• How To Prevent Realtor Burnout: The 5-Step Reset

    EPISODE 63

    How To Prevent Realtor Burnout: The 5-Step Reset

    Listen Now:

    Episode Transcript:

    Hey there and thanks for tuning in to the women rocking real estate show. If you’re new here, welcome I’m your host Jen Percival and I’m all about helping agents start, grow and scale real estate businesses in a way that feels aligned with how you want to build your business.

    For those of you that have been loyal listeners since the beginning, it has been two years now since my youngest son was diagnosed with a rare disease and you know that the process we went through to get to that diagnosis was pure torture. But you also know that it was a very powerful life lesson for me, that I promised myself I would never forget. If you’re new here on the other hand and you’re someone who struggles with overworking and feeling like you’re not really getting to enjoy your life as much as you’d like, especially if you’re a parent, I highly encourage you to go back and take a listen to that episode. It was number 42.

    So one of the small ways I want to keep that life lesson alive and active in my life is to always dedicate February’s episode to ways that we can find more balance and boundaries in our businesses to prevent burnout, but even more importantly to bring more presence and perspective into our businesses and our lives.

    Now this time of year usually feels like a fresh start for many people. We all have great intentions and hopes that this year will be different and better than last. So it’s not typically a time of year that most people struggle with burnout. But here’s the thing…..If we felt it before and haven’t done anything about it that had staying power (and staying power is the key), then it’s just a matter of time before it rears its ugly head again.

    So instead of being reactive and doing a reset when you’ve hit rock bottom and absolutely need one, be proactive and do one before you need it.

    Now I also know there’s lots of you listening that are just getting started in the business and you may be thinking that this episode isn’t relevant for you because you’re not busy enough to be burntout yet, but I want you to shelve that belief. For starters, One of my mottos in life is to start as you wish to go on. Which means however you want to end, that’s the way you need to start. If we’re not intentional about what that looks like, we end up developing bad habits along the way and it’s much harder to undo bad habits, than it is to start with good ones right from the beginning.

    The second reason this episode will still be relevant, is that resets are really helpful for everyone and aren’t only for when you’re feeling burnt out. The steps are also really beneficial if you’re struggling to take consistent action or it feels like you’re not making traction. So whichever boat you fall into – it’s usually one or the other – you either don’t have enough business and you’re struggling to take action or you’ve got lots of business and have no life. Either end of that spectrum can be treated with resets. So although the examples I’ll be talking about relate to agents who struggle with overworking, the steps I outline can be applied to those at the other end of the spectrum too.

    Alright with that, let’s dive in….

    As I mentioned, I personally hit a wall in the fall last year. I had started the year off (like I do every year) with a very clear picture of what I wanted to accomplish, how I wanted to structure my business, who I wanted to work with, when I wanted to work and most importantly WHY all of that was important to me. I liken it to getting on a train with a clear action plan and clear direction of where you want to go and who will be coming with you on that train. The rails are there to help keep you on track.

    Well it was like I woke up one day in the fall and realized I had no idea where I even was or how I got there… and it was NOT where I had intended to be, nor wanted to be. Everything I had set out to do, had gone off the rails and I was headed in a totally different direction that wasn’t even on the same train train track that I’d started out on. Now when I say that, I don’t mean that my business wasn’t doing well. It was doing fantastic, but it was once again at the expense of balance and it just wasn’t what I had set out to do.

    And I don’t know about you, but when things go off the rails for me, it’s not just my business that gets affected. It affects everything. Everything seems to go off the rails. My health, my relationships, my happiness. I suddenly woke up and realized I was attracting the wrong people, I wasn’t spending time with the right people, my morning routine had disappeared – I had stopped brain priming, I stopped doing the things I love – like playing tennis and cooking. I wasn’t eating well, I wasn’t exercising. I was getting pulled into drama, I wasn’t spending enough time with my kids and was distracted and not present when I was with them, I was fighting with my husband over stupid shit and I was feeling anxious and on edge all the time.

    Basically I felt like I’d lost all the progress I’d made over the past few years. But the one thing I did know, was that I’d been here before. This was not my first rodeo with getting off track and feeling burnout. I’d done big resets before and I knew I could do it again.

    So step #1 is simply to recognize you need a reset.

    Step 1 – Recognize Your Need To Reset

    The first step in any recovery program is admitting to yourself that there’s a problem. For those of you that are already feeling completely burnt out or are on the brink of it, you’ll be able to recognize the need to reset easily. It’s obvious to you. But for those of you that aren’t there yet, it’s really helpful to be aware of the signs that it’s coming for you in the future.

    The first thing that everyone should do regularly is to go back to your big why. WHY did you get into real estate in the first place? What were you hoping it would allow you to do and to have in your life?

    When I got into real estate….

    1. I thought it would allow me to have more freedom. To work less hours and to work the hours when I wanted, instead of being trapped at an office 9-5pm.
    2. I thought it would allow me to spend more time with my kids and be able to volunteer in their school and go on class field trips.
    3. I thought it would give me more financial freedom to be able to take family vacations and buy a second home that we could enjoy on weekends and in the summer.

    In reality however, until I finally figured out how to structure my business properly, I ended up working WAY more hours than I had in my corporate career and it was always in the evenings and on the weekends when my kids were home. Yes I did get to volunteer in their class, but I missed dinners and bath time and bedtime and all of their weekend activities in exchange.

    Yes it did allow me a lot of financial freedom, but I was never able to enjoy those family vacations because I was always preoccupied on my phone dealing with issues. When I took stock of where I had wanted to be vs. where I was, I realized where I had ended up, did not align with WHY I got into the business in the first place and I knew that if I didn’t change things, it was only going to get worse.

    So ask yourself these questions even if you’re not feeling burnout yet, to see whether a reset would either help you course correct now or whether you need to make some changes moving forward to prevent burnout from happening.

    1. Do you enjoy how you’re spending your time? Do you have enough time to do the things you love outside of work? Do you spend your time at work doing the things you love or are you giving away your most precious resource (time) to things you don’t enjoy or aren’t good at?
    2. Are you fully present when you’re with your friends and family?
    3. Can you go on a vacation and actually enjoy yourself without working?
    4. Are you attracting the right types of clients who you enjoy working with?
      Or are you finding yourself attracting people who you can’t please? Or people who don’t value your opinion or take your advice?
    5. Do you have a predictable schedule where you own your hours or are you a pop tart agent that jumps up and stops doing whatever you were doing to cater to your clients every demand? No judgment, I was one too.
    6. Do you find yourself resenting the business and the constant fire fighting?
    7. Do you find yourself agreeing to things and taking on things you wish you’d said no to?
    8. Do things sometimes go wrong in your deals and if you dig deep you know there was something that could have been done to prevent it, but you were too busy or didn’t have the systems or processes set up to prevent it?
    9. Do you find yourself repeating the same things or doing the same things over and over again and you KNOW you could be running your business
      more efficiently?

    Depending on how many of those questions you were nodding yes to, will tell you if a reset would be worthwhile. If you answered yes to a lot of them, then you know a reset would not only be helpful, but is necessary. If you know in your heart that your business is not on a path where you it to be and that things either need to change now or will need to change in the future, decide today that you’re going to go back to the station to pick a different destination.

    Now the problem with doing a reset however, is that you can’t just get back on the train you’d intended in the beginning. When you’re on a completely different track, you have to stop your train, go back to the station and start over again on a different track. And for most people, that is just too hard, so they stay on the same track hoping it will take them where they want to go eventually. But here’s the truth and you already know this….It won’t. The only way to get back on track is to recognize that you’re not on the right one and to acknowledge that you’re going to need to do a hard reset if you want anything to change in the future.

    The next problem is that changing things means you have to slow down in order to speed up and that can be very scary, especially for agents that have patterns of overachieving and overworking. You’ve got to recognize that usually a pattern of being a workaholic stems from underlying and unconscious beliefs around security and fears of scarcity. If we slow down to fix things, that may mean we have to turn away business and if we turn away business, what if it dries up? It’s that fear that keeps us stuck, so we just keep going on the same train to unhappyville, taking on more and more business, because we’re afraid to stop and set things up the way they need to be set up, to set us up for the life that we actually want vs. the one we’ve built.

    Step 2 – Resolve Underlying Beliefs that keep you stuck in patterns of overworking.

    So before you can get onto a different track, you’ll need to take a pitstop at the station to resolve the underlying & unconscious beliefs that keep you stuck in patterns that don’t serve you. Otherwise, you’ll unknowingly get back on the same train and just keep ending up at the same destination and wondering how and why you keep going there.

    In my Foundations of Success program, I teach a lot about mindset and overcoming limiting beliefs that keep you stuck in these unhelpful patterns and one thing I see over and over and over again, is that the successful agents often skip the work. They get to that module and think, this is not my problem because they don’t usually have issues with self-confidence or selfworth. They don’t have issues with staying motivated or taking consistent action. You tell them to do something and they go do it and usually they’ll do even more than you asked. There’s never excuses. They are doers and so because of that, they don’t believe that they have limiting beliefs that don’t serve them. But they’re no different than everyone else, they just have different limiting beliefs that don’t serve them in different ways.

    Instead of struggling with self-confidence or worthiness, they get stuck in patterns of overworking and overachieving. They need to be producing to feel good. It’s their work that defines their worth. Success makes them feel good and money makes them feel safe, so they keep chasing more and more success. They often take on things they wish they hadn’t and they overcommit and do things themselves, instead of outsourcing and delegating because no one else can do it they way they would. It’s just easier and faster and I know it’ll get done right, if I just do it myself. Sound familiar?

