Too many people dive into real estate thinking that being your own boss means that you can do whatever you want to do. The fact is, you still have a boss, but the boss is you. Unless you have the discipline to force yourself to put in the work, you won’t succeed.
But even for the most successful agents, finding a good work-life balance takes a bit of work. You may be bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, but is your personal life suffering? Here are 6 easy ways to find proper work-life balance that you can fit into even the most hectic real estate schedule.
#1: Stay on top of Daily Tasks
Every day there is something to do but not every day has to be hectic. Some of the stress of the job is self-inflicted. Case in point, failing to put away filing or to respond to emails will leave you swamped by the end of the week.
Make life simpler and more efficient by simply staying on top of your easy daily tasks. For instance, schedule a specific block of time, say an hour, to go through and respond to emails at the same time every day. Other tasks include:
- Filing Documents
- Answering Voicemails
- Cultivating Leads (i.e., blogging, sending newsletters, updating e-mail database, etc.)
- Updating Calendar
If you do these small tasks each day, you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run. Make a list of your 15 minute tasks and block out the first two hours of your day, the last two hours of your day, or one hour at the beginning and end of your day to complete these tasks.
#2: Manage Your Time
Time management is two pronged in real estate: personal time and work boundaries. As your own boss and with the type "A" personality of most real estate agents, taking time off can be an afterthought when you are focused on building your business.
However, without taking proper time for your personal life, you will end up burned out and your business will eventually suffer. You must learn how to set aside personal time without exceptions. If your kid’s basketball games on Fridays in the fall are important to you, let your clients know your schedule up front.
Managing your time also involves fitting things comfortably into your schedule. There are going to be times when your workload is overwhelming, it is just the nature of the business. But you can manage those times much easier if you learn early how to space out your schedule so that you don’t overload your days:
- Give yourself time to get to and from appointments without feeling rushed.
- Try to avoid scheduling back to back meetings.
- Allow wiggle room in your schedule; don’t book every block of your day.
- Put your personal time on your work schedule as an immovable appointment.
#3: Put Boundaries on Your Time
Second, you have to set up boundaries for your work hours. While it is true that the best agents give their clients 24/7 attention, the fact is no one has 24 hours out of every day to give.
Make sure that your office hours are well communicated directly and on your website and business cards. For your actual clients and close partners, give out your personal 24/7 number.
Make it something exclusive and valuable that you offer certain clients. That way you can offer responsive service to all of your clients but your select clients know that you will go above and beyond for them.
#4: Get Help
Strong people and hard workers often have a hard time asking for help. The problem with that is that you end up wasting a lot of time and making life generally harder by trying to do it all on your own.
When it comes to building up your real estate business, your goal should be to maximize your time so that you can provide exceptional service to all of your clients. Why not enlist some help for that?
If you are the type who relishes your independence as a one man or woman operation, you can hire an administrative assistant. Virtual assistants can take over many daily tasks that eat into your daily schedule including:
- Updating and Uploading Your Listings
- Making Small Changes to Your Website
- Managing Your Contact Databases
- Handling Filing and Data Entry
- Submitting Paperwork
- Creating Reports and Presentations
- And More
If your business is booming and you need more in-depth help how about expanding into a partnership? Is there someone that you know in the business working as an independent agent who would add to your business? Maybe it’s time to invite them out for lunch to discuss a partnership.
#5: Set Realistic Expectations
Again, many new agents enter the business thinking that they will start pulling in six figures a year while barely working. Nothing could be further from the truth. When figuring out a good work-life balance as a real estate agent, you have to set realistic expectations.
In fact, a survey from Market Leader last year found that agents who had unrealistic expectations about making their own work schedule were unhappy with their real estate career.
Knowing that until you have time to make a few sales and a healthy pipeline of new leads, your days will be consumed with work will create a happier work-life balance. The goal is to make the work that you do extremely productive so that you don’t have to work as hard.
One way to accomplish this is to give yourself a regular day or two off each week. Choose one or two of your typically lightest days and make at least one a part-time day and the other a day off. Turn your phone off and shut down your computer to resist doing work on those days.
#6: Contract with Real Estate Experts
All of these tips can be done right now to make your work-life balance better. However to really alleviate an overloaded real estate schedule while having the peace of mind of knowing the work is getting done right is to contract with experts.
Agent Image has a track record of stellar success for hundreds of different real estate agents and brokers. Whether you are interested in learning more about hiring a virtual assistant or you would like help managing your website content, the experts at Agent Image are here to help. Contact us now for more information.