Stop burning through cash and time, and start enjoying life

Agents often believe they need to work harder to make more money. What may be blocking your success, however, isn’t how hard you’re working but how efficiently you’re working.

Sometimes the route to making (and keeping) more money involves dumping what’s not working. If you want to have more money in your bank account at the end of the day, there’s no better time than right now to eliminate the costly business traps that hinder your success.

Here are five of the most common business traps that drain your time, money and energy:

Trap 1: Refusal to delegate weaknesses

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Are you tired of manually adding the people you meet to your customer relationship manager (CRM)? Does it take you forever to do your paperwork because you hate it so much? Do you waste valuable time putting out brochures and lockboxes or doing other menial aspects of the business?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, your inability to delegate is limiting your effectiveness as well as your production.

If delegating is a challenge, begin with something simple. For example, drop off 200 brochures at each of your listings and ask the sellers to fill the brochure box as needed. Better yet, have them delivered directly to the seller.

You can also save time by having your local grocery store deliver groceries to your home, have your dry cleaning picked up and have a mobile car wash service clean your car.

If you have business tasks such as entering contacts into your CRM, doing social media posts or designing brochures, check out Upwork to find the exact assistance you need. Upwork also shows reviews and other pertinent information about the people you may consider hiring.

Trap 2: Failure to consistently execute the fundamentals of the business

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Virtually every top producer shares one common trait: they consistently follow up with past clients, cold call, door-knock, call on expireds and for-sale-by-owner listings (FSBOs) or do some other lead generation activity on a daily basis.

What traps many agents is they become so busy with their existing business that they forget to feed the pipeline by prospecting.

There’s no magic pill here — sustainable success requires that you lead generate daily. It also requires consistent follow-up on every lead you receive as well as follow-up with past clientele to generate new leads. In fact, if you’re paying for leads and not following up — stop it! Your wasting your time and money.

Trap 3: Loss of competitive advantage due to failure to stay current

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For the five years I was executive director of training for Jon Douglas Company, the company had the highest per-agent production in the U.S.

It seemed like no matter what we did, however, the competition was always copying us. Rather than being upset by this, Mr. Douglas gave me a great piece of advice: Don’t worry about the copycats. All we have to do is to stay six months ahead of them, and we’ll dominate the market.

Turns out he was absolutely right.

No matter how good you are, there’s always someone who wants to compete for your share of the market. The way to dominate your market is to always be a step ahead. To do this, read about the latest trends, strategies and technologies on Inman, take classes, read business books and listen to TED Talks and podcasts about how others have succeeded. Also, use your drive time and morning prep time as learning time.

The most important step in this process is to implement at least one new idea every quarter. If it works, continue to use it. If it doesn’t, dump it. These new ideas will continue to give you a competitive advantage.

On the other hand, failure to continue to learn, grow and change with the business means you will soon be out of the business.

Trap 4: Inadequate self-care

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The principle of attraction says we “attract who we are.” If you’re tired, stressed and running on too little sleep and too much coffee, chances are you will attract clients who are just like you — cranky and totally stressed out.

How long has it been since you’ve taken off a full weekend? How many times have you had dinner with those you love in the past month?

I used to work 12-14 hours a day until my coach nagged me long enough that I started taking time off to do some fun things for me. Guess what — my productivity increased by about 50 percent. By taking time off to unwind, I actually started accomplishing more.

What really surprised me, however, was how all those difficult people in my life magically disappeared. If you’re skeptical, take one month where you have at least four dinners per week with your loved ones and at least one full weekend off — then judge for yourself.

Trap 5: Being busy rather than profitable

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I recently spoke with an agent whose production has dropped dramatically this year. When I asked what she was doing to generate new business, she said she had sent out some mailers to her local farm area, and she had joined three charities.

Not surprisingly, her lead generation activities keep her busy, but they’re not generating income. Mailing or being active in charitable causes doesn’t yield business unless you have a clear-cut strategy to generate leads from those activities.

Take a careful look at everything you do to generate leads — especially things you pay for, such as mailers, online leads, print ads, etc. If you are not getting an adequate return on each of those activities, they’re a waste of both your time and money.

If an activity is not generating money, stop putting time and effort into it. Instead, focus on what makes money and eliminate everything else that doesn’t.

If you’re ready to crank up your success level this summer, start working on eliminating these five costly business traps. Once you get really serious about it, you should start making more (and even have time to take a summer vacation)!

 

 

 

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