    If you set goals every year and almost always reach them, that’s great. The problem happens when we reach that goal and then pick up the goal line up and move it somewhere further the next year. It becomes a real problem when you do this on repeat every year….especially when you don’t make critical changes in how you structure your business, so that it doesn’t keep requiring more of you, to keep reaching those new goals. Outperforming is addictive, especially for high-performing people who have subconscious limiting beliefs around their security.

    When we become addicted to working, we aren’t able to turn our business OFF, so we stay perpetually in ON mode and when we do that, we’re robbing ourselves of enjoying the life we’re working so hard to build. Why are we working so hard? It’s to build a life, but if we don’t get to enjoy it and if our health and our families are paying the price, what’s the point?

    For most people to resolve those underlying and unconscious beliefs that keep them stuck in patterns of overworking, it requires working with a professional. Either a therapist, a coach or both. I am currently working with both and it’s not the first time I’ve needed external help, nor will it be the last time. I seem to go in 2-year cycles where I’m good and on the right train and then after about 2 years I find myself off course and need a reset. It doesn’t mean I’m failing, it just means I’m just being a regular, normal human. But I do pay attention to the signs and I do force myself go back to the train station so that I can get back on the right track again. And doing that meant slowing things down in my business. It meant saying no to things and although that can be scary, it’s critically necessary in a reset.

    Alright so moving along, after you’ve done the work to resolve those underlying beliefs that are dictating your patterns of behaviour that aren’t serving you, the next step in doing a reset is to get clear on where you want to go and WHY.

    Step 3: Get Clear on where you want to go and WHY

    Sounds obvious I know, but sometimes we need a reminder. Decide what life you want and how you want to spend your time. What would your life and your business look like in a perfect world? Once you’ve dreamed about that, what about a more realistic world, but one that would still feel fulfilling and would allow you to have more freedom?

    How much money would you really NEED to make? When I started scaling my real estate business so that I could start working less and living more, I realized that I actually only needed to earn about 65% of what I was generating to be happy. The rest was just extra money that I would invest which was great, but the epiphany I had, was that the extra money wasn’t worth the price I had to pay for it. It wasn’t worth the stress, the time lost with my family, the toll it took on my health. I realized that if I gave 35% of my business to my team, that I would actually save more than 50% of my time.

    The way I structured my business returned more back in time, than the investment of money. Yes I was making less, but I was still making more than enough and I had so much more time, that made it so worth it. It changed everything and was great for a while, until I started needing to fulfil a bigger desire to help others do the same thing I had and that’s when I pivoted my business.

    So what would your life look like if you earned a bit less, but had so much more time to enjoy your life more? Imagine what it would feel like to be able to go on vacation anytime you want and know that your business is being taken care of? Imagine only working 20 hours a week and having your
    evenings and weekends free to spend with your friends and family? Imagine being able to take your summers off and travel? Is the extra money you’re making over and above what would be comfortable, really worth everything you’re giving up for it? Because that is the beauty of real estate. You get to decide. It might not feel like that, but it’s true.

    So whatever that vision looks like, how would your business need to be set up to support that vision?

    Step 4 – Set your business up to support your vision

    What would you want to focus spending your time on? What types of clients would you want to attract? What boundaries would you need to have? What would you need to say no to, to give space and room to do more of what you love?

    In order to reset effectively, you really need to tear your business back down to the studs and rebuild it in a way that’s going to support the life you desire. And yes, you’ll have to slow down and take the time needed to rebuild from the ground up. It requires stepping back, in order to move forward.

    Now it can often be hard to see opportunities for efficiencies in our businesses because we’re too close to it. When we’ve always done something a certain way, we don’t even see that there could be other ways of doing it that are easier or faster or better. We all have blindspots in our businesses that we can’t see, which is why most big companies invest millions every year hiring external consultants to help them. I rarely have a call with my coach where I don’t say at some point ‘I never even thought of that’ or she’ll ask me why I do something and I’m like “Well I’ve always just done it that way and it never occurred to me until now that it wasn’t necessary.” In the rearview mirror it seems so obvious, but that’s how hindsight works. We can’t see it until it’s behind us.

    When it comes to resetting your business, the end goal is always going to be to leverage people, systems & processes so that you can automate, delegate or eliminate EVERYTHING in your business that you don’t love doing, so that you can work less and live more, while still earning a great living.

    So if you’re newer to real estate, I want you to think of that vision as your end goal and where you want to end up one day. Start as you wish to go on. What will you need to leverage people, systems and processes so that you can eventually automate, delegate or eliminate EVERYTHING in your business that you don’t love doing?

    For those of you that are on the wrong track and need to go back to the station and reset, how will you need to tear your business back to the studs so that you can leverage people, systems & processes so that you can automate, delegate or eliminate EVERYTHING in your business that you don’t love doing? Where do you know there are inefficiencies in your business? What are you doing manually that you know could be automated? What do you find yourself doing or repeating over and over and over again?

    That goes for things related to clients but also for things related to your support staff which includes all of the trades you work with, assistants and team members. If we want to work less and live more, we’ve got to look into every nook and cranny of our business to see where we’re spending time unnecessarily. When you audit your business this way, you’ll likely discover that you spend up to 50% of your time doing things you either don’t need to be doing or you’re doing things that could be automated or they’re things that could and should be delegated.

    Can you imagine getting 50% of your time back? What would you do? How would you enjoy that time? Now if you’d unconsciously fill it back up with more make work projects, then you have got to go back to step #2 and resolve the underlying issues keeping you stuck in that unhealthy pattern of behaviour.

    Step 5 – Retrain Your Brain

    Once you’ve gone through this reset process, the last and most critical step is to retrain your brain to start acting in alignment with what you want vs. Being stuck on auto-pilot of who you’ve been. Because these overworking habits are so deeply ingrained in our psyche and have formed our identity, we will very easily slip back into old patterns of behaviour unless we’re very intentional about rewiring our brain around the identity we desire.

    What does that mean? Well it starts with putting YOU first above your work. What does that look like? Well for starters, It means the obvious of focusing on self-care and spending more time doing things that make you feel good outside of working and that means pushing through the distress you can feel when you do that….guilt, fear, boredom, discomfort. If you’ve been a certain way your whole life, but you want to be a different way, well it’s going to be a bit of an uncomfortable journey to get there.

    If you don’t have a lot of joys outside of work or you don’t have the time to enjoy the joys you have…well both are signs you need a reset. There is so much joy to life outside of work and remember, this is coming from someone who LOOOOOVES working.

    Retraining your brain also means setting your daily routines up in a way that are aligned with who you want to become. It means setting your calendar up to be aligned with who you want to become. It means not checking your phone before 9 or 10am, because folks there is no emergency related to real estate that can’t be dealt with after that. Like seriously, we convince ourselves otherwise, but those are just excuses to keep us stuck in patterns that don’t serve us. Everyone that I work with one on one has to keep their phone in their office, sometimes with the door locked and the key placed far away to stop the habit of checking it incessantly. And once they break that habit, a whole new world opens up and little by little they start making changes that change everything in their life and in their business.

    When we act in alignment with who we want to be (even if we’re not that person yet), your brain starts to believe that is who you are and then it automates those beliefs in the subconscious part of your brain. Once that happens, up to 90% of the decisions that you make and the actions that you take are based on that identity. And I assure you they will be very different decisions and you will take very different actions and as a result, you’ll see very different results. You’ll look back and think to yourself, “oh my God, if only I had figured this out earlier.”

    Like I mentioned at the beginning of this episode, I have gone through this reset and tear down process myself and realized that I ended up on the wrong track and that meant restructuring everything, which meant needing to pause everything. Is it scary to do that? Yes. Have I probably lost some business in the process? Ya. But what’s the alternative? Staying on a train that’s taking you somewhere you don’t want to go and further and further away from where you do want to go? That does not feel like the best plan to me, so getting off sooner rather than later is always the way to go.

    So to recap, the first step is to recognize that you need a reset, step 2 is to resolve Underlying Beliefs that are keeping you stuck in patterns that aren’t serving you, step 3 is to get clear on where you want to go, step 4 is to set your business up in ways that are aligned and will support that long-term vision and step 5 is to retrain your brain to start acting in alignment with who you want to become, even before you’ve become that person. It’s kinda like fake it till you make it.

    Alright If you’ve listened this long, I hope that means you’re enjoying the show. I’d love it if you could take the time to leave me a review on Apple podcasts if that’s the case. I read every one of them and they keep me motivated to keep moving forward with the show.

    Remember the more you learn, the more you’ll earn but only if you’re implementing what you’re learning.

    Until next time.

  • Time Management Tool & Tips For Realtors – PART 2

    EPISODE 54

    Time Management Tool & Tips for Realtors - PART 2

    Part 2 all about THE MOST common road block that keeps women from getting the results they desire…TIME 

    Last episode we laid the foundation for understanding:

    • your relationship with time
    • your own unique time budget and how to create one for yourself
    • how to allocate your valuable time resource for client-centered activities to avoid getting caught up in the “stop-drop-on-call” reactive activities

    So if you haven’t listened to part 1 of this episode, make sure you go back and listen to that one first, as it sets the foundation for getting your time management under control.

