I like to work. Working brings me joy. I like being productive and making a difference through the work I do. Over the years, I have found that I’m more productive when I’m busy. I get energy from putting in the hard work and seeing results. It means I’m contributing! Every now and then, I am tasked with something that I don’t know how to do or, more likely, that I don’t enjoy doing. And I have to make a choice on how to handle it. For years, my default has been to set aside the task and move on to something else. By doing this week after week, day after day, I inevitably reach a critical point at which the task is staring me in my face and there is no way to avoid it. This situation puts me in a state of frustration and panic. I get anxious. I may even feel a little uneasy due to the uncertainty around completing the task by a given deadline. I become frustrated with myself for procrastinating… AGAIN. And I vow to NEVER PROCRASTINATE AGAIN. I make a promise to myself that I will avoid the dark shadow of procrastination when presented with the next important, but unfamiliar task. And yet the vicious cycle continues.
Am I a failure? No. Am I a horrible person? No. Do I need to make better choices about prioritizing my time? Absolutely. I NEED TO EAT THE FROG.
“Eat the frog?,” you may ask. Ewww. Yuck. And what does that have to do with procrastinating anyway?
In 2017, Brian Tracy, a U.S.-based productivity coach, wrote and published a book called Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time. If you distill the book down into one very basic idea, it’s that you need to focus on completing the most important, challenging, uncomfortable task first and foremost, and then move on to other tasks. And you have to do this day after day to achieve your highest level of productivity.
This notion of eating the frog did not enter my world until a few years ago when I found myself leading a team of agents and operations staff members. I would mark my calendar with meetings to manage and tasks to complete. I would tackle my routine tasks like inputting the “scheduled, kept, taken, pending, and closed” units for my agents, prepping slide decks for weekly meetings and presentations, planning for and meeting with team members to conduct their 411s, and yet I always found myself with a list of things I needed to accomplish that I kept putting off. As I analyzed the list, I realized that every item remaining on my list was something new to me. I needed to take more time and focus to complete the tasks on my list than I did for other more routine tasks. At the advice of my MAPs Coach, I listened to the book Eat That Frog. And it has been at the top of my mind ever since.
I decided to focus on implementing Tracy’s advice on a Monday in May. Our team had prioritized re-structuring our listing intake system for the past month or so. Our current system was not well-defined. Everytime a listing came in, we handled information-gathering, listing prep, and going live in a different way. We had a checklist, but we sort of kind of followed it. We had forms, but we had no email templates prepared to use when sending the forms out to the seller. We had talked about changing our method, perhaps using an electronic form to collect information instead of handling it all over the phone and writing it down. And as our team grew and we took on more and more listings, it became more challenging and time consuming to manage each listing. I knew that by focusing on updating and streamlining our process our team would function better, our clients would be happier, and we would improve our quality of service. But I had never worked on updating a listing intake system before, so I just left it on my list and continued to avoid it.
Well, it was finally time to eat the frog. It was 9:10am already that Monday, though I had planned to begin at 9:00am. I was uncomfortable. My thoughts wandered. I looked around the room. I grabbed a glass of water. Picked at my fingernails. But I knew that by focusing on updating our listing system, we would be a better, stronger, more successful team. And I had read Brian Tracy’s book and was committed to eating the frog. So I sat at my desk and focused. I began to type. I searched on Google and pulled up websites for different real estate teams, and I learned about their processes. I gathered information on different electronic forms and methods of collecting information. I created a spreadsheet to document our system and listed some new ideas. As the morning went on, I realized I was making progress. By noon, I actually had a draft of a new listing intake process workflow to present to my team. I was able to improve our system by streamlining our intake process. I had followed Brian Tracy’s advice and I was able to accomplish my goal!
This was an important lesson to me. There had been so many hours and even days when I simply chose to avoid the task because it was unfamiliar to me. Yet when I took the time to prioritize this task and DO IT, it took me just a few hours to accomplish my goal. And it felt good!
Now, every time I have a task in front of me that is unfamiliar or that I do not enjoy doing, I think about frogs. Does this mean that I have completely stopped procrastinating and that I don’t put things off? NO WAY! But when I realize what I am doing, I think about how much time, energy, frustration, and anxiety I save by identifying the most challenging tasks first and tackling them head on. And I get to it and make it happen.
