Many real estate agents have daily habits that they swear by, whether it’s how they wake up in the morning to the way they end their day. Others have a big-picture focus that allows them to plan annually or put together a five- or 10-year plan for their business.
However, less talked about is the weekly ritual, that time in-between that allows you to gain perspective on the week just past and the week ahead. We reached out to some real estate professionals to find out what habits and practices they make part of their weekly routine.
1. Networking each week
Look for ways to make connections
Latham Jenkins, Luxury and Lifestyle Associate Broker, Live Water Jackson Hole
Latham Jenkins: Our profession has everything to do with making connections, especially with potential sellers. Every day, I ask myself what three connections can I make today that might lead to a listing interview.
I scour my database, the local news, my social feed, and community and club newsletters to think about who I should connect with. I look for a way to “lead with value,” asking myself why would this person want to hear from me? What can I share that would be meaningful, create awareness and keep my name top-of-mind.
More often than not, I’ll send a notecard as it is more tangible; it has staying power on a desktop and distinguishes the communication over anything digital (email, text, instant message).
I have found this one daily activity to be more rewarding than anything else. It pays dividends for years, as I have recipients often say, “Thank you for sending that note; that really made my day.”
Send handwritten notes
Amber Tkaczuk, Nebraska Realty
Like Jenkins, Amber Tkaczuk favors handwritten notes, sent out every week. Her goal is to send 10 per week and communicate with past clients on their birthdays.
Strengthen your network weekly
Bob Scott, Founder, Sell Land
Missouri’s Bob Scott makes it a weekly habit to cultivate professional relationships.
“Every week, I get in touch with people whom I know are beneficial for the growth of my company,” he said. “It can be eating lunch, playing golf or simply talking with them on the phone. As long as I foster my relationships on a weekly basis, then I am good to go.”
2. Mindset practices
Look both forward and backward
Peter Schravemade, Global Director of Sales, Marketing, and Revenues with BoxBrownie
Peter Schravemade: The ritual business documentation of the week that was, and my intentions for the week that is ahead, has gone from my most hated to become my favored practice. And I’ve found the habit has grounded me during the past two years.
Not to be misconstrued with keeping a diary, this activity leans more toward focussing on what I have learned over the course of the week and what I intend to focus time and energies on in the week ahead.
Set your intentions
Georgia Rudderow, Agent, Red Oak Realty, Oakland, California
Oakland real estate agent Georgia Rudderow’s favorite practice is setting intentions, both daily and weekly. She finds writing down her intentions most powerful and goes back throughout the week to review it.
3. Hunker down for focused work time
Gift yourself uninterrupted time
Nicky Taveras, Owner, DNTHome Buyers, New Jersey
Nicky Taveras: Some people meditate, some people exercise. The No. 1 habit that helps ensure that work gets done and I’m being productive is to put my cell phone on airplane mode and have at least two hours of uninterrupted work.
When the phone rings, and you start talking, before you even realize it, it’s 30 minutes of your time that you spent talking about nothing. If airplane mode is too much as you might need to tend to family members, you can put your phone on “do not disturb” and add a few phone numbers as the exception.
However, the phone is just a small part of the distraction issue, as you can check for other things like social media right on your computer. This takes off a huge chunk of your time that you could be focused on getting clients, but instead, you are deep into doom scrolling.
This might seem like something most people would advise you on to be successful, but it’s such a hard thing to accomplish because there are so many things, tasks, tools available to us and things that we can seemingly do ourselves that we end up stretching ourselves too thin.
With that said, you might need a little practice if you’re just starting out with not checking social media or taking phone calls and answering non-work related texts. So if two to three hours seem like a little too long, start with one hour at a time, then a break, then another hour.
The trick is to be consistent, and really just focus on the task at hand before doing anything else.
4. Educate yourself
Set aside time for self-improvement
Sally Robling, Owner, Realty Executives Arizona Territory, Tubac, Arizona
Sally Robling: Each week, I prioritize constant and never ending improvement by educating myself through virtual small groups focused on real estate, podcasts, webinars, videos, reading, audio books, industry conferences, nationwide courses, and investing in myself by having had a real estate coach throughout my real estate career.
Invest in yourself and your business
Kimo Quance, broker-owner, The Kimo Quance Group, San Diego
Kimo Quance: This means time and money. Investing yourself in skillful thinking about how to make your business a successful one. You could do some research or listen to audio podcasts. Learning and developing your skills and knowledge each day will go a really long way.
Learning more about your industry will help you become an expert in your field, the thing we keep stressing. It will then naturally separate you from competing agents in your area and niche. You can do some digging the night before that will be helpful during your prospecting time. In this way, you are prepared for prospecting the following morning with every requisite prepared beforehand.
Researching your neighborhood and market
Jason Simard, Owner, Sims Real Estate Group, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Jason Simard: The habit of checking the market statistics and keeping up to date on what is happening in your community is critical for a real estate agent. This is a big part of owning your specific market. Anyone can look up houses in that area, but you need to know the market inside and out.
