Email Anxiety are the current buzzwords in the world of corporate productivity. It is estimated 25% of performance reduction is the result of email anxiety.
What does this mean for you in your real estate business?
Likely, you could recover several hours per week to make room for more productive and enjoyable activities if you were willing to change some habits, shift a few beliefs and manage your email in a different and more effective manner.
It may not be easy as most of us have become attached to the importance of answering emails in zero time. In fact, the expectation of an immediate response to emails is well documented in real estate journals but I can tell you for sure, most of my top performers do not prioritize emails above other, more productive activities.
Want to give it a try? Here are 8 simple steps to get you out of the email anxiety pit:
- End every day with an empty or near empty in box.
- Set 3-5 times per day that you will look at and process emails. Do this when you have the time to triage the messages using the TRAF method. (see step 4)
- Tell your clients, prospects and colleagues this is when you will respond. Managing their expectations is the key to success with this system.
- Systemize your email triage. Try TRAF (I borrowed this from Harvard). T is trash it, R is refer or delegate it, A is take action if it will take less than 2 minutes and F is file it.
- Drag and drop emails to files allocated to tasks and appointments (keep that inbox under control)
- Don’t use your Inbox as a task list. Use your task files for that.
- Eliminate or disable email alerts on all devices.
- Change your outlook view to calendar and only go to your email at the times scheduled in step 2.
Many reasons will come to you as to why you can’t change your system to something more productive that will lead to higher performance. I’ve heard hundreds of reasons and here are a few examples; “Leads expect immediate responses”, “I negotiate offers by email and need to respond immediately”, “My team needs access to me at all times”. The list goes on.
The difference between mediocre and exceptional agents is merely the willingness to see things in new ways, build systems that improve productivity and have the courage to stand behind them in the light of resistance and criticism because the people around you don’t like change either.