6 Ways To Be A More Productive Real Estate Professional
Real Estate can be incredibly fun, but also a ton of work. People like working with people that are organized, knowledgeable, and get things done. If you can’t delivery what you promised on time and within budget, it get difficult to sustain your business nevermind grow it. Here are some tips to not only get good at your chosen profession, but become more productive at it at the same time.
Focus On a Niche
When you focus on something and do it repetitively, you become an expert at it. Real Estate has countless niches. Even single-family residential has sub-niches such as condos, coops, affordable housing, luxury and so on. Repetitively focusing on the same thing helps you become an expert faster. Malcom Gladwell estimates it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject. When you’re the expert, you’re naturally more efficient. A Realtor might want to be a listing agent or buyer’s agent as a starting point.
Once people get to know you’re as the expert in your niche, your word of mouth advertising increases and you’ll get more sales. Don’t be a jack of all trades when you can master one and be more successful.
Build Your Team
Your clients look to you as the source for real estate needs and referrals. You’ll need a team of contractors, property managers, home inspectors, realtors, lenders, and so on. If you’re a listing agent for luxury homes, you’ll need a home stager on your team and a really good photographer. Have your team ready and waiting for client referrals to help get you to closing faster and more efficiently. If you’re a property manager or contractor, you’ll need sub-contractors at some point.
Completing projects on time will help your pocketbook and get you more referrals. Have your team ready to go so you don’t spend valuable time looking for help at the last minute (you’ll likely pay a premium for that too).
Have Backup Plans
Even the best-laid plans can go awry. A client’s existing home may not sell until after a new one closes and they might need financing. The lender might pull out last-minute. The house could experience a disaster. Whatever happens, have contacts ready and able to help. Your client might need a short-term hard money loan, for example.
Create Processes and Systems
When a potential client calls, you should not only sound knowledgeable and helpful, you should have all the next steps laid out and ready. When a client is ready to hire you, get them whatever paperwork is necessary as soon as possible and all in one communication. A little planning on everything a new client needs will save both your time and your clients’.
Same thing for the rest of your business. Keep all your expenses organized, and work them on a regular schedule. Send invoices out at regular intervals. Have one or a few contacts responsible for each part of your operation. When someone just does collections, they get better at it.
Client on-boarding through final payment should be seamless to the client. Information should also flow seamlessly through the different area of your company. If you spend your time piecing together emails, receipts and other paperwork in order to perform simple tasks like issuing an invoice or answering a question, you need to create processes and systems. If this is foreign to you, feel free to get in touch.
Send a Client Survey
This might not seem like a way to increase productivity, but it can be. Have an independent third party call your client or send an online survey after you finish some work, or after an ongoing relationship has been established for a while. If clients feel comfortable answering questions, they’re more likely to give honest feedback.
Clients will point out things about your company you never thought of. Maybe they don’t receive your paper invoices and prefer email. That could drive a process change that saves you time & money of mailing a physical invoice. You might also get paid faster. You can require read-receipts in some cases to confirm when a client opened your emailed invoice, and that could help collect on it. There are countless things a client could tell you about your business that you’ve never considered.
Hire a Virtual Assistant (VA)
A Virtual Assistant that specializes in real estate is used to doing the same thing for multiple clients and could be better at that specific task than you are. There could be parts of your business you don’t enjoy doing, such as updating a listing or completing paperwork, that a remote Virtual Assistant can do better and faster.
BONUS TIP: Offer Added Services
For Realtors, once you start doing higher volume, hire some movers or a moving company to help your clients. What better way to increase client satisfaction and get more referrals?
For other real estate professionals, does your client have a lot of things to do? Maybe they could use your VA for a few hours too.