How Successful Agents Structure Their Day

How Successful Agents Structure Their Day

Is time management something you struggle with? Don’t worry because this is a question I get all the time.  Structuring your day effectively is one of the most important things you can do to maximize your time and achieve more in less time but with less stress.  Learn how the most successful real estate agents structure their days and use it to model your own.

“How do successful agents structure their day?”

Agents will often come up to my team, to me, or their coaches, asking about how to structure their day more effectively. They feel like  their day is chaotic and out of control.  They don’t know how to do it and have heard about time blocking but don’t know if that will really work for them.

Everybody wants to know how to structure their day in a way that makes it more productive, less stressful, and allows for more satisfaction and fun in life.  With this being the goal in mind, how are successful agents structuring their day?

I am going to show you by walking through how to think about the day, how to structure the day, and to put this out of your mind:

Time blocking.

You all hear about time blocking and, for a lot of people, it can be great.  For me, I use it a lot in planning  my day.  I time block the crap out of it, but you know why I am able to do that?  This is because I’m not dealing with clients and calls all day, everyday.  I’m not in the same business you are.  I’m in the coaching business and have a different structure to my day.  When I was doing more sales and talking to people, I couldn’t time block in the same way I do now.  If you are thinking, “Oh, right, all he is going to do is tell me to time block and then make me feel guilty because I’ve never been able to pull it off,”  hang tight. I’m not going to tell you to time block.  I want to change the way you think about organizing your day so it makes more sense, you actually enjoy it, it’s less stressful, and has a less overwhelming feeling.

How most agents structure their day

Firstly, however, let’s talk about how most agents structure their day.  I want to show you the structure because you probably can relate to this, or part of this.

Around 5/6 a.m. they are still sleeping and at about 7 a.m. they stumble out of bed, check their email, drink coffee, and get the kids ready to go.  It’s like “Oh crap. Another day, another dollar.” Then around 8 a.m. there are other morning things being done: dropping off the kids and drinking more coffee because they just have to keep it rolling.

They attempt to get into the office by 9 a.m., but 9:23 is about when they are strolling in, a bit frazzled, right?  The day has been going crazy in the morning and they’re just thinking, “Ahhhh!”  They finish telling about the crazy  morning at around 10 o’clock.  About how, “Oh, you’ll never believe what happened!”   Apparently little Johnny falling apart, crying, and, you know, Satan child and all that.

By 10/11 o’clock is when they’ve finished telling everyone about it. “Oh my gosh, it was so awful!”  Then, they move into returning some phone calls, putting out fires, and might have some time to grab lunch. One of the things they are doing is check email and stressing about all the fires being out.  They are doing this in the morning, sometimes even before they get to drink coffee.

So what’s going on?  They’re stressed.  They’re exhausted.  They’re like, “Uhhg.”   They eat some lunch and this is what the afternoon looks like: “Aaaaaarrrgghhh!!!”  This is all the way through the day, just, “Ahhhhh.” There are firesDramaClients callingEverybody’s upsetDeals are falling apart!

They’re trying to put it all together and trying to keep their head above water.  Johnny’s school is calling because the demon child is out of control at school.  He is biting teachers and biting the kids!  Everything is falling apart and, by 6 p.m., it’s still going.

7 p.m. comes around and they are still going, “Ahhhh!”  It’s all going crazy and then, all the sudden, the phone starts to quiet down and the kids start passing out. At about 9/10/11 o’clock, what’s happening?  They are doing more email, paperwork, and getting caught up on the day. By 12 o’clock, they are ready for bed and then thinking, ahhhh because the spouse wants to have sex and they’re like, “Nooo! get off of me!”

At 12:05 they finally pass out.  Looking at this, no wonder they are stressed.  This is how most people and agents structure their day.  this is when they are saying, “I need a coach. I need help.”

One of the things we ask them is what they need help with.  Often times they say they need help getting control of their schedule because it is out of control and they don’t know how to fix it on their own.  Before I show you how to structure the day, I want to touch on two things we speak to our clients about.

Two Core Activities

There are really two core activities you deal with (apart from your personal life) in your business life.  We call these your BGAs and your BSAs; your business generating activities and you business servicing activities.

Most people get stressed when they spend all their time on business servicing activities: putting out fires, returning calls, and handling deals that are falling apart.  All of this are business servicing activities.  All are very critical, by the way, because you are paid based on having happy clients and successful deals.

You service the business to get paid, but here is the problem.  This is where a lot of stress comes from since you are running around , dealing with so many things, and not being intentional about your business generating activities.