A lot of us in the Real Estate Industry know the benefits to hiring a great coach, It’s likely that if you are an Agent reading this right now you have a coach. Over the last few years we have seen a massive increase in Operations Coaching within Canada and the US. Its evolved from Group Coaching programs for a large group of Admins, into Elite 1-1 Coaching with a strong focus on Growth for your Ops person/team.
As a Director of Operations for one of the top Real Estate Teams in Canada, I contribute a lot of my success to my Coach. My Team Leader saw the importance of investing in my growth, knowing that it would come full circle back into our team and didn’t hesitate to invest in Coaching to help me grow in my role. In fact he also called it “leverage” for our business. He was able to continue to focus on his top 20% while he knew I had assistance in Operational things that were not necessarily his strengths
I feel so passionate about Operations Coaching and wanted to share 4 great tips why hiring an operations Coach will propel your business and create a world of culture and partnership with You and your Administrator.
#1 – They help you see your blind spots
When I first started coaching, I was really unaware of what I would truly need from a coach. I didn’t know how I would utilize our time together. My Coach spent our first few calls together understanding the business, the vision, and how I wanted to grow in my role. Our team is very fast paced and and often we would get “into the weeds” My Coach was able to bring clarity when I felt lost. I have learned how to maneuver “the weeds” without interrupting my team leader through Coaching.
#2 – They’ve been in the trenches
One of the benefits to finding the right coach is knowing if they have been in the role themselves. Having full knowledge of the role and how effective systems work. One of the reasons Your Realty Leverage Coaches are one of the most sought after Coaches is because they are in the trenches themselves. They all currently run teams, Transaction Companies and live and breath the systems and models of the Real Estate Industry. I know when I was choosing my coach, it was important to me that they knew about the industry I was in and we speak the same language. What better leverage for your Admin than someone who is hands on in the Industry. Or has been there at one point
#3 – Leverage
If you are an Agent reading this, and you wonder if you should invest in a Coach for your Admin – the answer is YES! If you have read this far, you already see the importance of it. Just like when you are training your Admin in their first 30 days, It probably felt overwhelming, and you may or may not have struggled with managing it all. Seek Leverage! Let someone step in and hold your admin accountable to growth plans, Following through on the ultimate vision. Empowering your Admin to grow is one of the most amazing things you can do for us!
#4 – Supporting the Systems and evaluating the business
Having an outside view on systems and models within the business is underestimated, Having an unbiased third party insight to your business is a massive value add within Coaching. One of the things I love about Your Leverage Coaching, is the coaches ability to ask questions around the business, and be able to hold clients accountable to system audits. Which by doing so increases productivity and the Foundation of your systems. The Coaches with Your Realty Leverage are experienced in Systems, and Operations. Having that wisdom handed down to your business and your Admin is an incredible asset to the growth of your business
Coaching is a commitment and when partnered with the right Coach – Your success, your growth have no limit.
When you hire an Admin you make a massive commitment to team growth and more importantly the growth to your hire. This is something to not take lightly. Having a Coach to support your Admin in their goals and the overall goal for the team Allows you the opportunity to continue forward with your foot on the gas and more importantly know you are empowering your team (Admin) to help grow the business as well.
Nothing is more important than when an Agent and Admin are on the same path within the business.
Want to learn more about which one of our coaches at Your Realty Leverage would be a perfect fit for you? Email me at Valerie@yrltalent.com
The world is ever changing and many of us find that our version of, “Going to Work” has changed a bit from how things were years ago. Some of us no longer have to take that car ride or train ride stressing over traffic or delays while heading to the office. For many of us, our workplace is now wherever our computer is. There are many great aspects of having the option to work remotely, however a big concern of not only employers but employees is perfecting the ability to stay connected in a remote workplace. Employers want to be sure that their team is staying committed and working together. They want to be sure that employees can brainstorm on projects and streamline communication so everyone can stay updated and grow as a team. Employees want to know that they can receive a response to a question within a reasonable amount of time or receive guidance when necessary. They want to know they aren’t alone in their workplace even though physically we may be far apart. It may not always be easy to find a balance- the great news is, it is possible!
