The three time-maximizers that agents forget:

These rock-solid strategies are nothing new. And yet, we at Discover continue to be amazed by how often even the best agents go against the most basic best practices.

We get it… sometimes, it seems easier to do the busywork yourself than stop and think how it could be leveraged, or if it’s even necessary. Falling into this trap can stunt growth, and at worst, sabotage your business. That’s why we can’t stress enough the importance of getting other people to help you with the activities that support the the growth of your business. Here are those three obvious (but under-utilized) methods…

1. Delegate to your staff – correctly

If you’re a high achieving agent, you probably already know that the workload required to reach any summit is about as massive as the mountain underneath. So if you’re striving for an Everest level of success, you know even working around the clock would be futile without an army of supporters. But ask yourself: when you bring more and more people on board, does it feel like you have more and more resources to climb the mountain successfully, or do you feel like you’re moving slower, with a lot more luggage? Your people want the team to reach the top, but may not understand that when they ask you to handle a small problem they could easily solve, they’re distracting you from doing the activities that carry the team forward. The solution? When your buyer’s agent tells you about the major mold problem with a house she has in contract, ask her how she would handle it. Listen, coach, let her do it, and follow up later. When your office furnace goes out, call your assistant, not your landlord. The key is to give ownership of all the important but routine activities (and all the not-so-routine but all-to-common little fires) to the people who are there for that very reason. Remember your focus here is to maximize time to support your business’ growth – no matter how much better you could have done it, it’s worth delegating. 

2. Leverage your professional partners

Productive agents have referral partners – we hope you’re in this boat. Think about how much business you send your mortgage guy, title rep, home inspector, interior designer, insurance company, and the whole gamut of contractors. They appreciate your referrals, and rarely have opportunities to reciprocate. And they want to reciprocate. If you’re internally scouring the Internet for expired listings and FSBOs, or trying to build a list from the Auditor’s site of homeowner’s names to match the addresses in your farm, stop. Your title agent can help you. If you’re driving around sticking fliers on porches or paying someone by the hour to do that, stop. Any of your service partners who are door-to-door prospecting in your neighborhoods would gladly take a stack of your materials with them. If you’ve got a buyer in a weird finance pickle, don’t spend hours untangling the situation, simply call your mortgage broker and ask them to meet with your buyer to discuss it. Even if they’re not a prospect for the broker, your broker values your relationship tremendously and would happily do your client the favor. You get the idea. 

3. Use full-service vendors who minimize your legwork

Think of all the elements that make your business successful. You need legal and financial protection – the right kinds of insurance and a good attorney. You need a good office environment, the right Internet and phone setup, a CRM, and probably a good accounting system. If you have employees, you need to understand payroll and HR dos and don’ts. You need a solid marketing plan and the right tools to execute it. The list goes on. Think about each critical area of your business and what third parties you pay to handle each component. Are you getting the full value they offer, are you able to maximize time? Your payroll processor might also offer free handbook templates and printable onboarding forms. Your CRM might have a nifty reporting feature that saves your hours – and if it doesn’t, maybe there’s one out there that does. And consider of course your marketing service providers (like us!). How much time do you spend sorting through lists, figuring out what to write, or ensuring your branding is consistent? Are you paying someone to chomp away at copywriting or bank reconciliation when you could upgrade to a premium service provider that could do it better – and end up costing you less? Successful people don’t need to master minutia but rather master the art of coordinating the right external partners. Achieving and maintaining high levels of success means choosing the most effective and turnkey services available, not the cheapest do-it-yourselfer alternatives which take time away from your journey up the mountain.

 

Catherine Zupan

Author: Catherine Zupan

Catherine oversees Discover’s sales department and manages High Value accounts. She holds a Bachelor’s in Business from the Fisher College of Business. Catherine worked as a Business Banker for nearly a decade, where she helped hundreds of businesses expand. She joined Discover in 2015 to drive innovation and growth.