Paying to Park
68 years ago this week in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the first parking meter made its debut. The device is used to let drivers know how long they can park their car in specific spots, usually along a curb in a metropolitan area or sometimes in parking spaces. When the owner of the vehicle goes beyond the time frame on the meter, they are likely to receive a parking ticket and might even get booted or towed.
Are you spending too much time on certain tasks and not seeing a positive ROI?
How much time are you spending on business support activities instead of business development activities?
Do you sit in the office all day, waiting for business to come to you?
It seems like Realtors could really benefit by adopting a “parking meter mentality” for many of their daily activities. Imagine each day when you arrive in the office (or hit your home office) that you have to put a certain amount of money in the meter for each task.
Loose Change Needed
Some should be considered a “loading zone” and only require 10 minutes of your time. These might be social media check-ins, checking voice mails and scanning through emails. After ten minutes, determine priorities, add them to your “to do list” or delegate things to someone else. Then move your car. You’ve got places to go today.
For other tasks, like daily lead generation, it would be ideal to “feed the meter” and really make something happen. When you have maxed out the meter, you don’t get overly anxious that you’re going to get towed or get a ticket.
Use that same approach to make sure you have time for some stress-free follow-up to past clients and appointment setting with potential leads. Block out a solid hour or more each day to prospect with just one thing on your mind – setting an appointment with someone who is ready to buy or sell…or know someone who is.
Sometimes you pull up to a meter and the person before you left a lot of time on it.
These are similar to those moments when unexpected opportunities arise because you put yourself in the right place at the right time. The more you are getting out in front of people, the more opportunity you will have to find those open meters.
Avoiding the Boot
If you leave your car in a space for too long and your meter has expired, there’s a chance a police office could put a boot on your tire. It usually doesn’t happen after one expired meter but these can begin to add up and sooner or later, the authorities will place the device on the tire so you cannot move your car until the parking fines have been paid.
Imagine if you spent too much time parked in spots that weren’t helping you move forward? Hanging out with the wrong crowd, staying away from the office or other business locations where you might glean ideas or inspiration or sticking with those pesky clients who will never make up their mind are all parking spots to avoid. Sometimes people who get booted are just lazy, not aware of what’s happening around them or don’t have much care for what happens next.
Getting “booted” in our business slows you down and gets your frustrated. You don’t actually pay fines but your lack of business that is caused by these activities (or lack thereof) still depletes your checking account and costs you money.
Snagging the Perfect Spot
Ever been driving around the block looking for an open spot but everything is full. You could drive way down the street and park in the expensive garage but you say you’ll give it one more shot. As you turn the corner, you see a car pulling out in they are right in front of the building you’re headed to. It’s almost as if the stars aligned.
In real estate, those “perfect spots” are the open house that attracts 3 new buyers or that floor duty time when a Seller just walks in. It might be when your barber says he just cut the hair of a client whose Mom needs to sell her home or the bartender asks for one of your cards because a friend is looking to buy some investment properties.
The key to finding them is to keep moving and be ready to jump when you something opens up.
It’s time to build relationships, solve problems and have fun this week.
As you head out to work this week, be sure to add a few more coins to your ashtray. You never know when you’re going to need to find a spot to park but it helps if you’re ready when you do. Just don’t park in the wrong spot or spend too much time there. It could cost you because on the road to success, time limits are strictly enforced.
Photo Credit: Derek Gavey via Creative Commons