Strategically Invest Your Time to Avoid Chasing "Squirrels"


According to Dan Kennedy, productivity is the "deliberate, strategic investment of your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities in a manner calculated to move you measurably closer to meaningful goals."

At the intensive, we will go over the goal-setting process and the 10 focus areas for the coming year. That's going to give you meaningful goals that you're working toward. Productivity is investing your time, talent, intelligence, energy, resources, and opportunities into moving those 10 categories forward. I like to do five personal, five professional. I've always been good at achieving goals, but that way of organizing it has been a game changer for me.

You must create new business every day. This has to be the basis for your entire business every day. I know it's a challenge for most of you to bridge both worlds, in terms of building the systems, recruiting agents, training the agents, working with the new admin who doesn't really have real estate experience. I know, because I did it all. There's that period of time where you're just doing all of these different things, and it feels like it's a little bit sideways, but you've got to focus on bringing in new business every day.

You've got to have your agents realize their sphere, they're building business. They're holding open houses, they're working your old leads, and they're getting handoffs from you. You have to give them a path that keeps them accountable for selling a minimum of two, but ideally three, homes a month. There are some markets where the sales are harder to come by, so maybe one and a half sales a month is a better goal. Still, it's important to have a goal for them to hit.

Ask yourself, no matter what, "Is this the best use of my time right now?" If you don't have a dollar per hour worked out for yourself, if you don't know that an hour of your work is worth $250 because I want to net $500,000--$500,000 divided by 2,000 hours is $250 an hour, you have to have that number in mind. The bigger and bolder you are with that exercise, the more productive you will be. It was easy for me.

The only issue is timing of cash flow, because if you have one admin and two buyer's agents but you still find yourself working on any $50 an hour activity or taking out any buyers whatsoever or even listing appointments, if you're not netting $500,000 in a year, that means you're working on a whole bunch of stuff that's worth less than $250 an hour. You're only netting $100,000, that means you're working some $250 stuff but also on a lot of $12 to $15 an hours stuff as well. Ask yourself this question. Maybe type it up and print that document and hang it up in front of your computer: Is this the best use of my time right now? If you ask that question, you'll start making better decisions with your time. I promise you that.

You must avoid chasing squirrels! This is an obvious one. Sometimes I can't help myself because there are things that just tend to be squirrel-like, and you can spend a bunch of time chasing things that just don't matter in your business. With marketing specifically, it's easy to say, hey, I want to try this, without any real basis to know that it really works. Like Smart Zip. I've not tried it, but I've only heard that it does not work. I had a client recently got on the phone with them and I found out they spent $3,000 or $4,000 a month on Smart Zip. They just got sold on it.

They never asked for a proven track record on that. It's all marketing. Just make sure if you're implementing a tool that I don't use, you're implementing it for a solid business reason, not just satisfying something in you. I can get excited about a new CRM, but it's just not always necessary. For you to get to 600 sides. So who knows? For me to go from 600 sides to 10,000 sides in potentially 50 different markets, we have to think about some different technology, but I've not even started that search if we'll even change. So really, really, go deep. I think there was a post about someone wanting to add Zillow traffic, and how do you know when to add more.

You just start with a little and wait until that has paid off before you go to buy. Clients are spending four or five grand a month on Zillow and they're selling fewer homes than I am, and it's totally market-driven. I might have more listings and reviews, but my conversion rate is almost 10% on Zillow. You should be able to convert the same percentage of leads, just go deep on all of these things. It's the same thing with technology. We run Google Apps, dialogue tech, Top Producer, and Boomtown, and that's pretty much it. We keep it pretty simple, and we're not looking for a platform to integrate all of it because I don't think that the benefits outweigh the distraction.

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