It’s Very Simple: Consistency

Posted on October 3, 2012 by

Here it is the Tuesday after Labor Day, and I’m excited about the upcoming month. The market seems to be changing positively, and I am doing an increasing number of real estate deals. Also, I’m energized because I rested over the three-day holiday. I spent time with my friends relaxing and enjoying great conversation along with sharing ideas. With all of that renewed energy, I made grand plans for the upcoming week.

But, you know what they say about well-laid plans. Instead of getting to my list, I find myself trying to answer calls as the phone rings off the hook. My plan to achieve five of my goals this week is already going out the window. Suddenly I realize that I’m overwhelmed and losing sight of what I wanted to accomplish. I know that I need to re-prioritize.

Like so many of us, I am challenged on a monthly, weekly, and daily basis to figure out my priorities. I sit down at my desk ready to check things off of my list, and the fires start flaring up. I can easily lose track of what I should be doing and where I should be going.

I’m sure that most of you can relate to this. So, how can we avoid that rushed feeling of putting out fires? If we have the best intentions to accomplish our goals, of doing the next right thing, we must be able to do it while life happens around us rather than letting ourselves get caught up and losing sight.

So how can we decide what our priorities are? How can we commit to consistently doing what needs to be done next? Should it be the phone calls? The meetings? Others’ emergencies? Everyday distractions?

Here is an example. The other day I needed to put together a contract on a house. It was the end of the month, and I also needed to show a property in order to get it rented. So, how did I decide which task was more important? The fact is that time management is difficult for those of us who are self-employed. Every decision is important, and each one has an unknown outcome. We want to know what will be the most lucrative task, but we can’t tell the future. So all we can do is manage our time and make the best decisions based on preparedness and time management.

That is where I come in. I’ve studied how successful individuals are able to achieve their goals and dreams in a short period time. Steven Covey talks about it. Brian Tracy talks about it. And I am living it myself and through coaching others. I have a vast amount of hands-on experience in goal setting and prioritization, and I know that I can share these with you to help you to grow your business.

First Thing’s First

What is your immediate business need? What is your current cash flow?

Before getting started we must ask ourselves what we need to survive. If we don’t have what we need, we are in what is called Survival Mode, and Survival Mode makes it impossible to achieve our goals.

For example, imagine that you are able to do only what you need for existence like buying gas and food and paying the electric bill. In this situation, the only priority is to get enough to survive. In this mode, the main emotion is likely to be fear because survival itself, as we know it, is at stake.

As you can imagine, it is almost impossible to do much more than survive when this kind of fear and anxiety have taken over. So what happens to business goals and focus in this situation? They diminish greatly—even disappear.

Hopefully, your situation is not this dire, but you can see that without enough funding, real estate success is extremely problematic because you won’t have the time or money to put towards the essentials such as marketing, making phone calls, and talking with sellers. If you can’t fund your business then your first priority, logically, is to increase your income. If that means getting two jobs or three jobs for six months in order to get your head above water, then that is what you’ll have to do to reach the goals you’ve set.

This is an extreme example, and I’m going to assume that you are able to keep your head above water and that you have some extra money for marketing, yellow letters, bandit signs, business cards, etc. I’m also going to assume that you have goals which include segmenting the market. You have decided on whether or not you’re going to go after single-family, multi family, or commercial.

Time Management

No matter how many goals you have, no matter how much money you have, if you do not have good time management, then your business will fail. Things will not get done, clients will become frustrated and go to another source, and you will be stressed and anxious leaving you unable to carry through with your promises—the surest way to fail. You must prioritize, and you can’t prioritize without good time management. Without these two things, “emergencies” occur much more frequently, taking you away from what really needs to be done.

Personally, I am far more productive when I have a time sheet next to my desk and with me at all times. This way, I can see concrete evidence of the time I have; I become accountable for my goals and for my business.

Another important element to completing goals is creating time frames. Currently, I’m mentoring a few people. I’ve asked them to choose not only goals, but also time frames in which they want to complete those goals. Each person is to review his/her goals at the beginning of each week. When we review our goals, they become more present in our minds, and we are much more likely to achieve them.

To that end, I encourage you to ask yourself, “What are my three month goals?” Write them out and review them each Monday—maybe more.

In my own business and in mentoring others, I have found that it is essential to answer three different time management questions at the beginning of every week:

  1. What do I need to do in order to maintain the business?
  2. What are the top items that I have to get done in order to live?
  3. What do I need to do in order to grow the business?

I have created a personal plan which follows:

Daily

Return phone calls for 30 minutes twice a day.

Return e-mails for 30 minutes twice a day.

Plan, set, and review goals for 15 minutes twice each day.

Weekly

Pay bills.

Show houses three times a week.

Weekend

Have a 1 hour open house for each vacant property.

At first glance this schedule seems to leave time for many other things, but as you know, there is so much more. The above tasks are the ones that I need to keep the basics running. In fact, I’ve found that I need to allot myself 10 hours and plan for 8. This allows time for unexpected phone calls, e-mails, texts, issues with tenants, and other business interruptions, not to mention marketing myself through talking to people and networking.

Make sure to keep in mind, also, that real estate is not a 9:00-5:00 job. It is helpful when making a schedule to consider what you can be do before 9 AM or after 5 PM. Personally, I know that I am able to reach most people during regular business hours, so I plan to do that during these hours. Then, I can do other things before or after these times.

As is clear through the above considerations of survival and time management, consistency is essential. You must make a steady and consistent effort to move the business forward by concentrating on the end result, by being intentional, and by focusing on the actions needed to take to get the results you want.

It’s very simple: If you want your business to grow, you must accomplish the tasks that grow the business. If you want to accomplish the tasks, you must assess your situation, improve what needs to be improved, use good time management skills, and be consistent.

The Team: An Essential Component to Success

The final thing that you need to do is to build a team, and this team can begin with me. I know the ropes. I have experienced creating a business from the ground up. I have read the books and put the ideas into action. I have built a successful business that is rewarding and lucrative.

I want to work with you. If you are dedicated to your dreams and goals, willing to do the hard work, and ready to make decisions, then I can prepare you and coach you to your success.

I know that I can help you to reach your goals, and I look forward to meeting with you about your mentoring and coaching needs.

Russ HinerRuss Hiner is an active real estate investor, coach and mentor. Russ is currently the leader of the Atlanta REIA Creative Deal Structuring Group and Atlanta REIA Mastermind Group. Russ also teaches several workshops throughout the year on a variety of real estate investing topics such as Negotiations, Wholesaling 101, Wholesaling 401, Real Estate 101, Property Management and more.

Contact Russ Hiner

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