Working from home as a real estate agent comes with many advantages—and even more distractions. Sure, you can get the laundry done, prepare dinner, maybe even wash the car...what's left to do? Oh, yeah. Some "real" work.
Here are eight tips that will help you stay focused and successful from your home office—whether that's an entire room or just a chair, with a cup of tea or coffee in front of you, and your favorite furry friend in your lap.
As a real estate agent, you're juggling many things during the day. And when you decide to get work done from the home office, there are a few distractions that will suck your time if you're not aware of them.
Children and family may want your attention, you might not have access to the proper office equipment, or you might be tempted to complete some chores around the house. Not to mention, you may get distracted by having the TV on as "company" while you try to power through email campaigns for open house leads. Try these tips instead!
1) Create a Workspace
I'll admit...working from bed is really comfortable, but it's not likely to lead to productive behavior. Find yourself a desk and a chair instead. Or dedicate a part of the kitchen table as a workspace when you are working from home.
2) Get Dressed
As stated above, working from bed is tempting, and it can be even cozier in your favorite PJs or workout clothes! But science says putting pants on makes you more productive. Well, not only pants, but work clothes. It's called "enclothed cognition."
The term Enclothed Cognition is used to describe the effect that our clothes seem to have on various psychological processes like emotions, self evaluations, attitudes, and interpersonal interactions. Clothes affect our behavior and our moods because of the symbolic meaning that we (as a society) ascribe to different types of attire. Check out this short, but cool video on this phenomenon.
3) It's Do Not Disturb Time
When working from home as a real estate agent, you need to set boundaries with your loved ones (even the pets). They need to know that working from home means that it's Do Not Disturb time.
Playing with the kids, doing some simple chores, and other activities will have to wait until one of your breaks or when you're off the clock.
4) Take Breaks
A Scandinavian study found that people who walked three times a week during lunch were more enthusiastic and less tense. So, if you work from home as a real estate agent, make sure to plan (in your schedule) to leave the house every so often. You can set a reminder in your schedule to take a break every four hours and go for a walk!
5) Separate Work and Life
Find different ways to separate you work and your life when you work from home. Working in an office allows you to leave at the end of the day. If you work from home, identify ways to split your home and work lives. Consider using a room divider if you don't have a home office or opt to work remotely from a co-working space. Sometimes you can find rooms with great views at the library!
6) Use Your CRM (to set a schedule)
Sometimes working from home gives you the opportunity to use your CRM on a deeper level. For example, just as you would in a regular office, you can automate your day with specific tasks...and stick to them! Your CRM can help you be more efficient at home and enable you to focus on critical aspects within the time you set for yourself.
Give yourself set hours as you would if you were in the office. While it may be tempting to log back in after hours when an idea hits for a follow-up email or a cool new workflow, draw it out or write it down and save it for the next day instead.
7) Focus and Stay In The Moment
Set a timer for 50 minutes, then get jamming on new leads, or strategizing on your next important transaction, or whatever task is currently at the top of your To Do list. Don't check your email or any new leads that are coming in. Don't look at your phone, don't send a text, and don't check social media until the time goes off. Then—and only then—take a 10 minute break and reset the timer for another 50 minutes.
If you're following step 6 above, your CRM should be handling all the incoming leads and social follow up. :)
8) Attend Networking Events
It can be hard to work along without any social interaction. Spend one day filling up your calendar with networking or sphere of influence (SOI) events. Even consider attending Realtor events, and make it a habit to actively seek out other agents or brokers to connect with. You never know where your next referral might come from.
I hope you found these 8 tips to be helpful. Working from home has some incredible benefits, but it also has some unique challenges. By getting your schedule under control, staying focused, and remembering to put on pants every morning, you'll be able to productively work from home. You might even find that you get more done from the home office!