Tracking tasks and action items effectively is a necessary skill you will need to master in the Administrative role. Your system for keeping track of daily, weekly, monthly, or long-term tasks could make or break your success in this position. Your Agent will be giving you various tasks and action items during the day and week and will expect you to be able to track and follow up on them even when they are long-term tasks or projects.
To master the workflow of incoming new tasks or action items, here are 5 steps we can take.
Capture: Get it out of your head!! Here are a few suggestions for where to store these tasks or action items as they are working their way out of yours or your Agent’s brains!
- Intake list: Possibly a google form to fill out with any new ideas
- Shared notepad
- App on your phone: Evernote, Lists, Reminders
- Email folder: Labeled “Projects” or Tasks”
Clarify: Is it actionable? What are the steps?
- Is it something you need to work on or something you need to know?
- What is the priority level?
- What is the deadline?
- Who else needs to know about this?
Organize: Where does it go next?
- Priority list – Daily Priority Report
- Transactions – Add item to transaction checklist in CRM
- Folders/ Labels/ Tags – in your email (Projects: Clients, Templates, Recurring, ect)
- Online system: ToDoist, Trello, Google Tasks
Reflect: Check in daily and weekly
- Review your list of completed projects and daily to-do list
- Plan for the week or day ahead. Adding to your calendar using TIme Blocks
- Look for items you have missed
- Check through your texts and voicemail before leaving
Engage: Trust your intuition
- What are you able to complete?
- What is the highest priority?
- Do you have the energy to complete it?
- Do you have the time to complete it?
An important thing to keep in mind is that not everything that needs to be done will be a short-term action item. When your Agent drops an idea that’s more of a “someday” idea, make sure that you have a system for tracking and revisiting those ideas as well!
- for someone else to do or needing follow up
- Next Action/High Priority
- to do as soon as I can
- might be needed in the future
- to do as soon as I can
- tasks that are completed
Since it’s your responsibility to own your action items, it’s important to set up a system you feel works well for you! It’s also your responsibility to keep your agent updated on action items without them having to follow up with you. When you have ownership of these tasks and action items, you will be able to get more done and achieve more in your role.
Author: Becki Seay
Trainer, Your Realty Leverage, Inc.
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Building a highly profitable and successful business in real estate is a feat of its own, but what comes next? Once you’ve done the work to get the business, the next step is to hire an admin to help you as an agent/Rainmaker stay in your 20%: selling! Hiring an admin to help support the backend of your business is a huge step, but what’s more important is having streamlined processes and a solid foundation for you to grow your team.
One of the most important things your new admin will get out of training with Your Realty Leverage is a written Operations Manual or a Standard Operating Procedures (SOP). But why is this important to your team? An Operations Manual is built with the most important things that your team does. From standard team information to what to do when a new lead comes in, it helps create a standard process for the team for each detail in your business. The best part of an Operations Manual is that it is 100% customizable to YOUR team and YOUR processes! Regardless if your business is mostly referral-based or lead generation based, there’s a listed process for every step.
Some of the major sections in an Operations Manual are:
- Brokerage Information (splits, caps, etc.)
- Lead Generation
- Economic Model
- Organizational Model/Team Structure
This Operations Manual/SOP can “live” in many different places. Trello, Google Sites, Google Docs, etc…there are no limits! A personalized and built out Operations Manual can do many things for your team. It can be used as a training tool for new team members (admin or agents) to learn your team’s processes and procedures. It can also be used to set expectations for your team to refer back to.
Have an experienced or new admin you would like to build out an Operations Manual? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how we can help!
Trust me, I know people roll their eyes when they see this topic, because I used to be one of those people. The understanding of time management and time blocking is truly an art and is something that you must master to advance in your role.
I feel like I need to pause here and address a key supportive subject… The 80/20 Principle. The 80/20 Principle derives from Pareto’s Principle: 80% of the output from a given situation or system is determined by 20% of the input. In other words 20% or your activities will yield 80% of your results. For example, an Agent’s 20% should be Scripts, Lead Generation, Lead Follow Up, Appointments, and Negotiations. What must happen or the business may lose money/clients? The 80/20 Principle is important to understand because it can help you identify which tasks or activities to prioritize in moving the business forward.
