It’s only April. We haven’t even hit our busiest season yet, but we are already feeling it. The storm has been building the last few weeks. Suddenly, we are all swamped. I look around our office and instead of light hearted banter and laughter, heads are down, fingers are typing away, and people are rushing in and out the door. It’s like a newsroom right before deadline.
Does this sound like you? If so, I have two words for you: Slow Down.
I know that sounds crazy. How can we slow down if we have a million things to do?
I remember sitting at a conference waiting for the keynote speaker to begin. He walked up on stage with his hands on his hips, started pacing, asked the sound technician for microphone help, paced some more, acted irritated with his clicker for the big screen, and started appearing very stressed. My blood pressure was starting rise. My heart was beating faster. I was sitting forty rows back and I could feel his frustration all through me. Suddenly, he looked at us, relaxed his body and started laughing. He was messing with us! He wanted us to see how easy it was for our mood to change based on his.
When you are stressed out and feeling rushed, what are you portraying to your clients? When you are meeting with them to write an offer, are you focusing on the fact that this is a huge financial decision and they have a million questions swirling through their head, or are you viewing it as one more task to complete before the next?
The purchase agreement is the most important document we write in this profession. Think about it: Our income is based off this one paper making it all the way through the process. The whole deal is based off this document. Properly filling it out, explaining it, and making sure the buyer’s needs are met is the most important step for a smooth transaction. If you aren’t truly present during the writing of this, you will suffer and so will your client.Slow down.
Schedule your day. Give yourself an extra hour between clients in case one decides to write an offer after their showings. Add an extra half hour to your listing appointments in case you run over due to questions or issues.
If you don’t write an offer, or you don’t use that half hour, then use that time to get some paperwork done or return phone calls. So much of our stress comes from racing from here to there always feeling late and stretched for time. If you bank time in advance for what could happen, then you won’t feel the need to rush now and apologize later.
Write it down. When I start feeling stressed, it’s because I have a million things on my mind and they are piling up one after another before I have time to even finish one task. When this happens, I pull out a piece of paper and write everything down as it comes at me. Once I have it on paper, I find that not only am I no longer feeling distracted and burdened by having to remember every single thing, but my task list no longer feels insurmountable when I see it written down. “Purge the brain” is what I tell my colleagues. It helps.
Refer. Refer. Refer. If you are completely overwhelmed where you can’t possibly fit one more thing in, then why do you still try? You (should) have very capable colleagues who will happily take on a new client and pay you a referral fee. And if you are honest with yourself, deep down you know that ultimately the best thing for that client is to be with someone who has the time to meet their needs, and that someone isn’t you right now.
It’s easy to get buried in paperwork. It’s tough being pulled in a million directions all at once. It’s not uncommon to feel piled on, trampled on and beaten down. But your clients need to feel that you have everything under control. Help them walk the shoreline while you’re fighting the riptides. It’s your job. Slow down.
Amy Gilpin Associate Broker, Manager, ABR.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com