Tonight, I agreed to show a property to a new client although they failed to complete their pre-approval appointment earlier in the day. I know better than to waste my time with someone who is not pre-approved, however I felt bad because we already had an appointment and they feared they would lose the property to another bidder. Also, I am trying to double my real estate income this year. So, I acquiesced. Lesson learned. Possible tragedy averted.
I wasted over two hours driving 25 miles to the appointment learning along the way that the client’s fiancé was going to be an additional 40 minutes late, beyond the hour already delayed. Our appointment had been for 6pm, but I had let it slide an hour to accommodate the client’s fiancé. Meanwhile the short winter day was ending. In real estate, it helps to tour homes in the light of day, particularly if it is a HUD house with no electricity as this was probable in this case. My trusty GPS app, Waze (if you haven’t tried Waze, I encourage you to do so. I find it seriously impossible to do forensic engineering and real estate without this tool!) sent me down a dark road, then a right, then a left, and then directed me to turn right onto a dirt road flanked with mobile homes on either side. The dirt road seemingly ended at a utility corridor with massive power line towers, but Waze directions continued to advise me to turn onto a road named Pumpkin Road, I kid you not. The HUD house in question was not on Pumpkin Road nor was the proper road showing up on my Waze map. I faced power line easement with GPS spitting out directions, yet no more road to travel. I pulled the plug immediately. I whipped my car around and hit my phone speaker to record a text telling the client the appointment would have to be rescheduled as it was dark and my GPS was not functioning. The client said she was at a house nearby and begged not to cancel because they didn’t want to lose the house. At that point, I didn’t care. If they couldn’t bother to get pre-approved, then it really wasn’t that important to them. I advised the client the showing would require daylight and that she couldn’t bid without pre-approval anyway.
The Pareto principle says 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Tim Ferriss author of Tools of Titans, Four Hour Work Week, and the associated Four Hour Body, Chef and other topics!) uses Pareto Principle to weed out W4W or ‘work for work’s sake.’ John Assaraf says that you need to focus on the revenue-generating activities. And Napoleon Hill asks in his Organized Planning chapter of Think And Grow Rich, “How much time have I devoted to unprofitable effort which I might have used to better advantage? How many times do we have to be told this? I wasted over 2 hours helping a client who refused to help themselves first by following directions and getting prepared to submit an offer. Although acknowledging I was responsible for the wasted time, I became angry. I became greedy, greedy of my time.
Lessons cost you, but save you so much in the future. Get greedy with your time. Last year I made a New Year’s resolution to eliminate activities that suck time and energy while giving nothing. Some examples of this were my eight year term on a transportation planning organization’s Citizen Advisory Committee. It was a wonderful and worthy volunteer organization that provided contacts and information when I needed it for my job. But as I moved on from that job years before, I no longer needed the contacts and the information was no longer valuable to me. It was now a multi-hour waste of time once a month. I was also a Community Advisory Board member for a local television station. I participated for a year although the meeting schedule was difficult and the meetings were very long. This was an interest-based attempt to get out and participate more in local civic organizations. However it brought no meaningful revenue or contacts. And it was downright boring. I resigned and excised both activities from my schedule. I continued to wipe out meetings and events I felt obligated to attend but did not enjoy. Now I do have philanthropic activities I enjoy, such as volunteering with my college sorority Alpha Delta Pi for the Ronald McDonald House for families with sick children. Monthly, we provide dinners for the families staying while their children undergo treatment at nearby Nemours Children Specialty Care, UF Health Center, Wolfson’s Children Hospital, Brook’s Rehabilitation, and UF Health Proton Therapy Institute, Mayo Clinic among other medical facilities in Jacksonville, Florida. I did not eliminate this from my schedule as I value volunteering at Ronald McDonald House; however a difficult expansion program made volunteering extremely time-consuming and difficult and I pulled back my volunteering hours temporarily. I will continue to volunteer, however at a slightly different level.
In addition to eliminating activities I no longer felt aligned with my goals; I reduced clutter and downsized my house. I feel freer to pursue interests and passions. I feel less stressed. I feel I have time to enjoy my family and friends more. I have learned to say no. I have learned to skip meetings or events when I don’t feel like it. And I have learned to be greedy of my time. I highly recommend it. There is a popular saying, “If you say you CAN’T, what you really mean is you WON’T.” Don’t let “CAN’T” trap you. And don’t believe “I have to” is any different than “I can’t.” Think about that.
Next blog, I will apply this to the people who surround you! The “I have to’s” fall away here as well. Be in control of you!
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Post Script: I found out the next day that a cash offer had already been submitted and accepted on the property during the previous day!