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Real estate professionals are busy. There’s always something to do — more leads to generate, more homes to show, more contracts to sign.

The daily grind can be exhausting, and for many it seems like there’s never enough time in the day.

Improving time management is a skill many in the real estate industry (and others) wish they could master. There’s no quick fix. If there were, many books, podcasts and blog posts such as this one wouldn’t exist.

But there are several simple, actionable steps agents, brokers and leadership can take to save time and enhance their productivity.

1. Make a Daily or Weekly To-Do List

End each day or week by thinking ahead and creating a to-do list for the next day or coming week.

Without a to-do list, it’s easy to let your focus shift to other, less-important tasks, rather than the ones you should prioritize. That not only leads to putting off important responsibilities, but winds up costing you more time.

By putting pen to paper — and studies have shown those type of lists, rather than ones on your phone or desktop, are more beneficial — you keep your most important tasks top of mind. Plus, it feels good to put a checkmark next to or line through a task you completed.

Additionally, creating a future to-do list at the end of a long day or week is also a way unload your mind of any impending stress so you can truly relax and turn off “work mode.”

2. Create a Routine

Creating a routine has many benefits, including increased proficiency, reduced procrastination and less stress.

Of course, no two days are alike for real estate agents; one day might consist of several showings, while the next might include only one or two appointments. But it’s still important to create a routine involving the things you can control — when you wake up, exercise, do administrative work, spend time with family, etc. — so no key element of your business and personal life goes overlooked.

3. Prioritize Top Tasks

Real estate agents know some tasks are more important than others. These are the things that must be done daily, such as prospecting, lead generation and following up with clients.

These three areas must be addressed each day. So whether it’s the morning or afternoon, make sure to set aside time every day to focus on these aspects of your business, which brings us to our next tip …

4. Time Blocking

Time blocking is a simple time-management concept where you schedule your day hour by hour and assign which tasks you want to accomplish during a specific time period.

Again, it might not be completely adaptable to the real estate profession because no two days are the same. But there are certain aspects you can implement in your professional life.

For example, each morning could be broken down as:

  • 8-9 a.m. — Check and respond to emails and social media
  • 9-10 a.m. — Administrative work such as filling out contracts, scheduling appointments, etc.
  • 10 a.m.-noon — Prospect, lead generation

Not only does this ensure you complete your most important tasks each day, but it also helps you create a routine so you can attack the afternoon putting all of your focus on appointments, showings, more prospecting, etc.

5. Delegating Tasks

Let’s be honest: the best way to save time is to do less work. But that’s counterintuitive for agents who want to grow their business. The more work you do, (hopefully) the quicker your business will grow.

That said, there are ways real estate professionals can delegate tasks. For offices and teams, it’s as simple as hiring a front desk person to handle administrative tasks, answer phones, schedule calls, etc.

Hiring an in-house or virtual personal assistant might not be cost effective for a single agent or smaller office — though you should still check the math. But hiring a freelancer to blog, design your website, business cards and marketing materials not only saves you time, but also can enhance your brand and expand your business.

6. Subscribe to an Appointment Service

If hiring a personal assistant doesn’t fit into your budget, consider subscribing to an appointment service. The ShowingTime Appointment Center features live appointment specialists available 24/7/365 to schedule and confirm appointments — often in 15 minutes or less — and communicate the details to the listing agent, buyer’s agent and seller.

You’ll be amazed at how much time you save by letting us handle your scheduling phone calls.

7. Take Advantage of Your Drive Time

Real estate professionals spend hours in their cars going from appointment to appointment. Don’t let all that time go to waste!

Call old clients to catch up or return phone calls. Subscribe to real estate podcasts and keep up with the latest industry news and insights.

Be smart, however, and don’t text/email and drive!

8. Treat Yourself

The goal of all these tips is to save you time. But what should you do with all the extra minutes or hours at your disposal? Of course, some of it should be put back into your business. But don’t forget to treat yourself.

Use your free time to hang out with family and friends, go to a nice dinner, implement an exercise routine or go on vacation. A happy, healthy, less-stressed you isn’t only a better person, but also a better agent.

Do you spend too much of your day scheduling and confirming showing appointments? Learn how ShowingTime products and services help free up your time to focus on other tasks to grow your business.