For most agents and brokers, there is more to success than just selling more. You have to learn how to think like a business owner.

According to Stacy Stateham, co-founder and vice president of marketing and branding for BloomTree Realty, one of Arizona’s fastest growing real estate companies, a key difference between agents who are hitting the ball out of the park and those who are struggling is that the high-performing agents have mastered time management.

Sure, we all have the same amount of time. They use their hours more efficiently.

Want to be more productive? Quit doing things that aren’t important.

“What’s important are the things that feed your business long-term,” Stateham wrote recently in Forbes. “There’s a difference between running between fires every day and focusing on what’s important.”

Stateham points out that putting systems and processes in place to handle your daily work lets you handle more volume where it matters and prevent the issues that spark the fires.
“Whether you’re a solo agent or the leader of a team, you need these,” she said. “They are not optional — unless your goal is to be mediocre and spin your wheels every day. There are technologies to help automate things like customer relationship management (CRMs) and transaction management tools.”

Stateham also notes that a website and a solid strategy can move agents from frequent door-knocking to having leads coming to them.

“The client management side of your business can be simplified by creating productive methods ahead of time,” she writes.

Stateham noted that agents should use a system that helps them manage a large number of contacts without dropping the ball — that’s their CRM.

“Optimize platforms that allow you to generate leads without having to buy each one — that’s your website and your marketing,” she said.  Use tools to help ensure that your contracts and files are precise and correct every time — that’s your transaction management system.”

It also is a key to put in place a  team of players whose skills offset and augment your own, but never outsource your own core competency.

“Don’t try to do everything yourself,” Stateham said. “Pay people to do the things that are important but that you’re not good at — e.g., photographers, copywriters, transaction managers, graphic designers.”

Schedule time with each on a regular basis so you’re working with them proactively and not just when there’s a fire to put out.

“If you don’t block off time to systematically work toward running a scalable business, you will be chronically stuck in scramble mode. You’ll never feel caught up, you’ll never be able to see what’s outside the valley and you’ll never get beyond the daily grind,” Stateham concludes. “A big difference between agents who shine and the ones who struggle are that the former are incredible at managing their time and staying focused on what really matters, and the latter aren’t.”