Posts tagged training
What Happened When I Paused My Inbox

I’ve known for a long time what how time-consuming checking email can be. In the real estate industry, people tend to leave email open all day long, never giving themselves a chance to get anything else done. A few years ago, I found that if I started limiting the amount of time I had my email open to 20 minutes at a time, I got the same amount of work done in email and way more work done in the rest of my business.

As an experiment, I decided to try a more extreme version of this same principle: checking email twice a day. I put an auto-responder up letting people know my plan:

"Thanks for emailing! I’m trying something new to increase my productivity and I will only be checking email twice a day.

My email will be monitored while I’m working on other tasks, but if this is urgent you may call me at the number below."

So what happened?

#1 – Nobody Cared

Despite a common belief in real estate that we all must respond immediately to every request, very few of us actually hold others to this standard. No one expressed anger or frustration with me delaying my responses a few hours. In fact, most people said nothing at all.

#2 – People Were Envious and Inspired

The few times someone did mention my auto-responder, they usually said something like, “Good job, I wish I could do that.” Others told me they’d been considering something similar for a while, and felt inspired to finally give it a shot.

#3 – I Got More Done

As expected, I got a lot more serious work done when I wasn’t wasting hours on email. Despite waiting half the day for the inbox to fill up, I was still spending less than 30 minutes in my inbox during my two scheduled check-in periods. This left the rest of the day for important meetings, discussions, and focused work.

Eventually I stopped putting up the auto-responder and allowed myself a bit more freedom in my email time. In the end it’s not about twice a day versus 20 times a day, it’s about you controlling your email instead of your email controlling you. Too many people assume they can’t do this, or can’t do it unless they have an assistant to screen the inbox “just in case.” But even without outside help, you can still be proactive about the time you spend in your inbox. If twice a day seems too drastic, try checking it every two hours. You’ll still be very response and catch things quickly, but in between you’ll have more than 90 minutes of focus to work on your business.

Did you know that email is the most cited productivity killer? Check out these steps to help increase your own productivity on

Written by Matt van Winkle, CEO RE/MAX Northwest

Listing Presentation Dos & Don’ts

 Lately, we’ve been revamping listing presentations here at RE/MAX Northwest. After running a few collaborative seminars and checking in with our agents about what they do, we came up with some tips that seem to be applicable across the board.



be prepared for a listing appointment to come up at any moment

If you are waiting until you book a listing appointment to finish your presentation, you are putting yourself at risk. Be ready to take the opportunity as soon as it presents itself. This will also protect you in case an appointment comes up while you’re in the middle of another difficult transaction and can’t give much time to your preparation.



forget about bad comps

When looking for comps on a property, you may have found a house that you knew wasn’t a fair comparison. Just because you knew to throw it out doesn’t mean the client or another agent will. Be prepared to justify why you don’t think a certain property should be included in price calculations.



treat every listing as competitive

Even when talking to your own past clients, never assume you’re a shoe-in. You don’t have to give a hard sell to close friends, but make sure they know you’re serious about what you do.



trash talk other agents

Being nice means respectfully disagreeing. Use phrases like, “I understand where that price estimate is coming from, but I would suggest listing lower because…” It’s possible to counter what another agent says without calling them wrong or stupid. Be the bigger person – it’s a sign of a true professional.



ask about their expectations and motivation

If they have an unrealistic price or timeline in mind, you want to know that right away. For new clients, ask why they aren’t using the agent who sold them the house. Always find out why they are selling, and what’s most important to them (a minimum price? A quick close?). Knowing what matters most to your potential clients gives you the chance to highlight how you can help them.



offer a price right away

If possible, save the price for a second appointment, or follow-up call/email – it’s another opportunity to build rapport and strengthen the relationship. If you feel like you need to give them an answer at the first appointment, wait until you’ve already sold them on you and your approach. It should be one of the last things you talk about. If the client is pushing for a number (or telling you that the last agent they interviewed gave them a number), try suggesting a large range and explain why choosing the right price is important and can’t be rushed.



get rejected

If you get every listing you try for, you aren’t going for very competitive listings. The science is clear: we learn best from our mistakes. If you’re getting everything you try for, you’re not pushing yourself.



treat a listing as a “buyer machine”

Sellers are clients, not just a way to get your phone ringing. Buyer leads are a great benefit of listing a home, but your priority should always be the client you already have.



leave them with something

Whether it’s a copy of your testimonials, a professionally printed presentation, or an outline of your marketing program, make sure you're memorable by leaving a little something behind.