For a real estate agent, the agenda is a highly efficient tool which helps him manage time effectively, but he should never become a slave of it.
Traditionally, the agenda was a tool for managing time properly and an element almost indispensable for the real estate agent.
An agenda permits the managing of three important things related to an efficient managing of time:
An organized real estate agent is the person who plans and reminds things and that is not a simple thing to do.
All the elements above mentioned are highly related to each other and they become dependent to each other, as there is no need for an organizing without a good planning and even forgetting tasks could lead to negative interferences in the development of the real estate agent´s agenda.
The real estate agent´s agenda requires time in order to organize it and revise it. An agenda is not the place where a real estate agent writes down some tasks and appointments he should achieve, but it is a way of structuring time, a guide useful to develop activities in a very organized and efficient way.
The agenda is a tool for managing time of the real estate agent, but the latter should never convert into a slave of it and just a necessary time should be allocated.
Normally, the end of the working hours is considered to be the best time to revise the agenda for the next day and during the morning it is advisable to have a look again at its structure for that specific day.
The person who really knows some techniques and methods related to time management, will realize that I have not included the idea of setting priorities inside the elements which permit the management of an agenda and I have done it on purpose.
I have not included priorities inside the agenda because I really do not want to do that. I mean that, only because of the flexibility principle which has as purpose the good achievement of time management and the obtaining of a higher level of productivity.
A real estate agent is a professional and should be flexible, mainly because his professional activity requires it and he should set priorities dynamically. Setting priorities dynamically shows the variation in the course of the real estate agent´s normal day.
Especially during mornings, a real estate agent´s order of priorities might change radically. This is something clear to which the real estate agent should adapt: constant changes of priorities and the fact that the latter are changed by third parties most of the time (clients of the real estate or even colleagues).
Flexibility and the real estate agent´s time.
An experienced real estate agent knows what a marked day for the final signing of a house means, he knows exactly when to go to the notary, although he will never know when everything will finish. In this case, the real estate agent depends on third parties.
There are also the classic impediments that might occur in the middle of the process. He should be aware that his time will be conditioned by other factors and he will not always be in control, when he marks the day on his agenda as the final signing of a contract.
Here, the only way of implementing an effective time management is by using flexibility as the main principle plus, of course, the impediments that might occur.
A frequent situation inside the real estate´s environment is when the person responsible for managing documents should plan his time outside the real estate. The responsible person for those actions knows when his working day starts, but he does not know when he will end his tasks. The selling process is not only passing by the notary, this is only a small part of the entire process.
Costa Invest Real Estate counts with a specific department for managing and dealing with documents, as a system inside the customer service and it is also about assigning resources for specific actions.
The assignment of resources means that person implicated should achieve an effective management of time.
When the real estate agent is about to go to take some clients from the airport, he knows that his time is not always managed according to his interests, because if a flight is canceled, all his agenda will need to be modified.
Such a situation or one in which the flights are delayed, will always condition the efficiency in the agent´s time management.
In the first two examples, the best solution in order to achieve an effective time management is the idea of preventing things and actions and this means he needs to be aware of the need of more time.
If the needed time for those purposes were inferior than planned, that could be used for different purposes. In other words, when the agent is flexible, he should use his spare time for other tasks.
Set priorities outside of the agenda.
An agenda is useful as a tool for organizing and planning of the time of a real estate agent, although he needs to use other resources and systems to set priorities and so get a higher level of productivity.
The agenda is a basic tool, which determines a series of tasks to do in a specific day and it is structured on hours.
This might limit a lot the agent when managing his tasks. There are a lot of experts on time management who recommend setting priorities outside the agenda and here we have David Allen, as a good reference. In his book Getting Things Done, Allen describes the necessity of setting priorities outside the agenda, in order to achieve a better time management.
Basically, Allen starts from the principle that says if a person marks his tasks in a specific place, he will obtain a higher level of concentration on them. This also allows to immediately finish those tasks that need a higher level of priority.
Without entering on technical subjects on Allen´s time management, the principles on which time management is based are:
This involves the collection of tasks as information in external elements, such as a notepad, a PDA, a smartphone or even another agenda.
The target of using other elements is to gather info so then process it efficiently. This will help the agent to leave aside other tasks and so he could achieve a higher level of concentration.
In order to process tasks as information, Allen recommends us to follow these steps:
- Start processing the info right from the beginning.
- Never process more than one element or task at once.
- Do not send again the processed task to the external element.
- If a tasks needs to be done and it could be processed in less than 2 minutes, we should do it and if this task is not of personal competence and if the task is not valid for any of the above circumstances, it should be postponed.
- If the task does not need an immediate archiving, discard it and if the task cannot be delegated, it should be moved to the correspondent area.
When speaking of time management, Allen recommends the creation of lists in order to realize a good supervision of the tasks to be completed.
Examples of those lists are: following actions, projects, deferred tasks and another list which should contain the future tasks named as “someday”.
Allen recommends that the calendar used in a traditional agenda should be used only to set specific dates such as meetings or appointments with clients.
The lists of determined tasks should be always revised in order to achieve an effective time management, because if not, they have no relevance.
The real estate agent should consider his time as a resource and he should manage it effectively when revising lists, in order to get a higher level of productivity.
He should also value the priory of a task and decide whether the task should be finished on that very moment or could wait more.
It is obvious that for a real estate agent, organization and planning a strategy for a better time management is very important, although starting working with the tasks become much more important.
We are talking here about the time management and both the organization of an agenda as its supervision require a lot of time.
That is why it is important how we manage it. We should not forget that organizing an agenda is also a task and this should be taken into consideration by the real estate agent and a priority should be assigned to it.
Regarding to this, Allen recommends us to simplify the process of organizing an agenda the more we can, so we could achieve to stop postponing tasks, or even finish a huge number of tasks easier.
The most important thing is that each real estate agent achieves to get the best of his agenda as a tool and so becomes more efficient in terms of time management.
Cited work: Allen, D (2003): Getting things done, the art of stress-free productivity. New York: Penguin.