10 Tips To Double Your Business In 2010: Tip 3

by Nicole Mangina on January 20, 2010

Today’s tip is to get some help.

I know, we are supposed to be able to do it all.  Keep the house looking like Martha Stewart just stopped by, have perfect children that we graciously shuttle to their activities, prepare gourmet meals, go out on dates with our spouses, take some time for ourselves and then be a top producer in real estate.  All while wearing high heels and without breaking a sweat.  Visions of Brie VanDekamp from Desperate Housewives keep popping into my head when I type that.  Well, that just isn’t reality.  Or at least not mine.  The reality is that to do it all, you need help.

Help can come in lots of different forms.  It could be a house cleaner, assigning the kids chores to help around the house, embracing technology to get things done faster, making use of the resources available to you through your office staff or hiring an assistant.

While hiring an assistant can be scary because of the additional financial commitment and knowing that you will be responsible for hiring and training someone I highly recommend that you take the leap.  With technology being where it is today things get done a lot faster so you probably don’t need a full time assistant, but if you have someone taking care of the office work such as putting your mailings together and managing your listings it will be much easier to find time for those phone calls and face to face meetings.  In fact, the first time I had an assistant I think that I succeed in spite of myself.  I would come into the office and everything was taken care of so I had nothing else left to do but get out and see people and low and behold I started getting busier. 

What if you can’t hire an assistant right now?  First of all, put it on your goal list to have one in the next 6 – 12 months.  Again, you don’t need a full time assistant, but maybe you have a girlfriend that is a stay at home mom and could use a couple of extra bucks and would be available 10 hours a week.  Or maybe you find 3 or 4 other agents in your office and you hire a full time person and split the salary between all of you to make it more affordable.  In the meantime start thinking about what you can have others do.  Can the front desk person at your office lable and stamp your mailings?  Can they upload all of the pictures to your listings and submit them to the various web sites?  Are your mailings automated? I mail newsletters and postcards to my clients and they are both in a template form so that each time I just drop the information into the designated spots and everything is done.  It takes me about 15 minutes to do a postcard which will come with all of the names and addresses printed on them as well as the bulk mail imprint and then my newsletter take about an hour.  Note:  Assistants are ONLY for in office work.  They should not be used to interact with your clients.  That is your job.   Their job is to just take care of the time consuming non interactive stuff in order to free up your schedule to be face to face with more people.

Another thing that can be helpful is to decide which days you are available for evening appointments and on weekends.  For me it is Monday and Wednesday evening and then Saturdays until noon.  This way at home we know that those evenings are blocked out and Gary doesn’t make plans after work.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire Hellam January 30, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Hi Nicole! I just met you real briefly at the Ninja Retreat in Hawaii… the crazy woman from Island Style Realty, who was so excited to break the board that she lost her glasses! Thank goodness Larry made that announcement the next morning…. yes, I still have my glasses and I can see! 🙂 I don’t know how you find the time to write a blog, but I’m loving your 10 Tips to Double your Business.

It just so happens that I took in two of my nieces, ages 16 and 17. Call me crazy! I am learning very quickly that they require lots of time and money. I am just about ready to put the 17 year-old to work, but still figuring out exactly what she could do. We have office support staff to manage transactions and I’m afraid that I won’t have enough work for her to do. I guess I still don’t have solid systems yet, my database is still not where I’d like it to be, and although I have my very first business plan in place, I still have to fully execute it. Everything that has to be done in the little time allowed to manage my practice. I guess I read somewhere else in your blog, I just have to take a leap of faith and just do it.

I will tune in to your blog to see how you manage it all. As I feel that I am a young, “grasshopper”, I know I am on my way to becoming a Ninja Mom like all of you!

Thanks for inspiring me!

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Nicole Mangina January 30, 2010 at 10:34 pm

Claire, you are a true Ninja Mom! Taking care of the kids, running a business and I think that you said your husband is deployed too.

I love the idea of putting the 17 year old to work. The great thing about having someone younger is that they are so good with computers. I don’t know about you, but I have a love / hate relationship with technology. I love what it can do for me and the end result, but the learning curve can leave me more than a bit frustrated. Your database is critical so I would put your 17 year old to work getting that set up (Outlook is free and super easy). When they are doing it, be sure to add as much as you can about people including their birthdays (facebook is great for that, or just call them ~ it’s a great reason for a FORD call), their house anniversary which they can probably look up from the tax records, etc. Then anything else that is time consuming like that. Putting together a mailing, doing a cool email signature, etc.

Basically anything that frees up your time to either be on the phone with people or face to face with them.

The other thing that I had to come to terms with is that my to do list is never finished at the end of the day. I just start with the most important things first and do as much as I can. I know that the schedule is tight with so much going on. For me I have been having a hard time fitting in my lunches lately so Friday and Saturday nights we usually have friends / clients over for dinner with their kids. We do something easy like pizza, but it is a great way for us to spend time with people and the kids have a blast. It’s all about figuring out how to tweak the ideas to mix in with your life.

Keep at it and you will be surprised at the end of this year when you look back and realize how far you have come.

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