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Homeside: Your Modern Mortgage Blog

5 Ways to Work Smarter – Not Harder – as a Real Estate Agent

Posted by Mikey Rox on October 20, 2016

Being a real estate agent can feel as if you're on a never-ending treadmill. This is a commission-based business. So if you don’t produce, you don't eat. For that reason alone, some real estate agents work around the clock to earn a livable income. This isn't a career for the lazy. And yes, you'll hustle. But you don't have to work yourself into an early grave. Generating leads and converting leads takes time and effort on your part.

But there are tricks to help you work smarter and not harder as a real estate agent.

1. Get help

If you can afford an assistant, outsource some of your labor. You'll need a strong marketing campaign to drum up clients. Some realtors rely on their own social media pages and websites to bring in new clients. This is an ongoing process, and when you’re slammed updating your website and social media accounts, managing paperwork, plus meeting with your clients, it can feel as if you're always on the move.

There are only so many hours in the day. If you find yourself falling behind or working longer hours, hire help and delegate some of your responsibilities. Maybe you can hire a freelance writer to manage blog posts for your website, or hire a professional to manage your social media accounts. Another option is finding a virtual assistant who can help with document preparation or entering contact information.

2. Head off problems early

When you're dealing with homebuyers and sellers, issues will arise. And these problems can cause closing delays and additional headaches. One way to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible is anticipating problems before they happen and having a Plan B.

For example, you might have a buyer who falls in love with a house, and to improve his odds of getting the house, he suggests making an offer well above asking price. As the agent, however, you know the neighborhood like the back of your hand, and you know there’s a good chance of running into appraisal issues if the seller accepts this offer. To head off a potential problem, be honest with the buyer and suggest an offer that’s more realistic. This can keep the closing on track and alleviate headaches down the road.

Likewise, you can head off problems by making sure buyers are prequalified before showing them houses. Your time is valuable and you need to focus on people who are in a position to buy. Don’t waste time running around with someone who can't purchase. You expend a lot of time and energy and get nothing in return

3. Know your limits

Some agents understand the concept of feast or famine. So when the market is hot, it’s tempting to take on as many clients as possible. This benefits your bottom line, but it can result in long hours and there’s the risk of burnout. If your plate is full, it’s okay to say no and turn down new business. There will be other clients in the future.

4. Use your time wisely

Some people say they can’t follow a schedule. But if you find yourself losing focus during the day, or if it feels like you're spending too much time on certain tasks, learning how to manage your time wisely can help.

You’re juggling a lot of responsibilities. Living by a schedule can keep everything on track. You’ll get your day off to a productive start and you're less likely to waste time on unimportant things. If your workday is scheduled and you stick to this schedule, you’ll be surprised by how much you can complete within a day, and within a reasonable timeframe.

5. Work with higher-end clients

Some real estate agents become comfortable selling homes in the $100,000 or $200,000 range. This is OK – just know that earning more may require double the work. On the other hand, if you step outside your comfort zone and start marketing to higher end clients, you can walk away with bigger commissions. This doesn’t mean you have to start selling million dollar homes. But if you’re currently listing and helping buyers find $200,000 homes, challenge yourself and take on clients around the $400,000 or $500,000 price point. Since some agents can sell more expensive homes in the same amount of time that it takes to sell a cheaper home, you can potentially take on fewer clients and increase your income.

Look into postcard or direct mail marketing and target your campaign in neighborhoods with more expensive properties. Additionally, you can promote yourself as a luxury listing or selling agent on your website. It’s also essential to educate yourself on this market. To capture these buyers and sellers, you have to understand their unique needs and wants

When you are feeling overwhelmed, use these tips to rustle up productivity and stay focused on the goal.

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