What you have is a “feast-or-famine” lifestyle.  All of a sudden, the business could be going really, really, really well.  You are getting a lot of clients and deals, and then, you are too busy to generate more of this business.  You start servicing it all, but when you’re not generating more business, it won’t be long before you don’t have much business to service.  So, as you start wrapping up those final couple deals, you look out on the horizon and think, “Oh crap! I need to run around starting to generate more business.”

It is this constant “feast-or-famine” cycle because there is a lack of intentionality.  How do we start building intentionality so that, every day, we are generating new business and servicing it?  If you start thinking, “What are the activities I do to generate business?” and “What are the activities I do to service business?”  you can begin to separate those in your mind and on your calendar to see where your time is going to be focused.  You need to be doing both business generating and business servicing everyday, but how is that done?  Here is what I want you to think about.

Four Core Chunks

There are 4 core chunks I want you to think about in your day. Not in blocks like in time blocking because what does that make you think?  You think, “From 9-10 I do this. From 10-10:30 I do this.  From 10:30- 11:30 I do this.” It’s set up as if every hour is accounted for.  Now, it’s not going to work that way.  In fact, if that’s what you are going to try and do, good luck.  In a sales or service role, like most of you are in, unless you have a team and are in a leadership role (where you really can start to do more traditional time blocking), I want you thinking about big chunks of time.  You have four major chunks in your life .

Your morning rituals

First are your morning rituals.  This is what you do before getting to the office.  I want you to develop rituals.  “Ahh Travis, that sounds so boring.  I don’t want rituals.  I don’t want routine.  I want to be more spontaneous.”  Great! build in spontaneity. The only way to have true spontaneity and no stress is to have systems, rituals, and routines allowing you to be spontaneous.  Systems allow for spontaneity.  Routine allows for spontaneity.  I want you to write that down.  I want you to remember it.  I want you to tweet it. I want you to do whatever you need to.  Write in down on a sticky note.  Stick it on your laptop or monitor.  Make it your background or your screensaver.  Systems enable spontaneity.  So, you have to have morning rituals.

Focus on the BGAs

The next thing you need to do is focus on the BGAs.  This is the second chunk.  Third, you have the BSAs (your business servicing activities) and fourth, you have evening rituals.  All of this is about developing rituals and each one of these,  BGAs and BSAs, are rituals. I just did not write the word after.

It’s all about developing habits.  So what does this look like?  Let’s break it down.  What would a morning ritual look like?  What if at 5 a.m. you’re not still sleeping?  Instead, you’re waking up so you’re not  stressed, hitting the ground running, checking email, and all that.  This is what I do:  wake up, pray, drink my coffee, get things going, and just focus my mind.  I read and am just meditating.  This is the time I journal, and sometimes I write down everything I’m grateful for.  I create a gratitude list every morning and try to put myself in the right state of mind: not stressed or frazzled.

Then, I’m going to exercise or get my body moving somehow so my energy is up.  After, I am going to shower and eat.  Now, I don’t have to get my kids up and ready for school because I have a daughter who is, right now, 7 1/2 months.  I get her up, play with her a little, and then am heading to the office by about 8 o’clock every morning. This is my schedule, but yours might be that at 8’oclock you are dropping the kids off at school and arriving at the office around 8:30.  There’s your morning ritual and it’s all intentional.

There’s less stress.  Some of you are thinking, “5 o’clock? I’ve never seen 5 o’clock.  I don’t know…  Is it still dark outside?  Is it light?  What’s happening?” I want you to try it.  Start moving your wake up time back a little each day.  Then, what is your business generating activity going to look like?

Your business generating chunk is going to look like this.  At 8:35, remember you are in the office by 8:30 and not strolling in at 9:25,  you are going to sit down, practice your scripts, and get focused on production.  You’re going to get yourself in the right mindset to have an incredible day.  That’s what you are going to be doing.

Now, at 9 o’clock, you’re going to be calling your past clients– or your sphere of influence.  This is where you’re going to start building some of those past-client relationships and getting more repeat referral business by nurturing these relationships.  You are just getting the day going right now, right.  You’re having great conversation, very low key, and no threatening conversations around that time.

At 9:30 you’re going to start fallowing up with outstanding leads.  What are some of the leads you need to follow up with?  You know, people who said “Hey, we want to list my house,” or  “Call me next week. I’ll have a decision,” or “Yeah, I want active buyer leads.”  This is where you are going to be following up with your active, outstanding leads.

