Applying the 80-20 Rule to Maximize Sales

Relentlessly Focus on Doing the Most Important Activities to Generate New Business

The 80-20 rule is a common and useful principle, stating that 80% of your results come from 20% of your activities. As far as real estate sales go, that’s probably an understatement, so smart teams and agents need to be constantly aware that 80% or more of your success comes from prospecting and then spend their time accordingly.

It’s simple: Do more of what will directly bring in more business and less of everything else.

The trick for most agents is implementation; they ask themselves, “How can I relentlessly prospect when I have so much other work to do?” You need to internalize the reality that prospecting is your No. 1 job, and that anything else is getting in the way of that.

To convert your real estate business to an 80-20, sales-driven operation without taking over your life—and still getting all of your administrative and other business tasks done—follow this approach:

Commit to prospecting. The first thing to do is make prospecting a priority when allocating your time. If you haven’t already, time block at least 25% of your work time specifically for prospecting: calling potential or past clients for new business. When I say prospecting, I am referring to direct client communications for new business; think phone calls or text messages, not general marketing emails. The ultimate goal will be to have 25% of your time spent generating new activity, and then another 50% – 60% actually listing or selling homes in client appointments. If you don’t have that many appointments yet, that’s ok, but be sure to then increase your prospecting time instead of letting that time be replaced by administrative or soft marketing efforts.

Also, remember that time blocking is not time reserving; blocking means that you will not let other issues take over that time, no matter what!

Learn to let go. Every time you do something that someone else could do for $15 or $20 per hour, that is essentially what you have decided to pay yourself. To stay focused on dollar-producing activities, make a list of what you should be doing yourself (prospecting and client appointments) and also another list of administrative tasks (paperwork, marketing, home inspections, etc.), and then look for ways to delegate the second group of activities to others so that you can concentrate on what will drive more income into your business. You may not be able to do this all at once, but by taking steps as soon as you can to consistently shift non-prospecting tasks to others, you will free up your time for what matters most—new business.

By the way, the really exciting part comes when you must eventually delegate some dollar-producing activities to inside sales agents and buyer’s agents because you’re so busy with top-dollar producing client activities that you don’t have time to do them yourself!

Review and be accountable. Along with time blocking, this is the other bookend to managing your time and business. At the end of each week, review how you spent your time and be honest about it. Did you spend 25% of your work time on the phone calling for new business? Did you spend another 50% or so of your time on listing/selling appointments or on more prospecting? Did you spend too much time on administrative or marketing tasks? To grow your business, you must make sure that you are staying on track, and it is best to have someone else hold you accountable. You can do this with another agent or your manager (as long as they will actually keep you on track), or you can employ a real estate coach. In our coaching programs, the accountability factor is often just as important to our client’s success as the systems and tools that we coach them to implement!

There are a million things that can tug on real estate agents’ time, from paperwork to customer service to just about anything else. Successful agents remember and employ the 80-20 rule to keep focused on what best drives revenue: prospecting and client appointment. Use the steps above to immediately implement the 80-20 rule into your business and transition your activities for maximum results!

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