Promoted by RiTA by AiRE.
Written by Sarah Bell, Co-Founder of AiRE.
If you are wondering how some people pull off the notion of having it all, or at least having enough hours in the day, the answer is more than likely DELEGATION.
As human beings at work (or even at home and the roles we play in our families,) we have to accept that there are hard limits on the amount of hours in the day and what can realistically be achieved within the finite hours that are available for productive work.
With that insuperable reality, you have a choice as to which type of real estate agent you want to be.
- The type who does small things, their way, because they believe their way is the only way; OR
- The type who does big things and great things, because they have learned how and when to delegate effectively.
WARNING. If you are a Type 1 agent - someone who doesn’t want to grow; someone who sweats the small stuff and majors in the minors while life, deals, and opportunities pass them by - this advice is not for you.
If, however, you are - or want to become - a type 2 agent, here you will find some advice and solutions for delegating tasks and unlocking the secrets of scale.
1. Think about the MOST important use of your time
No agent ever failed to show up to an on-site auction in order to clean-up their CRM. There is a natural urgency to some tasks (like the on-site auction) that doesn’t need to be explained - the urgent things get done, the non-urgent things do not get done.
Yet urgency is not the ONLY factor of worthiness when it comes to task completion. Things can be important, but not urgent. Cleaning data in the CRM would rarely be considered an ‘urgent’ task, mostly because there is no immediate consequence. Yet it is IMPORTANT for many reasons, including:
Lead Generation - the engagement of contacts in a database whether for prospecting or simply cleaning should always be to see if anyone has a need for your service right now.
Client Nurture - It can be an expensive pursuit to stay ‘top of mind’, but as a service provider, you can do this very cheaply by staying ‘friend of mine’. You’ve probably got school mates and cousins in your phone who you send a text to every now and then just to connect. If someone doesn’t need to sell, just connecting is enough to make sure you’re in the door when the time comes.
Clean Intelligence - A future where commission based revenue is predictable and certain comes down to the relevancy, accuracy and comprehensiveness of the information we have about our consumers, that future is here. Here, but not equally distributed because a lot of agents and businesses lack the capacity (time) and the know-how to realise a commercial yield from the customer data (relationships) they have.
I can’t think of three more important things for the long-term survival and sustainability of any business - yet when time is limited, urgency trumps importance and these things do not get done. How do I know they are not getting done? RiTA’s analysis shows us that when clients first come to the platform, 80-90% of their contacts have not been engaged with in the previous 6 months.
2. Think about the most important use of YOUR time
Same question, different emphasis. Now that we have an understanding of the difference between importance and urgency, let’s look at where YOUR time is best spent.
I suppose it could be a matter of opinion - there are a lot of people who have a stake in how you spend YOUR time. Your family. Your customers. Your employer or employees. Your cricket club or your kid’s school. The list goes on and one of the great challenges of adulting is being pulled in different directions or sharing your time between the various hungry mouths that need feeding.
The balance is different for everyone, so let me share with you how I break down how I decide what is the best use of MY time.
Do I HAVE to do it?
If my kids are sick, let’s be honest I am there - or my husband is - or we both are. If I have promised to do something personally, like give a presentation or attend a meeting - then I will fulfil my promise.
If it is something less personal to me, like responding to a support request for RiTA, then I will more likely delegate that to our magnificent RiTA support team. Why? It has got nothing to do with the importance of a particular request and it is no reflection on the urgency of a support request - I delegate it to the support team because they will, quite frankly, do a much better job and a much faster job, and I know they will let me know if it something I should be involved in.
Our support team are empowered with knowledge, tools, autonomy and trust to do a stellar job - and they do.
Do I WANT to do it?
