Top Dollar-Producing Activities for Agents


“I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.” –



Two thousand three-hundred hours. If you’re a typical agent, that’s how many hours you’ll work this year, according to NAR.  That’s a lot of time to get sidetracked and end up down an unproductive, frustrating and rocky road.


Has it happened to you? It happens to us all.  Knowing – and embracing – dollar-productive activities can keep you on the smooth, freshly-paved freeway to more profits, more efficiency and more fulfillment in your real estate career.


First, you should know that there are only four tasks that will actually make an agent money:


1.            List


2.            Prospect


3.            Sell


4.            Negotiate


When you became an agent, these are the activities you signed up for. The rest is time spinning down a just-flushed toilet.


How many of your 2,300 hours are you flushing? Has the flushing sound become commonplace in your day-to-day work?


Putting up signs – Flush!


Making copies – Flush!


Setting up meetings – Flush!



These are precious minutes, time that could be spent fattening your bank account and doing what you do best as a professional.

So how do you stay focused on these four tasks to maximize your time? Here are three easy ways:


  1. Inventory Your Time


First, you have to know where the problem is before you can fix it.  Inventory your time.  Write out everything you’re doing now to find the flushing sounds.


When I first started working with one of my clients, Char MacCallum, CRS, Char MacCallum Real Estate Team in Olathe, KS, we broke down all her activities and assigned a dollar figure to each one.


Then, where it was more profitable to hire someone to check listings or put up signs, for example, we hired an assistant at a pay rate much lower than Char’s.


2.            Build a Team


As you can gather from what MacCallum did, a team is fundamental.  If nothing else, just hiring one assistant is one of the best moves an agent can make.  Unfortunately, and much to their detriment, many agents want to do it all by themselves.


One of the top producers in the country admitted to me that he used to do it all.  Zac Pasmanick, CRS, of RE/MAX Greater Atlanta, told me he was “the CEO, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), GM, Vice President (VP), chief brand creator, global marketing director, dynamic web developer, internal quality inspector, logistics coordinator, rainmaker, accountant, chief cook and dish washer.”


We worked together to designate areas of responsibility, establish a chain of command, clarify his role as the CEO and hire a first-rate team.  Now Zac meets weekly with his team to review what he needs to know – numbers, reports, completed projects and the like.


“Sometimes I fall back into micro-managing, but now I have a management team that tells me, ‘That’s not your job,’” Zac said.


Zac’s advice to agents (and I agree whole-heartedly): “Adopt a positive, pro-active mindset.  Don’t wallow in problems, focus on solutions.”




3.            Have a Plan


If you don’t have a plan, you’re begging to be swept away in the frenzied current of minutia and chaos.  A plan helps you take charge as a proactive agent, not a reactive one.


The number one time waster comes in the form of this reactive-laden question, which I hear often from agents: “When would you like to meet?”


Agents need to learn how to run their businesses like a doctor’s office, with appointments that fit their schedule.  This is easily accomplished by setting up specific times in your weekly plan when you can meet your clients.  Agents need to learn how to say, “I can meet at these times.”


I remember MacCallum telling me that she often found herself reacting to the day instead of planning for the day.


“I’d get stuck in reactive mode, dealing with paper jams and phone calls instead of working a plan that would increase my profitability,” she said.


We developed a plan that spelled out systems and tools that helped her gain control of not only her time, but also her team’s time.  The systems were detailed checklists that covered everything that happened in her business – from how the phone would be answered to how leads that came in via the Internet should be handled.

Now her business is on auto-pilot and she’s in control and believe me, she’s flying high!



Twenty-three hundred hours. Can you imagine how much more successful you could be if you spent each and every one of those hours doing what you, as a professional, do best – list, prospect, sell and negotiate?


The possibility is right there inside you. The time is now.  I wish you the best!

Make A Commitment: I will track my time to determine how much is spent doing dollar productive activities.

Deadline: _________