Working full-time from home has become the norm for an unprecedented amount of people recently. People from every industry have had to adjust to this new working environment, and many have struggled.
Working from home as a real estate agent can bring a lot of unexpected distractions, as well as force you to adapt your daily schedule. As long as you are willing to put effort into finding a new normal when it comes to work, you will be able to quickly increase your productivity. Potentially to even a higher level than you were able to attain when working in an office. So, keep an open mind and try these strategies to become a Rock Star agent during the Covid pandemic.
Have a Dedicated Workspace
It is very tempting to just roll over in the morning, grab your laptop or phone, and begin working. Unfortunately, working from your bed, and not adequately preparing your body for work, will stop you from reaching your maximum productivity.
Find yourself a desk, or table and chair to work at everyday. Refuse to allow yourself to be distracted by leisurely areas such as a bed or couch. Once you have established a workspace, make sure you treat it with respect. You would not enter your office without being dressed, having eaten breakfast, or being prepared to start your day. So, don’t enter your home workspace without doing those things either.
While it is important to have a dedicated workspace, don’t be discouraged from changing up the physical location. Moving from home office to kitchen or even patio can give you a nice change of scenery. Depending on what’s available in your area you may be able to find an outdoor table at a Starbucks or Panera which will allow you to get out, have some socially distant human interaction, and get a change of scenery.
Get Your Technology in Order
If you want to be successful working from home as a real estate agent, you must embrace all the new technology being widely used in the industry. Platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Microsoft Teams, HelloSign, and Transactly are helping agents get more done in a remote environment. These platforms, and many more like them, allow you to continue to network, advertise, and represent properties from the safety of your home. Familiarize yourself with as much new technology as you can. The more technology you can use, the more efficient you will be working from home.
Manage Your Expectations
Not to state the obvious, but working from home as a real estate agent is much different than working in an office. You are no longer in a distraction limited, work focused environment. You are in your comfortable home, with your tv, family, and pets all trying to catch your attention.
Due to this drastic change in environment, you can’t force yourself to sit in the same spot and try to cram work in all day. Taking this approach will stop you from getting anything done at all. Your motivation will ebb and flow more often at home. So, allow yourself to take breaks, and don’t feel guilty about it. Taking these mental breaks when you need them will help you ultimately be more productive.
The pandemic also makes it more complicated to host open houses, manage showings and meet with your buyers and sellers. Create a plan for using video to chat with your clients rather than just a standard phone call. Integrate video walk-throughs into your listings. Host virtual open houses on facebook live and other social media channels. Be prepared to offer limited in person showings with PPE gear available for yourself and the buyers and sellers. Provide bleach wipes, hand sanitizer, lysol, masks, booties and gloves to help boost the comfort level of your clients.
Strategically Plan Your Day
Plan mental breaks into your day to maximize your efficiency.
Plan 50 to 60 minute sessions where you commit yourself to intensely focus on a specific task, or set of tasks. When planning out your tasks, put your most difficult ones in a time slot you know you are usually productive. For example, if you know you have a lot of motivation right after your morning coffee, schedule to complete your difficult or draining tasks first thing in the morning.
After each session plan for a 10 to 15 minute break. Having a short break after a focused work session will help you maintain your motivation, and prevent burnout throughout the day.
Delegate. Automate. Dominate.
If you still find yourself overwhelmed with your workload after adjusting your schedule, it might be time to invest in some “virtual” help. The real estate market is thriving during this pandemic. In real estate, more business means more behind the scenes work. Get help before you’re so busy doing the paperwork you don’t have time to find more customers or cater to the ones you already have. A transaction coordinator can take care of the majority of paperwork tasks associated with your transactions. Giving you up to 16 hours back of your time per transaction. What could you do with an extra 16 hours?