I have said this before and I will say it again – The business of real estate is simple but not easy. We are relatively a new Real Estate agency – less than three years old. Though we have made rapid strides in the business and though the business is made of seasoned business professionals, we try to make all efforts and address all challenges the way a modern business must in the 21st century. We believe that if one works in a professional manner then we will be more concerned with how to spend all the money that we are earning rather than just trying to survive! If you are a potential home buyer or investor do read on to understand how successful real estate consultants approach a typical day at work.
Time is a precious commodity that is far too valuable to fritter away. One’s days can be productive if one approaches it like a 3-step game. The first step is to get organised. The second step is to attend to the irons that are already in the fire. The final step is to shake the trees to release new business!
My first priority every day once I land at my office is to create a strategy whereby I can derive the maximum result of my time. Even though I am instinctively an organised person, I try to spend a few minutes of my time every day to create a list of all the things that I need to get done. I have a “Daily Control Form” that I use and one that I find more intuitive to use than a Planner or a Diary. It’s just a single page on which I can assign priorities to tasks so that I get to work on the most important things first and even if some of the items on the list do not get accomplished, the consequences are not that grave.
The top 5 lines of my “Daily Control Form” are reserved for “Scheduled Appointments” of that particular day. Then I check all my “Active Transactions” to ensure that the deals that are supposed to be moving are indeed moving along as expected. Then there are “Routine Obligations” that include stuff like pending bills, calling prospective clients etc. The final things on the control form is for the “Odds and Ends”. These can include anything such as getting the car washed, renewing the gym membership or even de-cluttering the desk and drawers! That’s all there is to it! It rarely takes more than 5 minutes to prioritize my day this way. I keep my control form with me all day and as the day progresses I write new appointments on the back of the page and later transfer the information to a desk calendar.
I generally have little stress because all my priorities are attended to in a timely fashion rather than have them attended to them at the last minute which can increase stress levels and lead to a rush job. Also the risk of loss is not much if I lose the form as opposed to losing a planner because there is only a single day’s activity listed on each page. Though there are some very decent cloud based planning mobile apps available in the market, I still prefer my old fashioned “Daily Control Form” on paper! I believe that it doesn’t make much of a difference as to how you choose to organise but it is important that one does it anyhow. A real estate broker’s day can be crazily packed with office work as well as property inspections and meetings. Writing them down lends importance, structure and priority to one’s working day and activities. Agents who neglect to organise their days are more likely to procrastinate or forget the activities that provide moolah to the successful pros!
The second thing that usually improves my productivity is to attend to my pending files. As a real estate broker, the importance of referrals cannot be overestimated and it is important to not neglect the requirements of past and present clients. I like to review the files of all the on-going transactions one-at-a-time and ensure that there are no loose ends. I try to make any calls to buyers, sellers, lenders, developers etc. that will move my files closer to a cheque.
I also ensure that follow-up calls are made to those who haven’t returned my calls for whatever reasons. I try to check whether files are not moving because of price reductions and if possible I ensure that actions are taken in terms of pricing modifications or other tactics. I ensure that my clients are kept in the loop at all times so that they know that I am firmly in control.
As an aside I find it very strange and counter-intuitive that real estate brokers implement all types of ad campaigns and marketing to find new business but are lackadaisical in their attitude when it comes to attending to existing clients. When you make a call, you have control over the proceedings. For example if you are trying to move an overpriced flat in Andheri West, you have a better chance of reducing the selling price if you call the seller rather than the seller calling you. You could state matter-of-factly that, “Ravi, two other sellers in your building sold their flats last month but your flat is taking longer to sell. I have done everything that you would expect me to do but the market conditions dictate a price reduction from your end. How much can you lower the price?”
Some brokers put off making calls like that. Instead they hope and pray that the Gods above will bless them with an ignorant buyer! And when that takes forever to happen, they inevitably get a call from a new prospect and they forget all about the earlier client. And then later they get a call from the earlier client who now sounds irate, “Hey, you know a couple of families have sold their flats recently in my complex. But I haven’t heard from you and I don’t like the way things are going! Why aren’t you selling my home?!” That is an ugly and absolutely unnecessary situation and one that can be avoided if an agent works hard on each and every client whether it be a buyer or a seller and helps them meet their needs in an efficient, effective and proactive manner!