As a general rule, the most successful agents are the ones who spend the least time in the office. Oh, they hold up their end with floor time, sales meetings, and listing tours – and they know how to make the most of each. But the rest of their time is spent in the field.
The problem with the office
Your office may be a comfortable place, but if you’re not actually doing the work of a real estate agent while you’re there, it’s a total distraction from your job. Here are the traps you’re likely to fall into when you’re spending too much time in the office:
- Gossip – gossip while fun rarely does anything good.
- Fiddling – rearranging files, updating who knows what, busy work.
- Distractions from the work you’re trying to get done. Even when you want to get legitimate work done, you’re likely to be interrupted by your co-workers.
In other words, except for floor time, being in the office is taking you away from time with clients and possible clients. It’s keeping you from driving your farm area and knocking on doors. It prevents the accidental meeting in the town’s busiest coffee shop that can lead to a listing or a sale or both.
Real estate is a people business
You know real estate is a people business. That’s probably one reason you got into it in the first place. It’s about facilitating willing buyers and willing sellers coming together. If you’re not out there mixing it up with folks on a daily basis you’re only kidding yourself, particularly if you realize you’re spending hours in the office.
Threatened with apple boxes
My father who taught me and many others just about everything we need to know about sales used to threaten his sale teams. “If you don’t get out of the office I’ll replace your chairs with apple boxes,” he’d mumble loudly from time-to-time.
He was referring to how easy it is to fool yourself into thinking you’re working when you’re really not.
“Go down to the drug store,” he’d suggest – this was back in the day when every drug store had a soda fountain. “See who you can talk with. Ask them who is thinking of moving or who wants a bigger house. Go talk real estate with people.” It was amazing how often when I followed his advice I’d turn up a listing or a lead to a sale.
What about a home office?
There can be significant advantages to a home office – a faster ‘net connection, fewer interruptions and distractions and often better coffee. But hunkering down in your home office instead of being out where you’re meeting and greeting people and looking at property is just as poor a strategy as hanging out down at your real estate office.
Discipline yourself to minimize office time and maximize people contact time – you’ll profit from it and so will your clients.
How much time do you spend in the office? Is it too much?