Many of the most successful estate agents all have one thing in common: they know how to be highly productive and well-organised. These can be vital skills in more or less any area of life, but they are particularly pertinent in the high-paced and dynamic world of estate agency. This means that if there’s currently room for improvement in the way that you manage your time and deal with your most important tasks on a day-to-day basis, then you could ultimately be leaving sales and revenue on the table by not making the necessary changes in this key area. With this in mind, we’ve put together 7 time-saving productivity tips especially for estate and letting agents, that will help you to focus on what’s important and get the very most out of of each and every day. Let’s dive right into the tips now…
Tip #1 – Reduce meeting times
How long do you typically spend in meetings over the course of each month? This is often a key area where we see that agents can save themselves valuable time that can be better spent on more productive and fruitful tasks.
Whilst there’s no denying that’s it’s important to maintain good communication and moral in the office by having regular meetings, the issue is often one of duration. Typically many meetings can be kept very brief and still perfectly serve the intended outcome.
If you have a strict blueprint for your meetings that you follow each time that’s concise and to the point, it’s amazing how much time you can shave off many of your meetings. Think what you can do with the extra time that this frees up for you and your agency.
Tip #2 –Avoid Multitasking
Many people still mistakenly believe that constantly trying to do more than one thing at once is the key to optimum productivity and more success. But there’s actually a lot of evidence to suggest that the opposite is true. Multitasking is actually a bit of a myth!
According to a 2012 Psychology Today article by Dr. Susan Weinschenk, studies have found that multitasking can actually decrease your productivity by up to 40%.
The reason cited for this is that our brains aren’t built to handle switching back and forth between one task and another. It’s just not the way in which our brains work in the most optimal fashion.
Of course, this has very significant implications to anyone trying to constantly multi-task. But again, it’s particularly pertinent to you as an agent, as the industry is typically fast-paced and there is always a multitude of things to do. There’s always constant temptation to try and find ways to cram more and more tasks into your day.
So, how can you take full advantage of this? Our advice is try and ensure you are only focusing on one key task at a time, wherever possible. Just have a few main tasks to get through for the day, and tick them off one after another. Avoid the temptation to try and focus on more than one thing at a time.
The bottom line is that your brain is proven to work much more effectively this way – so chances are you’ll save yourself many hours each month by eliminating multitasking from your life!
Tip #3 – Ensure your workspace is clean
There’s also evidence to suggest that keeping your workspace clean and tidy can improve your productivity and make you more efficient and productive.
Again, there’s some interesting psychology at play here, but the theory is that presenting yourself with a clean and organised workspace each day has a positive knock-on affect to your mental outlook to your work. And this can help to keep you better focused on the really key tasks you need to get done each day to become more successful as an agent.
We recommend that as well as having a quick tidy and reshuffle each morning to keep things super neat and organised, you also have a more thorough reorganising of your workspace at the end of each month to reset and keep things organised.
This should ensure that your productivity is never hampered by having a messy and unorganised working area. And this should in turn help to free up more valuable time for you to focus on the really important tasks.
Tip #4 –Turn Off Mobile Notifications
This one is a big one – and you only need to take a quick look around any modern-day office environment to see hours of wasted time each month from constant disturbances from notifications on smartphones and other devices.
Whilst we’re all for new technology and innovation that can aid and assist, everyone needs to be careful about how many apps they download to their devices and how frequently these are causing a disturbance to you through what can often be highly frequent notifications for all manner of things.
We understand that as an estate agent, it can be difficult to bring yourself to turn off many of these notifications. Your job constantly relies on text messages, emails, and phone calls to keep things moving.
But typically, there are always numerous notifications that can be disabled without affecting your ability to work in any significant way. In fact, the reality is that turning many of them off will actually make you more productive overall.
Perhaps a nice compromise to start with might be to turn off all relevant notifications and/or ensure all your devices are on silent for a set period of the day, when you can focus on tasks that require a greater depth of focus and concentration.
It stands to reason that without these constant distractions, you can get things done faster and more efficiently, freeing up more time for you to be able to focus more on the really key tasks that make the most difference to your agency in terms of winning more business and being more successful.