Ok, let’s continue… Time blocking is simply the act of blocking out sections of your calendar to reflect your daily and weekly priorities (your 80/20). If we don’t put the most important things first, unimportant things can easily fill our time and distract us. Time blocking is a tool that, when used effectively, can aid you in accomplishing your goals and tasks consistently. – If it is not on your calendar, it does not exist. BOLD LAW
A few tips for Time Blocking:
- “White space” or empty space on the calendar is ok, but you don’t want too much of it. No more than 20% of your day should be white space. When you block each section of your day you’ll never wonder what you should be working on next. In an average 8-9 hour workday, this would look like leaving about 1.5 hours of white space at a maximum, and during this time you would follow up on any outstanding items that could not be completed while you were working at other times blocks.
- Color coding your calendar is an important way to see at a quick glance how high priority an item is, if it’s something that can’t be moved, or if it’s personal time (like lunch or appointments). A calendar that is all one color is not as effective as a color-coded calendar. You should have a minimum of 4 colors on a properly time blocked calendar – one for personal, one for 20%, one for 80%, and one for agent/team-related meetings/events.
- Stay Accountable to your time blocks! Don’t allow others to interrupt your time block. Make sure you share your calendar with your team to ensure they know what your priorities are. You also need to respect your OWN time blocked calendar.
If you find that you’re working more than your agreed-upon hours, or you’re not getting everything done in a typical day, your calendar is likely the culprit and not your activities and to-do list. Time Blocking and managing time effectively is one of the most important skills that separate good Admin and Agents from great ones.
“Time blocking is transformational for salespeople. It changes everything. When you get disciplined at blocking your time and concentrating your power, you see a massive and profound impact on your productivity. You become incredibly efficient when you block your day into short chunks of time for specific activities. You get more accomplished in a shorter time with far better results.” — Jeb Blount
How often do you come into work in the morning, look at your calendar and think “there is no way this is all getting done today.” While this is one of the easiest mindsets we can fall into, it is limiting what you can achieve during the day by setting yourself up to not get it all done. What you did was form a limiting belief towards your workload and your calendar. Are we all guilty of this? Absolutely! But are you limiting yourself from your true potential? Absolutely. But here’s how we can practice limiting our limited beliefs.
Limiting beliefs often happen when we are kids, but some are preconceived ideas we create in our head with a story. “I don’t have enough time today because…” Telling ourselves this story makes it validated in our minds because you believe you have a reason why this can’t happen.
When you are going through a training program or within your first 90 days in your role, there are a lot of additional tasks that need to be completed to build the foundations for your role. There are assignments, large projects, training calls, etc. that can often feel overwhelming, especially when you are ready to own your role. It may be easy to form the belief that “I don’t have time for training because.” And we go back into story mode, creating the perfect picture in our mind of why that task did not happen or why we do not have time for this today.
By limiting your thoughts and creating stories that align perfectly with your reasoning, you are limiting the true potential you have in your role. To change these beliefs we have to shift the way we think about ourselves and what we are capable of. We have to switch “I don’t have time today because” to “my calendar is pretty full today, what is a high priority to accomplish? I’ll do that first.” This switches your mentality from limiting to unlimiting. This gives you more control of what tasks can be moved around on your calendar and allows you to protect your time in completing those tasks.
Remember that you are the only person who can determine what you are capable of. There is no one stopping you from achieving the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year or reaching for that job promotion have been wanting! Create goals, stick to them, and remind yourself that you are capable of accomplishing what you set out to do.
“There are no limits for what you can achieve with your life, except for the limits you accept in your own mind.” – Brian Tracy
“In many ways, effective communication begins with mutual respect, communication that inspires, encourages others to do their best.” -Zig Ziglar
Communication is defined as giving, receiving or exchanging ideas, information or messages to someone else. Team Communication is especially important during the training period for new Team Members to allow them the opportunity to ask questions (Clarify and Verify), express their ideas and thoughts, and to create accountability around Team expectations. Here are a few ways to communicate effectively.
Team meetings are essential collaborative sessions for businesses. They serve many purposes: making decisions, brainstorming, sharing critical news, or even teaching. They build camaraderie, create connections, and identify direction for your team. Unfortunately, sometimes, we lose track of their purpose. One way to ensure a successful Team Meeting is to create a “Meeting Agenda”. Team Members can also take turns conducting the Team Meetings weekly to allow everyone the opportunity to lead.
Some Meeting Agenda suggestions could be: Wins/ Accomplishments, Progress on Team Goals/ Numbers, Upcoming Events and Announcements, and Training/ Value.
