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When building a business of any size, small business owners (that means real estate agents) start off believing they can do it all: prospect, show and list homes, manage the sales process, take files from contract to close and still have a life. The truth is, many agents actually can for a while; however, at some point, something has to give—either they grow to the point that they realize it’s all they can handle, or they stop doing the things that helped them achieve the level of success that got them to this point, and they start feeling the stress of keeping up that pace.

Just so you know, all of that is normal. You’re not alone in feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and tired. Transactions are getting more complicated and require a high level of attention to detail. There are so many ways of generating business that many times, we chase shiny objects to replace valuable activities, like keeping up with our SOI or launching a real marketing plan for a new listing.

The question is, how do I lower my stress while increasing my business? Would you believe that when you’re doing 100 transactions a year you will have more free time than you have doing only 15-20? The reason for this is simple: when you’re a small business owner, you do everything yourself. But as you grow, you start to realize your real value is in doing money-making activities, not administrative tasks. So where do you start when you can’t hire an admin?

First, you have to create systems and processes for everything you do more than three times in your business. If it’s a task or checklist, automate that process. For example, when you get a new listing, you have 30-40 things you do every single time. These activities should be in an action plan so you can simply put in the list date, the expiration date and the reminder date. Each task then gets scheduled in the order it has to be done to provide excellent service.

I’ve always said systems first, assistants second. In a recent interview with super assistant and creator of the admin training program AMP Elissa Turner, she states that “Every agent should be trained as a superstar admin so they know the amount of things a great assistant does to make the agent really shine.” She goes on to say that “it’s just crazy to create all of this yourself when we took the best systems and processes from many of the most successful teams and duplicated their systems.” Utilizing a program like AMP will lead you to operational excellence by removing the guesswork of what your admin should be doing. And if you don’t have an admin, it will teach you how to systematize your business so you can run it more efficiently.

I truly believe that if you don’t have an admin, you are one—and I don’t mean that in a negative way. If you’re the one responsible for doing all the tasks, and you want to truly lower your stress, take some time to set things up correctly and automate as many things as you can. Your stress will go down, your service will go up, and your referrals will pour in.

Verl Workman is the founder and CEO of Workman Success Systems (385-282-7112), an international speaking, consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and building successful power agents and teams. Sign up today for a free business consult with Verl by sending an email to To hire Verl to speak at your next event, email

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