You got into real estate because you were good at buying and selling homes - right? So why are you also trying to design a website, choose your business cards, and photoshop the company holiday card?
Just like you tell your clients, it might be time to hire a professional. A marketing/design pro can take the strain off your branding decisions, and deliver materials way better than you can create in MS Paint - and in far less time. And - it doesn’t have to cost an entire paycheque.
But where to start? What should you ask them? And, how much should you spend? (First piece of advice - check out my entry on the importance of a great marketing plan here.)
How to find them
Well, word of mouth is often a great start. Is there a colleague that has a great website you love, or a local business that always has awesome poster displays? Ask around and see if anyone has great recommendations, and can give you an idea of their pricing.
The right questions to ask
This depends on your project, as well as their expertise, but there’s always a few good rules of thumb. You’ll want to know what their timelines and fees are like, to check out their portfolio or past projects, and probably their working style to ensure you’re compatible.
How much is too much?
How much you’re willing to - or should - spend, depends on the scope of your project, as well as the experience of your team. If they’re designing your entire website from scratch, including writing your content and taking your headshot, it ain’t gonna come cheap. Working with someone with a serious reputation as the best of the best? You’ll get great work - but you’ll definitely be paying for it. Some easier ways to save costs are to look for newer, freelance contractors, who are building their portfolio, and to work with a longer time frame in mind - which also means being prepared and organized on your end.
For more info on when to know you need help, and where to start, you could ask around - or, just book a call with me.
Being self-employed, our income is never steady, and never a sure thing. We often find ourselves trying to do every task ourselves just to save a few dollars - but is that actually costing you more money?
Consider what you could be doing instead of all those small tasks. Does all the time you're spending filing documents or updating your website equal a sale? Was it worth it? In some cases no - but in some cases, maybe so.
Whether it was your favourite subject in school or not, it's time to do a little math to calculate what's worth your time, and what's not.
First, figure out what your time is worth. As real estate agents, we may not charge an hourly rate, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a ballpark number of what your time costs per hour. You can break this down by looking at your total income over a year, and how many hours you invested in your business.
Next up: compiling all those tasks, and how long it takes you to complete them. Try tracking your time over a week, or even a day. How long does your average showing last? Your end of day paperwork? The time spent writing a contract? The short administrative tasks? Once you know how long those tasks take, you’ll be able to determine if they’re worth it to outsource.
Now - let’s put them together. If it takes you an hour to update a contract, and you determined your rate was $100/hour, it’s worth it for you to be the one to update that contract, unless you can find someone else to do it for less than that. But if your hourly rate was $500/hour, you can probably find an intern to junior colleague to update for you because it’s actually not worth it for you to lose out on $500 that could be invested elsewhere.
But remember these two important risks:
If the intern writing up the contract makes a crucial mistake, it could cost you a lot more than $500. Is the task at hand more important than the dollar amount you assigned to it? And, if you’re not using that hour you just gained to do something that contributes to your business, it’s not $500 you just gained back - it’s money you just lost paying someone else to do it for you.
For a more personalized look at how analyzing your tasks can affect your bottom line (or your take home salary) let's schedule a call, and let's crunch the numbers together.