Hello fellow real estate brokers!
Just curious, what does your typical day look like?
Here’s how I typically spend my Fridays.
My day started at 5am. I slept by 9pm the previous night. I’m a growing kid – I need my 8 hours every night to function well the next day. I’m on zombie-mode when sleep deprived. But I am glad I got my 8 hours – I’m off to a good start!
I usually eat my oatmeal breakfast within the first hour of waking up. My bathroom rituals follow shortly. Now I am fresh and ready to work!
I cherish the morning silence. It’s the perfect backdrop for working on tasks requiring heavy duty thinking. A well rested brain makes work effortless. Hence, I accomplish more in the morning. Plus, finishing tasks early gives me an overwhelming sense of accomplishment that resonate the entire day. I’m feeling great!
“I need to clean my room!” My body jolted with the sudden realization of an unfinished task. We are moving houses in a few days. The A/C cleaners are scheduled today. So I need to move most of my books for him to have space to work on the A/C. Oh no! This takes so much time! I scolded myself for forgetting to allot time for the task.
Eden 101: I am the type who gets peeved by surprises. I work on a schedule, and when something throws me off schedule, I panic.
Done! I lost 20 minutes. Now I have to rush to school.
Fridays are school days. I teach Real Estate Management class at De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde. My class is a small group of 16 sophomore students with promising careers ahead of them. Class starts at 8am and ends at 11am.
Ask any of my students what’s the ultimate lesson that stuck to them most last semester – “Real Estate Brokers always arrive ahead of schedule.” 30 minutes ahead is early. 15 minutes ahead is on time. Arriving exactly on the dot is LATE. Being the teacher who was very strict about time, I have no license to be late, not even once.
But today was the day I broke my own rule. I was 15 minutes late! I hate the helplessness of running against time. I consoled myself justifying that it was my first… so I owned up to it, apologized to my students and moved on.
If there’s one thing my student’s appreciate – I allow eating in class. It was good advice by a co-teacher, considering that 8am is early for most people and skipping breakfast is common. By 11am, my class ended with my students and I fully satiated with an early lunch.
Another road block! My supposed 1130am meeting asked to move to 1pm. The problem? I have a 1pm meeting. Scheduling meetings is risky business. You don’t want to schedule them back to back for fear of being late to the next one. You also don’t want to schedule them too far away, lest you end up figuring out what to do while waiting.
“Sir Zaldy, I might arrive a little early, I’d be there 12nn is it ok to see the property earlier?” I am glad he said yes. Schedules switched and I am on time again. I take on the role of the lessee’s broker and my job is to assess a 1,500 sq m vacant lot for lease for a client. 45 minutes swiftly passed, measuring distances, taking a lot of photos, ascertaining lot boundaries and listing down everything that needs to go. The lot passed my assessment. Report writing will be done at home.
Good thing my 1pm agreed to a nearer meeting place. I arrived on the dot (late!) but no one seemed to mind. This time, I am the buyer’s broker for a client looking to purchase in bulk in the Bay area. The meeting’s objective is to strategize. They came too late because the development they want to buy was already sold out. My expertise with the developer processes and access to availability information came handy. I know my best bet is to focus my energies on resale units.
“Resales are typically sold at a mark-up. Owners want to lock in profits immediately. How much more than launch prices are you willing to add per unit?” – Eden
A figure was given. All I have to do is to devise a compelling script, make an irresistible offer and call my colleagues who sold most unit in the desired development.
One tip on co-brokership: You’d get more positive responses if you already have most of the work done. In this case, a solid compelling script was already forwarded to them. All they have to do is pick up the phone and deliver the script I prepared verbatim. Tell them exactly what you want, and you’d get exact responses.
Our second option was to wait on reopened units. This is quite tedious but we need to cover all the bases. Reservation agreements were signed and checks were given. Once an available units pop up, I am ready.
Another essential tip: In my mind, I already know what they want via several calls and pointed questions. But I knew better to not make assumptions for my client. Always offer alternatives. The best brokers are trained to ask more detailed questions to narrow down their requirements down to a laser focus.
“What if we can’t get units in this tower, what are your other options?” – Eden
“We also like the newly launched project by another developer.” – Client
“Bingo! What do you think about this developer?” – Eden
“Oh, that’s too far from the bay, we want units nearer the bay” – Client
“How about these older units near the mall? Is that something you’d consider?” – Eden
“At the right price, we can make an offer.” – Client
Suddenly, our options opened up like Pandora’s box. All I have to do is execute.
You’d hate me for saying this, but I was off to another meeting on another very tight schedule. It was a technology training in the head office. It started at 1pm. I arrived at 3pm. I really wasn’t required to attend, so my tardiness didn’t affect me even one tiny bit. My sole purpose for showing up was to support our staff who needs the training and I’d like to think that my objective was achieved – with an hour left to learn.
Anyone who drives in Makati knows that you have to get out of the city before rush hour hits. The training ended at 4pm. Here’s one trait common to brokers – we are very chatty. We have to! It is part of our job! So when a group of brokers congregate in one place, conversations never end. Right after the group photos, I excused myself out. It was 415pm. I know! I am running against time again!
Lady luck was on my side this time. I got in the car right before the rain poured. Whew! I got out of Makati right before the rush started. I got home at 5pm.
I went right straight to bed to rest a bit. My nap extended to an hour. My husband prepared a lovely dinner that we enjoyed with our light banter and a healthy dose of discussion about work. (He is a broker too!)
By 7pm, I sat on my workstation to churn out a few reports. A quick email and phone check was done to ensure I didn’t leave any unanswered messages. A few phone inquiries broke the monotony.
A broker’s day isn’t like your regular 8-5 job. Work doesn’t end when you leave the confines of your office. As long as you’re connected to your phone and laptop, you’re working! But hey, I won’t trade this for my previous regular employment.
A broker’s biggest enemy is himself. It is so easy to lie down in bed when you’re working from home. I consider myself lucky to have a husband with impeccable work ethic that I try to imbibe. “Why are you lying in bed? What time is it? It’s still working time right?” I just laugh now how I hated him that time for making me feel bad about resting in our own house. But I knew he meant well. The realization came belatedly. I matured a lot owing to the company I keep and the work I decide to take on. I am glad to have people courageously correct me on the spot in my face. I can count those who does that to me with a single hand – I am blessed to have them in my life.
Friday was a long day. But it was a day well spent. 8pm came and I was off to dreamland.
PS. I have one BIG REALIZATION reading this blog entry – I am too concerned with how I spend my time! I know very well down to the last minute where I was, what I was doing, how much time I spend in a task and how much time I am off-schedule. It is ok to be productive, just don’t be overly concerned about it. No wonder I felt tired.
Journaling helps, mate! (It makes you realize how crazy you are without you noticing it during that moment.)
I need to loosen up a bit! Any suggestions?