Stop! Before you go about setting goals for this year, make sure you’ve created the time to achieve them. Avoid overwhelm, and potential failure, by reassessing where you spend those pressures minutes, hours and days.
Are you in the business of time? I know I am.
Whether you’ve considered this notion or not, if your business is to provide a service to someone else that relies on your expertise and availability that means you’re in a time-resourced business.
How valuable is your time?
If people had ‘all the time in the world’ to promote and negotiate the sale of their own home (and time to learn all the legislation and how to do what you do) then there would be no need for your services.
Thankfully, they don’t.
The reality is that we’re all in a race against time. In fact, ‘time is money’ to your clients, so engaging your real estate services is money well spent. The challenge for you then becomes how to generate more money, using less time!
Managing your time
So, why am I obsessing about time?
Well, I’ve been reflecting on the notion of time, and how little of it we have, alongside how it can be optimised to reap greater rewards – in both business and in life.
Recently, I was considering my next business goals, a task which is indeed worth doing. However, I then realised how ineffective my goal setting will be if I don’t have time to achieve them.
So, the priority became making better use of my time.
Time is in limited supply
One of my most frequently used sayings is;
“An idea is only as valuable as your ability to execute it.”
I’m lucky, ideas come easily to me, and I’ve capitalised on these in my services to others. So for me, the real challenge with running a service-orientated business (which requires people with talent and time) is how I can better exploit the finite amount of hours my team and I have, collectively.
You can calculate how much time you or your team have, in an ideal world, by multiplying the number of staff in your business by their weekly hours.
For example, if there’s four of you and you all work a full 40-hour week, you’ll have 160 hours at your disposal.
It sounds like you have a lot of time available, right? However, the reality is that time disappears too quickly, which is probably why so many real estate coaches have a mantra for staying focused on your “dollar productive” activities.
Time management tips
In my search for better time management tips, I discovered these valuable resources;
The Time Trap
4th Edition by Alec Mackenzie and Pat Nickerson
The Classic Book on Time Management
Find this book on Audible.
If you want to gain a handle on what time traps we typically fall into (in business and culturally) listen to this audiobook. It highlights common time traps and gives you tips for untangling them.
In this latest edition, their research indicates that the top five time traps are:
1. Management by crisis
Such as allowing email, telephone interruptions, and drop-in clients take you off track. Are you easily hoodwinked by meetings with no real purpose, piles of paperwork or insurmountable travel time?
2. Inability to say “no”
How do you say “no” politely to non-dollar productive activities or requests that will block your ability to reach your long-term financial goals, without damaging relationships or your reputation?
3. Inadequate planning (lack of self-discipline)
How good are you at planning? Do you plan? How self-disciplined are you? Are you a procrastinator? Are you naturally disorganised, leave tasks unfinished, prioritise socialising over work or, on the flip side, are you attempting too much?
4. Poor communication
How good is the communication between you, your clients and your team? Do you collect comprehensive information? Do you have clear lines of responsibility and authority in your business? How good or bad are you at delegation? Do you have adequate controls and progress reports? Highly trained or inadequate staff?
Read or listen to The Time Trap if you want a more dependable escape from whatever practices are keeping you ensnared and holding you back from climbing up to the next rung of the ladder.
The 4-Hour Work Week
by Tim Ferris
Find this book on Audible.
This book goes one step further. If you’re looking for more freedom in life and business, then you need to free your time and automate your income.
Using the concept of ‘lifestyle by design’ this book shares how a millionaire lifestyle (of complete freedom) is achievable without having 1 million dollars in the bank.
This book highlights that as a society we’ve become dangerously accustomed to living unfulfilling lives, in the 9-to-5 that society pigeon holes us into thinking is the norm.
Thankfully, the rules of this world are not set-in-stone, and you can try different lifestyles until you find one that suits you. Which could mean different models of real estate agencies; from individual agent to small team to agency brand? There’s no one size fits all.
Once again, how valuable is your time?
As the owner of a service orientated business myself, I understand all too well how precious time can be. Selling the expertise of people (abilities gained over time) based on our availability to execute or implementation digital marketing programs (smoothly, quickly, professionally, and most importantly, effectively) is how we earn our keep. Our fees are low and time-based, so every hour in our day is valuable.
Most real estate businesses can’t afford an internal marketing team, so we provide the equivalent of 10 skill sets at a fraction of the cost of a full-time marketing person. We’re an extension of your team, and a valuable resource that brings new vendor leads to your door.
We’re not just ideas people; we’re doers. We have the benefit of doing what we love, over and over again; hence that’s what makes us experts.
Time, oh precious time
You only have one life (unless you’re a cat) so live life to the full – and for me, that means maximising my time to get a healthy dose of income, creativity, learning, alongside time with family and friends.
What’s your time worth to you?
My tip for today is before you start setting any new big fat hairy audacious goals, clear some space in your business or life so that you can achieve them.