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Organizational Habits To Maximize Productivity

Organizational Habits To Maximize Productivity

What could you do with 11 or more hours a week? A recent study by Unit4 indicated many of us lose up to 25% of our productivity each week due to a lack of streamlining our workflow or effectively using smart phone applications.

Luckily for you and me, organization isn’t an attribute you’re born with, but a skill you can learn. And many of us can learn more! Proof? A poll by Office Depot found that 82% of people felt the more organized they were, the better they performed.

Here are five techniques to maximize your productivity, which one will you add to your portfolio this week?

Goals Up & Visual

Since you have invested time knowing and documenting what you want to achieve this year in your business and your personal life, why leave it hidden in a drawer or a closed book?

Out of sight quickly becomes out of mind. Up and visual is a proven technique to drive goal attainment.

Tip: Keep important information up and visible

There’s An APP for that 

While there is an APP for just about anything, many of us can benefit simply by using the basic functions of your smart phone – Calendar, Notes, Reminders, and Voice Memo.

For example, setting reminders in your calendar for project deadlines. You can start with the deadline when the project must be completed and submitted, then work backward from there to set alerts for project components all along the way. You can even set additional notices to remind you to check on the progress, particularly if you are awaiting input from other people or teams. You’ll never be caught off-guard by a huge project again.

Tip: Leverage your SMART phone Calendar; Notes; Reminders and Voice Memo. 

Use the 80/20 Rule 

When creating time blocks, use the 80/20 Rule to organize your schedule. The 80/20 rule is based around the idea that 20% of your work tends to produce 80% of your results. Productive workers identify their most important 20% tasks and organize their workday around getting them done first and foremost. The rest can be handled later or delegated, automated or eliminated.

Each time block contains a single task and an allotted amount of time for completing it. As we know, work EXPANDS to the time allotted! Scheduling your most essential tasks for the morning (or at those times when you’re the most productive) is one habit the most productive have mastered.

For most of us reading this, your most productive time block is described with this acrostic: P.L.A.N. Prospecting, Lead generation, Appointments (setting and going on), and Negotiations.

Creating new appointments is your MONEYBALL. Knowing the number of appointments needed to drive your goal and working backward is a high value 80/20 rule activity.

Tip: Time block your high leverage activities. Stay out of the whirlwind.  

Adopt a System for Follow Up

In business, following up with leads and clients is crucial to success. All the money is in follow up. Lack of organized communication costs more than you think. A recent study showed that 2,000 real estate agents lost 55% of past clients’ new business due to lack of follow up. Many real estate professionals have utilized customer relationship management systems (CRMs) that are used to follow up and keep leads, past clients, and other tasks focused and organized.

Tip: A strong focus on executing systems that make follow up a no brainer.  

Multitasking is a big lie.  

Contrary to popular belief, study after study shows that multitasking slows down a person’s productivity rather than speeds it up. It can also lead to all-around subpar results.

Why?

When we multitask, our brains can’t think in an organized way. We end up expending a lot of energy by switching our focus back and forth. Those that are highly productive recognize this and make it a habit to do one thing at a time. Even though their phone, for example, might be a vital part of your business, when something needs to get done, put all your focus – for a 45-minute time block – on the task at hand and put your device to the side in airplane mode. The same goes for all other distractors.

Tip: Singularity of focus for 45-minute or less time blocks (the average attention span for an adult) 

Peter Drucker said it best, “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all. Until we can manage our time, we can manage nothing else.”

 

 

JPAR Gives Agents Cut of New Mortgage Venture

JPAR Gives Agents Cut of New Mortgage Venture

JP & Associates REALTORS® (JPAR) announced a joint mortgage venture with fintech startup Avenu and its IntroLend platform.

Introlend is an app that allows the consumer to receive mortgage offers from their different sources, including a wholesale lender that works with the company. JPAR is creating its own limited liability corporation to launch its own branded platform, where agents can buy into owning a piece of the platform.

