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It’s officially 2018, which means you are busier than ever—chasing new goals, catching up from the holidays, and trying not to break that workout resolution you made.

There’s only one you and only so many hours in a day, so here are a few ways you can save your precious time this year.

Hire a virtual assistant. As an agent, you should be focusing your time on doing what you do best—meeting with clients, showing homes, prospecting and writing contracts. If you need help with smaller, mundane tasks, hiring a virtual assistant (VA) might be the right move. Here are few tasks that virtual assistants can tackle for you:

  • Data entry (e.g., MLS information)
  • Organizing databases
  • Calendar management
  • Buyer/seller research
  • Contact list organization
  • Email marketing/social media scheduling

In addition, hiring a VA is more affordable than adding actual “live” head count, since you don’t need to pay for office space, training or a salary that a full- or part-time employee requires. Start by checking out virtual assistant websites such as Upwork and Zirtual.

Use a freelance writer, designer, or videographer. If 2018 is the year you’re finally going to start a blog or step up your social media game, hiring a freelance writer or designer could make all the difference. Freelance writers can draft content for your blog, social media posts, listings and marketing materials. If you’re not a design or video pro, a freelance designer and videographer can help design graphics for social media/marketing materials, and create videos for your listings or client testimonials. Freelancers as opposed to full-time employees are more affordable, have more flexibility, greater experience with different jobs, and work independently.

Automate your content and follow-up. Gone are the days of waiting until a specific time of the day to send out a tweet or email. If you’re not doing so already, a few things you can automate include managing/scheduling social media posts (check out Buffer and Sprout Social), newsletters/email drip campaigns (we use MailChimp), lead follow-up via text and live chat customer service on your website. Start by evaluating which of these activities you spend the most time on and start from there. (Pro Tip: have your virtual assistant schedule it all.) You obviously don’t have to automate everything, but setting up and scheduling a few things in advance on a weekly or monthly basis can free up a lot of your time.

Learn to say no. If you are a newer agent, this may be harder to do, but once you have a steady flow of business, you need to learn when to say no to a new listing or buyer. If it doesn’t feel right, or the client is out of your wheelhouse of business, consider referring them to an agent who specializes in what they need and has the time. It’s a win-win, because you’re still able to assist the client, collect a referral fee and focus your time on other things—and sometimes saying no gives you the chance to say yes to something bigger and better.

Your real estate business is bigger than you think. ReferralExchange matches your clients with three great agents and pays you a 25% referral fee at closing.

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