No two days in real estate are alike. That’s what we love so much about this profession; it keeps you on your toes. But with all the excitement and daily tasks—from administrative tasks to showing homes, negotiating contracts, home inspections, office duty, marketing, and more—it’s easy to let your time management skills slip. You are, after all, likely trying to balance your real estate career with your home life and any other obligations that you may have.
Whether you’re a new or experienced North Carolina real estate professional, if you start to get overwhelmed or feel like you’re not finding the balance you desire, here are some tips to help you manage your time more efficiently.
1. Determine and set expectations
While real estate is often viewed as a 24/7 business, it’s important to determine and set expectations for how you will manage your time. For example: Do you answer client calls after 8pm? Do you spend 30 minutes each morning reviewing the new listings in the MLS? How will you allot time for continuing education, professional meetings, and community networking?
It is also important that you set communication expectations, particularly with your clients. Do you always respond to emails instantly? Is it okay to text message? When you set communication expectations with your clients, you’re gently saying, “My time is valuable, and I know yours is, too, so here’s the best way for us to communicate.”
2. Delegate, delegate, delegate
If you’re lucky enough to have a team working with you, try to delegate assignments that you can pass on. This includes administrative duties, like sending follow-up emails or checking with an inspector to confirm an appointment time. By delegating tasks that you don’t have to be a part of, you’re allowing yourself more time to work directly with and for your clients. Trust your team and trust that they are here to make your job easier. Consider weekly team meetings and follow-up ones, if needed.
3. Systematize your tasks
Effective time management requires a time-saving system. Try the following systematic time-saving techniques:
Batching combines everyday tasks into fewer occasions. For instance, batch emails and phone calls two or three times a day at scheduled times. Screen phone calls with apps like Google Voice/YouMail to save time. Answering every call when it rings may waste time with people you don’t want to talk with. If the caller considers the call important, they will leave a message to call back.
Time-blocking requires setting aside specific times to accomplish important tasks with no interruptions, like calling clients back, managing transactions, and social media marketing. Set specific times to begin and end these tasks so you won’t waste all day on them.
4. Use available technologies
There are so many wonderful technologies that can help us streamline our communications, office functions, and more. In markets where electronic signatures are permitted, Docusign, for example, allows you to send and sign documents with ease. Evernote is another great tool that allows you to capture ideas, information, and notes in one easy-to-access place. Additionally, a robust CRM product like HubSpot can help you manage your client database, email communications, social media marketing, and more.
Real estate is a fast-moving business, and it’s easy to be overwhelmed if you are not well prepared. Consider implementing the tips above and allow yourself to work smarter, not harder, as you work to achieve both a healthy work-life balance and a successful career in North Carolina real estate.