Simplify to Multiply: The Art of Building Your Business | The Zebra Blog

Simplify to Multiply: The Art of Building Your Business

Many real estate agents that I coach are shocked when the advice I give them to make their business more productive is to stop working harder. It is a myth that you have to work harder or longer or with more people to make more money. In the end, this is actually not effective for many types of people. While this may work for some agents some of the time, I have actually seen it work against most agents most of the time. Usually, working hard all the time usually burns one out and actually make them less effective in their business.

Now I am not referring to good old fashioned hard work. I am talking about real estate agents who try to make more money by extending their hours of work.

Instead, I adhere to the principle of simplify to multiply. Instead of adding on more work to make more money, I encourage the agents I work with and coach to focus as much on their personal enrichment as their financial enrichment. Why? We all only have so much energy to expend each and every day and we all need rest to handle the stresses of this business. When we are busiest is actually when most of us need extra rest or collecting of our energy to give it all we have got.

In real estate I see agents working themselves harder than they have to and only getting farther behind because of it. But in order to keep going you have to fill up the gas tank. However, many agents do the exact opposite. Just when an agent needs a recharge and a little more gas in their tank, instead they burn the candle at both ends to hurriedly get everything done and then crash which puts them further behind.

Let’s also think about energy. It is not just physical energy; the emotional energy it takes to sell real estate can be exhausting. Every problem we have to solve for a client during a transaction takes energy. Trying to help clients make a decision takes energy. Dealing with buyer spouses who want different things takes energy. Dealing with other agents takes energy. All of the personal interactions we have every day take energy and expending energy can be exhausting. Think about the last challenging encounter you had with a client versus a challenging workout or heavy yard work. Which was more exhausting for you?

Okay so while this sounds goods how do you put it into practice? It all starts with personal self-discipline. When I work with agents who are having a hard time balancing it all I can always find something that they are doing that they really don’t need to be doing. Learning how to identify what the money making or critical tasks are in your business and learning how to say no to the others is essential.

You can’t be all things to all people and you have to balance your day and your time by giving yourself the time you need to recharge your batteries. Sometimes that means just being able to truly shut it all down for an hour. For some agents they need a break from the business of the day and constant ringing of their phones and for others they simply want to be able to make the emails that are flooding their inbox stop just for a little while.

If any of these situations sound like you then you need to start by having solutions for all of these things.

  • If the phone is your nemesis, you can start by putting a message on your phone that simply says, “Thank you for calling. I am currently in a meeting and will be returning my calls after 4:00 today.” This bundles your calls to one time and gives you a much needed break to either rest or relax or get projects done, but to be able to do those things without the phone ringing is critical. The fact that you have given them a specific time of when you will be returning calls gives them an accurate time frame for when they can expect a return call.
  • If email is draining your energy, try putting an auto-responder on your email that says you are out of the office for four hours and will be returning all your email during that time. This simple idea saved a client of mine who was a slave to her email. She kept checking it every 5 minutes and felt she had to respond to everything instantly. When she put the auto-responder on and only checked her email during the times specified in the auto-responder it made a huge difference to her business and to her stress level.
  • But if you are exhausted and burned out, you just need to take a day off to recharge. I have worked with hundreds of agents who I have personally coached and I can tell you that EVERY one of them has done better and made more money when they have learned how to recharge their batteries and how to SIMPLY to MULTIPLY.

In fact, just yesterday I had a call with one of my coaching clients who gave me the results of her last few weeks. I had advised her to take a break and also to focus on taking small breaks throughout the day to find joy and recharge. Now that she is back and has her new daily recharging plan in place she is ready to tackle the several new listings that came out of the woodwork (drawn out by her new brand and first mail piece she sent out right before she left). I know for a fact that had she not taken this break and instead had powered through, she would have regarded this new business as a burden rather than being excited and ready to serve her clients.

So the next time you find yourself mentally or physically exhausted but know you still have so much to do, DON’T DO IT! First take a little time to recharge. When you do this you will find you have way more energy to get the things done that need to be done.

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4 Responses to “Simplify to Multiply: The Art of Building Your Business”

  1. Denise,

    I am quite surprised that you would tell agents to not tell the truth. I cannot lie. If I would say “I am in a meeting” when I am resting or relaxing, I am adding to the negativity that much of the public has of real estate brokers. There are other ways that this can be addressed.


    • Denise Lones says:

      Marianne I do not tell agents to lie, I work with agents all day long who are putting their health and family second to clients that are demanding and won’t stop pushing for the agent to do what they want “on demand”. I try to coach agents that if they need down time, they need to take that time for them, having a meeting with yourself to recharge is as important of a meeting as a meeting with a client. I want agents to be able to learn how to protect their energy. I agree with you that there absolutely are other ways to handle this and the best way is to simply be straight forward and tell the client that you have a personal appointment, and while this sounds great, I deal with agents who just feel that the client may not like that. So the bottom line is that an agent needs to protect their energy and be able to recharge. I try to give agents free advice to help them improve their business and their quality of life, but I always tell them that if they have something that is working for them to continue to use it. It sounds like you have something that works well for you, which is great. For those others that don’t, I still believe there is nothing dishonest about telling a client you are not available and in an appointment. Because even if that is a quick break for an agent to grab lunch, that is an appointment. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I always love to hear different perspectives.

  2. Ron Smith says:

    Meetings can be with spouse, kids, and yourself. Actually clears your head and provides better service to your clients, as you are free to be a good listener. Don’t let your chain be constantly pulled by clients. Some need to wait while you are in your private meeting.

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