We all have the same number of hours in a day, but how you use that time could mean success – or not. In the case of estate agents, time management could mean clinching that sale – or not. In the highly competitive property industry, good time management is critical.
The real-estate profession has changed since the days of old, when you could get a Fidelity Fund Certificate on a Monday and operate as a fully-fledged agent on the Tuesday, signing mandates and closing deals without the supervision of the principal.
Now there’s a mandatory logbook, a Further Education Training Certificate (FECT) in Real Estate and the Professional Designation Exam (PDE), which you need to write before completing any legal documents on your own. Added to that, the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements, launched in 2015, compel all full-status agents and principals to obtain 20 credits per year, and 60 credits in three-year cycle, to retain their Fidelity Fund Certificates.
Finding time for the compulsory study needed to remain certified has changed the way estate agents operate today.
To work more efficiently and increase profitability, it helps to see yourself as a professional business owner and emulate the skills required to run your own business successfully, adopting the right habits and keeping a positive attitude.
The question many estate agents are grappling with is: “How do I find the time to make a living and have a life with all the study, exams and courses required?
“The answer? Sacrifice now to make gains in the long term.
This doesn’t mean working 12 hours a day, seven days a week. It means working differently, knowing what you want to achieve, and having an action plan for what you want to get done every day. Here’s how: Have strong visual of your study schedule on your phone or placed on a wall, perhaps, so that you are constantly reminded of the tasks at hand.
PLAN YOUR WORK AND WORK YOUR PLAN
Mapping your monthly, weekly and daily study plan in advance will help get you through more work in less time. Besides your study schedule, your weekly planner needs to factor in time for lead generation, meetings with potential clients, viewings and follow-up calls. Plan for the unplanned by allocating time in your day for the unexpected. Deal with any emergencies that arrive swiftly, then refocus on your deadlines to avoid falling behind your study schedule.
“The question many estate agents are grappling with is: “How do I find the time to make a living and have a life with all the study, exams and courses required?’ The answer? Sacrifice now to make gains in the long term”
Most people spend more time planning their holidays than they do ensuring they’re certified. If you don’t set goals with a realistic time frame and deadlines, you’ll end up feeling overwhelmed when your time, inevitably, runs out. Start by making a list of the educational requirements and then set out to complete them as early as possible as the year unfolds. This will lead not only to a sense of accomplishment, but free you up to pursue your income-generating activities.
MAKE APPOINTMENTS WITH YOURSELF
We are creatures of habit, so the quicker we learn to form good habits and protect our time judiciously, the more time we will have to do the things that matter most, professionally and personally.
Just as you would diarise sales meetings and training sessions for the days of the week, you should make appointments with yourself to attend to CPD seminars and conferences. Resist the urge to cancel an appointment with yourself, as this quickly becomes a bad habit that is hard to break and may spill over into other aspects of your life.
TAKE TIME OUT
Life is not meant to be all hard work and pursuing constant deals. Both are equally important, but if you don’t take regular breaks to recharge, you could lose interest in one, or even both.
As counterintuitive as it sounds, if you feel you’re not coping, take a break. Go away for the weekend and disconnect from your mobile devices, and you’ll come back refreshed, ready to give it your all.
Use technology to your advantage: download podcasts to aid learning and listen to them in the car in between appointments; watch YouTube videos and TED talks; subscribe to relevant blogs. Limit time spent on social media such as Facebook, if it’s not adding value to your day. Over time, all these daily steps will count in your favour.
Anthony van der Riet is business performance coach at The Coaching Factory, which specialises in business intelligence for the real estate industry. The main focus is on risk management, corporate governance, and the coaching and mentoring of principals and agents.
- The Coaching Factory: thecoachingfactory.co.za
Words: Anthony van der Riet