I’ve been busy. Very busy. So I’ll describe the week of a new real estate agent.
I’ve worked 6 days this week. Usually 8+ hours a day.
(26 hours) )I’ve planned for 5 open houses this week at 4 different places. The first time you are at a new place, it takes about 2 hours of planning, setting up signs, preparing material and comparables list and researching information about the place. After the first time, it is easier to just renew/update material. I actually only did 4.1 of the open houses because of a communications error on the listing agent’s part. I got there and set up and then she showed up; I was happy to have the afternoon off.
What is involved in an open house? You arrive 15 minutes early to set up signs and understand the place. If it is a condo that you are unfamiliar with, you need to know where the pool is, extra storage, etc. You get the key, enter the unit and fix it up. Open all curtains, decide windows or A/C, turn on all the lights, do (hopefully) minor cleanup and put out material for customers.
Then you wait. I wait by setting up my laptop and ClearWire modem. I always have lots of work to keep me busy. On a good day, you have 1-2 groups/hour. That is distracting enough (in a good way!) that you don’t get any work done. On a bad day, no one comes in. I have yet to do an open house with no one, but I’ve been close.
Why do I “sit” open houses? People who come to Hawaii Open Houses typically fit in one or more of the following categories:
- Potential buyers
- Potential sellers (comparing this place to their home)
- Longer-term dreamers
- People astounded in prices of Maui real estate…
I’m interested in servicing the top 3. It is a great way to meet people interested in real estate. I enjoy finding out where people are from and why they are looking. I hope to convince them that I am knowledgeable and can help them attain their goals.
So Open Houses take a lot of time but ARE productive. Each OH is 3-8 hours. At end of Open House you close up and remove signs.
(5-6 hours) 1 or 2 days a week, I go on a broker’s caravan. Homes that are new on the market are presented by the agent. After a gathering of everyone and short wants/needs requests, everyone hops in their cars and visits the places. Typically, there are 10-20 homes/condos to see. It is a great way to get to know inventory in 2-3 hours. Here in Maui, caravans are held for the different geographic areas. I usually hit the South Maui caravans (my focus area) and have gone to at least one of the other areas.
(4 hours in addition to OH time) Then there is servicing the people you’ve met and potential customers. Send cards, email, call them up. Keep in contact. Set systems up to automate all this. This is an area I must spend more time on. I can’t believe that I still don’t have my “New Business” announcements out. Of course, if you have a real buyer/seller client, you drop everything else to service them!
(3-5 hours) There are the meetings. Our office has a weekly meeting. RAM (Realtors Assn of Maui) has meetings. Go to meetings to get updated on info in Maui real estate. At office meetings, I get contacts for running open houses. There is also training. Classroom training and internet training; I try to get 4 hours of training a week.
(5+ hours) In order to meet more people in the community, I try to get out and do volunteer work, shopping, meeting other business people at least 1 hour a day. Some days is more but it is tough. Yesterday, I was tired on the way home and decided to stop for an iced coffee. Instead of getting in my hot car, I decided to sit down in the A/C area. I started chatting with a couple people… next thing I know I’m sharing my business card.
(2 hours) Then in the spare moments, I spend few hours planning, thinking about my website and adding value-add info, long-term planning (how do I build a team so I don’t have to work so hard?), marketing plans, selecting signs…
(3 hours) TRAVEL TIME…
I don’t know how anyone could consider this a part-time job? I estimate that I’ve spent 50+ hours working this week. I think I need to cut back on that Open House schedule! My workaholic syndrome is catching up to me…