Have you ever wondered what are the best methods to increase productivity for real estate agents? Whether if you are an agent who is looking to close more deals each month while working fewer hours or a broker that wants to help their team and their agents become better producers, this article is for you!
A lot of agents and brokers tend to think about how they can increase their productivity throughout the day and are always looking for the next best CRM tool or scheduling software to automate their bookings on their calendars. Well, I’m here to tell you that none of that stuff even matters if you do not have a clear understanding of the principles and fundamentals of how to not only increase productivity for real estate agents, but also increase mood, and propel your overall mindset.
In order to increase your productivity, realtors need to begin to treat themselves like business owners instead of independent contractors or “self-employed”. When you make that mindset shift and begin auditing your business, tracking your systems, and dividing up your activities, then you can begin to increase your daily productivity which will lead to more results which will lead to more money.
So in this article, I want to share with you the 7 proven methods that can help real estate agents of any skill set or experience level increase their productivity, close more deals, and earn more money while working fewer hours throughout the day and taking control of their business instead of letting their businesses control them.
The 7 Methods to Increase Productivity for Real Estate Agents
- Have a Clear Vision
- Identify Your IPAs
- Track Your KPIs
- Plan Ahead
- Audit Your Day
- Start Your Day Right
1) Have a Clear Vision
The number one thing that can drastically increase productivity for real estate agents is to have a clear and concise vision of where you want your life and your business to be. Often we hear people say, you can’t be making any progress if you don’t know where you’re going. The same principle should be applied to real estate agents and their businesses. Without a clear vision of where you want your business to be, how are you ever going to get there?
In order to have a clear vision for your business you first have to start with why you want your business to be there in the first place. Start by thinking back to the reason why you decided to become an agent in the first place and work from there. What did you envision your life would look like as a realtor? Do you want to build wealth for yourself and your family? Do you want more control over your income, health, stress, and free time?
So many real estate agents get lost in their day-to-day task maintenance that they never really take the time to reflect and think on what made them jump into real estate in the first place and whether or not they are actually moving their life in that direction. In order to increase productivity for real estate agents, they first need to take the time to build a clear vision of where they want their life to be and where they want their businesses to be.
Write these goals and vision statements down using pen and paper, or go one step further and design a vision board for your goals. Once you have a clear vision of where you are going in your business and in your life, then it will be easy to determine whether or not the tasks that you are doing are actually moving you forward towards that goal.
Productivity is progress, and as I mentioned earlier, if you don’t know where you are going, you can’t make any progress, and therefore you can not be productive.
2) Identify Your IPAs
The most important metric to track that will improve productivity for real estate agents are your IPAs. IPA stands for Income Producing Activities. The majority of realtors have extremely busy and jam-packed schedules, constantly trying to mark off task after task in their planners or calendars. But how many of those tasks are actually helping you make money?
Busy is not productive. There is a very distinct difference between the two. One keeps your blood pressure high, your mind clogged, your days stressed, and your anxiety high. The other move you and your business in the right direction, towards your clear vivid vision.
Real estate agents who want to be more productive need to start identifying their IPAs and take time to focus on those activities rather than waste their time doing busy work and maintenance tasks that are just keeping them in the same loop of stress and anxiety. The best part about identifying IPAs for realtors is that this is not a difficult task, it is actually quite simple.
For real estate agents, the only tasks that actually produce income are working with clients and generating new clients. Those are the only two activities in a realtors’ day that actually lead directly to them making money.
If you are working with a client, you are in the process of moving towards a closing which will yield you the real estate agent a commission check. If you are generating new leads you are getting more clients to work with. I know this sounds simple, but it really is that simple, yet too many realtors overcomplicate this and keep their days busy with meaningless tasks that aren’t moving them forward.
Overcompliacation leads to high stress and low productivity for real estate agents.
Take the time to identify how many hours you are dedicating to your IPAs each day. It should be at least 2/3 of your working hours minimum, if not, think of ways that you can increase that.
3) Track Your KPIs
On top of tracking IPAs, or income-producing activities, another great metric to track in order to increase productivity for real estate agents are KPIs or Key Performance Indicators.
Your key performance indicators tell you how well you are performing your tasks and how efficient you are running your business. Once you’ve identified the most important tasks in your schedule that generate the most income directly, you have to be able to track how well you perform those tasks in order to better manage them so you know exactly what you need to be focused on doing daily.
