Time blocking is a productivity method that calls for you to schedule every minute of your work day. It’s a great technique for real estate agents because it:
- Encourages you to spend your time on the activities that have the most impact
- Enables you to use every working hour of the day productively
- Gives you a clear understanding of how you spend your time so that you’re able to make improvements
In this article, we’ll explain how you can successfully adopt this time management method.
Use This Time Blocking Template for Real Estate Agents
To time block your schedule, you need to plan every minute of your work day - including mundane activities like driving to properties and eating lunch. Knowing what you should be doing at all times ensures you stay focused on high-impact activities instead of reacting to everything that comes your way.
Here’s an example time blocked calendar of a real estate agent:
Though every day is filled, you don’t have to be extremely detailed. As you can see, many of the blocks are vague such as “Follow-Up with Potential Buyers” and “Document Preparation.” There are many small tasks that fall under both of those blocks, however, rather than adding every activity to your calendar, group similar ones together to give you the flexibility to catch up on different areas of your business.
Plan Your Client and Vendor Activities
As a real estate professional, your top priority is serving your clients. Thus, meetings with them and the vendors who are working on their properties should be the first activities you add to your calendar.
Strive to confirm all meetings about a week in advance so that you can time block the remaining hours of your day. This may be challenging since some clients make unpredictable meeting requests. However, reinforce with them that you have to meet with many other clients and that planning a few days in advance enables you to be best prepared to support them.
Identify Your Business Development Priorities
Once you’ve scheduled the majority of your client and vendor activities, you need to identify and schedule your business development priorities. Blocking time on your calendar to focus on these activities enables you to secure more clients since it holds you accountable for working on strategic growth activities that may otherwise be pushed off.
Start by creating a list of all the projects you’d like to work on ranging from small tasks like following up with Zillow leads to large ones like redesigning your website. Then, estimate the shortest amount of time it will take to make meaningful progress on each one and the total amount of time you think each will take.
Thinking about the minimum amount of time you need to make progress makes it easier to find times on your calendar while estimating the maximum amount of time lets you know how many blocks you need to reserve on your calendar for each activity.
Here’s an example of what your list might look like:
- Following up with Zillow leads - 10 minutes / 1 hour
- Creating Facebook ads - 30 minutes / 1.5 hours
- Creating a new brochure - 20 minutes / 45 minutes
- Planning a community event - 30 minutes / 6 hours
- Launching an email campaign - 20 minutes / 2 hours
Keep in mind that times you reserve for these projects are flexible. If a client decides they want to meet during a time that you had blocked off to work on marketing activities, give them that time. However, to be successful, you need to ensure your business development projects still get done.
Continuously Improve Your Time Blocking Strategies
If you’ve never tracked your time before, you’ll likely struggle to estimate how long tasks. This will cause a lot of your blocks to be inaccurate and make it difficult for you to manage your time effectively.
There are two ways to become better at estimating how long projects take:
- Use a time-tracking tool such Toggl to track how long everything that you do each day takes.
- Whenever a task doesn’t take as long as you thought it would, make a note of how far you were off.
While you’re working to become better at estimation, don’t let small gaps of your time go to waste. Here are some tasks you can easily complete while you’re waiting for your next meeting or activity:
- Calling or sending an email to a couple of contacts that you haven’t spoken to in a few months
- Creating a few social media posts
- Reaching out to leads that just came in
- Catching up on emails
Overtime, you’ll become better at creating time blocks and be able to spend your entire day on high-impact activities.
Delegate Calendar Management to Your Assistant
Though time blocking is a highly effective way to manage your productivity, many real estate agents struggle to use it consistently because it can be time-consuming to organize all of your responsibilities.
A real estate virtual assistant can solve this issue by time blocking your calendar for you. Here’s how:
- Give them a list of people you want to have meetings/calls with. They can schedule those meetings on your behalf or block time off on your schedule if you’d prefer to schedule them yourself.
- Give them a list of activities you’d like to work on throughout the week (ex. Marketing, working on contracts, following up with leads, reaching out to old contacts, etc.)
- Give them your schedule preferences. Ex. you prefer to work on business development and admin in the mornings and have all of your calls/meetings in the afternoons. Or, you need an hour in the afternoon to take your kids home from school.
They’ll take all that info and use it to organize your calendar in the most efficient way possible. If you’d like they can also send you reminders about upcoming meetings and to-dos.
A VA can also add more time to your day by tackling tasks including:
- Formatting documents
- Creating templated marketing materials
- Updating listings
- Keeping your contacts organized and up-to-date
Plus a variety of other admin, transaction and marketing support tasks. To learn how a VA can help you, download our free guide to working with a real estate virtual assistant:
About the author: Emily leads Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.