Daily Huddles/ Stand Ups are meant to be short and impactful, so depending on the size of your team these meetings should be between 10-30 minutes max to connect with the team first thing in the morning and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Some Daily Stand Up topics to cover could be: Big Rocks (Priorities) for the Day, Team Member Shout-Outs, Listing/ Closing Updates, questions on outstanding projects, or Goals
One-on-one meetings are a dedicated time for the Team Member and their Leader to connect on work, career development and growth. One on one meetings should be held every week for a minimum of 30 minutes. This is the perfect time to discuss the Team Members 4-1-1 or 1-3-5 goals.
Pro-tip: Each week there should be time blocks on your calendar Team Meetings, for Daily Huddles/ Stand Ups, and One on One meetings.
“If it is not on your calendar, it doesn’t exist.” -BOLD LAW
For new Team Members or Trainees, there is also the Daily Priority Report. The Daily Priority Report allows the Team Member or Trainee a chance to be more detailed in their daily communication with their Agent/ Leader. The Daily Priority Report should reflect what your true priorities are for the day. This is not a To Do List, but a priority list. What MUST get done today. At the end of the day, you will evaluate the list and mark through what you did get completed and notate what needs to be moved to the next day if necessary.
If your Team does not already have Weekly Team Meetings, Daily Huddles/ Stand Ups, or One on One Weekly meetings, schedule time with your Agent/ Leader to discuss adding them to the calendar.
Learn more about our Training Program at https://yourrealtyleverage.com/training/
Congratulations on taking the first step towards leveraging your time with your new hire! The first 90 days of training can be the most critical in building the foundation for success.
Here are some tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of your first 90 days
of training with your new hire:
Prepare your trainee for success:
Prior to your new hire’s first day on the job, make sure you have their workspace set up. They should have access to a computer, business email address, access to your Cloud Storage system with editing privileges, and log in information for the MLS, CRM and any other required systems. Taking the time to prepare prior to your new hire starting allows them to hop into your systems and start learning the business on Day 1.
Know Your Team’s Missions, Visions, Values, Beliefs and Perspectives:
Where does your team want to be in the future? What are your team values, beliefs and perspective What is your team “Big Why?” When building your team, the vision of where your team wants to be in the future and the growth path should be step 1. Team culture is important for recruiting and retention. People desire to know WHY they’re doing what they do. If you don’t have these in place, take time to build it with your new hire.
Know their role:
Before your new hire takes the seat next to you on your team, it isimportant that you outline what their 20% is. During onboarding, you should go over what 20% of your new hires’ tasks will produce 80% of their results. A customized 30-60-90 day goal plan, tailored to your business and your hires 20% should be created together with your new hire. These 30-60-90 day goals outline how your new hire leverage your time allowing you to spend more time on your 20%.
Create a learning environment:
To create the best learning environment on “In the Business” training, it is important to set up time for your new hire to shadow you or the team in your business. Whether it be prepping for a listing appointment or how you organize your inbox, the more they can grasp the way your business runs, the quicker they can jump in and leverage your time!
Set up team meetings:
In addition to scheduling shadowing opportunities, you and your new hire should have weekly one on-one meetings. It is important that these meetings do not get skipped! These meetings should be 30 to 60 minutes to check in on their progress toward goals. If you have more than one team member, make sure you are scheduling a weekly team meeting to check on team progress towards goals, building rapport, and accountability.
A daily morning check-in ,for 10-15 minutes, to outline priorities for the day, and get updates on wins or challenges from the previous day should occur also. A combination of shadowing time and weekly meetings allows for an open line of communication between you, your team, and your new hire to ask questions and make sure everyone is reaching toward the same goals.
On your new hire’s first day, we encourage an Expectations Conversation. This conversation should walk you and your new hire through talking about honesty, how someone can win or lose with you, sensitive issues, expectations, standards, and accountability. Having this conversation on your new hire’s first or second day sets a standard for how you two can communicate and work together in a new partnership.
Create a System for Priorities & Urgency:
When you are sending action items or goals to your new hire, it is a great idea to set a timeline for when it needs to be completed. This allows them to prioritize important tasks over the other “stuff” on their plate and learn how you prioritize tasks.
This is a snapshot of tips and tricks that allows your new hire to feel supported and lay a foundation for success. Should you have any questions or want to dive deeper into Training Best Practices- feel free to reach out to email@example.com, we would love to help!
Blogger: Allison Schoch, Trainer, Your Realty Leverage