In real estate, like most professions, there’s always room for improvement. Over time, it’s easy to fall into bad practices that can soon become habits. That’s why it can be helpful to periodically take stock of how you’re conducting business to see what you could do better. The end of a calendar year is a good time to take an objective view of any bad habits you’ve developed so you can leave them behind in 2020. Here are some common ones:
- Letting emails pile up. Email messages can quickly become overwhelming in volume if you don’t stay on top of them. Instead of waiting until you must devote hours to email correspondence, try to reply to each one as soon as possible. To save time, it’s usually fine to keep replies short and concise. Cleaning out your inbox frequently is more efficient in the long run and makes a more professional impression.
- Taking too long to return texts and phone calls. Even during your busiest times, it’s important to respond to phone calls and text messages as soon as possible. Clients and colleagues want to know that you are responsive and that you care about them. If you’re tied up and can’t answer right away, let them know that you’re not ignoring them and will be in contact at your first opportunity.
- Being late to appointments. While everyone gets delayed occasionally, chronic lateness can be a destructive business habit. In addition to being disrespectful of others’ time, being late can give the impression that you are either disorganized or that you don’t care. Plan ahead and leave plenty of time between appointments in case unexpected delays pop up. If you can’t make it on time, always call or text ahead to let people know that you’re detained.
- Failing to listen. Sometimes being a good listener can be challenging – especially if you are rushed or distracted. At times, we find ourselves formulating our reply instead of focusing on what people are really saying to us. For real estate professionals, listening is perhaps the most essential element of communicating with clients. It’s important for them to know that you’ve fully heard their desires, their fears, and their questions. Practice good listening techniques like letting others finish talking before you respond and asking questions to confirm that you understand exactly what they’ve said.
- Stretching yourself too thin. Being motivated to succeed is a good business habit, but trying to take on too much at once is not. If you have too many listings, too many clients, or too many networking obligations, you won’t be as effective, and you’ll eventually burn yourself out. During busy times, be sure to delegate what you can and don’t be afraid to say no if you don’t have the bandwidth to handle something to the best of your ability.
- Work/life imbalance. All work and no play will catch up with you sooner rather than later. Taking regular time to relax, refresh, and nurture important relationships will actually make you a better business professional in the long run.
- Spending too much work time on social media. This can be a particularly hard habit to break since social media can be such a significant part of a real estate professional’s marketing plan. Being on social media to promote listings, open houses, or your services is part of the job. However, if you find that you’re spending too much screen time during business hours, if you’re falling behind in your work obligations, or if you’re not enjoying as much personal interaction with people, it may be time to take a break or slow down on social media for a while.
You can replace bad business habits with good ones, such as providing HSASM Home Warranties in every real estate transaction. HSA Home Warranties are a good habit because they can help build client trust and relationships, which can lead to repeat business and referrals. Your HSA Sales Representative can tell you more.