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Why it’s vital for agents to have an ‘off’ switch

19 September 2019 Emma Ryan
Arabella Hooper

One of REB’s top 50 women in real estate has explained how agents can effectively bolster their business while maintaining a proper work/life balance.

Speaking on a recent episode of Secrets of the Top 100 Agents podcast, Harris Real Estate property consultant Arabella Hooper discussed how she’s able to maximise business productivity while keeping up with demands at home.

The mother of four was ranked number 30 in this year’s REB Top 50 Women in Real Estate. She told host Tim Neary that being able to multi-task is pivotal to her success.

“I started in the industry at a relatively young age, but had kids very quickly and had to then quickly work out a way to do this job with kids and being a mother as well and still be effective and disciplined,” Ms Hooper said.

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“I think my way has become very real. It’s very matter-of-fact, very cut and dry and straight to the point. I guessed I’ve learnt that I dont have time to deal with people who are going to waste my time, and that Ive learnt to fish where the fish are very quickly.”

Ms Hooper’s strategy revolves around having an off switch, whereby she blocks out her time between work and home life.

“Ive learnt very quickly that I couldnt be doing both exceptionally well at the same time and so I had to have blocked time. You hear about that a lot in anyones career, but certainly with children, you need to know that when youre on, youre on and when youre off, youre off,” she said.

“So I learnt very quickly that having Friday and Saturdays off allowed me to be an attentive mother and I could divert my phone and so forth to my assistant or to the office or whatever that is for that time so I could be present.

“I worked out that I became a much better mother [doing this]. While I’m with them, I’m completely off, but when I’m on, I am very much on the ground running on a work capacity and that focus and that mental shift has to be very clear for me.”

Ms Hooper encourages other agents to adopt a similar mindset, noting that blocking out time and prioritising is essential to sustain healthy business flow.

“I say that now to a lot of the people within Harris that are starting out. They often think they need to work seven days a week, and they need to work 12-hour days. They just need to call, call, call, door-knock, door-knock, door-knock. I think the reality is, yes, you do need to do those things; overriding and overarching all of that is you need to have a very clear on time/off time in order to sustain this business,” she explained.

“I have learnt to say ‘no’ well, so, I guess I have learnt that I dont need to jump to peoples requests. I very quickly qualify the clients as they come to me or as I find them, as to what theyre doing, where theyre going and how I can help them.

“If they want to see me before 11am, I dont see them, and if they want to see me on a Friday or a Saturday, I dont see them. I think its okay to say to people that youre not available and that youre available between these times and that youre happy to help them, youd love to help them, but set some ground rules as to when youre available because, I think that people in our industry, clients like to use you whenever they want to use you and touch base whenever they want to touch base.

“With all the technology that weve got at our disposal, we are so contactable that they need to understand that there are times that youre working and times youre not working just like they are.”

Why it’s vital for agents to have an ‘off’ switch
Arabella Hooper reb
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