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How to Avoid Distractions

Here are our solutions to common transaction time traps.

1. Negative office mates.

In almost every office, there’s a person who’s unhappy about something. It’s easy to be drawn into conversations that amount to little more than complaining, especially when the discussion doesn’t involve the person who can affect change. Set a personal policy that you won’t discuss issues with anyone other than those who are directly involved or can make a change.

2. Indecisive buyers.

Buyers can take up a lot of your time, mainly, if they’re constantly calling with questions or additional properties to visit. Create a plan and schedule time for prospecting and appointments. Stick to the plan. If buyers are taking a long time making a decision, offer to e-mail them a weekly schedule of open houses and new listings that meet their criteria, and ask them to call you when they’re ready.

3. Inability to say no.

Everyone wants to be liked by colleagues, but some people, particularly rookies eager to please, might find they’re spending too much time on things that aren’t productive to their own business. Look at the plan for your business and determine whether an activity will help you reach your goals. If not, then just say no.

4. Too many tasks.

Often, when people are faced with too many urgent things that need their attention, they become overwhelmed and don’t do anything. Create a to-do list for the following day. As items are accomplished, highlight them rather than cross them out, so you’ll focus on what you finished rather than what you didn’t. Have confidence that you can handle everything you need to do.

5. Demanding sellers.

Sellers can be a time drain, constantly calling with questions and other interruptions, particularly if they feel you’re not doing your job. Create a communication schedule to provide regular updates and status reports. Be proactive, not reactive. If sellers are calling you more than you’re calling them, it’s a red flag that you’re not servicing their needs the way they expect.

6. Unrealistic promises.

If you fail to carry through on a promised action, it creates a ripple effect that can spread quickly through your business, requiring time to clean up the mess that could have been spent in more productive ways. Make sure you follow through on everything you promise. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

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