By Amanda Creter and Alex Mont-Ros
We’ve used the saying “time is money” before. In a busy real estate market, truer words have never been spoken. To be as successful as possible, a Real Estate Agent must learn to maximize their time and become as productive as humanely possible. The most successful agents don’t waste a single minute of their day. They have mapped out and organized their business so it is a lean, mean, well-oiled machine. To take your business to the next level, you must do the same. Here are some hacks to help get you started.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
The number one tool at an Agents disposal is that of a CRM System. If you are not using one, then you need to seriously take a look at how you are running your business. From our experience, the majority of business an agent receives is through word of mouth and on a referral basis. This is why top Real Estate Agents will ask often and strategically throughout a transaction if their client has any referrals, usually at set points throughout the transaction. These leads need to be tracked and managed so the business can have a line of sight on where the potential next transactions will be coming from. With regards to referrals and timing of when to ask for them, The Real Estate Trainer mentions, “always bring up the topic at the listing consultation, after successful open house, after an offer is accepted, after inspection repairs are completed, after a home appraises, at closing, and after many other steps in the typical transaction are completed.” For these new leads that will come from asking for referrals, a CRM is a must. If you already have a CRM and it’s working for you, stick with it. If you have yet to REALLY incorporate a CRM into your business here are a few you can try free.
· Streak – If you already use Gmail and find it easy to navigate, check out their FREE CRM tool. They even have an option specifically for Real Estate Agents
· Hubspot – Hubspot offers both a free trial and a full program upgrade. This one is more like a traditional CRM, and for anyone who may have past experience using them, you may find this one more user friendly than others. The coolest feature I enjoy about this one, the ability to track when someone opens an email. For marketing campaigns this is a great feature as it ties right into your email allowing you to get instant notifications and increasing your ability to convert leads.
· Brivity – A CRM created by Top Real Estate Agent Ben Kinney. This CRM takes your business to the next level by increasing the effectiveness of customer service and marketing tactics and strategies. It is also a fantastic and effective Time Management Tool as well. Ben Kinney is well known in the industry and this tool was built by agents for agents. Highly recommended!!
These are just a few of the CRM options available to you. No matter which system you choose, we highly recommend FULLY implementing one if you want to grow your business!
Project Management and Collaboration Tools
One way to stay on top of your business is by using a Project Management and Collaboration Tools. There are many out there to choose from. Here are just a some we recommend:
These all have free versions and are easy to use. I really enjoy using idonethis as it allows you to keep track of tasks, reminding you and your team of what was accomplished the day before. It then keeps those tasks that were not complete on the list until further notice, updating you at a set time every day through email notification that you can control. Pretty cool, super simple, and highly recommended.
Most of these tools allow you to input every aspect of your project(s), assign tasks to team members to be completed, input deadlines, create check lists (that can then be assigned to different team members), among many other features. And it is all in one easy to use interface. Keep track of your day and what your team members are doing so that everyone stays on track and is maximizing their productivity.
Transaction Coordination Services
We have discussed in the past how having a Transaction Coordinator or Transaction Coordination System in place will save you valuable time you could be spending networking and growing your business! Contracting your Real Estate Transactions out to a qualified team will increase productivity, assist in bringing in new business, and improve customer service. This can also have the added effect of increasing how often clients refer you out. Remember, transaction management can take up to 10-20 hours per transaction. As an agent, if you are coordinating transactions, you are missing out on executing against revenue generating activities. Delegating is what leaders of a business do to go above and beyond, and transaction coordination should be on your list of the next set of activities that you stop doing and start delegating.
Tracking Your Time
A key step in understanding how to increase your productivity is by being aware of how and what you are spending your time on. You may think you are using your time each day, week, or month to the fullest, and maybe you are, but using a program that will track what you are spending your time on will show you if you need to refocus your energy on other tasks. These are some great tools for teams who have admin or staff working on key projects for the business as well as keeping track of your own time as a business leader or owner as well.
· TimeDoctor – TimeDoctor is an app that can be placed on all of your devices, such as phone and computer. It will track what you are doing during the day (example: how much time spent on social media, emails, research) and will give you a daily, weekly and monthly break down. You can review the reports and be aware of areas you are or are not spending enough time in.
· Hubstaff – Similar to TimeDoctor and allows you to track your activity daily, weekly, and monthly as well. Another feature that couple be a bonus is that you can add your team onto the account and see how productive they are as well. This will help your entire team with Time Management.
These are only a few hacks to help increase productivity and time management. There are many options and variations out there at your disposal, and any number of them can make all the difference. Try out a few different programs and tools to implement, get a feel for what is right for you and your team, and customize your routine from there. Once you are organized and maximizing your time to run more efficiently, you should see a growth in your business!