We've already talked about what your time is worth, and how to calculate what your task rate should be. But what about the things that seem like a waste of time, but end up being really important?

What you do during your workday typically  falls into three categories:

  1. Things that are a good use of your time;
  2. Things that aren’t;
  3. And things that you know aren’t a good use of your time, but you do them anyway (and maybe that’s okay)

But how do you determine what’s a good use of your time, and what activities that seem trivial, but might pay off in the long run?

Turns out, there’s one simple question to ask yourself that should give you the answer - and here it is:

What’s the potential outcome of this?

In order to be a good use of your time, or valuable in some sense, it should fall into one of four categories:

If your task isn’t hitting at least one of those points, your answer should be clear: delegate it, forget it, or change it.

Here’s an example:

You’ve got three things on your plate this morning: renewing your driver’s license so you can drive your clients to showings, learning WordPress so you can update your website, and practicing a client listing presentation. What’s the best way to spend your time?

Let’s break it down. 

Looking at the results, while the driver’s license renewal may be more urgent, overall, practicing your client presentation is the best use of your time. For more info on determining how best to spend your time, let’s book a call and navigate together.

Or at least plan to read this

I get it - creating long, complicated plans for work can be boring, time-consuming, and way too overwhelming. Isn’t it more productive to actually do the work?

The importance of a great plan can't be overstated. It helps you stay on course, eliminate the stuff you don’t need to be doing, and gives you a guide to look back on so if you happen to veer off course, you know how to get centered again.

Every great business should have four plans:

1. Business plan

Your business plan is your north star. It should guide all your major business decisions, and be a point of reference you check in on throughout the year. It should include important benchmarks, and answer questions like:

It doesn’t have to be complicated, and it should be flexible enough to adapt to uncertain circumstances. The important thing is to refer to it and update it constantly - you control the plan; it doesn’t control you.

2. Marketing plan

Wondering how a marketing plan is different from your business plan? Think of your marketing plan like the image you present to the world, while your business plan is more around the structure and how you’ll make your income. Your marketing plan should include your social media and online presence goals, how you expect to grow your business, and how much is an appropriate amount to spend. Many great agents may partner with an external agency or contractor to help develop this plan, and it can be wise to get some professional help.

3. Personal time plan

This is an especially important one if you run your own show. When you take a day off, or head on vacation (remember - vacations are critical to your success!), your business doesn’t stop. How will you manage incoming emails, phone calls, and any social media accounts you’re managing? Don’t let your business go dormant while you’re enjoying cocktails on a beach or skiing black diamonds - plan ahead, and come back to an organized (and still running) business.

4. Financial plan

Probably the plan everyone’s the most worried about, but potentially the most important. No matter how junior or senior you are, trust me - you need a financial plan. What happens if the market surges and you have to bring on someone new to help with all your listings? Or - knock on wood - things take a dive, and you have less business for an extended period of time? The businesses that are able to take advantage of markets, and stay afloat through difficult times are the ones who have a strong financial plan. 

Whether you’re starting from scratch, or just want a second opinion on your hard work, why not set up a call? In fact - let’s plan on it.

Time to bring in the pros

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.

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