    Here’s what you’ll learn this month in Part 2:

    • How you can be more productive and in charge of your time when dealing with client centered to-do’s. 
    • How to find opportunities to automate, delegate or even eliminate activities entirely, so that you can streamline your daily processes for time optimization.  
    • How to rewire your habit-brain for practicing better focus, purpose, organization and structure. 
    • How all you need is 25 minutes a day

    I really unpack a whole lot of HOW TO’s in this one, so make sure to tune in.

    Get The Time Management Tool

    Ready to overhaul your time management once and for all? Get the tool below.

    Episode Transcript:

    Well hey there and welcome to the Women Rocking Real Estate podcast. For those of you who are new here, my name is Jen Percival and this show is all about how to build a thriving and consistent real estate business in a way that isn’t salesy. I’ve been in the business since 2008 and ran my own real estate brokerage for 5 years. I was able to build a business that I loved in way that I loved and I share all of the ways I was able to do that in the hopes that you can finally feel excited and inspired to build a business in a way you’re comfortable with too.

    This episode is Part 2 of a 2-part series all about time management and this topic deserves two episodes because if you can’t get your time management under control, you will never and I repeat never, build the consistent business you desire OR you’ll never have a life outside of your business. So if you haven’t listened to part one of this episode, make sure you go back and listen to that one first, as it sets the foundation for getting your time management under control.

    Alright before we jump into today’s episode, I always need to make time to thank those of you that left me 5 star reviews on apple podcasts. So thank you to Maja, Lexi, Desiree, HillSchill, Boise Idaho Girl, love drawsoemthing, schmeidlersells, emarroquinerealtor, hummbajarose and Stephanie. Wow I butchered some of those, but thank you to each and every one of you.

    Alright jumping into today’s episode, for those of you that did listen to Part 1 of this, just as a refresher….

    No matter how badly you want it, your relationship with time is not going to miraculously change on it’s own. Anything that you decide to implement in your business is going to take an investment of your time or your money. When you are making decisions about how to invest your time, it requires the same planning and budgeting and compromising as you have to do when you’re deciding how to spend your money. The problem is that we treat time like it’s infinite, like we can just make more of it if needed. We commit to things, we say yes to things, we add things, we spend time on things, without acknowledging that we don’t have time for them. We can’t just create new time for things.

    So that is the first step in getting your time management under control. You’ve got to know what your time budget is. So step number one is know your time budget. How much time have you got to work with. After your personal commitments are accounted for, what’s left? How many hours do you have left for work? Whatever that number is, allocate 70% of those hours to client-centred activities. The hours you have left after that are what you’ve got to work with.

    That’s your time budget. That’s how many hours you have per week to focus on your business. So how are you going to spend that time? Once you see the true picture of what you’ve got to work with, you will likely quickly see that if you’re not super focused, strategic and self-disciplined with that time, you will continually find yourself time broke and in time debt.

    This is an exercise that I highly recommend everyone does. It will be eye opening for you and allow you to re-frame your relationship with time and be more realistic with your time moving forward. To help with this, I created a free digital tool that you can use and it comes with a training video on how to use it for your personal situation.

    So the bottom line, is that you need to know your time budget BEFORE you can ever decide what you spend time on. If you did this exercise and discovered that you actually only have 1 hour a day to work on your business, wouldn’t that change what you spend that one hour on? If you looked at your Instagram insights and discovered that you were spending an hour every day on the platform, would you decide that THAT activity is the best use of your time, given you will have no other time available to do anything else? If so, you are deciding that scrolling through instagram is going to help you grow your business more than any other activity would and we can all admit that is not true.

    So step number 1 is to decide WHAT time you’ve got to work with.

    Step number 2 is to decide HOW you’re going to spend that time.

    Once you know what you’ve time got to work with, you then need to decide what are the most important activities you could do with that time. If you only had 1 hour a day to work on your business, what is the most important thing you’d need to do?

    Depending on where you’re at in your business, that activity will fall into one of two categories: if you’re new or don’t have a consistent business, you need to spend that hour on client-attraction activities and that means activities that are most closely tied to generating leads. Remember I said Closely tied, not loosely tied. So your first step is to look at what all of those activities could be. Brainstorm all of the ways you can generate leads and then rank them from most closely tied to getting results to most loosely tied. Then look at the list and cross of ones you’re not willing to do. For a lot of you that will mean crossing off door knocking or cold calling or calling your friends and family every day bugging them, but what’s left on your list and how high up is it on the list? You’ve got to prioritize your available time doing that activity.

    Now if you’re an established agent and your time issue is not related to having enough business, but is related to not having enough life outside of business, then the most important activities you need to focus on are business scaling. Your number one priority would need to be focusing on activities that leverage people, systems and processes so that you can free up more time.

    So every one of you listening will fall into one of those two camps, what do you need to focus on more:

    Client attraction activities or business scaling activities? Now that you know that, what are the specific activities that you need to prioritize during the time you’ve got available each week? The less time you have available, the more focused you need to be on spending that time on activities that will either a) generate leads or b) free up time.

    Once you’ve figured that out, you will realize that you can’t start anything new, without understanding how much time it’s going to take and whether you have that time already available. If you don’t, you either have to say no to it or you have to say no to something else on your list. You can’t squeeze it in.

    When we try to just squeeze more things in, without taking stuff out – that’s how we get into time debt. Getting better at managing your time, starts with treating your time like the finite currency that it is. It’s not like money, you can’t go make more of it. You’ve got 24 hours in a day and you need to decide and plan for how you’re going to spend it. That’s the foundational mindset that you need to start with to overhaul your relationship with time.

    Once we’ve figured out how much time we actually have available and how we need to spend that time, the next area we often get tripped up on is making it happen.

    So the rest of this episode is going to switch gears and focus on how you can be more organized with the time you have and and stay more focused and productive during that time. I actually want to divide this into sections and that is being more productive working IN your business and also ON your business.

    When I talk about being more productive IN your business, this is referring to all of the time you spend on client-centred activities. If you remember, I recommend you allocate 70% of your time to things directly related to buying and selling real estate. 70% is a good chunk of time, so if we could be more efficient in how we do things, guess what? You can potentially free up more time for yourself or free up more time for client attraction activities.

    So how can you be more productive with your time when dealing with client related things?

    Resist being what I call a pop-tart agent. Now again, before you think I’m being judgy, I absolutely was a pop-tart agent and prided myself on it. For those that don’t know the term, it basically means dropping everything you’re doing and re-arranging all of your plans whenever a client demands anything from you – taking them on a showing at the last minute, running comps and looking up sale prices, running to turn the lights on at a listing because the client forgot. When you are new, it is very tempting and often needed to be at your client’s beck and call the second anyone asks. People love responsive and available agents and being this way can often set you apart. But and this is a big but, as soon as you start getting busy, it is not a sustainable strategy. The problem is two-fold, you will have made a habit out of it AND you will have trained your clients to expect it.

    Let me just unpack both of those issues briefly. Problem number 1 – you’ve made a habit out of it. Be very careful not to underestimate the implication of this. When you are continually putting everyone else’s needs first and dropping what you’re doing or rearranging all of your plans to meet someone else’s need, you are inadvertently creating a neural network in your brain that you and your time are not as important as everyone else’s. That translates very quickly into an unconscious belief in your brain, that you are not as worthy and when you have an unconscious belief that you’re not worthy, that starts dictating up to 90% of the decisions that you make and the actions that you take. Not good! So making a habit out of dropping everything for other people is a slippery slope and you want to be careful about doing that unintentionally.

    The second problem with being a pop-tart agent, is that you train your clients to expect it and because they expect it and are used to it, they will really notice when you’re not responsive or available and can become irritated by that. It’s obviously very important that clients have the perception that you’re responsive and available, but there is a way to give people that perception, without your life revolving around your client’s every waking need and without dropping everything you’re doing or have planned.

    If you make it a priority to respond to clients within an hour, most people will view that as being highly responsive. You don’t NEED to respond in 5 minutes, which means you can focus on other things and only check your phone once an hour. The problem, is that most of us are incessant about checking our phones and it interrupts what we were doing and often sends us in a totally different direction down some rabbit hole that could have waited. And had we waited, we could have completed whatever task we were focused on before we got distracted.

    Depending on your personality type, you may also be the type that views everything as urgent and must-do right now vs. The reality that it probably isn’t an emergency and doesn’t need to be addressed immediately. There are very few things that can’t wait, but that doesn’t mean you don’t respond at all, it means you respond within an hour to let them know you got their message and set expectations of when you’ll get them what they need. A client texted me asking if there was a survey when they purchased the house. I responded within the hour and said “I’m just on the road and will be back at my office at 12pm and will check right away.” Who is going to have a problem with that….if it’s not an emergency, which that clearly wasn’t. That would still be perceived as being responsive AND it allows you to finish focusing on what you were doing, before task switching.

    I’ve talked about this on past podcasts I’m pretty sure, but I also gave clients a link to book appointments in my calendar instead of texting or calling me and trying to coordinate a time. It allowed them to book a time that was convenient for them, according to MY calendar. Now I always made sure there were ample options available and I also let them know how the process worked in my onboarding process. They knew that if it was urgent and they couldn’t find time that worked in my calendar to contact me directly to coordinate. But that was the exception, not the rule.

    I used Calendly to manage this and it worked out beautifully for them and for me.

