The challenge with the real estate business is that often when you work the hardest is when you get paid the least. In real estate you don't get paid when you call a client, you don't get paid when you list a house, you don't get paid when you do a mailout, you don't get paid when you work on your marketing, and you don't get paid when you do CMA's. You get paid when a listing sells and when a buyer purchases, that's it! This can lead to some very frustrating time for the real estate agent. Often times when you are working the hardest you are setting up tomorrow's business today.
It is imperative to focus on activities in your business, not just listings and sales. The success of the business is dependent upon a consistent series of tasks being completed that lead to dollar producing events occurring. One of the hardest things for Realtors today is to be consistent. The reason for that is simple. Real Estate breeds procrastination. The reason that procrastination is so prevalent in the Real Estate industry is because of priorities. Even though you may have the best intentions to do A, B, C and D on any given day, the moment that a Client calls and needs something that is more important than A, B, C and D, then that Client becomes your priority and everything else gets pushed down the line. This is never going to change because this is a "client comes first" business.
You need to accept that your time will never be manageable and that you can't manage time, what you must manage are your tasks. The most effective way to do this is to make a list of the types of programs that you are going to run in your business. For example: let's say that you are going to incorporate a past client program into your business and the past client program looks like this:
You have decided that you will call your past clients three times a year, send them out a newsletter six times a year, send them out an Annual Client Update once a year, and send them a Quarterly Report four times a year. If you have decided to incorporate this program into your business, then it is imperative to map it out. The easiest way to do this is to take a year-in-review calendar and assign each task to a particular month. You might make your calls in January, April and in August and send out your Quarterly Reports in February, May and September. Have all these things listed on your calendar and name this calendar your Master Plan. This Master Plan means that these are the program things that you must get done in your business - these tasks will bring you ongoing business. This can be done for Potential Clients, Current Clients, Past Clients and of course all of your other prospecting programs.
The reason that this is a more organized way to run your business is because if you are supposed to do a task in October and on October 1st your intentions are to send it out but a Client takes priority you don't have to worry about it. You have from the 2nd through the end of the month to do it. These (plan activities) are activities that are crucial to your business but will not devastate your business if they are not done on the exact day that they are supposed to be done. The goal is to get them done and if any of these tasks are a week or two delayed, it will not hurt your overall Master Plan.
In order to build tomorrow's business you must start with today. Your plan should consist of, first and foremost, taking care of your past clients. Secondly, your current clients, and of course your potential clients need your time and attention too.
If you still don't have as much business as you would like, it is imperative to then add another program. What kind of program do want to add? You could add an Expired Listing Program, a For Sale By Owner Program, a Geographical Farming Program, whatever program you desire - but remember to sit down and map it out. Building tomorrow's business is done today.