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Ask yourself, “Did I make any money today?”

One of the greatest parts about choosing a career in real estate is the flexibility that it provides us. On the other hand, it is also one of the most challenging parts about choosing a career in real estate. Agents and team leaders must constantly be looking at their activities to ensure that they are purposefully spending time on actual income-producing activities on a daily basis.

There are three general categories of activities in real estate, and here are some tips on how to properly manage each type:

Listing and Selling Homes: The most important activities that you can have in your schedule are actual appointments to list or sell homes. This includes listing appointments, presenting offers and negotiating offers to buy or sell. Obtaining signed contracts to list, sell or buy real estate are the goal of everything that you do, and your goal should be to spend as much time doing these three things as possible. Schedule these appointments with the greatest urgency in your day—today instead of tomorrow, or tomorrow instead of next week.

By the way, these dollar-producing activities do not include renegotiations (e.g., price change requests after home inspections). These are obviously necessary sometimes, but they do not create new business, so they are not income-producing. In fact, whether you are on the listing or buying side, setting proper expectations up-front can help minimize this common distraction from more important, income-producing activities.

Sales Prospecting: In addition to current sales activities, successful agents regularly schedule time for sales prospecting. These activities include following up with your current pipeline of leads, calling or meeting with your sphere, asking for referrals, or holding an open house to obtain new buyers.

Time blocking for prospecting is the key to creating all the appointments in the first category—listing and selling homes. Whether you block off 30 minutes or three hours, be disciplined to include this activity on a daily basis. The more of this you do, the more business you will create and the greater success you will achieve.

Everything Else: Yes, everything else—and it all goes into one category because they are not dollar-producing activities. Simply put, you cannot let listing and selling appointments or sales prospecting time be sacrificed for administrative work, continuing education, straightening your desk or any one of a thousand other easy distractions that present themselves on a regular basis. That does not mean that these activities don’t need to be done, but this is where the joyous flexibility that we enjoy must be subject to the discipline of prioritizing income-producing work.

The best-case scenario is that, as you fill up your days with sales and prospecting activities, you employ team members and administrative staff to take care of all these non-productive tasks. If you are handling them yourself, however, be sure to prioritize them correctly and not lose focus on what really drives your business—sales.

Ask yourself every day, “What did I do to make money today?” If your activities included writing contracts and calling prospective clients, great job! If administrative tasks filled your day instead, then I suggest refocusing and doing what you need to do—actually listing and selling homes for your clients and for the success of your business!

To request Johnson’s FREE webinar recording on how to build a GoldMine PipelineTM of business for consistent, predictable monthly income, click here

Sherri Johnson is CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting. With 20 years of experience in real estate, Johnson offers coaching, consulting and keynotes, and is a national speaker for the Secrets of Top Selling Agents tour and the Official Real Estate Coach for McKissock Learning and Real Estate Express. She is also an RISMedia 2021 Real Estate Newsmaker. Sign up for a free 30-minute coaching strategy session or visit for more information.