    What are some other ways you can be more productive working IN your business? Take some time and look at all of the client-centred activities you do that take up time and look for opportunities to automate, delegate or eliminate each. Are there templates that you can create to automate creation of your marketing materials? Is there an in-house service in your brokerage for transaction and paperwork management? Are you answering the same questions from clients over and over again that you could turn into a video that is released in a drip campaign? Are there checklists or project management tools that you could implement so that you’re not so disorganized and forgetting important things? Could you create an intake form that new sellers fill out online about their property vs. Spending 2 hours driving there to meet in person to gather the information?

    When I used to do open houses every Saturday and Sunday it felt like they took up my whole day and putting out and picking up the stupid open house signs was the bane of my existence. The second I found a company I could pay to do that and also put my for sale signs up, was the best money I ever spent.

    My point here is don’t just do things on autopilot the way you’ve always done them and assume that’s the only way to do it. Look for opportunities to automate, delegate or eliminate everything you can.

    Ok so that sort of sums up some strategies you can implement to be more productive when working IN your business, but the biggest problem most agents I work with have….is being productive working ON their business. This category of work activities always seems to take a back seat and it’s unfortunate because it’s these activities that grow your future business. If you’re only working in your business, eventually there won’t be a business to work on.

    My foundations of success program is built on the premise that we become what we practice. If we practice disorganization, we become disorganized. If we practice distraction and task switching, we become more easily distracted and chase the latest shiny object, if we practice overwhelm we become easily overwhelmed. Over time, those patterns of behaviour form our identity and become our auto-pilot.  However it doesn’t have to be that way. Just because we BEHAVE in certain ways, doesn’t mean it’s who we are. We can be who ever we want to be. We can all change and it begins with practicing who you want to become. Just because you are one way today, doesn’t mean you can’t be another way tomorrow.

    So If we instead practice focus and purpose and organization and structure, over time we will become focused and purposeful and organized and consistent. These will become our fall-back behaviour patterns instead. But we have to practice it first to become it.

    So you are always forming habits whether you’re aware of it or not and if you’re not intentionally trying to form habits that serve you, you will unintentionally form habits that don’t. That is why morning routines are so important. They are about intentionally forming habits, so that over time you become what you practice.

    I’ve talked about this a few times before on the podcast, but my morning routine BEGINs the same way every day. It stands for brain priming, which is affirmations on steroids, Exercise, Gratitude, Intention and Nuture. Now lately I feel like I need to add a W in there for Wordle because I’ve become obsessed with it when I wake up and started realizing what a huge time suck it was, so now I’m not allowed to do it unless I’m exercising at the same time.

    The other part of a morning routine that I teach, is that the first thing you should be doing in the morning is to spend 25 min working ON your business, before looking at anything related to IN your business. That means don’t check email or go on social media or look at new listings or anything else until AFTER you’ve spent 25 minutes working on your business. The reason for this is multi-fold:

    Everything else that you find yourself doing, you’ve already developed a habit around or you’re intrinsically motivated to do it, So you don’t need to put any effort into those activities. Do you have to remind yourself to check your email? Do you have to convince yourself to check your voicemail? No you do it on auto-pilot, so you have to do the hard stuff first. The stuff you don’t look forward to, the stuff you avoid or procrastinate about.
    The side effect that happens when you set 25 minutes aside and focus on your business first, before meeting anyone else’s needs, is that you are teaching your brain that your time is worthy, your business is worthy, you are worthy. Not only are you teaching your brain that, but you’re acting in accordance with that belief. And when we believe in our subconcuios that we’re worthy and our time is worthy, we’ll make decisions and take actions that align with that belief and that is how we see long-lasting change. Does that make sense?

    But it has to start with 25 minutes a day, 5 days a week. There are agents that I work with making 7 figures that are able to consistently start every day spending 25 minutes working on their business, so if you find yourself coming up with excuses why you won’t be able to do that, recognize what you’re doing.

    Why 25 min you might be wondering? It’s based on the Pomodoro technique that anyone can stay focused on one task for just 25 minutes. It’s just 25 minutes, so it’s doable for even the busiest of agents, so there should be no reasons why you can’t do it.

    Now it’s only effective if you know what to do in that 25 minutes and that’s where the next problem begins. We have a million things we could be doing or should be doing on our business, but if we don’t have a plan we end up wasting so much time in a state of paralysis and overwhelm. How many times have you sat down to work on something and you don’t know where to start? The project seems so big and overwhelming you try to release that discomfort by finding something else to do like laundry or watching tik tok videos. Not productive.

    So in order for that 25 minute window to be productive, you need a plan. Because 25 minutes is such a short window of time, there’s no time to spend trying to figure out what you should be doing in that window. The goal for this 25 minute window, is that you sit down and open up your project management tool and select the next task on the list. You’ve already planned out the entire project and broken it down into 25 min task increments ahead of time, so there’s no thinking involved and THAT is the key to being productive. You can’t waste time THINKING about what you should be doing, you need to go straight into doing mode. So yes there is some brainstorming and planning work that has to go into this process, but that is actually the first task you’d do in your first 25 minute time block. You’d spend 25 minutes brainstorming all of the tasks you’d have to do to complete the project.

    In my Foundations program, I teach how to use a project management system called Notion that you can use to manage so many aspects of your real estate business. I’ve created loads of templates to organize your business and plan projects and it’s all based on the time management principle of dedicating 25 minutes every day to work ON your business before you work in your business and to spend that 25 minutes focused on just ONE task related to the most important project that is either client-attraction focused or business-scaling focused.

    If you practice this 5 days a week, you will become it and you will be blown away by how much you’re able to accomplish in just 25 minutes a day.

    What are some other strategies to help you with time management, outside the 25 minute rule?

    I am a big fan of time-blocking and batching in that window. I’ll use content creation as an example….If you need to create content, that requires creative energy. It’s much more effective to stay in that creative headspace and to batch multiple pieces of content in one sitting, vs. Creating on post one day and then another post a few days later. If you’re going to be filming videos, you’d want to batch that content. Filming 3 at one time is much more efficient than getting dolled up and filming them on 3 separate days.

    So just to summarize a strategy you can use to once and for all get your time management under control, start by understanding what your realistic time budget is based on what personal commitments you have and then subtract 70% of that time for client centred activities. Whatever is left is your time budget to work on your business. Based on that, be realistic about what you can accomplish with that amount of time and prioritize tasks and projects that are closely tied to either client attraction or business scaling activities depending on where you are in your real estate career. Once you know what general activities you need to be doing with your time, block off 25 minutes 5 days a week to work ON your business before you begin any tasks IN your business. Brainstorm all of the tasks needed to complete that project into 25 minute increments so that when you sit down for your focused time, you know exactly what you’re supposed to be doing and then be very self-disciplined to not let distractions get the better of you for those 25 minutes. That means no phone, no google, no trying to multi-task. Practice organization, focus, purpose and consistency. If you practice it, you will become it.

    If you didn’t download the free tool I recommended in the last episode, I highly recommend you do this exercise. You can find it on my website at women rocking real estate under episode 53 or 54.

    Alright that’s it, remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn…..but only if you’re implementing what you learn.

    Until Next Time.

  • Time Management Tool & Tips For Realtors

    EPISODE 53

    Time Management Tips for Realtors + Free Tool To Help.

    Get The FREE Time Management Tool

    Ready to overhaul your time management once and for all? Get the tool below.

    Episode Transcript:

    Welcome to the women rocking real estate show, I am Jen Percival and I am on a mission to help you get out of your own way so that you can finally create the life you were meant to live and over the last decade of working with women trying to build thriving real estate businesses, the most common road block that keeps women from getting the results they desire is TIME.

    This is not a new topic, it has been covered probably more than any other topic out there, but my lord, it bears unpacking over and over again, because if you can’t get your time management under control, you will never and I repeat never, build the consistent business you desire OR you’ll never have a life outside of your business.

    Like seriously there’s really only two camps that people fall into.

    Either you don’t have enough business OR you don’t have enough life. There is only a very small percentage of people that have managed to strike this balance well and the one thing they ALL say, is that they have mastered the art of managing their time.

    For the rest of us trying to build a business, It’s like there’s no middle ground. It’s either your business is in the shitter or your life is in the shitter and we all want to find that sweet spot where our business is doing great, but it’s not at the expense of our lives. Ie we’re not sacrificing everything for the business and we’ve found that harmony between the two.

    To complicate things, all of the advice out there and most of the strategies suggested to take better control of your time, don’t always work in real estate. We don’t have the luxury that most businesses have, when it comes to time. Because our business is expected to be operational 7 days a week and well past when most people call it a day at 5 or 6pm. We often feel like our time is being held hostage by our clients and that we need to drop everything we’re doing whenever our clients need our attention. However we often use that as an excuse and kinda throw the baby out with the bathwater and just give up any hope that there could be another better way.

    But there absolutely is a better way and what it really all boils down to is this….time management is about self discipline with your time, it’s about spending time on the right things. It’s about having purpose every single day where you have a laser sharp focus on what you’re supposed to be working on and for how long and then mastering the art of saying no to everything else. We can’t do all the things. As exciting as they sound, as much as we think our business needs them, we can’t do everything all at once. If you try, you’ll just get a whole lotta nothing done and be left with that feeling like you’re going in circles accomplishing nothing. Effective time management is also obviously about being productive when you’re spending time on the right things and not allowing yourself to become distracted by time sucking vortexes that do nothing for what you’re trying to achieve.

