Here’s the deal:  I can’t give you a real estate sales schedule; I don’t know you, or your life.  And even if I gave you a schedule, you wouldn’t really want to follow it, because it’s not your schedule.

What I can do is give a rough idea of what a real estate schedule might look like.

Everyone’s schedule will vary.  I know some mothers who sell real estate who need to leave by 3pm every day to get their kids off the bus from school.  And, given that choice, they can work smart and efficiently up until 3pm and sell a heck of a lot of real estate.

In fact, they do sell a lot of real estate; more than a lot of real estate agents who come in at 8am and leave at 7pm 6 days a week.

So, to sum up my last two posts on scheduling, you need to know what you want to accomplish (goals, etc), so you have a reason to be on your schedule.  If you don’t know how many deals you have year to date, and don’t have a goal for x amount of deals by the end of the year, then you haven’t given yourself a destination.  So what’s the point of driving the car?

What I mean is that the toughest part about staying on schedule is believing that you have a reason to stay on schedule.  On the days when you feel like coming in late, not doing anything, handling B.S. in all of your files, working on the computer to make the perfect brochure, etc, there needs to be a compelling reason to keep you doing what you said you need to be doing.

And after you figure out what you want, you need to remove the distractions.

Distractions are all the things that can get your attention, thereby taking you off your schedule.  Voicemail, email, PDA’s, files, other agents, other people, phone calls, etc.

How do you remove them?  There’s all sorts of ways to do that.  You could do certain work in certain places where you don’t have access to your voicemail or computer.  You can ask the secretaries not to buzz you with phone calls during certain hours.  Leave your cell phone off for certain hours.  In fact, don’t answer your office or cell phone ever.  Let it go to voicemail and call them back when you’re scheduled to listen to the messages and return calls (remember, there really aren’t very many real estate emergencies, so a couple of hours between getting a call and returning a call won’t do any harm.  Also, if you think you’re going to miss that buyer lead, then think again.  If you convert 5% of incoming sign/ad buyer calls, you’re one hell of a salesperson.  Plus the average buyer is taking months to buy a house, looking at over 50 with more than 10 realtors.  It’s really not imperative for you to answer that phone for that potential buyer right then and there).

Trust me, you can get away from all of your distractions if you really want to.  Just focus and choose to.

*By the way, make sure your office and cell phone voicemail let people know when you will return all calls (at your scheduled time), so that they won’t be upset if you don’t call them back for a couple hours.

The best way to make a daily real estate schedule is to block out times that you will be doing certain activities, and then stick to them.  This goes for personal activities, too.  If you get your hair cut once a month, then put it in your schedule.  If you pick your kids up at 3pm, put it in your schedule.

The key to a good schedule, and to a successful real estate sales business is doing the income generating activities a large majority of the time, and consistently throughout the week.

Everyday you should be doing some form of focused lead generation and lead follow up.  Ideally, you want to be going on qualified appointments daily, but if you had one a day, you might not be reading this…or you’d be reading it from your own personal island.  There should be time for practicing your presentations/scripts, time for admin and returning phone calls and emails and time to prepare for those appointments.

The trick is, once you make a schedule that works for you and your business, to treat each area of your schedule as if it were a buyer or listing appointment.  You wouldn’t stand up a potential seller to do emails, would you?  So don’t miss out on lead follow up to take a phone call that will ultimately distract you and turn out to be a big waste of time.

Once you get your weekly schedule down, then bring it out to monthly and yearly.  This is pretty easy, simply figure out the days of the month and year that you’re going to work and not work.  This is how you plan for days off and vacations and seminars.  I know that scares people.  “I’m a real estate agent, how can I plan for a vacation in November when it’s only February?”  Just do it, and then realize you can change your schedule, ’cause it’s yours.  It’s not set in stone.

**One caveat:  there is a huge difference between proactively changing your schedule ahead of time, and deciding on a whim to go get your nails done.  I advocate taking time for yourself, however, schedule it.  Other than medical emergencies, you can get to say how and when you do certain appointments.  Isn’t it truly ironically funny that you would pay $10-$100 bucks to someone to cut your hair, do your nails, give you a massage, wash your car, etc., and you adhere to their schedule like they’re a doctor or lawyer.  Yet you, who potentially makes thousands of dollars per transaction run around like a chicken with your head cut off?  Something’s really off here.

Oh, yeah, one last ironic thing – the real estate agents who do the most business are the most scheduled and work the least amount of days and hours.  The low producers are the ones who work virtually 6-7 days a week, 24 hours a day.  And before you think you have it figured out, it’s not an obvious thing.  It’s not, you gotta work hard, long hours until you make it.  The low producers will remain low producers working like that.  They aren’t scheduling, and aren’t working efficiently.

Get a schedule, and stick to it as best you can.  Go to bed early enough to get 8 good hours of sleep every night.  Get up and exercise, if possible.  Do the family thing.  Get to the office as early as you can, so that you can prepare for the day before most people show up.  Practice your scripts.  Do lead generation.  Do follow up.  Do a little admin. until you can afford an assistant.  Return emails and messages. Take a lunch.  Prepare for and/or go on appointments.

Have fun, make money.

Scott Friedman