Ask yourself, what’s your time worth?

The answer may surprise you.

For some, the surprise may come in how little you value your own time.

Or, both.

When I was actively selling real estate, there was a point in my career where my time was worth over $1,000 an hour for the hours I was doing lead generation, follow-up and going on appointments.

Do you think it did me any good to waste time?

Do you think it did me any good to just jump up and run out to meet any old client on their whim?

Heck, no!  I had a schedule, and it served me and my clients best the more I stayed on that schedule.

I think if most agents divided their yearly commissions by the hours they worked, they would be appalled at how little their time is worth.  However, if you really get honest with yourself and only count the hours you really, truly worked – not the hours you screwed around, hung out on the computer, took a 90 minute coffee break, talked to your colleagues about how bad the market is, read this blog (whoops!), etc. – I think you’ll find that your time is worth much more than you think.

The trick is to put a string of really, truly worked hours together consecutively and consistently over time.

Now here’s where the problem comes in…how come you don’t value your time?

How come you’ll let anything take you off of your game? Come on, tell the truth, you’ll look for any distraction you can, whether it’s updating your status on Facebook or talking to a colleague.  As bad as this sounds, some agents are actually relieved when the school nurse calls and says little Sparky threw up and you need to come get him.

How come you’ll let a client walk in unannounced and stop what you’re doing to deal with them?

How come you’ll run out to show a barely, if at all, qualified buyer the one property they called in on and are sitting in front of…even though the National Association of Realtors has stats that back up how minuscule of a chance you have of selling them that property? **Seriously, studies have shown that 1% of the buyers who call in on a property actually by that property.  Furthermore, the average buyer looks at over 50 homes with more than 10 agents before buying.  AND, industry standards are such that if you are able to convert 10% of buyer sign/ad/floor calls to appointments (not actual sales, but real qualified appointments) you’re actually doing an amazing job.  So, clearly you can see the numbers are stacked way against you doing business this way, can’t you?

How come you don’t value your own time? By the way, if you don’t value your time, your clients certainly won’t.

Usually, when coaching, I try to use doctors and lawyers as examples.  In other words, you can’t just walk into your doctor’s office unnanounced and expect a physical, can you?  Call your lawyer and expect to get him right there on the phone, and you’re probably mistaken.  But today I want to take a different tack.  I want to go the opposite route.

Think about people who do hair and nails.  Let’s face it, if you met someone at a party or networking function and you found out they cut hair for a living, while you might be happy to have found someone to help you with your “do,” you probably don’t hold them in the highest regard for their professional choice.  I’m not knocking those fine people, I’m simply saying that public perception doesn’t hold them in high regard as a career choice (hey, public perception thinks realtors are awful, so I’m definitely not knocking hair and nail people!).

However, if you want your hair cut or done, or your nails, you will do anything that person says.  “Oh, you only have next Sunday morning at 6am?  Okay, I’ll take it.  Just call me if you have a cancellation, okay?”

I know, guys tend to be a little different in that many don’t have loyalties to a hair person, however some do and I think you get the point.

Why do you hold anyone’s schedule as holy EXCEPT YOURS????  You’re auto-mechanic, your doctor, your lawyer, your dog walker, your hair/nail person, your accountant, your dry-cleaner (“You can’t get it done until next week?  Oh, ok.”), your chiropractor, your plumber, the gosh-darn cable guy who will come sometime between the hours of dawn and kingdom come, etc, etc….

…all of those people, and many more, provide a service that you need, so you aquiese to their schedule.  They can make you do all sorts of silly dances.  You’ll move heaven and earth to fit some of those appointments in.

Yet, you, who deal in hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars worth of transactions have the schedule of a two year old.  You’ll bop around and go after whatever you see in front of you.  Whatever catches your fancy in the moment, whatever appears most important to you at that second, without regard for the future…that’s what you want right then and there.

Honestly, I think much of it has to do with a lack of industry training.  Most agents aren’t taught high level sales skills or the value of time management and a schedule, so they think it’s the right thing to do when they jump in the car and meet a buyer 45 minutes away because he’s in front of the property and wants to see it now.

And, the other part comes from an attachment to the outcome of a potential commission check.  That big lump sum check is like the brass ring, the gold medal, and most agents will go after it with reckless abandon.

But it’s the one’s who work smart and efficiently who get the most checks and keep most of the profits.

Manage your time.

Value your time.

Act as if you are the professional that you are.

Get paid what you’re worth.