Agents make money off of the success of the company because they become owners. This means they won’t be violating the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), according to Geoff Lewis, the president of Vesuvius Holdings, the parent company of JPAR. Agents won’t be directly steering a consumer to a specific lender in exchange for a kickback fee. They are presenting the consumer with mortgage offers from three different lenders and can even recommend lenders they have a previous relationship with for inclusion in the app.

“They’re not directly receiving dividends based on the deals they actually refer to the mortgage entity,” Lewis said. “If they have a lender they like working with, a loan officer that’s their favorite, they can invite that loan officer to participate in IntroLend.”

Participation is currently available to JPAR agents in Texas on the corporate and franchise side, but the company is working on getting licensed in more states.

Participation is open to agents that have been with JPAR for at least one year. Each unit is priced at $500 and escalates based on the length of time with JPAR. If you’ve been with JPAR for one year, you can buy-in at up to $1000, 2 years-$5000, three years-$10,000, and four years-$20,000. These levels are the maximum that can be invested.

The venture is expected to scale quickly and provide a nice return for agents.

“One of the things that we’ve said all along is that we’re a next-generation brokerage,” Lewis said. “We’re innovative, cutting edge and agent-centric with our 100 percent commission, transaction fee model.”

The launch of IntroLend is another service in addition to iBuyer, an amazing tech platform, and the agent healthcare offerings and will allow JPAR to continue the massive growth it is seeing in the space.
“This is just another innovation that shows we’re focused on being agent-centric and we believe this will be very important in recruiting and retaining agents,” Lewis added.

Allowing agents to buy into ownership of the mortgage company is the thing that makes this program unique from other IntroLend platform partners.

About JP & Associates REALTORS®
At JP & Associates REALTORS® we’ve built a company that focuses on putting agents first. Opening in 2011, JPAR is taking the real estate industry by storm and earning accolades such as Top 10 Hottest Franchise (according to Inc.), a three-time Inc. 5000 honoree (2019: #1004), and the Fastest Growing 100% Commission Brokerage and Franchise in the USA (according to Real Trends 500). Since offering franchise services in 2018, JPAR has expanded to 8 states in addition to the brokerage in Texas.

JPAR operates multiple offices across Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona, New Mexico, and Florida, is expanding nationwide, and offers franchising opportunities for entrepreneurial real estate professionals.

To learn more about becoming an agent or franchising visit http://www.jpar.com.

I Hear It Almost Daily From Someone, “I’m overwhelmed!”

I Hear It Almost Daily From Someone, “I’m overwhelmed!”

Our work lives have become more demanding, presenting us with more complex challenges at a relentless pace. Add in your personal needs, family needs, and other commitments, and it’s easy to feel always overwhelmed. For most of us, the typical response to growing workloads is to work harder and put in longer hours, rather than to step back and examine and find a new way of operating. 

The cognitive impact of feeling overwhelmed continuously can range from mental slowness, forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or thinking logically, to a racing mind or an impaired ability to problem solve. When we have too many demands over an extended period of time, cognitive fatigue kicks in. The effect makes us less productive and leaves us feeling even more overwhelmed. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, here are some key strategies to try:

  • Simply Stop. 

Have the courage to stop what you’re doing. Give yourself the time and space to slow down, so you can see the bigger picture and get a handle on things. Regather yourself. Center yourself so that you have the energy to make wiser, healthier decisions.

  • Get clear on your priorities. 

Taking time to contemplate your priorities is key to having focused flow. What’s most important to you right now? How do you want to run your business and live your life on a day-to-day basis? Look at the bigger picture and how you want to spend your time and energy. 

  • Let go 

Lin Yutang said, “besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom in business consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” What don’t you need to do? What can you automate, delegate, or eliminate? 

  • Commit to less. 

Having too much to do often has to do with unrealistic goal setting and over-committing your time and energy. Are you overly ambitious? Are you not being realistic about your goals and what you can do?

  • Say NO more often.

