BarCamp Indiana featured a blog post from AccelaWork’s founder Robby Slaughter. The post discussed the correlation between real estate productivity and the telephone.
Unfortunately, that site is no longer online, but we were able to save an expert from his post “Real Productivity in Real Estate”:
In order for real estate professionals to improve their productivity with regard to incoming calls, start by recognizing the difference between your relationship with the phone and the person who is dialing. Unlike you, it’s likely that they don’t take part in dozens of calls each day. While you have every right to be busy, that potential customer does not automatically realize that their call is not the only one you receive today. This disparity is crucial and it gives you a reason to change your tactics.
Instead of answering the phone ready to help the client, consider answering the phone ready to schedule time to help the client. That appointment might be only five minutes in the future or the following day, but doing so immediately changes the character of the relationship. You are now working together rather than just answering a call. You now have a time-frame for mutual work and the beginnings of commitment.
Now you may be thinking that you aren’t in real estate. Sure enough, many of our readers aren’t. But that doesn’t mean that this can’t apply to your organization as well. It’s almost a guarantee that you’ve been faced with a seemingly never-ending series of disruptive phone calls.
Think about how often a single phone call pulls you out of the momentum of your working day. By always being ready to drop everything you’re doing in order to help someone on an incoming call, you’re prioritizing the caller’s time over your own. And sure, the call could potentially be done with in five minutes, but oftentimes what may seem like a five minute call drags on into a twenty minute ordeal. That can be extremely disruptive when you have more important work that has to be done. Even if calls are the most important thing you have to deal with, by picking the phone up with no idea what you’ll be discussing, you’ll be unprepared and likely unable to be as helpful as you ideally would be.
Actual phone calls aren’t the only culprit. Texts can be just as disruptive, if not more so. Simply having your phone sitting on your desk means the constant buzzing is going to leech your attention. It’s pretty hard to stay 100% focused while seeing the blinking notification light, even if you’re the most dedicated worker. Instead of leaping at every little notification, put your phone on silent and put it out of sight. Unless you’re expecting an important call, it’s likely that the texts you get about lunch plans or the afternoon Cubs game can probably wait.
If you’re actually good about managing your phone, then you can batch together appointments. By turning an incoming call into a scheduled appointment to properly focus on the call, you can enable yourself to manage your schedule much better. If you have three of these calls, you can try to sort them into the same hour. That shouldn’t be a problem if the problems really only should take five minutes to talk through, and then you have the built-in excuse of getting on another call if one of your conversations begins to uselessly drag on.
For more information on how you can create and maintain client relationships while improving productivity, contact our business process implementation consultants today! We love to help organizations like yours become more productive and more organized!