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A Real Estate Survival Tip: The ‘To-Don’t List’

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By Michael Soon Lee

RISMEDIA, Jan. 11, 2008-When the market is slow it is especially crucial to be efficient with your time. Make sure that the majority of your efforts are spent on activities that bring immediate reward.

One of the most effective ways to master time is to eliminate time-wasters from your life. You can do this by starting a “To-Don’t List.” Every successful agent has a “To-Do List” but the super-successful write down those things they will stop doing that waste their time such as:

- Don’t work with unmotivated buyers. Stop working with buyers who won’t sign a Buyer-Broker Agreement with you. If they won’t commit themselves to an agent who will work hard on their behalf and show them all of the properties on the market how motivated are they?
- Don’t work with unmotivated sellers. Owners who aren’t willing to price their properties to sell and make their homes show well aren’t motivated. If they want to “test the market” with a price that’s even slightly above market send them to your competitors.
- Don’t work with clients you dislike. Perhaps you just don’t have much rapport with them but folks you don’t personally like will waste your time just the same. If buyers don’t intrinsically trust you’ll find they will be reluctant to make offers when you suggest at a price that is reasonable. Sellers who lack trust will be unwilling to price their properties to sell or spend the money to make it look its best.
- Don’t run ineffective ads. If an ad doesn’t pay for itself stop it immediately. This means that you must track every ad to see how much business it brings in and if it isn’t measurable (such as vanity advertising) or doesn’t at least cover its cost dump it. Ineffective ads not only waste time but money as well.
- Don’t hang around with negative people. In this market there are plenty of people filled with doom and gloom so avoid them. Don’t forget that real estate is cyclical. For example, in 1980′s interest rates were twenty-two percent and higher and yet plenty of agents made a very good living during this market and other challenging times. Spend your time with positive, upbeat people not those who brighten an entire room just by leaving.

What’s wasting your time? Make your own “To-Don’t List” and stick to it. Have a prosperous and productive new year.

This tip was excerpted from the book “111 Ways to Justify Your Commission” written by Michael Soon Lee, CRS, GRI. He has been a real estate professional for over thirty years and speaks at state and national real estate conventions.

For more information, e-mail michael@SeminarsUnlimited.com or call (800) 417-7325.

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