People who are overwhelmed spread their energy too thinly. Often, it’s hard for them to say “no” because they fear disappointing others. When you feel scattered and pulled apart in a lot of different directions, are you willing to pull yourself back in and say “no” to others? Are you ready to get more comfortable saying no?

  • Limit yourself. 

Be willing to focus on just a few things at a time. Put limits on certain activities that aren’t important. By limiting your time and energy for specific endeavors, and not allowing yourself to get lost in the day-to-day, you can create more time and space in your life. Limit the number of emails, FB time, talk time, any activities that consume the unproductive time in your life. The paradox is that by creating more discipline and limitation in your life, you create greater freedom.

  • Re-imagine a new schedule.

Imagine a new lifestyle from scratch. If you made your business effectiveness, health, and happiness a priority, what would a perfect day look like? What would an ideal week look like?’ 

Being overwhelmed is not a fact — it’s a state of consciousness that limits your freedom and happiness. It requires a shift in perspective. Often, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re over-thinking everything that needs to get done. You’ve lost yourself, and you’re no longer present. 

Instead of seeing the things outside of you having power over you, be willing to stop and regather yourself. Bring yourself back to the present moment. Remember that you have a choice about the way you want to feel.

 

 

I Hear It Almost Daily From Someone, “I’m overwhelmed!”

I Hear It Almost Daily From Someone, “I’m overwhelmed!”

Our work lives have become more demanding, presenting us with more complex challenges at a relentless pace. Add in your personal needs, family needs, and other commitments, and it’s easy to feel always overwhelmed. For most of us, the typical response to growing workloads is to work harder and put in longer hours, rather than to step back and examine and find a new way of operating. 

The cognitive impact of feeling overwhelmed continuously can range from mental slowness, forgetfulness, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or thinking logically, to a racing mind or an impaired ability to problem solve. When we have too many demands over an extended period of time, cognitive fatigue kicks in. The effect makes us less productive and leaves us feeling even more overwhelmed. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, here are some key strategies to try:

  • Simply Stop. 

Have the courage to stop what you’re doing. Give yourself the time and space to slow down, so you can see the bigger picture and get a handle on things. Regather yourself. Center yourself so that you have the energy to make wiser, healthier decisions.

  • Get clear on your priorities. 

Taking time to contemplate your priorities is key to having focused flow. What’s most important to you right now? How do you want to run your business and live your life on a day-to-day basis? Look at the bigger picture and how you want to spend your time and energy. 

  • Let go 

Lin Yutang said, “besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom in business consists in the elimination of nonessentials.” What don’t you need to do? What can you automate, delegate, or eliminate? 

  • Commit to less. 

Having too much to do often has to do with unrealistic goal setting and over-committing your time and energy. Are you overly ambitious? Are you not being realistic about your goals and what you can do?

  • Say NO more often.

People who are overwhelmed spread their energy too thinly. Often, it’s hard for them to say “no” because they fear disappointing others. When you feel scattered and pulled apart in a lot of different directions, are you willing to pull yourself back in and say “no” to others? Are you ready to get more comfortable saying no?

  • Limit yourself. 

Be willing to focus on just a few things at a time. Put limits on certain activities that aren’t important. By limiting your time and energy for specific endeavors, and not allowing yourself to get lost in the day-to-day, you can create more time and space in your life. Limit the number of emails, FB time, talk time, any activities that consume the unproductive time in your life. The paradox is that by creating more discipline and limitation in your life, you create greater freedom.

  • Re-imagine a new schedule.

Imagine a new lifestyle from scratch. If you made your business effectiveness, health, and happiness a priority, what would a perfect day look like? What would an ideal week look like?’ 

Being overwhelmed is not a fact — it’s a state of consciousness that limits your freedom and happiness. It requires a shift in perspective. Often, when you’re feeling overwhelmed, you’re over-thinking everything that needs to get done. You’ve lost yourself, and you’re no longer present. 

Instead of seeing the things outside of you having power over you, be willing to stop and regather yourself. Bring yourself back to the present moment. Remember that you have a choice about the way you want to feel.

