4 real estate tasks for snow days and slow days

What to do when your routine is disrupted (or you need a disruption in your routine)

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“I’m bored.”

“There’s nothing to do.”

“I’m cold.”

“Stop it!”

“She’s looking at me!”

“He’s breathing weird!”

It doesn’t even have to be a snow day* for those phrases to come out of my children’s mouths. But on a snow day, they multiply­ — exponentially. On multiple snow days … just make it stop!

Do you remember your childhood snow days? Even those of you who trudged uphill for 10 miles, barefoot in both directions through 6-foot drifts, had the occasional day off from school. What did you do? Play outside? Drink hot chocolate? Play board games? Still wind up terribly bored and annoyed with your siblings and completely under your mama’s skin?

Realtors have snow days, too. And so we should. Enough of working 24/7, I say! Take the time to smell the roses and take a nap and recharge your batteries! Why?

“She won’t call me back!”

“He didn’t give enough appointment notice!”

“I am not getting enough leads!”

“Why won’t they just buy already?”

When it seems that every phone call gets under your skin, or everything that surrounds you is drama, you need that snow day. But you have to be careful. One snow day is great. Five in a row, though? That’s deadly.

What happens when you get off your routine? If you were around during the rough years … remember what happened to your routine in 2008, 2009, 2010? When things got slow, many agents forgot what to do next. When you forget what to do next, you don’t do anything. Then you get scared because you have nothing to do. It’s a hard cycle to break.

Now we’re seeing the turn, but the recovery does still have its fits and spurts. I see “back to basics” agendas in class after class. What are those basics? In 2015, what do agents want?

Leads! Leads! Leads! More leads!

Also known as a silver bullet.

When you get off the regular routine of prospecting — ­of calling, writing, visiting past clients — ­and when you let the “hour of power” go, your pipeline dries up. And instead of using those snow days — the slower moments — for brushing up on the “basics,” agents seek a silver bullet.

There must be something we can buy for $99 a month that will generate actionable, A-plus leads right now!

So instead of using the snow day (or the slow day) for the tedious stuff, which has a long-term benefit, we get lazy (or somehow think that whiling away the hours online is working) and then just magically hope it’s all better the next day.

Instead, what if that snow day became a chance to read the business book you bought at last year’s conference after you heard that amazing speaker, but that has been collecting dust because you were “too busy” to read it? What if that snow day became a chance to input the 2014 closings into a spreadsheet so you can effectively call and check on the folks who trusted you with a purchase or a sale? What if that snow day became the focused time to actually use that shiny gadget to call people and ask how they’re doing?

The result might just be a pipeline full of possibilities instead of an empty to-­do list of panic.

So on your next snow day —­ or slow day,­ or need-­to-­get-­your-­act-­together day —­ here are some ideas to get off your dead ass and get busy.

1. Call somebody. In fact, call five somebodies. It doesn’t matter who. Just make a connection. Ask how things are going in their world. Guess what? They’ll probably ask you how the market is. For heaven’s sake, tell the truth. If it’s hot, great. If it’s balanced, yay. If it’s gone quiet, say so. Don’t just spew off, “I sold four houses today and listed five, and houses are flying off the shelves” because you heard your competitor say it on Facebook.

2. Go preview something. In fact, preview five somethings. In your market are homes that you need to view so you can educate yourself on the available inventory. Nothing in the MLS (multiple listing service)? Call up some for-sale-by-owners or “make me move” folks and request to view their homes. Nothing pleases buyers and sellers more than knowing that agents are paying attention to their homes.

3. Read something beneficial to your business, your spiritual life or your mind. Check the Twitter feed for NAR (National Association of Realtors) and NAR Research, and evaluate the current trends. Oh, by the way, ­if it’s Greek to you, call someone who can explain it. There are tons of Realtor geeks who love this stuff and can help you put it into layman’s terms.

4. Smile. Laugh. Go have a cup of coffee with someone. Anyone. And put your phone down the whole time. It’s amazing what connection will result.

You might wind up saving that $99 every month and still watching your business grow.

*Disclaimer for all current and former Yankees: It’s different in the South when we get snow or ice. No judgment from you shall be tolerated.

Leigh Brown is a broker/owner at Re/Max Executive Realty. She has sold liquor, stocks, and chainsaws, but for the past 14 years, she has been dedicated to building relationships with her clients in real estate, both current and past.

Email Leigh Brown.