Many professionals struggle with the balance between work and life, but for real estate broker/owners this can be particularly challenging. Not only do they work a lot during regular business hours, but they also get called upon evenings and weekends and are expected to always be on call to help their team should questions or urgent issues arise. Often, even the most organized efficient brokers find themselves overwhelmed by the demands of having to recruit, manage their team, provide training, generate leads, put out fires, and be present in their personal life. As time goes on, it is only natural to lose the balance between life and work; however, it is important to restrike that balance to protect your productivity, keep a positive mindset, and to find the time to do the things that are meaningful to you outside of work. Here are some practical solutions to help you do just that.
Where are You Spending your Time?
The first thing you can do to regain control over your schedule is to take a cold hard look at how you are currently spending your time. Often, busy brokers are stunned at just how much of their time is not being used properly or meaningfully. One way to analyze how your time is being spent is to take a look back over your to-do lists and calendar from the last month or two. As you look over your lists and calendar ask yourself if each task is something worthwhile, if it could be delegated, or if it could be skipped altogether. Another option is to install apps or plugins like Forest that will track how you are spending your time on your computer or phone. Many people are shocked to learn how easily distracted they are while working and can find extra hours in the day that could be spent far more effectively. In other cases, you many identify many tasks that you really could give up if you invest the time to train someone in your office. In the long run, checking in on the work of others, is more time effective than doing it yourself from scratch.
Take a Hard Look at Your Priorities
One of the biggest things that brokers struggle with is getting their priorities in order. This is because there isn’t a good balance between tasks that are urgent, vs. tasks that are important. It’s urgent and important that you help your team get contracts filled out and reviewed. If, however, you are still showing homes to clients or putting together CMA’s yourself, instead of focusing on your business plan, company lead generation and recruiting activities, you might want to consider how that time is spent.
If you are anything like most real estate brokers, there are at least a few items on your list of responsibilities that don’t need to be one of your priorities. To identify these, make a list of all of the big and small picture responsibilities currently on your plate. Next, go through the list item by item and decide which tasks are creating value, what tasks are just busy-work or can be outsourced, and how to schedule or time block those that must be done.
Leveraging the Skills and Systems of Others
As it stands, you likely already have at least one or two agents on your team that have implemented strategic systems within their business which allow them to operate more successfully and efficiently without much guidance from you. There is nothing wrong with leveraging those already established and proven systems throughout the rest of your brokerage to alleviate some of the stress on your shoulders. The more that you invest in helping your agents to streamline their workflow and maintain a certain consistency of operations across your brokerage, the more time you will have to allocate to your personal life. That not only applies to your agents and their activities, but to yours as well.
This idea of “repeatable systems” is of course, one of the central ideas of a national real estate franchise like Weichert. Not all franchising real estate brands offer well developed and proven systems for everything from lead generation to recruiting, but Weichert offers this and more. Many of our systems are “plug and play” and can relieve some of your most time consuming activities on day one. Others give you a roadmap for success in every aspect of managing your business. These comprehensive operational blueprints for everything from marketing, to sales training, to technology are supplemented by ongoing coaching and training from real estate experts and peers across the Weichert organization who support each other 24/7.
Brokers who have embraced a brand like Weichert often express relief when they realize that they can still be in business for themselves, but not by themselves.
Being a real estate broker will never be a 9-5 job, but with a solid plan for the operation and management of your brokerage, a work-life balance can be achieved. The more you invest in developing or adopting proven systems like the ones used by Weichert brokers, the sooner you will be able to rebalance your schedule, alleviate your stress, and get more enjoyment in both your career and your life.