Then, by 10 o’clock,  you’re going to start calling your new leads.  You’re prospecting, dialing, smiling, and making the dials for dollars right in here because you have been warmed up.  You have some great conversation and winds in there and it’s carrying you into a great time to prospect.

Move into BSAs

The afternoon looks like this.  With your mornings being your Business generating activities, late mornings can start moving into the business servicing activities.  You’re going to check and respond to email.  You’re going to start servicing the business throughout the day. I put “Ahhhhhh” almost all the way down this section in case that’s what it looks like some days.  You’re going to be putting out fires all through the afternoon and it’s going to feel like, “Ahhhhhh it’s all crazy.”  At the end of the day, however, what you’re really doing, is servicing your business and I don’t so much care what this looks like, how stressful it is, or how chaotic.  It might be sometimes.  After all this, you are servicing business and you need to do that.  So, it’s a good thing.

When 5 o’clock rolls around,  you’re still servicing business and maybe even at 6 p.m.

Evening Rituals

So, you decide on certain evening rituals.  By the way, I work most nights, but here is what I do.  I have an evening ritual.  So, it’s dinner with the family, time with kids, and then planning out my next day and, maybe, wrapping up any outstanding communication or paperwork.  This could be what you do about 9 o’clock.

Then at 10 o’clock, you might plan some time to journal, read, or just come down on the day.  At 11 o’clock it’s, “Ahhhhh” again because your spouse wants to have sex and, by 11:15, you’re passed out.  You’re asleep.

Some Questions

If you were to do this, to think about your day in four key chunks, to think about what you are doing for morning rituals so you are not stressed, to set up the day, to create a catalyst for the day,  what will you be doing to generate business?  You have to generate business before you service business.

What am I going to do to generate business?  What am I going to do to service the business? What is that going to look like and what are my evening rituals going to be?  This does not mean you stop work at night if you need to work, but that you must be intentional with the other areas of your life and block out important times for relationship with your spouse, kids, yourself, or whoever.

What is the key?

Now, here is the catalyst.  The key, to all of what I’ve said, are these two things.  Firstly, your morning rituals and then your business generating activities.   You do those two things and the rest of the day can go to hell in a hand basket because you’ll have gotten the two most important things done.  These two things are the catalysts and set the day and drive you into the rest of it.  They give you the energy and the push to make sure, when you get to those business serving activities, if it’s falling apart, you know it can because you did some things in the day which are going to generate new business and service it, but most importantly generate new business.

If you are not generating new business, and are just servicing it, it won’t be long before you don’t have any business to service.

What to take away

This is what I want you to do.  Focus on the four core chunks: morning rituals, BGAs, BSAs, and evening rituals.  Think about your day in four core chunks and what habits you’re going to build into each of those.  You do that and you’ll have a far more productive day.

This is how successful agents on this type of level are thinking about their day. With this kind of thinking, what am I going to focus on? What are my BGAs and BSAs.  You do that.  Game changer. How do you manage your day?  Does your day look more like the average real estate agent or are you starting to transition or have set up a day that is structured, intentional, and driven.  What does your day look like? How do you schedule and manage your time and your day?

Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.  If you believe in yourself just half as much as I believe in you, you’ll have an amazing business, an amazing life ahead of you, and it’s an honor to get to serve you along that journey.  Take care guys.

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  • Keith Roy

    Solid discussion and great reminders.

  • Sandra Godley

    I need more than 6 hours sleep every night. However I can tweak it to work. I don’t know why I resist and schedule “ritual” so much. I know it is what will transform my business but yet I keep doing the same AAAARRRGGHHH day over and over.

    • I get it, Sandra! It could be a number of reasons why you resist it. It likely comes down to some level of this: you believe the pain/discomfort of making the change is greater than the pain/discomfort of continuing on the same path. So you keep on keepin’ on. Accountability on this may be just what you need to kick you into gear.

  • Alexandra Moura

    Hello. I’m Alexandra Moura, I’m from Lisbon and have a REMAX in Brazil. I am following you since 3 years ago and I had very good results with your advices.Thank you! I do some of these steps in my day and I think I will improve with this new information.
    BGA – “Here I have some doubts”. I do market studies, researches to give the best price. I talk to past clients and give weekly feedback to my owners/clients. I also show my real estate properties to buyers.
    Is this the BGA?
    Thanks in advance.
    ALEX

  • Carol

    Wow. You hit that on all cylinders. Thank you. What a helpful article. I have been struggling with this for years. Much appreciated!