Saturday, March 14, 2009

Time Blocking and Time Compression for Sales Productivity

Dollar productive activities in real estate include negotiate, sell, list, keep a deal together and prospect. Prospecting is the wildcard in the bunch. Prospecting is an activity that a real estate agent has complete control over and it is also the activity for which Realtors often don't have time.
There are essential tasks in the real estate industry that by definition would not be considered dollar productive tasks. These tasks require time, but do not produce income for the real estate agent. Such tasks as property searches in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), market analysis research and presentation preparation, paperwork, returning some phone calls and email are all tasks which require time but do not produce income directly. These are non-dollar productive tasks. In that these tasks represent much of the "work" of real estate they typically garner more attention and time commitment than they deserve.
The Realtor with a strong work ethic will take pride in their work and will want to do a good job. This will lead them to work to perfect the methods of producing the best comparative market analysis or to searching every corner of the MLS for the right property for their buyer. This work ethic typically does not lead them to conducting more prospecting calls or pursuing more networking opportunities.
When many Realtors learn about the concept of dollar productivity they immediately embrace the idea and seek to increase the time they spend with dollar productive activities. The challenge, however, is that you cannot just decide that you are going to negotiate more today or that you are going to list a property today without having a previously scheduled appointment. Other than prospecting the Realtor does not have direct control over their dollar productive tasks. Only through prospecting can you produce more opportunities for the other dollar productive activities.
The use of time blocking as a time management tool can help Realtors keep better track of the time they spend in different activities. Evaluating exactly how much time is spent in dollar productive behavior is often very enlightening and sometimes alarming.
Once you have begun to focus on dollar productive work versus the non-dollar productive you can begin to compress the time that you spend on the non-dollar productive work. Essentially you give yourself time limits to complete certain tasks - the tasks that don't make you money. How quickly can you do a market analysis? How much time do you really need to spend on mailings?
In a market like this one we need to be keenly focused on dollar productive work.

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