    So if there is one self development area that you can focus on this year, that will have the biggest impact on your results, it’s working on getting better at how you manage your time, even though you’re in real estate and that is what today’s episode is all about. If you think you’ve heard about this topic enough already, but you haven’t found that sweet spot of your business doing great and still lots of time to enjoy your life, then it’s time to get real with yourself and do something about it.

    But here’s the truth. Unless you are serious about getting better at this and are ready and committed to making changes, nothing is going to change. You’re going to have to do some work. This is a skill and a habit that needs to be built and that will take effort. No matter how badly you want it, your relationship with time is not going to miraculously change on it’s own. So if you’re ready once and for all to stop complaining about your lack of time and blaming everything on it and instead actually do something about it, then today’s episode will help you get started.

    Ok before we dive into the details, a few housekeeping items. First and most important are my shout outs of love. This month I’d like to give a big virtual hug to Katie, Brookielyn, Doublezizzle, TheVetAgent, Tamara, Anna, Kacie, Jessjean, SweetPrincess, Haley and whoever titled their review “motivational” thank you so much ladies for taking the time to leave a review. I so appreciate each and every one of you and also those that send me emails and messages in Instagram. Love you all.

    Next item on the housekeeping agenda is that doors open today, March 1st for the next cohort of the ATTRACT Accelerator. This is my signature 90-day coaching program that teaches you a proven system to generate more consistent business from people you know, earn more referrals & get discovered by new clients searching for a Realtor online…all without using any out-dated tactics like door knocking and cold calling.

    What I really want listeners to understand, is that this is not another online course that you will not finish or implement. This program has been designed using the latest research oh how people not only best learn, but how to help them actually implement what they’re learning….and it’s NOT through self-paced online courses with no access to to the course creator.

    I have literally changed my entire coaching methodology to use cohort-based learning and the difference in agent’s results are incredible. There’s agents that were in my old program for a year and had access to this exact training and didn’t do anything with it. But after they joined the accelerator, they’re suddenly taking the actions and making incredible progress on implementing the strategy.

    So if you want a direct roadmap of how to get there, instead of the trial and error method of figuring it out on your own, you can apply for a spot in the next cohort where you will join a community of other like-minded women in real estate and together you will learn and implement the strategy together in 90 days.

    Between myself and your accountabilibuddies, you will get the support, accountability and the feedback you need, to take consistent action and actually implement what you’re learning.

    But here’s what I’m going to tell you. Do not apply if you’re not serious about changing your self-sabotaging patterns or committed to taking action and using this strategy in your business. Because You’re wasting your time and your money and that is a perfect segue into today’s episode…..

    If you want to find that blissful harmony, where you have a consistent business that is producing consistent income AND you have life that you get to enjoy outside of your business, you are going to have to invest something to get that. You are going to have to not only accept but actually embrace that you’ll need to invest either time or money into your business. If you don’t have time, then you must invest money. If you don’t have money, then you need to invest your time. If you don’t have either, you better have a lot patience and low expectations, because building a sustainable business without investing money or time, is going to take a really long time. So set your expectations up accordingly.

    So before you do anything else this year to grow your business, you need to decide upfront what you are going to invest your time into and what you’re going to invest your money into and then recognize and accept that either option is going to suck at times and be painful.

    You will hit a point where you’ll question whether you should be spending so much time on something or you will hit a point where you will question whether you should actually be spending money on it. This is the first strategy for learning how to manage your time more effectively. You have to make the decision whether you’re going to invest time or money into something but before you can ever do that, you need to know what the investment will be.

    It’s like deciding to renovate your house only to find out after you’ve already gutted it, that you don’t have the money to renovate it. You would never gut your house without getting a quote on what the job is going to cost would you? You would also need to have a budget and you’d need to have contingencies put in place for when unexpected things come up. You may also need to cut spending in other areas of your life for the time being, so that you can invest more into the Reno if needed.

    You know all of that right? Well I want you to think of your time in exactly the same way. Anything that you decide to implement in your business is going to take an investment of your time and it requires the same planning and budgeting, as well as planning for contingencies and making compromises by eliminating other things.

    You can’t start anything new, without understanding how much time it’s going to take or without having a plan for how you’re going to make time for it, because last I checked you can’t buy more hours in a day. You also need to have a plan for contingencies – when things go wrong and something else comes up that needs your time, how are you going to manage that? Lastly, you’re likely going to need to make some compromises, what are you going to say no to, so that you can say yes to this opportunity? When we try to just squeeze more things in, without taking stuff out – that’s how we get into time debt. Getting better at managing your time, starts with treating your time like a finite currency. It’s not like money, you can’t go make more of it. You’ve got 24 hours in a day and you need to decide and plan for how you’re going to spend it. That’s the foundational mindset that you need to start with to overhaul your relationship with time.

    Step #1 – Know Your Time Budget

    So step number one is know your time budget. How much time have you got to work with and how much time are you going to have to spend to to do everything you need to do in both your personal life and your business.

    Now guess what, this exercise is going to take some time, but if what you’re doing isn’t working for you, then it is worth the time to do this because you usually have to slow down in order to speed up. Now to help you with this, I have created a tool that is going to break this entire process down step by step and that is going to help save you a bunch of time. You can find it on my website under episode #53 or you may be able to find it in the show notes.

    We can’t begin to budget your time without knowing first how much time you’ve got to work with, So the first thing you’re going to do is to start by making a list of all the things that you absolutely have to do on a daily and weekly basis in your personal life and how much time it takes you to do those tasks. In order for this to work, you need to document everything – Sleeping, exercising, meditating or journaling, getting ready in the morning, making breakfast for the family, taking your kids to school, picking them up after school, doing homework together, making dinner, taking them to hockey practice or ballet, giving them a bath, reading bedtime stories, doing laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning, watching TV, family pizza night and the list goes on and on. Some of you might even have a part-time job in there as well. The goal here is take inventory of what hours you need to invest to live your life outside of work and then to add up all those hours in a week and see what you’re left with.

    That’s your time budget for work. That’s what you’ve got to work with.

    Now it’s important to distinguish that there are three different types of activities we do in real estate and these are listed in order of motivation to do them and a willingness to make time for them:

    Client-Centred Activities
    Client Attraction Activities
    Business Scaling Activities

    So if we first look at client-centred activities. This is working IN your business and includes things like showings, drafting offers, going on listing appointments and submitting paperwork to name a few. These are activities that you are obligated to do for your clients, they are very unpredictable activities and there can be wild swings week to week on how much time you’ll need to invest in them.
    However you will never not find time to do them, even if you are super “busy”.…and yes I’m using air quotes when I say that. Like have you ever or would you ever say to yourself “I know I have that listing presentation scheduled in my calendar for today at 2pm, but I am so busy and have so many other things I need to do, so I’m just going to delete that from my calendar.”
    Said no realtor ever.
    You are intrinsically motivated to find time to do client-centred activities for two reasons.
    One, they are directly correlated to getting paid and
    Two someone else is relying on you and we are much more likely to complete tasks when someone else is relying on us to do so.
    The amount of time you need to budget for client centred activities will depend on where you’re at in your business. If you’re brand new you can start with a lower percentage. If you’re well established, you should budget no more than 70% of your dispensable time to client-centred activities. If you can’t get all of your client centred work done in 70% of your dispensable work time, then it’s time to invest money and leverage people, systems and processes so that you can free up more of your time.
    So as an example, if you have 35 available hours in a week of dispensable time for your business, you’ll want to budget 70% of that, which is roughly 24.5 hours to client-centred activities.
    The other activities we do involve working ON our business and there are two general types of activities we can do to work ON our business. The first are Client Attraction Activities. These are all the things that you can do in your business to attract clients to you. Now you will probably be able to justify anything you do, as a client attraction activity and that’s why you need to really challenge yourself and ask whether it is the most effective way you could be spending your time to attract clients. So anything to do with lead generation falls into this bucket – if you’re in the old school camp still, that would involve cold calling, door knocking and calling your database, etc. If you’ve transitioned to the new world, it involves content marketing.
    It also involves activities around growing who you know and connecting with those people to nuture the relationship. So things like building a website start getting found or developing a robust CRM to help you better manage connecting with people.
    I’ve always used the acronym GRASP to help prioritize client attraction activities. The activity needs to help you Grow who you know or Get found. It needs to help you build a Relationship or connection. It needs to help you demonstrate your Authority in real estate. It needs to help you Stay top of mind and lastly it needs to help you Provide value. If the client attraction activity will help you do all of those things, you’ve got a good GRASP of your time.
    Spending 30 minutes scrolling through the instagram reels explore page, is not a good grasp of your time. It’s not helping you grow who you know or get found, it’s not helping you build relationships or connection, it’s not helping you demonstrate your authority or stay top of mind or provide value. Which means it’s not a client-attraction activity and you should not be spending time doing it. Now if that’s one of your guilty pleasures and you want to be able to spend time doing it every week, add it to your personal time budget and know that doing so, will reduce the amount of time you have for your client attraction activities. Which ultimately means less business for you.
    Do you see how that works? Every time you’re saying yes to one activity, at the exact same moment you’re stealing time from another activity and there is always a consequence to that, so you need to be more aware of what you’re doing and the implication it will have.
    Alright the last category of activities we need to do when working ON our business is activities that will help us scale the business.
    They could be implementing systems in your business to help you scale or it could be weekly team meetings or time that you spend in a training program, or time that you spend managing your bookkeeping and accounting. These are all of the behind the scenes things that often need to happen to run a successful business.

