It's a classic scenario - you've got important plans you made weeks ago, when a client wants a last-minute showing.
a) Cancel all your plans immediately and book the showing. This could be it!
b) Tell them you'll book something for next week, and risk losing the sale.
c) Wait... there's another option?
You’re not alone if you find it tough to navigate your personal and work life balance. There are thousands of articles out there on how cell phones, social media, and competitive job markets have led to a lifestyle of always working. But trust me - creating some personal time doesn’t mean you have to risk losing your sales, and it’s critical when you run your own business.
Figure out how you like to work. If you’re a person that loves the thrill and excitement of closing that sale no matter what - at the risk of always being available to your clients - that's great. However, that work style may not work for everyone, and may not be sustainable in the long run. If you prefer having set hours that you respond to messages and clients, that's great too. You might find it easier to manage your personal life, but there could be implications from a client perspective as well. A lot of it will come from managing expectations and the communication you have with your clients. Be true to you: if you know you’re the kind of person that needs alone time - having a working model of "always on call" might not be for you.
In the long run, experts say time off to recharge is critical to your long term success. And as hard as it is, when you’re self-employed and feel like you should always be connected, remember: it’s okay to take some personal time.
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.