• Many time-consuming tasks can be delegated.
  • Some agents fear what lies at the end of a successfully leveraged business.

Experienced real estate agents will tell you that they are far better at some activities in their daily work than they are at others.

Many will readily admit that they can pinpoint exactly which activities net them the most reward, and which would be more efficiently accomplished by an assistant. It is often the case that they should be with clients and prospects in person as much as possible.

Indeed, most agents are at their highest productivity when they are generating new business through face-to-face communication, negotiating terms between a buyer and seller, or performing a skill in the prospecting and marketing arena for which they are particularly suited.

That is, agents and entrepreneurs need to leverage their time, delegate low level tasks and focus on their core competencies to earn their highest “dollar per hour” rate and prevent their productivity from being sapped without measurable gain.

From theory to practice

However, it’s in moving from the theoretical to implementation and accountability that real estate professionals run into a brick wall.

Agents will begin rationalizing behavior that was just established as counterproductive. They will make small hurdles to delegation seem monstrous in size. They will work themselves up into such an uproar of confusion, lack of time, and lack of resources that they will take the worst action of all: none.

At the root of this behavior, in my experience, is very often fear. Fear takes many forms. Some are afraid of the time it would take to set up a new process or train a new assistant. Some are fearful of the impact a change could have on their clients.

A good many agents are afraid of change and the unknown that comes with shift from the way they have “always done things.” Still, there is another fear out there, more insidious and rarely unmasked. The fear of success. You read that correctly.

Tackling the scary jobs

Let’s suppose, for a moment, that an agent is successful in working through this process of delegation. She hires and trains an assistant. Perhaps she hires and effectively trains a buyer’s agent.

She works for months to set up a streamlined process to achieve efficiency. All of her “busy work” and simple, time-sucking tasks are now completely off her plate, and she’s left to focus on listing appointments, buyer appointments, marketing presentations, contract negotiations and prospecting.

So, what is the problem? Many agents are terrified of these activities.

They are terrified of the prospect of rejection and consequential interaction. The possibility of their day(s) consisting of nothing but these activities are enough to make many agents consider leaving the business altogether.

By stripping away their busy work, they have effectively been robbed of all excuses for why they avoid these productive tasks in the first place.

  • “I would have made those phone calls, but I am just too busy catching up on email today.”
  • “I can’t imagine setting five client meetings this week, as I am far too busy catching up on all this paperwork.”
  • “How am I supposed to find the time to work with 15 listings at the same time? The paperwork, seller updates and marketing of five alone nearly kills me!”

We all have certain limits with which we are comfortable; we all have certain levels of success with which we are truly content, and we all have certain duties that we truly can perform better than most other agents.

However, none of us want our business to be guided by fear. It is only through love and passion that we can find our greatest contentment.

Don’t be afraid of success. You never know what you are fully capable of until you deliberately place yourself in a new set of circumstances.

Nick Schlekeway is the founder of Amherst Madison, a Boise, Idaho-based real estate brokerage. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Email Nick Schlekeway

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