Take Care of Yourself
Feel like you’re on 24/7/365? Gain better control
over your time by delegating tasks and empowering
associates to solve problems. By G.M. Filisko
From the o;ce fires that seem to ignite whenever
you turn your back to the relentless flurry of “Got
a minute?” requests, weary brokers are finding that
their schedules often take control of them rather
than the other way around. The result? Consistently
late hours at the o;ce, discord at home, and unremitting stress and other health problems.
“It’s such a big job,” says Keith Robinson, execu-
tive vice president at Better Homes and Gardens
Mason-McDu;e Real Estate in Pleasanton, Calif.
Robinson was a manager for 10 years; now he over-
sees managers in 28 o;ces. “Managers are never
done. There’s always one more recruiting call you
could make or one more handwritten note you could
leave for a salesperson. They need to become wise
stewards of their time.”
The managers who have the most di;culty han-
dling their time are those who try to take every-
thing on themselves, contends Mike James, senior
vice president of Coldwell Banker Bay Area in San
Ramon, Calif. He oversees managers in 49 o;ces. “I
have managers who have 50 salespeople in their of-
fice, and they don’t feel they have time to go to lunch.
Then I have others with 200 salespeople who take a
day o; once a month to go golfing. It’s all how they
Robinson, James, and other management pros
o;er 10 smart ways to better manage yourself.
Photo: iStockphoto/Nicole Waring ©2012
1. Create of;ce systems. Wherever possible,
create systems that help your team work smarter and
more e;ciently. “Things like escrow demands have
to go out on time, but it also gets down to administrative sta; putting documents in files in the proper
order so managers can review the files quickly and
easily,” James says. “Even single-o;ce brokers, who
may review fewer transactions and oversee fewer
salespeople, will be more e;cient if they get their
systems in place.”
2. Use time blocking. Make appointments
for things you need to get done. “Whether they’re
personal or business, you have to put them in your
calendar as though you’re scheduling a meeting with
someone,” says Brad Whitehouse, broker-owner of
RE/MAX Professionals in Denver. Set aside time
for family, too, and schedule two two-hour blocks
each week during which you devise ways to become
more e;cient, he says.
Helen Pastorino, CEO and founder of the 40-
salesperson Pertria brokerage in Los Gatos, Calif.,
adds color coding as she blocks time in her Microsoft Outlook calendar. The calendar syncs with her
home computer, her iPad, and her iPhone. That
way, she has a quick visual of how much time she’s
spending on any particular activity. Green denotes revenue-generating events ( 25 percent of
her time). White is for strategic thinking ( 20 percent);
blue for personal things
such as shopping, >>>
5 Signs of a Healthy Of;ce
“You used to be able to walk into an o;ce at any time during the day and determine
its health by the hustle and bustle of everyone in the o;ce,” says Rob Hatchett,
president of Crye-Leike Franchises in Chattanooga, Tenn. “But technology means
salespeople can conduct business without ever stepping foot in the o;ce.” Here are
other ways to tell if your o;ce is healthy:
b Your company’s production and number of sales associates are growing.
b Attendance and energy are high at sales meetings and company functions.
b Sales associates from other companies approach you about joining your team.
b You have a great online presence, not just a static Web site that generates few
b You’re regularly adding new technology to automate transactions and improve
marketing, client communication, and other day-to-day functions.