Most people have that aunt, uncle or childhood friend that lives or moved to another state or country. Don’t we find ways to stay connected to them? We call, text, reach out via social media, or hop on a video call. So why do some people find it so difficult to stay connected in a virtual workplace? Nowadays people talk more in the virtual world than having a face to face conversation. Social Media allows ways to stay connected to the masses. Just because we don’t see everyone in person doesn’t mean it is impossible to get to know one another and form lasting relationships. So how do we stay connected and engaged? What is the right answer? Simply, there is no one answer. There is no one size fits all solution. We need to remind ourselves that what is a good form of communication for one person may not be the best fit for another. We need to try different methods until you find what works best.
There are multiple opportunities and tools we can use to stay connected. You can use an app for your communication platform such as Slack, Staff base or Google Chat. You can manage tasks with programs like Monday.com, Smartsheet, or Asana. There are an abundance of tools at your fingertips to use to keep in communication throughout your day. Poor communication in a workplace is not due to the lack of programs available to utilize. In order for people to stay connected each employee must accept that a part of working remote, especially when on a team, is to commit yourself to staying connected and add in the extra effort to do so.
You can add fun ways to stay connected such as celebrating team birthdays. If your team does not already document when all birthdays are, take it upon yourself to make note in your calendar the next time it is someone’s special day. Then you can reach out, send a funny card or simply send a quick text to let them know you care. In the workplace a common gathering area is usually wherever the coffee is located. In the virtual world we may not be able to share a pot of coffee however you can set up a coffee break with a co-worker and pick up the phone and chat for your break. Try and keep the conversation away from workplace topics and stay focused on giving yourself the break you deserve.
Forming relationships is an integral part to ensure we are improving communication.
Teams can set up weekly or daily calls and have specific topics to discuss. By alternating topics (not all business related) you can get to know one another, on not only a work level, but get to know more about your coworkers’ personalities and interests. Teams can set up gatherings which can be done virtually or in person. If sticking to the virtual world there are many different classes that you can provide as options for employees to join. These options can be suggested during work hours but also as after work functions. You can suggest classes to improve different skills related to the job or find fun classes too, such as learning a new hobby. Virtual events could include painting parties, a virtual game show or trivia nights. Offering options such as these allow for great team building opportunities.
Each person in a company holds individual importance to the functionality of a business as a whole. If one part is missing or lacking the whole group does not succeed. You can avoid this by making sure your teams communication skills are constantly improving and evolving. There are so many different ways we can stay connected but if you do not stick to the 3 C’s no number of apps, classes or events will help. The 3 C’s are: Create. Consistent. Communication.
We need to work on each of these items as a whole and Create Consistent Communication while also working at these three items individually.
Create: We all look to create the next best thing in the workplace. Whether that is creating a goal, creating a new product, creating a better way to systemize or a way to make a company succeed or improve. It is important to push ourselves and always be raising the standard of what success is to us. This can only be done by creating an environment for success. By opening the doors for communication to flow freely.
Consistent: It is important to stick to what you say you will do. Make sure you reply within a timely manner when someone reaches out. Setting clear and concise structure on expectations in regards to communication responses is important to maintaining consistency. Not only is it important to stay consistent with your timeliness and dependability you must stay consistent with your quality of work. Working in a remote world it is always great to reach out and have someone give their feedback. This is an excellent way to get a chance to engage with your team one on one and strengthen communication.
Communication: Communicating does not have to be done only in a verbal manner. You can reach out to coworkers by emailing, texting or by setting up a video call. Find what suits you best, and also utilize all of the options available to us in this modern world. There is no reason that reaching out and communicating should be difficult.
Each employee holds their own unique importance but together it means so much more and we can achieve so much more. This is the same as these three simple words. It is a choice to stay connected in the outside world as it is in the virtual world. You can be an introvert in either situation but it is the sole responsibility of every remote employee or employer to dedicate yourself to finding a way that works best for you to let your personality shine and create memorable conversation.
It is your job to Create.
It is your job to be Consistent.
It is your job to Communicate.