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Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

September 05 2012

Multitasking man largeOur CEO, Victor Lund, is always saying it: "Plan your work and work your plan." And he's usually saying it when he's trying to motivate our team to do the things we don't want to do. He's a smart guy; he knows that it's easy to remember the things you enjoy but conveniently easy to forget the things you dislike.

Technology Can Help

What are the things most real estate agents don't enjoy? Cold calling is a good example. It's essential for your business, but it's the last thing you want to do. So you put it off . . . to your own detriment. Instead of continuing this pattern with cold calls and the other tasks you dread, it might be time to find ways to keep yourself on track. Technology can help; here are a few suggestions:

Invest in a CRM. Customer Relationship Management tools organize contacts and automate some of the tasks for keeping in touch with those contacts. In fact, some CRMs offer pre-programmed activity plans with calendar reminders.

Transaction Management
Many transaction management tools also include a calendar to remind you about important tasks. These tend to be transaction-specific (linked to a certain listing), rather than related to general business development (like cold calling), but they can be helpful in reminding you to check-in on whether or not documents have been signed, etc.

Go Mobile
Whether it's a CRM, a transaction management tool, or another technology product, if the goal is to keep you organized, you'll want to make sure it works the way that you do: on-the-run. You'll want to receive calendar notifications and other reminders as they come up, which means they should be appearing on your Smartphone and/or tablet.

We talked to Scott Schmitz, President and CEO of RealtyJuggler, about the concept of a mobile CRM. He makes an excellent point about the features that really keep REALTORS® organized when they're on-the-go. "The best CRM is the one you actually use, not the one with the most features," Mr. Schmitz explained. "When an agent is out in the field, the vast majority of the time they're using only two features of a CRM: the calendar and the address book. We kept this in mind when designing our mobile interface. Another important principle is that, the simpler and easier something is to use, the more likely an agent is to use it. That's why we chose to integrate directly with a Smartphone's native calendar and address book."

In the course of our conversation, we used cold calling as an example. He offered a helpful suggestion for this, as well. "People have a fear of 'pain,' which results in procrastination," he says. "Instead of putting off cold calling completely, set yourself a really small goal that is achievable – just schedule five calls a day, and make them calls to someone you already know or have worked with. Don't think about it as a 'cold call;' think about it as a way to be neighborly. You'll find that each day it gets easier, and you'll fall into a pattern. That's the key to making the most of any CRM – as you put it, 'planning your work and working your plan.'"

What Do You Put Off?

We want to hear from YOU. What are the tasks that you put off? Are there any tools you use to help keep you on track?