    So if you allocated 70% of your time to client-centered activities, the remaining 30% of your time is for client attraction activities and everything else. If you need more business, then client attraction activities need to be the priority. If you’re already busy with business and you need more time, then activities that will help you scale your business would need to be the priority. Either way, you’ve only got 30% of your time to allocate to both.

    And this is where the tool I created is going to show you just how much time that is and you will likely quickly see one of two things….

    You have very little time available for client attraction activities and as such, you will need to narrow down what activities you’re doing and have a lot of self discipline to be focused with the time you have.
    Or you will learn that you actually have a lot of time available and will realize that you’re being very unproductive with that time.

    Either way, the only way to fix the problem, is to know what the problem is.

    When you do this exercise, you’re going to learn how much time you have to work with and then you’re going to learn how you need to be spending the time you do have.

    Once you know that you’ve only got 10 hours a week to work on client attraction activities or business scaling activities, you need to actually block that time off in your calendar. Because you’ve heard it before, if it’s not in your calendar it doesn’t exist and you won’t do it. And because you’ve already allocated 70% of your available time to client centred activities, you should never not have time to do these business activities. You shouldn’t have to dip into the time that you’ve blocked off on your calendar, because you’ve already allocated time to do the things your clients will need you to do.

    Now because this business is inherently unpredictable, there may be times when you do need to move things around. And for those situations, you need to use the Erase > Replace method. Meaning if you have to erase the time you blocked off in your calendar for client attraction activities, then you need to immediately replace that block of time somewhere else in your calendar. Don’t just erase it, you gotta replace it.

    This tool is also going to really help you with shiny object syndrome, because you will realize you have a very small time budget as it is, so you can’t say yes to anything else, unless you’re saying no to something you were already doing. You can’t add more on your plate, without taking something off your plate and THAT is how we get better at managing the time we do have.

    Now if you go through this exercise and realize that you literally don’t have enough time to run a sustainable real estate business, then you’re going to have to make some choices and some changes. Once you have a good idea of how you’re spending your time, you can then decide whether you want to continue with that activity, stop doing that activity all together or do less of that activity. The later of the three will free up more time for you. You could also look at all of the activities and ask where there is a way to automate or delegate it to free up more time. Lastly you will want to challenge yourself around the time wasters in your life. These may be things that you do or they may even be ways that other people steal your time.

    But again, in order for this to work, it has to actually reflect how you’re spending all of your time, so you need to be honest with yourself and document it all in the tool I created.

    Once we’ve figured out how much time we actually have available and how we want to spend that time, the next area we often get tripped up on is how we actually manage our time doing those three activities and are there ways that we could better organize our time and stay more focused and productive during that time.

    And that is what I’ll be covering in Part 2 of this episode. We’re going to dive deep into strategies for better time management when working on client-centered activities, as well as explore strategies for being more efficient and productive during all of the activities we do to work ON our business.

    If you want to get your time management on a solid foundation, I highly recommend you use the tool I created. You can find it on my website at women rocking real estate under episode 53. It even comes with a training video from me on how to use the tool.

    Lastly, don’t forget that doors to the ATTRACt accelerator open today on March 1st, so if you want to join this cohort make sure you sign up as it won’t be running again until September.

    Alright that’s it, remember the more you learn the more you’ll earn…..but only if you’re implementing what you learn.

    Until Next Time.

  • How To Find Balance & Boundaries Working In Real Estate

    EPISODE 52

    How To Find Balance & Boundaries Working In Real Estate

    It was a year ago that I went through the hardest month of my life and I learned some really the valuable lessons and I never want to lose the gifts that I was given from that experience.

    So every February, the theme of my podcast is going to be dedicated to priorities, boundaries, and balance.

    Today’s episode is all about how to prioritize what’s important, how to set boundaries and find balance in your life and business.

    For this topic, I had to have one of the agents in my coaching program on the show!

    Michelle has found a way to be unapologetic about her boundaries and balance, and she is so inspiring and refreshing in her attitudes and her approaches, that I had to have her on the show. Michelle is super successful in real estate and she has still found way to have it all. So you are going to love this chat! She is living proof that anything is possible.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    Ready To Start Attracting High-Quality Leads On Autopilot?

    Apply now to the ATTRACT Accelerator wait list! In this exclusive coaching program, you’ll learn a proven system to generate more consistent business from people you know, earn more referrals & get discovered by new clients searching for a Realtor online…all without using any out-dated tactics.

  • Family First. Lessons Learned From The Hardest Month of My Life

    EPISODE 42

    Family First. Lessons Learned From The Hardest Month of My Life

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer shares an emotional experience that has changed her life forever. She hopes that sharing this message will help prevent someone else from making the same mistakes she has.

    Listen Now:

    Show Notes:

    • Toggl –  An online application or tool for time tracking, project planning, and hiring.

    Episode Transcript:

    Hello hello Jen Percival here, thanks so much for tuning in. Some of you may have noticed that I went completely MIA recently and I’m going to be sharing why in this episode. I’ve just gone through the hardest month of my entire life and under normal circumstances I probably wouldn’t be publicly sharing what’s been going on, but I learned so many life-changing lessons, that if I can help even one person not make some of the mistakes that I’ve made, that I really regret now, then I need to share this experience. 

    So this episode is for anyone that is like me and struggles with overworking and finding time for your family, or for those of you that are burning the candle at both ends and are feeling like you don’t have control over your time or your life or those of you who love working but know you need more balance in your life….but don’t really know how to get it. 

    It’s also for those of you that easily get caught up in the stress of real estate and allow it to come home with you and affect your family life. Now that list is certainly not going to be everyone that’s listening, but you still may relate to some of what I’m going to be talking about or learn from in the future. I’m also going to warn you that this may be a very emotional episode for me, because I’m still really raw and processing what the future holds, but I wanted to record this while it’s all still fresh, because we as humans tend to forget painful experiences we endure. It’s our brain’s way of protecting us. Well I don’t ever want to forget the pain I’ve felt over the last month, because it will propel me to change moving forward. It is my catalyst to change, it is my new why. There are so many things I’ve learned, about trusting your intuition, about perspective, about patience, about faith and about always focusing and prioritizing on what’s most important in life and that is health, family and love. 

    So I’m first going to share what happened and then I’ll get into the lessons and the learnings. It’s a bit of a long story so bear with me…. Just before Christmas, my youngest son Lochlan who is 8 woke up in the middle of the night crying that his arm really hurt. We had been walking the dog earlier that night and my son was holding the leash when the dog ran after a squirrel and it pulled his arm pretty hard, so we assumed that was probably why, but noticed there was kind of a hard swollen area that was different from his other arm. The next morning we booked an appointment with his pediatrician to get it checked out and she thought it just felt a little swollen but she ordered an ultrasound to check it out. Well the ultrasound came back that there was a small tear in the muscle and to get it re-evaluated in 3 months. 

    Logical explanation, so no need to worry. But for whatever reason, I couldn’t shake this feeling in the pit of my stomach. I knew I was being irrational. He’s the youngest of 4 kids so we’ve had our fair share of bumps and bruises. Anyway his pediatrician wanted the follow up ultrasound to be done at sick kids, just to be thorough and we got a call that it was scheduled for the end of January. It was of course on a Friday which is the worst, because I had been anxious about it for over a month and just wanted it confirmed that it was nothing. So we have the ultrasound, it was super quick, the tech didn’t even take any measurements of anything and we asked if she could see anything and she said she wasn’t supposed to say but that she saw nothing. So we left thinking everything’s fine. Well Monday morning the Pediatrician calls first thing and says that they noticed in the ultrasound that the underlying bone had an irregular contour to it and that we needed to go down to sick kids right away for an x-ray and that night she calls and tells us that there is a lesion in his bone that looks suspicious and that he needs an MRI. It was the first moment where I let myself go there and let that terrifying c-word come into my thoughts. I could also tell that the pediatrician was starting to get worried too, even though she was great about it, I could just sense she was worried. Well the next morning she called me and said that it had been a resident radiologist that looked at the X-ray and when another doctor had looked at it, he actually thought it looked like a condition called Fibrous Dysplasia and that was now the working diagnosis, but that we still needed an MRI to confirm it. So obviously I was extremely relieved to hear this, but just wanted the MRI done to confirm it. Well that was scheduled for a week later and that’s when everything went downhill. I was able to go in with him and knew after about 15 minutes something wasn’t right. They changed technicians, they had to put in an IV to do contrast and they were constantly on the phone with the radiologists taking new pictures. My poor baby was strapped to this table unable to move a muscle for 2 hours. 

    He was so brave. Well the next day the pediatrician called to share devastating news that it looked like a type of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma and that he needed an emergency biopsy and that we were being referred to an orthopedic oncologist at sick kids. Anyone who has kids can just imagine how awful that phone call was. My husband wasn’t even home and I just walked around in circles alternating between hyperventilating and dry heaving. I came completely undone and unravelled in a way that I have never experienced in my life. 

    Everything just all the sudden slowed down around me and It was like one of those movies where your life starts flashing before your eyes and all I could see was all the times I missed in my kids lives, all the times I said no that I was too busy, all the times I wasn’t present in the moment with them. I didn’t sleep for like three days, but I had more clarity than I’ve ever had. It’s like a curtain had been pulled back and I could see me and my life from the outside and all of the sudden nothing mattered. Every resentment, anger, frustration, irritation – it all just melted away. It’s all so stupid. The things I would get myself worked up over, for what? And that’s when I realized this was a gift. I’m not kidding it was a transcending gift of clarity. 

