n the world of real estate, we agents take on a lot that really isn’t ours. This past week for me has been a case in point and I wanted to share because, as professionals, we try to give time to everyone and then we exhaust ourselves. We want to help them, we see the path and we know how to get from point A to point Z. Our clients pay us a lot of money, not only for the time that it takes to navigate a transaction but for our experience in getting them through it.
Our clients pay a lot of money to us to make transactions work, but what seems to be the missing conversation, is that we aren’t an hourly worker. Transactions that go smoothly and that are no trouble from the time of contract to the time of close seem to convey to the client as we were paid too much because “we didn’t do much.”
I want to share that you did a lot, but my question to you is- Were you present?
Your client is paying you not only for your time of showing up, taking a listing, writing a contract but for your knowledge and expertise. Whether you are new, or have been doing this a long time, that client is paying you for you ability to get them to where they want to be. Not for hours or weeks or months. The easier a transaction becomes is because of your ability to make it happen. And you need to completely show up. This adds a new dimension to your sense of self worth.
The point is SHOWING UP. And this is how.
I also talked about boundaries in my previous blog, and this becomes paramount in the transaction. That thought process doesn’t limit itself to other agents, but to our clients as well. I will go through something called time blocking in an upcoming workshop and this will stress the importance of sticking to your schedule and paying attention to the here and now without the stresses of wondering what’s next. Time blocking gives you permission to handle the task at hand, allows you to set boundaries with the time bandits that get you off course and allows your mind to process clearly. It’s a beautiful thing.
Imagine having a showing, a listing appointment and a drop by all in the same neighborhood and having had the sense to schedule them all with time blocks. Each client and prospect gets you present, gets your attention and gives you the freedom to do your job, properly, with each one. Then imagine that you time blocked office hours to get your paperwork turned in to your assistant, run copies, research that next property and then – oh wow – you have time for lunch!
This can really happen. And, you will find that your time becomes more fluid and you become less frantic and more present.
Being in the moment is the most important part of a holistic existence. Our job is already hectic and at times frantic. We put out brush fires constantly and keep moving forward. Moving forward is our job.
The first part of scheduling is understanding what you are truly capable of handling at any given time. Travel times, appointments and drop-bys need to be carefully considered as to how much time you really need to allot to any given situation. This begins with understanding your client and their personality. We have some clients that are time efficient. They have good boundaries and they aren’t looking to spend a lot of time on any given task. We also have clients that are time-bandits and will want to discuss every little detail of the situation at hand and rehash everything. This is OK too because it is our job to quell the anxiety monster and make sure they feel at peace with what is happening.
Rules for time blocking:
1. Understand your client. Give yourself the right amount of time with who you are working with.
2. Establish your time upfront and have the plan. Walk into a meeting and with purpose of what you want to accomplish and then how much time you have. Give it a positive spin. “I am looking forward to looking at your home today to give you an idea of what we need to do to get it sold. I have plenty of time for you and will be able to stay until 2pm. I made sure I blocked this time for you. ” You gave them your boundaries upfront. Then at 1:45, you can say, I think we have discussed this in full and let’s wrap up our decisions. Your 2:30 appointment will then be on time.
3. Allow yourself time to “arrive” and I am not talking about pulling into the driveway. Allow yourself time to acclimate to your surroundings. You have to not just get there physically, but mentally as well.
4. It’s OK to not answer your phone while you are with someone. Set your voicemail to say when you return calls on a daily basis. Set your email responder to clearly give a time when you check emails. And stick to it.
5. Text messages have become the means of communication in our industry – sadly. Do not feel compelled to answer them while you are driving. They are invasive and puts the demands of the sender into you world. You still own your time. No one says you should just drop everything to answer just because they need an answer immediately. Rarely are there ever emergencies in our business. And for goodness sake – not while you are driving.
Learn to take back control of your time. You will upset people sometimes, and that’s OK – that’s when you know that you are taking back control and allowing yourself to do your job and do it well.