A lot of real estate agents tend to get discouraged very easily, especially newer agents or agents who are trying a new strategy, lead generation platform, or business tool. They will put in some effort, usually very high intensity for a very condensed amount of time, and they see no immediate results so they get burned out and quit. This leads to agents trying too many new things with too little success, which leads to a lot of wasted time and effort throughout the years.
In order to increase the productivity of real estate agents, they have to start tracking some key indicators in their strategies and business so they know how well and how efficient they are performing now using the strategy, know how long it will take for them to reach their goals, and work on either improving their skillsets to increase efficiency or dedicate more time to those tasks in order to reach their goals faster.
One of the key performance indicators that a realtor can track in their business is their lead generation. It does not matter what method of lead generation you’re using, the important thing is to track the amount of effort you made to generate one lead that turns into a client. If you are knocking on doors, track how many doors you have to knock to get one client, cold callers need to track how many phone calls they make to sign one client, and if you are spending money on lead generation, make sure you are tracking your return on investment, how much are you paying to generate one client?
Once you’ve done that you should also track things like how many clients does it take you to convert one closing. Again, the key here is that you need to be tracking where you are in your business and compare that to where you want to be. In the first section, we talked extensively about how the number one thing to know in order to make progress is to know where you want to go. The second most important is knowing exactly where you are. Once you are clear about these two things then you will know exactly how you can hit your goals.
4) Plan Ahead
Planning ahead is an absolute cornerstone in improving productivity for real estate agents. In a business that essentially relies on the agent to be present 100% of the time in their IPAs, they need to know exactly what tasks they need to accomplish before the moment arrives. A lot of agents who complain about not having enough time in their business or being unproductive are losing the majority of their time during their filler times between tasks in their calendars.
There are usually two types of activities that are present in most realtors’ schedules. HLAs, or high leveraged activities, and LLAs, or low leveraged activities.
A high leverage activity is a task that requires your presence in order to be accomplished. These are usually your IPAs as well. For real estate agents conducting showings, meeting with clients, appointments with sellers and buyers, and listing presentations are all examples of HLAs that both require your presence and also moves you directly towards a closing which moves you closer to your goals.
A low leverage activity is a task that is on your plate, usually in the back of your mind that needs to be done, but does not have a strict timetable and can be accomplished rather easily. These tasks typically do not move you and your business towards your goal directly but can aid in both maintaining your current systems, touching up your systems or plugging certain holes that you see in your business. Data entry, ads management, email/message response, follow-ups, CRM updates, and running marketing are all examples of low leverage activities for real estate agents.
When you plan your day or even your week ahead, you are increasing your productivity by outlining the pre-booked appointments that you must be present at throughout your schedule while also plugging in the filler times between those appointments with your low leveraged maintenance tasks. This way you will not only save time throughout the day because you know exactly what your next task is after you’ve completed an activity, but you are also planning ahead for any missed meetings so that you can fill your time gaps in your schedule.
Before each day, block out your pre-booked appointments, meetings, showings, and presentations on your schedule. Then keep a list of at least 5-10 or even more low leverage tasks that you can be accomplished during the times between your high leverage meetings. This way you will never be confused as to what you need to do next in your day and will not have to operate your business in a reactive state, maximizing your schedules and increasing overall productivity and profitability.
5) Audit Your Day
Once you’ve got a good idea as to what your income-producing activities are, what key performance indicators to track, and have planned your day out by scheduling your HLAs and filling in the time between them with your LLAs, you need to be doing a self-audit every single day to see if you actually followed through with your plans.
Auditing your day at the end of the day or auditing your days at the end of the week is a key component to increasing productivity for real estate agents. By taking a look back at what you did the day before or the week before you can clearly see where you spent the most time, which tasks required the most effort, how much time you have dedicated to your IPAs, and what low leverage tasks take up the most of your time.
In order to increase productivity, you have to know how productive you are now. Although there are no set standards to measure productivity, it is usually determined by how much you are progressing towards your goal. This does not mean how many closings you had the day before, but how much of your working hours were actually dedicated to an activity that would directly generate a closing.
Using the metrics we talked about in this article, if you are not spending at least 2/3 of your working hours on high leverage or income-producing activities, you need to reassess your schedule for the next day and figure out how you can replace certain low leverage maintenance tasks with activities that actually moves your business forward.