    I know that sounds so melodramatic, but it was really like that. I believe that we all come into our lives with lessons we need to learn and grow. Sometimes we learn the lessons easily and sometimes the universe has to get more aggressive and rip the rug out from underneath us, to get through. Well I believe that’s what this was. It had been giving me some subtle and other not so subtle clues that I had it all backwards. But I just wasn’t getting it. The irony is that I thought I’d made real progress when I started transitioning out of real estate and shut my brokerage down so I could focus on what I really wanted to do, which is coaching. But the hard truth is that I just traded one business for another. I poured all my time and energy into building this new business. I was just as absent as I always was, just doing something else. 

    Anyway in the days while we were waiting for the biopsy I tried to make deals with the universe. Let it be me, not him, take away everything we have, as long as he’s ok. I promised the universe that I got the message this time and that I was going to have more patience and presence in life and that I would be the best version of myself that I could ever be. The best mom, the best wife, the best friend, the best sister, the best daughter and then I did something I never do…..I asked for help. And that’s when things really opened up and showed me more love and support than I could ever have imagined from friends, neighbours, family, strangers and this community. And then the universe decided to test me, to see just how serious I really was about changing. On the morning of his biopsy, the surgeon called me unexpectedly to drop another bomb. The surgery was cancelled because Lochlan had tested positive for Covid in his pre-screening. You can’t make this stuff up. Like seriously how do you begin to process that? The waiting had already been torturous and you’re telling me that not only am I going to need to wait even longer, but now we probably all have Covid on top of everything? The old me would have lost my mind. The new me was calm as a cucumber and I didn’t even have to try to be. I knew this was all part of the lesson around patience and decided to just choose to be patient and wait our turn. And I passed the test. 

    It turned out that he didn’t actually have Covid afterall, it was just an indeterminate result, but they cancel surgeries with those too, so that was a small win but it was the Friday of the family day long weekend, so we couldn’t even let the surgeon know that he was negative until the following Tuesday, so the surgery ended up being delayed by a week. But again, perspective. We could have all had Covid and it could have been 3 weeks before they would have rescheduled it. So that was another win. The surgery was rough for him, it wasn’t just a regular needle biopsy, but an open biopsy where they actually took a piece of the bone out. We were told it could take 2-3 weeks to get the results, which felt like an eternity. 

    Well a week later my phone rang and I saw the surgeon’s name and thought why is he calling me so soon? I started shaking and could barely even hear what he was saying, but I did hear that it wasn’t cancer. I had to tell him to stop talking for a minute so I could gather myself together. It’s not cancer. I just kept repeating that and didn’t hear much of what he was saying that it was. So the miraculous ending to this story is that he doesn’t have cancer. Now it’s not a happy ever after ending, because He does have a rare disease called CRMO that affects less than 1 in a million kids and we are now on a new journey to find out how pervasive it is. I don’t know what’s going to happen….is he going to have a mild form of it, or a debilitating form? We don’t know. But again it’s all about perspective. If we’d been given this diagnosis without the cancer scare, it would probably have been very upsetting. But it’s not life-threatening, so it feels like a huge win. We are so privileged, in so many ways, that so many people aren’t. We can handle this. We live a 20 minute drive from arguably the best children’s hospital in the world. We have the resources and the financial means to get him the best care we can, so you will never hear us feeling sorry for ourselves. Of course I don’t want my child to have to suffer, but someone has to be that one in a million, so let it be us. This brings me back to the lessons of this experience and the things I wish I had learned earlier on in my career. 

    If I could go back and change things, I absolutely would, but I can’t. I can only use this experience to change who I am moving forward and to change how I choose to spend my time. But my hope is that maybe this will strike a chord for someone listening and that you’ll decide today to change, before you miss out on years that you can’t get back. So Lesson number 1 is around being more intentional with your time and honouring the hours we have on this earth. You can’t get it back, so choose how you spend it consciously and with intention. I made working a habit. Like all habits, they get automated in your subconscious so that you do it without having to think about it. When I was bored, I would work. 

    When I got anxious or worried about something, I would work to distract myself. It was my default. The more ingrained it became, the more it formed my identity and I didn’t really know how to occupy myself other than working. I was also primed for lack of a better word, to be a workaholic. Every human on this planet usually has one core belief that dictates a lot of their decisions, behaviours and results. The most common ones are feeling not worthy, not valuable, not lovable or not safe. I fall into the last bucket. I grew up feeling like the world was not safe and I was not secure, through no fault of anyone. These core beliefs can form from repeated small experiences. There are hundreds of thousands of people who grew up in legitimately unsafe and unsecure environments, who won’t have that core belief for a multitude of reasons. Core beliefs aren’t always logical. My core belief was that I have to take care of myself. That I can’t ever rely on anyone but me to take care of me. That I could lose everything that matters to me and that I love, in an instant. I had that core belief and then I had life experiences that reinforced it. I was in a bad car accident when I was 15, I almost died from toxic shock syndrome when I was 20, 1 had an ex stalk me for 2 years when I was 21, my boyfriend died unexpectedly when I was 25. All of these experiences led me to believe that the world is just not a safe place and I could lose it all at any given moment. So what did I do – I worked to try and find that safety and security. Making money made me feel safe. I am controlling, because being in control makes me feel safe. 

    As time went on, it just becomes who you are and you don’t know any different. My work started defining my worth. If I wasn’t successful, I didn’t feel worthy and the vicious cycle would start again. Even before i got into real estate I worked a lot, but the very nature of this business wreaks havoc on trying to have some work life balance. It’s almost impossible. There’s no set hours – it’s weekdays, it’s evenings and it’s weekends. Clients EXPECT us to be responsive and available and I’ve always said that I attribute a lot of my success to being that way. I was the quintessential pop-tart agent. When clients would call, I’d drop everything I was doing and pop-up to be there for them. My phone was always with me, I checked it incessantly for messages and I was always the first to respond. 

    I was always reachable, it didn’t matter when you needed me, I’d be there and I prided myself on that. The problem obviously, is that you lose your life. It’s not sustainable. Now you can make a decent income selling real estate and lead a pretty balanced life, but there is a threshold and for some people when they get the success bug, they start a never ending chase of outperforming their prior year in the business. Real estate is seasonal and it’s cyclical. It’s not consistent and so when we hit those low periods, where business seems to be drying up, we panic. We take on deals (like leases) we might normally not and we start getting a bit desperate to get the momentum back. So we work harder, and we become even more fixated on the business trying to generate leads, trying to get referrals and then, like it always does, things start turning around and all of the sudden you can’t handle the business you’ve got. The pendulum has swung the other way and you’ve got no time for anything other than work. You’re out at appointments all the time, you’re not present with your family even when you are around and you’re back on the brink of burnout. And then there’s the sweet spot, things start to slow down and you find you have a bit of time to breathe again, but you’re so exhausted and don’t have any energy or you fill that space up by redirecting all your time and energy to places you’ve been neglecting like your kids or your house or your health. And then slowly that panic starts to seep in again and the vicious cycle starts all over again. Now you might be newer in your career and listening to this thinking “Oh my god I’d love to be that busy and have this problem.” Trust me, no you don’t. You do not want to get on this circular train and wake up one day looking back, filled with regret. 

    Regret that you didn’t spend the time you could have with your kids while they were young. Regret that you didn’t have time for your partner and you lost them. Regret that you didn’t make time to build a life outside of real estate and missed out on prime years of enjoying life. When we don’t get clear about what we want from life and what our true priorities are and when we aren’t INTENTIONAL about how we spend our time, we risk falling into this circular trap by accident. And once these behaviours become habitual and form part of our identity, it becomes extremely difficult to get off the circular train. Usually the only way you get off, is because the train gets derailed by an outside force. You get divorced or you get sick or have an accident or something happens to someone you love and it forces you off the train. When we aren’t intentional about the life we want to live and when we don’t consciously make choices about how we want to spend our time, we’re on autopilot and we make it a habit of not being present in our lives. When we’re not intentional about turning our business OFF, we stay perpetually in ON mode and when we do that, we’re robbing ourselves of enjoying the life we’re working so hard to build. Why are we working so hard? It’s to build a life, but if we don’t get to enjoy it and if our families are paying the price, what’s the point? You have to decide where to draw the line and then to put your family and yourself first. When you’re working toward a goal, obviously you’ll have to work hard and make some sacrifices to get there. That’s normal, that’s to be expected. The problem happens when we reach that goal and then pick up the goal line up and move it somewhere further. It becomes a real problem when you do this on repeat….especially when you don’t make critical changes in how you structure your business, so that it doesn’t keep requiring more of you to keep reaching those new goals. 

    Outperforming is addictive, especially for high-performing people who have subconscious limiting beliefs around their security. So how do we prevent this from happening, if it hasn’t already or how do we get out of the vicious cycle, if we’re already in it? 1. Decide The first step is to decide and to make a commitment to yourself and to your family that you either won’t let it happen or that you’re going to do something, starting today to change. Everytime we grow and make changes in our lives, it always starts with a decision. We have to decide first, before we can take action. 2. Prioritize Step two is to prioritize your life. 

