As real estate brokers, most of us really don't focus on the most critical asset that we have at our disposal. That asset is TIME! One of the greatest challenges in the brokerage business is that we have to split our time between business development and transaction work, yet finding time to do more business development is what drives our revenue and income.
Every broker wants to produce more and make more money. Most of us work long hours at our profession, yet many of us don't fully value our time and we spend time on activities that may be necessary but aren't important or that should be delegated to support staff or done in a more efficient manner.
So many times when we are talking to brokers about joining our firm, the discussion is about commission splits versus gross revenue and support infrastructure and how the support infrastructure and technology infrastructure of our firm allows our brokers to leverage their time, and as a result, our average gross revenue per producer is one of the highest in the marketplace.
So why do many brokers undervalue their time and what can you do about it?
The why is difficult to understand. In my view it's a combination of fear, short-term thinking, lack of organization, lack of support infrastructure, and a vicious cycle. Why don't more of us carefully evaluate what we spend our time on and think about how we can delegate activities that are low-value and implement tools and technology to make us more time efficient?
My strong, underlying belief and assumption is that the more time a broker spends on business development, the more sales and revenue they will generate and the more money they will make. It just makes logical sense and I know from my 30 years in the business that this is true and undeniably is what drives our success.
So how do you improve your time efficiency? Here are some things you can do:
1. Measure your time - Use a simple piece of paper, spreadsheet or memo software on your iPhone, track everything you do daily and the amount of time spent. Do this for 2 to 3 weeks and then divide items into key categories and add up the time and percentages spent on each.
2. Delegation - From the work completed in step 1, review and determine what are the critical functions you need to do versus what can be delegated.
3. Support staff - Evaluate current versus needed staff to handle items that can be delegated and implement efforts to hire or use required staff to maximize your delegation ability.
4. Technology tools -- We live in an age where technology has and will continue to handle many of the time consuming tasks that would have been delegated to paid staff in the past. Learn about what tools are available and keep up with new ones that become available. This will allow you to be more efficient and save time in your daily work.
5. Continue to measure - Once you make some changes, continue measuring where your time goes and adjust as necessary.
Lastly, in order to benefit from all of these steps, you must have the discipline and motivation to take the time you get back and invest it into more productive areas of your business - understanding that the higher value activities are the tougher ones (i.e. sales and business development).