December is my month to rest. I don’t take it off, and I still go to work almost every day, but I slow down and enjoy things a little more. I move at a slower pace, have shorter hours, and feel more relaxed.
As Realtors, we don’t get time off. Nights, weekends, holidays, we work. Even when we go on vacation, we still work. Our colleagues try their best to keep things moving along for us, but in all honesty, there’s no replacement for our role in our own deals.
And so we find ourselves shooting off emails and texts in between the sites we hope to visit. It’s just the nature of the job.
So when December hits and there is a natural slow down with my clients, I ride that train, too. I realize that’s contrary to what everyone says to do. I realize that working hard now would help me have a better January and February. But… I need a break. I’ve been busting butt all year and I’m tired. I want to feel refreshed and motivated to conquer the world again come January 2nd.
So when people ask if I’m keeping busy, the answer is yes. I’m busy Christmas shopping, attending functions, planning party menus, baking goodies, running a household, running errands, and so much more.
So am I busy? Yep! Am I busy with real estate? Nope!
Which got me thinking about the other 11 months of the year. Certainly we are busier in the summer months. The days are longer, the weather is nicer, and so they are packed with showings, listing appointments, prospecting, advertising, and closings from dawn to dusk.
But what about the other weeks or months? The times that we say we are busy, we feel like we are busy, and our days are filled by doing things, but… are we really busy doing the things we should be busy with- like prospecting?
Research has shown over and over again that our biggest source of business in real estate is our sphere of influence and past client relationships. Forget all the gimmicks. Our database is where we should be focusing most of our prospecting attention.
But instead, we are “busy” attending community meetings, volunteering our time at schools and organizations under the guise of “networking”. This type of networking has its place, yes. But if you do too much, it’s a form of procrastination. It’s giving you an excuse for not having time to do what you actually need to be doing, like following up with clients, returning phone calls, and staying on top of your files. Stop it.
Just because we are constantly thinking about real estate and answering texts and emails throughout the day, it doesn’t mean we are actually busy with our profession. Our time might be filled, but we aren’t growing our business.
So here’s what you need to do: For one week write down every real estate related thing you do that is actual boots-on-the-ground, grind it out, digging deep work. Every time you prospect, make a phone call, show a house, prepare for a listing, do some advertising, go to a closing, help a colleague, organize a file, etc. write it down. If you take out the non-client meetings, lunches, and other networking excuses, what are you left with?
Are you as busy at working and growing your profession as you think you are? Would you still be working what feels like 40-60 hours? Or would that number be way less?
Maybe working less is okay with you, just like my lazy December is fine with me. But if you’re frustrated by your lack of time and the slow growth of your business, it might be time to take a hard, honest look at what you are spending your days doing. Because filling your days with the wrong things might make you feel busy, but the lack of growth in your income will tell you otherwise.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Sixteen years of helping clients. Nine years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com