Tip #5 – Make phone calls to get things done faster
If you’re like most people, you’ll probably assume that in many cases an email will be quicker and save more time that making a phone call. But this often isn’t the case at all.
Think about it for a moment. How many times have you ended up sending multiple emails back and forth to resolve a seemingly simple issue? Often these kinds of issues could have been resolved with one single phone call, in a matter of a few minutes.
There can typically be a long delay between each of these emails that forces the discussion to run over more than one day, sometimes even several days. One or more parties can then forget exactly what has been discussed and agreed, and this can delay the process even further, and add on even more wasted time.
Of course, there is also more room for misunderstanding and ambiguity when opting for email communication over that of a phone call. This can also add on further wasted time!
So think about when you might be able to make a simple phone call and get an issue resolved within minutes, rather than continuing to attempt to resolve these kinds of issues over email. This is another key area where you could save significant time over the course of a month.
Tip #6 – Use Automation
With all the impressive technology and innovation available to agents these days, it stands to reason that more and more things can be automated in order to save you valuable time.
Think about the things that you do over and over again in a typical month. How many of these could realistically be better automated so that you can spend less time performing these repetitive tasks, and more time focusing on more important tasks that can directly lead to more sales and revenue.
As an agent, there are of course a few key areas where a personal touch is absolutely essential. Sometimes you simply have to pick up the phone and speak with a client on a very personal, one-to-one basis.
Equally, there are clearly some tasks in your day-to-day routine that you might feel you want to manually oversee yourself. And that’s fine.
But there are also many tasks where it simply doesn’t make sense in this day and age to not hand over to the power of good automation. Automation can typically get these things done perfectly well for you, at exactly the optimum time that they should be done.
All with the added benefit of not requiring you to spend any significant time on them each month. Just let the automation do it’s thing and work away in the background, whilst you focus on more important tasks that simply have to have human, real-time input on an ongoing basis.
These days there are many specialist systems and software produced specifically with the needs of estate agents in mind, that can help to massively increase your productivity and save you significant time each month.
Take the Prospr system for instance, which brings together several of your key tasks and processes that you are required to do constantly each month, and adds a strategic workflow and intelligent automation to help you get these tasks done much more efficiently. This is specifically designed to make your life easier and save you valuable time that can be better utilised elsewhere.
Book a demo with us to find out more about exactly how this system works, as it’s one way in which you can use automation in this manner to become more productive and save yourself significant amounts of time each month.
Tip #7 – Allow yourself some downtime
Another key thing that many people miss, is that you can only operate at your most productive for so long – at some stage both your mind and body are going to need a well-earned break!
This is why it’s important that you identify when you need to take some time out, to avoid potential burnout. Carrying on trying to work as normal might prove counter-intuitive, when you ideally need at least a short break from the stresses and strains of work.
Again this can be especially true in an industry such as estate agency. As agents, it’s not untypical to work for weeks on end without any real break, and that can often include work during the weekends.
Make sure that when you can sense your overall productivity levels dropping, you make some time for some kind of break. This should help to restore your optimum productivity levels when you return to work.
This is also another area where good automation can come in especially handy for you. Part of the reason that we all feel pressured to not take too much time out, is the worry that important tasks and communications might get missed that negatively impacts our business. We can also worry that time away from the office might allow our competitors to steal a march on us!
Good automation can help to counter-act these worries and stresses, by constantly monitoring things behind-the-scenes and reacting as required to any significant changes, without you having to do anything manually that requires you to be fully present in the office.
So in conclusion, no matter how well you work and how productive you become – try and always allow yourself at least a short break each month in order to keep your productivity levels as high as possible.
Use each of the tips above to make the required adjustments to keep your productivity as high as it can be. Some of these changes might seem a little odd at first if you’re used to working in a certain way, but remember that all of these things are proven to work. So it would be wise to stick with them.
When you add up even small amounts of time saved implementing each of the tips above, it can lead to a very significant amount of time saved each month overall.
Imagine what you can do with all this extra time! I guess one thing we all want and need is more time – so anything that can help us in this area should be very gratefully received by us all.