How to Plan Your Day for Success as a Real Estate Agent

By: Matt Giggs | May 13, 2024

How do you plan your day for success as a real estate agent?

There's no doubt that we are in one of the most stressful, reactionary industries there are. Most people that work in estate agency, and I think there's a statistic around 85% or 86%, have felt extremely stressed by their day-to-day work in our industry.

So how do you remain less stressed, more calm, and have more conviction? Well the thing that I believe in, and have said it countless times before, is you’ve got to focus on what you can control.

It's very easy to let the outside affect your inside. If you do that, you become less effective, less productive, less proactive, less skillful. You're on the back foot, you lose your mind, and you lose control. Then, you lose the art of having great conversations, which is what estate agency is all about.

I’m serious about the importance of having conversations – they’re how I convert sales.

Really. No matter where you are in the world, it is all about being present and immersed in great conversations with your clients. So if you're not finding time to do that, you're going to be finding the time to look for another career, believe me. I'm telling you right now, you’ve got to be in this to win this.

I know that sounds cheesy, but you've got to be in the conversations to convert the business. You won’t be in those conversations if you don’t have a plan to make that happen. Planning your day can be very, very challenging, especially if you don't have a method, a tool, or a structure for doing so. Let’s look at the tool I use.

What planners work for real estate agents?

There's loads of planning ideas out there. There's loads of things that work for people: spreadsheets, dashboards, etc.

The one thing that's always worked for me over the years is a very simple paper diary. Draw a cross in the middle so you have four sections. Clockwise from the upper left, the sections are:

- Urgent Important,

- Non-Urgent Important,

- Urgent Non-Important,

- Non-Urgent Non-Important.

Below, we’ll talk more about what goes in each section, but those are the sections I always put my work into. Working this way allows me to decipher the tasks, actions, and activities that are urgent and important versus not urgent and/or not important.

When I do this with clients that I mentor, train, or coach, they put too much importance on the quadrant 4 tasks, or those that aren’t urgent or important. That means they end up doing more stuff that doesn't take them closer to their goals, towards achieving things on a daily basis. Then they feel less effective in their work, and that's because they're spending too much time doing the things that they don't actually need to focus on.

Stop wasting time

How many hours do we lose a day just from scrolling alone, right? I'm telling you right now, it’s going to make a difference if you can get into this mode of constructively planning your day, looking at what success looks like, knowing what your objectives are, and prioritising your tasks and actions by putting them into a simple format.

I first discovered this tool – the planner page with four quadrants – in a book by a guy called Stephen R. Covey called The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. If you want to be highly effective, it might be worth looking at the principles that he shared.

But back to planning your day. In the estate agency there's lots of people to speak to, there's lots of things you need to do, but where do they go in your day?

Quadrant 1: Urgent Important

The first quadrant is for tasks that are urgent and important. These are the conversations that you need to have because if you don't there will be serious consequences for your day, your business, your career, your goals, all of that.

Write these vital tasks in your first quadrant. Treat them as your goals to complete that day, as your actions, your activities. Make sure they are actually important and urgent, so you know that you've got to get those done.

These tasks are really important. They're all part of you achieving your goals.

Quadrant 2: Non-Urgent Important

In the second quadrant, place any tasks that are important, but not urgent. These are the conversations, activities, and tasks that don’t need to be done right away, but they're still important to your business and your future.

These tend to be the kind of things like:

- doing your callouts,

- doing your prospecting,

- making sure you're doing your follow-up conversations.

You get the idea. These things aren't urgent, right? But they are important because they're going to help you towards your long-term goals.

These are the things that you can probably do a bit later in the day if you need to, at a time that's more convenient. But you know that you need to get them done because they are still important.

What you tend to find is that you'll have more in this quadrant than in quadrant 1, the consequential, majorly serious things if you don't do them right then and there. Now you can see that you don't have that many of those Urgent Important things, don't pile yourself under pressure.

You'll probably find a lot of the tasks aren't urgent but they are important, so mapping out what they actually look like is really important for managing your time and your day. That’s what this is all about. It's about completing your tasks that are Important and Urgent on a daily basis and then tackling the other tasks.

Quadrant 3: Urgent Non-Important

In quadrant 3, place all the tasks that are urgent and non-important. What does that mean? Any tasks that have deadlines (that makes them urgent) but that aren’t crucial to your long-term success (that makes them non-important).

You'll tend to find that you end up bringing some of those things into quadrant 2 tomorrow or the next day because you know that you've got a bit more time on your side to get those tasks done.

Don't forget, if you're going to be in the top 1% of estate agents, your main focus has to be on having great conversations, but you have to prioritise which conversations you need to have today.

Here’s how I prioritise calls: I've got people that are asking for coaching calls to find out whether they can work with me or I can work with them. Their calls are being booked in for next week, the week after, and so on. They're not calls that I need to make today. They're not a priority ahead of the things that I need to execute today to know that I've completed my tasks and actions so I can end the day feeling like I've achieved something. Does that make sense?

Quadrant 4: Non-Urgent Non-Important

Now we go on to the stuff that’s neither urgent nor important. This is where a lot of people waste a hell of a lot of time.

If you think about it, most estate agents show up at 8:30 or 9:00 every morning and they finish at 5:00, 6:00, or 7:00 in the evening. How many hours have they spent on things that don't have any bearing on their long-term, medium-term, or short-term goals? They waste a lot of time doing things that they could hand off to other people.

This is especially true if you're a business owner where you can leverage your time to delegate these responsibilities around the team or to people that are actually more skilled in doing them than you are. Delegate the things that are non-urgent and non-important – in other words, the things that don’t have deadlines and aren’t vital to your success. If you can’t delegate, remember that these are things that you might need to do at some point further down the line – but not today.

Prioritise to grow in estate agency

Using this tool will help you stop wasting time so you can grow your career by having the greatest conversations. That growth will help you to turn over more money, more profit. Then you’ll be ready to develop your business and hire people to take more of this stuff on.

As you grow your career, spend your time mainly focused on tasks in quadrants 1 and 2. That will mean you’re having the sharper, more important, more meaningful meetings and conversations, not getting distracted by the things that don’t really matter.

This stuff is so important and it does work. In the first five, six, seven years of growing my estate agency business, working in it, immersed in it, it was so important that I managed myself and my time. I would lay there sometimes at night not knowing where to start. But then I found this really easy way of looking at what I needed to do and where in my day those things needed to go. I had to prioritise my work, actions, and activities. Now you can, too.

Thank you for reading and learning from what I’ve learnt in the last 28 years to develop tools and strategies and to borrow some from the likes of Steven Covey. This stuff really does work if you've got the right mindset. If you want access to some more great training, head over to my YouTube channel. While you’re there, be sure to ring the bell so you’ll be the first to hear when a new video drops.

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