If you're a real estate agent, the holidays are no time to press pause on work. While it may be tempting to take off two weeks at the end of December—because, hey, everyone else is doing it—those two weeks could actually be extremely productive for you. Because everyone else is off work, so they finally have TIME to house hunt all afternoon, or host an open house, or grab a cup of coffee with you.
But I know, I know, it's so hard to stay focused on work when the whole world suddenly transforms into a twinkly winter wonderland and everything smells like cinnamon and evergreen. You'd rather be bustling around your kitchen making latkes, decorating gingerbread houses with your kids, or zoning out in front of the Hallmark channel all day.
And that's not to say you shouldn't be doing these things. You just have to fit in work, too. And find a way to stay focused while you're on the clock.
To help you out, here are some tips for staying focused on your work this holiday season.
1) Keeping reminding yourself that you're getting ahead of the competition
There are some agents who will be taking the month off, or at least not working as hard. This is a great time to get ahead! Print out this mantra by the oft-quoted William A. Ward and tape it to your computer monitor:
2) Schedule in time for holiday fun
There's no need to be a Scrooge. Just because you plan to work throughout the holiday season doesn't mean you have to ignore your favorite festivities. The key is to plan ahead and put things on your calendar—work stuff and holiday fun!
If you know you're going to a Christmas party Friday night, it will be easier to hustle all week because you'll have a reward to look forward to.
3) Add a small dose of holiday cheer to your workday
If you're like me, you don't want to completely block out the holidays while you're working. As I write this, I'm drinking gingerbread-flavored coffee and sitting directly across from my Christmas tree. But these two things aren't distracting me from my work.
So if a peppermint latte or a jelly donut will make you feel merry while you work, go ahead and let in a little cheer. Total deprivation will only make your cravings worse.
4) Listen to some non-holiday tunes
I absolutely CANNOT listen to Christmas music if I want to get work done. Christmas music instantly makes me want to frost cookies and cut out paper snowflakes—basically, it turns me into an 8-year-old.
If I want to be the productive adult version of myself, I have to listen to something else. My favorite music for productivity and focus is this Power Study Classics album. There's nothing quite like the William Tell Overture to get you pumped for work.
5) Maintain your regular health and fitness routines
Every article you read about productivity during the holidays will urge you to keep exercising and eating healthily. It can be tempting to skip workouts and eat too many cookies during the holidays, but your well-being has a direct impact on your productivity. Exercise reduces stress, improves your focus, and releases energy-boosting endorphins.
6) Avoid social media during working hours (when possible)
One sure-fire way to kill your productivity? Scrolling wistfully through photos of people enjoying holiday festivities...while you sit alone in your office.
Ban yourself from social media during your working hours—unless, of course, you're doing some social media marketing and prospecting work. In that case, log in, do your work, and get out of there as fast as possible.
7) Don't let phone calls go too long.
The holidays are a great time to catch up with past clients. Give them a call, wish them a happy holiday, and have a nice chat—but don't let these calls go too long. Your prospect might be off work and have all the time in the world to chat, but you don't.
Start a stopwatch at the beginning of your call, and have a strategy for ending a conversation with an extra-chatty prospect. Set your prospecting call goal (e.g. 10 calls a day) and a block of time in which to make all of the calls (e.g. 90 minutes total), and stick to it.
8) Don't say yes to everything
Part of being an entrepreneur is knowing that you'll have to work odd hours. It means that you might have to choose between a friend's holiday party or meeting with a client after work on a Friday to show them a couple of homes. You might not be able to say yes to every single holiday gathering. Decide which ones are most important, and allow yourself to miss the others so you have time to take care of your clients.
9) Use workflows to keep yourself organized and on task
If you aren't already using workflows in your real estate business, this holiday season is the perfect time to give yourself the best gift ever.
Picture this: It's next year, December. You've had a prospecting workflow set up in Realvolve for 12 months now. All year, it has been helping you consistently following up with your database of prospects, sending them perfectly spaced out phone calls, emails, texts, pop-bys, postcards, and Facebook messages. Some prospects have converted to clients. Others are still in your pipeline, receiving your messaging.
Then the holiday season hits. Your work/life balance becomes more difficult to manage. You have holiday parties and school productions to attend. You have gifts to buy and wrap, food to prepare and serve. But every morning, you log into Realvolve, and your trusty workflow tells you exactly who to call that day. It also delivers whatever messages are due to each individual prospect that day. While your personal life might be totally thrown off routine by the holiday whirlwind, your agent life is perfectly on track.
That's the magic of workflows.
Stay focused, and working during the holidays will pay off. Big time.
If you use these tips and stay productive during the holiday season, there are big benefits. For starters, you'll pull ahead of any competing agents who decide to take a few weeks off. You can pick up new leads that your competitors might have otherwise won.
During the times when things are a little slower than normal, you can catch up on tedious, time-consuming work that you normal have to de-prioritize. This is also a great time for goal-setting for the new year.
And because you'll be maintaining a working schedule during the holidays, you won't get burned out on family time or holiday festivities. After a hard day's work, you'll find it easier to be present when spending time with family and friends. And you won't have already heard "Santa Baby" fifty times that day.
All in all, not a bad way to spend the holidays.