If anyone asks you about the market, you should be able to explain what is happening and the trends for different products types. Showcase your knowledge about the market in any conversation in such a way that the person will definitely come to you when selling or when someone asks them to refer to a real estate agent.
Improve yourself to improve your business
Corey Walters, Founder and CEO, Here Online Marketplace
Corey Walters believes real estate is “all about investing.” That means investing in yourself and your business. He recommends a weekly habit of practicing your professional skills, staying up to date on industry trends and world news to put yourself in the best position for success.
“Take online courses and attend seminars that can offer guidance and support,” he said. “Making a weekly habit to improve yourself improves your business as a whole. Remember, knowledge is power.”
5. Market yourself with social media
Both Fischer and Simard recommend spending some of that weekly work time updating social media to create leverage, network online and do more business.
“Finding Out the Talks and Trends of social media helps me to understand the preferences and psychology of my clients,” Fischer said. “Also, social media helps me to understand market conditions and predict future market trends.”
Simard recommends letting “clients and prospects see what your personal life is like and what you are all about. Don’t hesitate to share some personal details on your page.”
Simard sees social media as a “giant” part of online branding and image-making. That’s why it’s essential to take care of your social media, both with the things you post and in your responses to queries, questions, and comments from fans and followers.
6. Deal with the calendar
Many of the agents and brokers we talked to believe in focused time working with their calendar — setting priorities, reviewing upcoming events, and preparing for the demands of the week ahead.
Optimize your calendar’s capabilities
Allison Jaffe, Broker, Key Real Estate Services
Allison Jaffe: I don’t remember how long ago I discovered it, but the Gmail function to “Schedule Send” was a revelation and a boon to my time management.
I’m naturally a night person, but I don’t think it is generally appropriate to send business emails late in the evening and certainly not in the wee hours of the night, when, yes, I might well be at my desk. I also don’t want to send late-night emails that encourage clients and colleagues to think they will find me at my desk and responsive late at night.
But the Scheduled Send function lets me cue up a whole bunch of emails to go out early the next morning or throughout the week to get a jump on what has to happen that day. Often, I’ve got answers I need and things moving forward before I get to my desk or check my phone in the morning.
Of course, this encourages clients and colleagues to think that I am at my desk and responsive early in the morning, which typically, I am not. So I’ve learned to take the precaution of silencing my phone and closing my laptop at night, so neither rings earlier than I am ready to be responsive.
Negar Souza, Agent, Red Oak Realty, Berkeley, California
Souza recommends sitting down weekly to work out scheduled daily blocks of time to email, call, and text clients, whether they are active, just starting, or from past transactions. This ensures you stay top-of-mind and helps lead to more referrals from your sphere of influence.
She also recommends updating your calendar with at least 30-45 minutes of “active YOU time” every day. Whether it’s a walk, a workout or even just time to read something unrelated to real estate. “Everyday you should be off so your mind should recharge.”
Create multiple weekly check-ins
Matiah Fischer, REALTY 360 and the Founder of RetireBetterNow.com
Along with regular exercise and physical activity, Fischer employs a weekly check-in schedule for each day of the week, including:
- Sunday: Prioritization and organization
- Monday: Weekly operations meeting
- Tuesday: Business review meeting
- Wednesday: Marketing review, SEO and email marketing
- Thursday: Sales review and upcoming sales
- Friday: Week in review and future planning
- Saturday: Relax and disengage
Respect the calendar
Kurtis Forster, Owner, Forster Real Estate, London, Ontario, Canada
Kurtis Forster: The main key here is to follow the calendar thoroughly. If I mark a date in my calendar to complete a certain task, I do my best to get it done within that deadline. Hard-working and successful people never cut corners and get everything done within the timeline they promise themselves.
I believe that real estate agents must possess a thorough knowledge of the market they are working in. Once a week, I make some time for doing my research about what’s going on with the market. I try to find out which types of properties are available on the market, what is the average price for different real estate properties, how the availability is, and what’s the overall market situation of the neighborhoods.
7. Self-care weekly rituals
Take care of yourself
Robert J. Fischer, broker-owner, The Robert J Fischer Team with Keller Willams Realty, Austin, Texas
Robert J. Fischer: Health and well-being need to be the top priority for everyone. In addition to enjoying enough sleep and valuing nutrition, I try to go to the gym three or four times a week at least.
On the weekend, I like to have personal time with friends and family. These little refreshments are the things that boost me up for the tough week to come!
Prioritize your own well-being: Dana Miller, eXp Realty, El Dorado Hills, California
Dana Miller: I take some time to recharge (that means I will actually refer out business instead of working myself to death. I’ve already gone through that phase in my career and I’m over it.) When I’m rested and have practiced self-care I show up for my clients and can serve them better and also enjoy myself.
I’ve learned to set boundaries with clients, which is extremely important. Real estate doesn’t sleep, get sick, have birthdays, celebrate holidays, etc. You can literally work 24 hours 7 days a week. There are clients that will push for that, too. And unless you set those boundaries, you’re setting yourself up to run yourself ragged.
I try to show up for myself the way that I do for clients. I book out time in my calendar for me. And will silence my phone for that appointment.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.