By Shirleen Von Hoffmann President and Sales Coach for Home Builders Edge copyright 2011
Each time I hear Sales People say: “There aren’t enough hours in the day!” I can relate, on a typical day I have many client appointments, employee issues, reports, manager calls, agent calls, sales and marketing, articles to write, webinars to give and among it all trying to keep everyone happy. The only way I can get all of this done is to stay organized and when I find myself not paying attention to being organized, I drop the ball. I have learned over the years, how to control my time instead of letting it control me, here are a few tips.
Get a calendar you can work with. Some like working on the computer some like having an actual calendar to write in. Whatever you choose, anyone in Real Estate needs a monthly glance, weekly glance, and daily calendar. You record events by the month, bring it forward to the week and then the day.
Identify time robbers.
If you know why or how you waste time, you can start to do something about it. For several days keep a log of what you do and how much time you spend doing it. You may discover that you save tons of time by eliminating time robbers or shortening them up.
Did you leave a task until the deadline, such as not addressing options quick enough and then having to get calls from the main office? Procrastination just makes the dreaded tasks worse. If you are a procrastinator, know it and address issues right away.
Make a List(s)
You need to make lists or you will forget the hundreds of things that need to get accomplished in a day. I like to do an overall list for the week on Sunday evening and then daily narrow down a list for each day. The list may be reorganized as the day goes along or added to, but overall this technique will keep you better organized.
You may not be able to control who walks in the door and when, but you can prioritize your duties and stick to getting the important things done first.
Delegate, delegate, delegate. You have a partner and each of you has things you do better or worse than the other. Talk it over and assign duties, that can be assigned by personality and who would take it on and complete it the best.
Schedule certain days to do repetitive tasks.
So you don’t miss those repetitive tasks, you may want to calendar things like realtor calls for two hours on Thursdays and follow up two times a week for two hours. Mark out this time on your calendar and do your best to honor these calendar appointments.
Schedule a regular time in the day to check emails and return phone calls.
It’s very easy to get sucked into the internet for hours or stuck on the phone with long phone conversations. Learn how to return phone calls and important emails all at once at two or three different times in the day.
Turn elephants into hors d’oeuvres.
Cut a huge task into smaller chunks so it seems less insurmountable.
Keep your paperwork organized.
Keep your desk clear, keep items in stacks and work on one project at a time. Have a checklist for contracts that will keep you in check, so that when a contract is submitted to the office you have a quick checklist you can go over to make sure you are not omitting any items from the stack.
Once you’ve decided your “A” priority tasks are and you’ve subdivided projects into manageable chunks, do you best to stay with the projects until you are done with them. Many Sales People are ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and have a hard time staying on one task. Focus, focus, focus until you are done!
One of the best ways to organize your day is to make appointments. Some builders are even putting “by appointment only” on their websites. Make as many appointments as you can with new and existing clients, it gives you time to dedicate to them exclusively.
Arrive early or stay late
Arrive a little early to organize yourself before you open or stay late, whichever fits your style. It’s amazing how much you can get done when you are not interrupted. And sometimes you just need to dedicate quiet time to getting backlogs over and done with.
Don’t beat yourself up, feel good about your accomplishments
While this is easier said than done, feel good about what you’ve accomplished. And, for all you do, you juggle a lot of balls, deserve to feel good. Go ahead, give yourself a pat on the back!
Ask for help
Never forget you can ask for help from your peer group. If you are struggling with paperwork, 1440, the process or whatever, pick up the phone or email some of your peer group and see if they can help you out with some tips of experience. Also letting your Manager know you are struggling may get you some great suggestions. They just might have heard it before and have a solution for you!