 

 

Fear… The Danger Of Being Too Controlling

Fear… The Danger Of Being Too Controlling

Working with business owners just like you, there is one thing I’ve discerned: if you want to grow your real estate practice, you’ve got to learn to let go of any task that doesn’t set you apart from the competition.

What stops you from doing this?

FEAR is the problem! 

And fear leads to being, a control freak. Fear – in the case I’m writing about – fear is just “False Evidence Appearing Real!” 

In the type of unhealthy fear, I’m talking about:

  • Fear sees only the downside
  • Fear doesn’t let you stop to think it through
  • Fear tells us to avoid anything new or unknown
  • Fear constricts rather than expands who we are
  • Fear obscures your intuition
  • Fear often keeps us from making any decision at all

Unhealthy fear holds you back. Unhealthy fear leads you to want extraordinary control over every process. So how do you release some fear, give up some control when this is something most of us typically resist? First, let’s set up an example.

In our world, one of the biggest fears is hiring your first assistant or delegating your files to a transaction coordinator. The excuse? “Well Mark, they won’t do it as I do it. I need to CONTROL everything.”

Consider this… when you automate, delegate or eliminate you can focus on what sets you apart from the competition. 

When you hire or outsource to someone, even if they do it 75% as good as you do… you’ve still increased your capacity by 75%. Hire and outsource with 2 resources and you’ve increased your capacity by 150%. Make sense? 

Leverage works! 

So, the point being, so many of us hold back because we want to control everything, which leads to fear which leads to the fixed mindset thought that we must hire to perfection. 

Perfection is not a standard, progress is. 

A big friction point that keeps many of us in fear is cost. If you’re making $150,000 annually and hiring an assistant for $40,000 a year plus bonuses, the natural questions are: “will I be able to support it?” A logical and valid question. Watch this.

The solution has some pain 

In our real estate practices, when we focus on overcoming a challenge that is perceived as a threat, such as an unfavorable change in MLS rules, or unfair competition, that pain motivates us to eradicate the problem immediately. 

Conversely, when we focus on overcoming a challenge that is perceived as an opportunity, we are less inclined to take action. If you apply this same concept to control, it makes sense why most agents, team leaders, and broker-owners struggle with relinquishing it.

Most of us typically think about the opportunity associated with giving up control: 

  • Increased free time
  • Flexibility to engage in more meaningful activities 

It sounds logical. It sounds desirable. Yet this isn’t enough to motivate anyone of us to give up control.

Why? 

Because, on the flip side, there’s the pain or threat associated with giving up control: 

  • Increased errors
  • Reduced quality and upset clients. 

If people are wired to minimize pain, it makes sense why most agents, team leaders, and broker-owners are convinced they’re best served by doing everything themselves.

Learning To Let Go

So how can you address this dilemma? 

One way is to rethink the situation: Don’t think of giving up control as having the opportunity for more free time. Reframe it to focus on the downside or threat of not giving up control. Answer these three questions when you’re considering the pros and cons of giving up control:

  • What’s it costing you by not giving up control?
  • What will you lose by not giving up control?
  • What is the pain you’ll continue to endure if you don’t give up control?

These questions will help refocus your attention on where it needs to be to create action—on the pain associated with doing everything yourself. 

By focusing on the cost of not changing it, you’re more likely to take action. 

To reframe your view from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset: 

  • Write down all the costs associated with not giving up control 
  • Be creative yet be brutally honest. 

Keep those pains up and visual in your world, so you see them every day. Talk with others who have gone before you and discuss how you can minimize the risks associated with delegating work to others.

Bottom line: At JPAR we have a powerful template used to calculate the value of your time… because we know you’re capable of doing the tasks that make $100, $200, even thousands per hour. Meanwhile, you’re stuck doing the $20 per hour task. Automate those tasks first, delegate others by outsourcing or hiring the next tier of tasks. 

Only when the perceived pain associated with not giving up control is greater than the pain associated with giving up control will you be able to make a shift.

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