Achieve the Impossible: Less Work, More Money!
Whether it’s the time it takes to generate a lead, convert a lead, take a listing, show buyers a property or close a sale, every aspect of the real estate business has differing cycle times. Shortening your cycle time (even on just one activity) can dramatically improve both your income and the amount of time you can take off.
Even if you already track your numbers, that still only provides half the story. The other half of the equation is tracking the time it takes to turn your lead generation and lead conversion activities into closed transactions. So consider these four practical tips to work less and earn more as a sales agent:
#1: Shorten Your Listing Cycle Times
A great place to start reducing cycle times is with your listings. Assuming your average selling or cycle time per listing is 90 days, working on activities to get the property in the selling zone faster will dramatically increase how much stock you handle and how efficiently you turn it over. Ask everyday if you’ve done something to improve the quality of the listing.
#2: Decrease Cycle Times by Speeding Up Your Lead Conversion Cycle
Are you spending 12-18 months converting internet leads or investing huge sums of marketing by mail and not getting much of a return? Shifting your approach to focus on the ‘right now’ business will greatly reduce your cycle time. Right now business includes prospecting expired listings, FSBO’s and referrals. In fact, one of the best ways to reduce cycle times is to create a strong base of people who refer business to you. Referrals are almost always right-now business.
#3: Reduce Cycle Times by Raising the Bar on Customer Service
A different way to decrease cycle times throughout the transaction is to raise the bar on the level of service you provide. When you form strong connections with your clients, you’re creating a higher level of trust. This translates into fewer transaction problems, which also shortens cycle times.
#4: Set Aside Time to Work On Your Business
The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber draws the distinction between working on your business versus working in your business. Most agents are so busy that they only work in their business. Sadly, they never take the time to “work on” their business by analysing where their business comes from, which parts of their business are the most profitable and how much they’re spending in marketing dollars as well as their rate of return from their various prospecting activities. If you’d like to be proactive about working on your business, use these four simple steps:
1. List all of your closed transactions and identify where each of those transactions originated (e.g. open house, internet lead, referral);
2. For each closed transaction, determine how long it took from the time you received the lead until you placed the property under contract and closed it;
3. Once you complete the list, identify the top 20% of your lead generation strategies that were the most profitable. Focus at least 50-75% of your time in these areas; and,
4. Now look at the bottom 20% of your activities. Are you wasting time with buyers who never buy? Are you mailing to an area where you’ve received no leads in the last six months? If so, get rid of these activities and focus on those areas with the shortest cycle times and the greatest return on your investment.
Reducing your cycle times is a powerful way to create less work and more income — try it out for yourself!
Kevin Turner hosts Australasia’s longest running and most listened to podcast for real estate agents, business owners and property managers – Real Estate UNCUT.