In real estate, we find ourselves facing numerous tasks every single day. Our business requires us to work on prospecting, personal marketing, listing management, transaction management, overseeing the activities of current sellers and buyers and other important responsibilities.
At times, we are running in different directions trying to get everything completed before the end of the day.
I discovered years ago that my productivity increased — and my business goals were more likely to be achieved — if I had a list of things I needed to do each day. To that end, I always have an action plan in place before I start my workday.
How to create a daily action plan
1. Write it the night before
I used to write my list of “to-do” items early each morning. I felt this was the best time to put it together. However, I always had items from the previous day that were not completed. Many times, I forgot to carry over incomplete items to my “today” list. Moreover, I was feeling the stress of the day in the early morning when I created my plan.
Several years ago, I started putting my “tomorrow together today.” I found that when I wrote down what needed to be done the night before, I was more relaxed so I could be focused on what I needed to accomplish. It helped me quite a bit.
2. Prioritize your list
List the most important items needing attention at the top of your daily action plan. Many of the things we do in real estate are time-sensitive. The clock is always ticking to meet contract deadlines. You should have all of the various performance dates associated with contract contingencies marked on your calendar. The ones coming due need to be a top priority as you begin your workday.
3. Work on the first item on your list first thing in the morning
The most important item you need to accomplish during the day should be the No. 1 item on your list. Once you tackle this “big” item, you will have a sense of satisfaction, impacting the remainder of the tasks needing attention.
4. Don’t put too many items on your list
Be realistic about what you can get done each day. Remember, there are only 24 hours in a day. Action items contained on long lists tend to “carry over” to the next day or following days. You need to be comfortable with what you write down and confident you can get everything accomplished during your day.
What to include in your daily action plan
Follow-up items from the previous day
Anything you could not get accomplished the day before should be on your list.
Listing and contract action items
This should be a two-part section. Designate one for listings and one for active contracts. For current listings, review the marketing plan you created for each one. Check to see which items in the plan need to be addressed.
For contracts, look at your list of performance dates in your transaction file, and mark down the ones that are coming due in the next day or so. Also, list any paperwork that needs to be submitted to your broker for document compliance review.
All prospecting action items need to be listed
As I have written in previous columns, you need to prospect at least two hours every day. Your list should include:
- The telephone calls you need to make to your prospects — especially your “A” prospects
- Face-to-face appointments you need to schedule with past clients to keep in touch and possibly ask for a referral
- Follow-up “thank-you” or “it-was-great-to-see-you” notes you need to handwrite
Your business will not grow unless you are organized in how you prospect. Having a priority list of prospecting activities written down will allow you to be more successful in acquiring new business.
Include marketing action plan items
Real estate agents do two types of marketing: personal and property. In this section, note which marketing activities in the two categories need to be accomplished today. You might also want to include any postings you need to create for your social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
Review the day’s activities
I added this section to my daily action plan as a summary of my day’s activities. I always want to see how well I did in getting everything from my list completed. It also provides me with an opportunity to “grade” myself on the day’s productivity and note what I could do better to remain on track with my business.
Having a written “road map” for your day will provide a much more focused approach to accomplishing everything you need to do in meeting the needs of your clients as well as keeping you on track to grow your business. It works for me, and it can work for you!
John Giffen is Director of Broker Operations for Benchmark Realty, LLC in Franklin, Tennessee. He is the author of “Do You Have a Minute? An Award-Winning Real Estate Managing Broker Reveals Keys for Industry Success.”