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You should be working less

04 October 2016 Hannah Blackiston
How to work less

Could you become an REB Top 100 Agent by only working four days a week? 

Marshall White director, Kate Strickland, learned to slow down the hard way and she spoke at AREC 2016 about why she believes everyone should try a four-day week.

“I walked into my naturopath one day and she said, ‘My God, Kate you are so small and you are poisoning your body with adrenaline. You are so pumped all the time, it’s not healthy,’” Ms Strickland said.

“I would have left Christmas dinner to go and meet a client ... left my family if they [the client] wanted to list a home or put in an offer on a property.”


Finally, heeding the warnings of those around her, Ms Strickland began to reassess how she approached working.

A firm believer of Parkinson’s Law, ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’, Ms Strickland discovered she could shrink her work week and still complete the same tasks to the same level of perfection.

She encouraged agents to think about weeks with public holidays, when they are forced to work four days instead of five, and how they completed their workload.

“Is there anything that you let down? Did you let a client down? Did you not get around to something you typically would or did you just constrict your week to Tuesday to Friday and work more effectively, more efficiently?” she asked.

“So what I’ve employed into my business now is a late start, an early finish and a day off a week,” Ms Strickland said.

Agents who think they can work seven days a week and provide the same high level of service are kidding themselves, she said before sharing some techniques she employs to help her switch off from work.

“When someone’s trying to call you and you’re not near the phone, they’re going to get irritated with you.”

Ms Strickland said she changes her voicemail message to advise callers she won’t be contactable so clients don’t have expectations that won’t be met.

She also ensures her office does not book appointments for her beyond a certain time so she won’t be tempted to slot a client in during her quiet time.

Kate Strickland placed 53rd in REB’s Top 100 Agents ranking in 2016. She has eight years’ experience, one support staff member, 73 residential property listings and 57 properties sold.

You should be working less
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