manage High Volume Leads.
- Delegate tasks: If you’re overwhelmed by administrative duties, consider purchasing a few hours of help from a temporary assistant through services like vGofer and Zirtual, which, according to Trulia, can let you farm out scheduling, contact database entry, bookkeeping and other time-consuming tasks. Zirtual’s plans start at $399 for up to 16 hours of work a month, and vGofer’s monthly plan provides an hour of work a day for $99 per month.
- Make each moment count: Waiting for a late client? Those few extra minutes can be a prime opportunity to send a card to a previous client, return a call or prep for your next listing appointment, according to the NAR.