Working in the nursing world as a charge nurse has been one of my favorite things I can truly say I have ever done. There were days full of stress. We would go from nine patients to 20 back to 11 within a 12-hour shift. Other days we would have four patients having surgery, three going to radiology, four admissions from the emergency room, two discharges, medications all due at 0900, nurse’s assistant coordination, clerk communication, doctor calls — the list goes on and on.
Some days in real estate, I feel that same stress. Days that you know you have two marketing pieces that need to be approved, a morning meeting with the team, a luncheon with the title company, showings with new clients, follow up on contracts — follow up, follow up, follow up.
How do you handle all of it?
Here are a few things I currently use in my real estate practice that I learned as a nurse for dealing with stress.
1. Set expectations.
When you are working with clients, it is important to set the expectations for them. Let them know that you are going to return missed phone calls between this and that hour. You are going to email them once a day, a week or a month. Before they get into your car to view homes, visually look at the homes via internet or paper, and then when you show homes have them organized in a circle from a starting point (your office) back to that starting point. Organizing avoids the extended travel time and keeps you on track.
2. Delegate less meaningful tasks.
When working with other staff or team members, make sure they know what their assignments are for the day, week and month. For instance, when you have a weekly luncheon, have that luncheon on the same day every week.
Also, having a visual team calendar in the office that is big enough to view quickly that you can easily change is a great idea. This system stops or helps prevent deadline and activity questions that can be answered by them looking instead of interrupting work to ask.
Pro tip: I always use different colored sharpies for each team member with a color key. So that when a particular team member glances at the calendar they can quickly pick out their assignment.
The biggest thing I can tell you is to trust your staff or team to do their assigned tasks. They might do them in a different order or at a different speed than you would, but remember, it wastes time for you to continually check up on their progress minute-by-minute.
3. Time-block your hours.
I am sure when you first got your real estate license, someone showed you how to time block your day. Well, that is still important today.
It is important to wake up, exercise and eat a healthy breakfast. As soon as you get to the office, look at your goals. Write down what goals you want to work on for the day. Write down the list of tasks you need to do in order to accomplish those goals. Who are you waiting on for that day? Who do you need to call? You should do this list every morning before you even open your computer to check your emails. Make sure you are only checking your emails two to three times a day — and block time 15 minutes a few times a day for a walk, internet browsing, social media or games. Setting a timer at the desk or on your smartphone will keep you from taking too much time at recess.
4. Prewrite your blogs and ads.
It is important to set ads, blogs and podcasts for marketing and networking. Taking an hour or two on the weekends or in the evening to prewrite the blogs for the month is a great idea. Save them in your documents in numerical order per month so that you can find them easily when posting.
Sometimes using the same blog you did earlier in the year is OK if the information is still valuable. Set your Facebook, newspaper and media ads once a month and design a publication timeframe spaced out during the next month to allow for diversity. This scheduling makes you set up a specific amount of time once a month to concentrate on ads only. Once you are focused on that task, it becomes easy to design a few simple ads.
Prerecord your podcast, radio show or Google Hangout to publish consistently on the same day each week or month.
5. Be consistent with your pattern.
People are creatures of habit. This includes you, your clients, your staff, your team and your followers.
Melinda Goodwin is Luxury Home Division Director with Re/Max First Realty in St. George, Utah.