I see a lot of ‘motivational’ gibberish about having a ‘WHY’ and a big enough ‘WHY’ will be everything you need to live your life as though it is a rocky movie. ‘Life is hard’, ‘Hustle’ – it’s a crap way to live your life long term and don’t get me started on how the western work ethic has failed to distinguish between grit and grind. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be good advice for agoraphobics but for the rest of us, we do our best work in our comfort zone. Take what you like and enjoy, draw a circle around it - and there it is - your comfort zone.
In my personal life, I do not enjoy ironing and can think of no worse or futile pursuit of a Sunday afternoon when the world offers so much in the way of joy. So, I rarely buy or wear, clothes that need ironing. My husband does his own ironing - he doesn’t mind it - but I do.
At work, I do not do my best work trolling through the minutia of things like Xero. Can I do it? Yes, I can. I can push myself out of my comfort zone and focus (and bribe myself with Maltesers) and I’ll get it done.
But I also recognise that the secret to the utter love I have for my work is a legend called Fiona. Fiona likes to do the opposite of the things I like to do, so much so that I have come to think of her as the Anti-Sarah. I like to do things that are creative and strategic and require a type of constructive and abstract thinking that I enjoy. Fiona likes to make lists and cross the ‘i”s and dot the “t”s. If I had to do that, not only would I not enjoy my work as much as I do, but I wouldn’t be able to spend time doing what I do best either.
Get real with your ego and your inner martyr
If you have other people or systems who can complete the task or achieve the outcome in a satisfactory way and if you can trust and rely on those people or systems - but YOU are still doing things yourself - YOU might be the problem.
When thinking about the best use of YOUR time, it is mission-critical to get honest with yourself about how much of your involvement in a particular task has to do with your own “stuff” - and everyone has stuff.
Fragile ego and martyr syndrome in the face of adequate delegation solutions is where you will hold on to a task and either limit your productivity, burn out, or not do the task at all - rather than admit that someone else could do it.
Ego might be irrationally telling you that no one else can live up to your standards. Martyr syndrome is where you think that your self-worth is based on the degree of your self-sacrifice. In each case, delegation is threatening to emotions that are not rational, but they are real.
Your ego needs to get out of your way so that you can have some support to realise your potential. You might go fast alone, you might feel like you are the only one who can do it the right way… but you are wrong. You won’t get far or be able to sustain it for very long before energy from other areas of your life become drained by your needing to do it all.
If you are not a martyr, you might recognise them by the phrase, “This place would fall apart without me”. Martyrdom is a high-risk business strategy for a number of reasons, but if you find yourself doing everything because it makes you ‘feel’ important, then you would be better off increasing the value of your work as opposed to simply piling on the quantity.
3. Think about the most important use of your TIME
So, even though I have said the same thing again with a different emphasis, none of us can escape the clock. Time is a truly democratic currency and pretty much everything we do or trade or seek is about having more time or better time.
What would you do if you only had more TIME?
Would you spend more time with the kids and put down the phone and the cognitive load that comes with working for a commission in property services? Having RiTA respond to buyer enquiry could mean up to 5,800 more views per year of Baby Shark.
Would you invest it in your business: increasing your volume of listings and sales, providing better customer service to buyers, recruiting a bigger team to amplify results, working on your systems to build profit, innovating your way to differentiation and being able to prove your fee at the listing presentation?
Unlocking productivity but also happiness and quality of life outside of work will ultimately come down to your ability to delegate effectively.
One last bonus objection I get is that people are “too busy” to delegate and as much as this sounds cray, it isn’t. Sometimes, taking on assistance means that you have to get knowledge out of your head in order to teach someone else, then you have training, monitoring, reporting and management. If this is you - it doesn’t mean that you can’t delegate, it just means that you need an out of the box solution.
An out of the box solution means that you don’t have to do anything else. For example, when one of our RiTA users wants data cleaning done, they don’t need to do anything else. We use RiTA, humans, SMS automations - whatever we need to in order to clean data - but we train and monitor and measure the process and provide a comprehensive report. Remember how important data cleaning is…
For more information about RiTA, visit getaire.com.au/meet-rita