Just because a task is not pre-scheduled or requires you to be present with another partner, prospect, agent, lead, or client does not mean it is not a high leverage task that is propelling you in the direction of your goal. Lead generation is a task that a lot of new agents and even experienced agents need to dedicate some time to. Calling prospects, knocking on doors, creating social media content, and reaching out to your sphere are all high leverage tasks that you can be doing even if you don’t have any pre-scheduled meetings, showings, or appointments to attend.
Once you start tracking and auditing your days, you will have a clearer picture of where you are, which will help you determine what you need to do or not do in order to get to where you want to go.
In order to improve the productivity for real estate agents who feel like their schedules are too “busy” or jam-packed, not only do they have to audit their schedules and recognize how much time they’re dedicating to certain tasks, they also have to find ways to eliminate or outsource their low leverage tasks throughout their day so that they can focus more of their time effort and energy on their HLAs and IPAs.
Outsourcing is one of the best ways to increase agent productivity because it takes the most menial, time-intensive tasks in an agent’s schedule and removes them. This reduces the potential for real estate agents to experience burn-out which reduces morale and that productivity. As an entrepreneur, real estate agents must look at the opportunity cost of how they can best utilize their time. Every realtor gets 24 hours in a day 365 days a year, it’s how you decide to use that time that separates a productive agent from one that is stuck in their own business.
Real estate agents need to begin valuing their own time more than are. Too many realtors elect to perform simple yet extremely time-intensive tasks themselves in order to save money or even save time! Whenever you refuse to pay an assistant or third-party consultant to help you with a task because you don’t want to invest in yourself and your business or refuse to sit down for 15 minutes to an hour to look at a new tool or opportunity that can save them time, they are actually throwing away even more time that they can dedicate to more productive activities in the long run.
Think of it this way, if you currently spend an hour each day doing data entry when you can pay an assistant $10 an hour to do, what you are really saying is that your time is worth around $10 an hour. So instead of spending an hour every day doing a task that you can pay someone else $10 to do, you can now put that hour every day towards income-producing activities that are worth over $100 or even $1,000 per hour.
Lastly, outsourcing forces you to value yourself and your time, because you have paid someone else to help you complete a task that saves you a certain amount of time each day, it forces you to value that extra time and put it towards productive activities that are high leveraged and income-generating so that you get the real value out of paying for assistants, systems, tools, agencies, or consultants.
Look for some tasks that you are dedicating a lot of time to right now that you think you can outsource to someone else, this can be data entry, admin work, lead generation, follow-ups, etc. You might actually find that they can perform the task in a more efficient and even more effective manner than you can.
7) Start Your Day Right
The very last method to boost productivity for real estate agents is to start your mornings off the right way. In business and in life, we often tend to overlook the power of momentum and how that can affect our long-term performance. In order to perform at a high level consistently in business, you absolutely need to have momentum.
A lot of realtors do not treat themselves nor their businesses as seriously as they should. That can be a major hindrance to your productivity levels as an agent. In order to take yourself seriously in your business every day at a consistently high level, you have to start every single day with a lot of momentum that you can then take with you for the rest of your day as you are talking to clients and prospects.
Science has shown that starting your days off with some healthy habits and or sticking to a morning routine can drastically increase your productivity levels throughout your work day.
Simple things like exercise, drinking water, meditation, and visualizing your goals are all great habits to incorporate into your mornings so you can boost your momentum and energy levels in your body and mind right off the bat. Also, staying away from technology the first 15-30 minutes of the day is also proven to increase realtor productivity throughout the day.
How to Boost Productivty for Real Estate Agents
There are way too many real estate agents out there in the marketplace who are busier than they are productive because they weren’t taught the right systems to run their business so that they are in control instead of the other way around. The reason why realtor productivity is so important is that productivity equals profits.
In life and in business there are usually two ways of doing things. You are either creating or surviving. When you are being productive you are creating business for yourself, moving your life towards the vision and goal that you have and most importantly, you are not reacting to the distractions and activities that your business throws at you. So the next time you go to plan out your day or take the time to really reflect on your business, ask yourself this question. Are you running your business or is your business running you?
If you would like to learn more about how you can become a more productive agent, run a more productive team of agents, or what you need to be doing right now to start accelerating your business, click the link below and learn more about how we can help you solve your problems and help you move towards the lifestyle that you have always wanted as a real estate entrepreneur.