    What and who are your priorities? Write them out. 3. Structure Step 3 is to structure your life and your business around your priorities. How can you leverage people, systems and processes so that you can keep your priorities a priority in your life? When it comes to people, have you ever considered getting a partner? Yes it comes with some challenges, but it can be an incredibly effective way of keeping balance in your life. I did record an entire episode about partnering up, so if you haven’t listened to that episode you should check it out. I’ll link to it in the show notes. If you’ve decided against partnering up, then you need to leverage people in other ways. As soon as you can afford to do so, hire a VA to start taking over all of the tasks that don’t require you to be the one doing them. One of the things that happens easily in our business when we do them over and over again, is that we lose an awareness that we even spend the time doing it and we don’t question whether we should or not. It’s really effective to spend about 2 weeks going about your regular business and recording how you’re spending your time, minute by minute. 

    You can use an app called Toggl to keep track and it’s an eye-opening exercise. It’s also a really good idea to plot all of the tasks you do on a regular basis into a task matrix where you have a love / hate axis and a good at / bad at axis. Then you take every single task you do and put it in the appropriate quadrant. You either love it and are good at it or love it and are bad at it or hate it and are good at it or hate it and are bad at it. Fairly obvious I’m sure, but every task that you hate and are bad it, needs to be outsourced first, hate it but are good at it second, love it but are bad at it third. The goal is to try and just spend most of your time doing tasks that you love and are good at and to either delegate, eliminate or automate the rest. When it comes to VAs, one they don’t have to be full time and two, they don’t have to be expensive. You can hire one part-time at first and then grow to full time as your business grows. The biggest roadblock that often holds people back from hiring a VA is the overwhelm and time required to train them. So if this is one of the things that comes up for you when thinking about hiring a VA, that’s a sign that you need to create a business process manual. It includes all of the details, steps, processes and repetitive tasks in your business. When I ran my brokerage, I turned that manual into an online course that every new agent and every new administrator took. Did it take some time to build it? Yes of course, but once it was done it was a game changer in my business. It took care of 90% of the training I had to do. 

    They would go through the program and it would teach them everything they needed to know about how my business was run and then They could reference back to it anytime they needed. The next way you can leverage people in your business, is to recognize when it’s time to add someone beyond a VA. In my opinion, that first hire should be a licensed assistant that can help you with anything in the business that requires a license to do. If you hire the right person and train them well on not only your systems and process, but HOW you treat clients, deal with problems, etc. it can mean the difference between burnout and balance. I also recommend you structure their compensation in a way that rewards them beyond a fixed salary. 

    Think about what motivates you and apply the same principles to them. Adding a VA and a licensed assistant to your business, may be all that you need to manage your business and still have enough time to enjoy your life and be present for those that matter. If you still have the growth bug, building a team would be your next step. But recognize that doing so creates a whole different set of problems that can actually create more challenges finding balance. So beyond leveraging people and delegating tasks, the next way that you can leverage is through systems and automation. Another great exercise is to look at all of the tasks that you’re doing regularly and to explore whether there is a faster, more streamlined way to do it. Is there software available that could automate the process more efficiently? Are there steps that you’re doing manually that could be automated? Are there templates that you could create that you could use regularly so that you’re not creating the same thing over and over again? Are there workflows that you repeat that take up mental real estate thinking about the tasks, that could be digitized so that you’re reminded of them automatically. Having a project management system that manages your tasks and turns them into automated workflows is a game changer when it comes to freeing up your time. 

    What about systems outside of work in your personal life? Go through the same exercise and look at all of the tasks you’re doing at home to see if you can outsource any to free up more time. For us, we outsource everything we don’t enjoy – cleaning, meal planning, grocery shopping, grass cutting. Etc. Lastly, you need to leverage your processes. This category includes everything like your routines, how you structure your days and manage your time and how you manage your business processes. If there is a way to do something more efficiently, recognize it and implement a fix. For example, I use and recommend batching for content creation. Whether that be creating social media posts, writing blogs or creating videos. 

    Batching a month’s worth of content in one day is much more efficient than doing it piecemeal throughout the month. It ends up taking way more time than it should because you’re constantly task switching vs being focused on completing one thing at a time and staying in that zone. When it comes to managing your time, it’s really easy to take a victim mentality in this business. That we are at the beck and call of clients but that can’t control when we work. It’s not sustainable. While there are always going to be times when you don’t control your hours, make it the exception and not the rule. The problem is that most agents make it the rule and they inadvertently train their clients to follow that rule. Instead of always letting clients dictate when appointments will be, train them to pick a time that works for them in your calendar and then get really intentional every week around managing your calendar. Block off all of your family time first, block off some evenings and block off one day on the weekend. If you are available 24/7, you will end up working 24/7 and then clients will expect you to be available 24/7. When you use a calendar management system it also takes away the awkward back and forth conversations where you have to say no to a requested appointment time. They just find a time that works for them. Now once again, there will be times when you’ll have to adjust things to accommodate an appointment, but again, make this the exception and not the rule. When it comes to other processes you can implement in your business to make more time, a lot has been researched and written about time blocking. I’m a big fan of blocking time in your mornings every single day to focus on working ON your business. This is blocked off in my calendar and along with my morning routines, it allows me to have a predictable & consistent schedule. When you do something consistently you form a habit around it. With time blocking you form a habit around being productive and taking action in your business. It’s those actions that compound over time that you get the results you’re looking for. Reaching your goals does not take big actions, it takes consistent small actions every single day. The message I’m really trying to get across in this episode is to be more conscious around the choices you make related to your time. And to choose to be more intentional around those choices. Set your business up in a way that’s going to protect your time and allow you to put your family first. 

    If they are your priority, you’re going to need to set some boundaries to protect them. You will need to learn to say no to some deals and to some people and accept that you might make a little less money and that’s ok. Once your needs are met, everything after that is a choice. Choose wisely. If your basic needs are not being met yet, be careful about the habits you form. Start as you wish to go on and do it with intention. Form good habits and stick with them, regardless of what the business is doing. To do this you have to become really aware and conscious of your reactions and how you respond to the feast or famine nature of real estate. Once you reach that point where your needs are being met, be really careful that you don’t live to your new means. 

    When people spend everything they make, you need to continually outperform to stay afloat and that is a recipe for disaster. Put most of that money aside instead and be very careful and again intentional around how you spend it. My rule when I buy anything is that it either has to be an investment of some sort that will make me money back or it has to create an experience that we can enjoy for years to come or make special memories. That’s why I only own one designer handbag. They don’t fall into any of those 3 categories. I am so grateful that I have taken this approach over my career, because when I thought my son had cancer, I planned to quit working. I didn’t have to think twice about that, because I knew I had enough money saved that we’d be totally fine and that was so reassuring. As I said at the beginning of this episode, I thought I had made so much progress in finding more balance in my life when I closed up my brokerage and I don’t want to undermine the work that I have done, but this experience was such an eye opener that I’m not quite where I was convincing myself that I was. I had just traded in one business for another and tried to disguise it as something different. So now I have to undo this habit. I have to erase that neural network in my brain and form new work habits that are more healthy and more balanced. I am intentionally choosing to make time for things OTHER than work. And my kids and my husband are at the top of the list. They come first. 

    I’m also learning to play the piano with my little guy. I don’t have a musical bone in my body but man is it rewarding to challenge myself and I am loving learning and playing with him. I’m also trying to make a habit of saying yes more. Oh my god I’m constantly saying no to my kids. Last night we came upstairs to go to bed and as I was walking by my 14 year old daughter’s bedroom she asked if I could come in to chat. I was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed and I said that and then as soon as I got in our room, I was like NO I am going to make time so I went into her room and crawled into bed with her and she started crying and said she couldn’t believe I came back. Such a little thing and it meant so much to her. Of course I’m not going to always be able to say yes, but I’m catching myself when I just default to no and choose to say yes or no with intention instead. Anyway I hope that this experience has resonated with someone, with anyone that can relate to any part of it and that you’ll decide today to start working towards a more balanced happy life, where you focus on what’s important and put your family first, where you don’t sweat the small stuff and where you make more time for saying yes to the little things. I sincerely hope I never forget this life lesson and that I take this gift and change to be the best version of myself I can be. 

    Thank you again to everyone that was thinking of my family and praying that Lochlan was ok. Those prayers meant the world to us and they worked. I’ve recently learned that they call children with rare diseases Warriors. We named our son Lochlan because we just liked the name and we never looked up what it meant…..but guess what it means? Warrior.

  • Growing Your Business While Growing Your Family

    EPISODE 17

    In this week’s episode, Jennifer tackles the topic of how to balance trying to grow your business, while you’re also trying to grow your family. She gives listeners 7 tips to balance the struggle.

    Listen Now:​

    Show Notes:

    • Learn more about my ATTRACT™ coaching program for women in real estate here.

    • Learn more about EXP Realty here.

    • Purchase my Planned with Purpose™ real estate planner here.

    Episode Transcript:

    My kids: Then…

    And Now….

    Hello and welcome back to the Women Rocking Real Estate Podcast, You’re listening to episode #17 and I’m your host Jen Percival.

    I just want to thank everyone that sent me a DM on Instagram with questions and suggestions for upcoming episodes. Keep em coming. Tell me what you want to hear about and I will get it on the schedule.

    Today’s episode is dedicated to Jessica who wanted to know my thoughts on how to balance starting and growing a family while also growing your real estate business. So I’m going to tackle that question along with another one I get asked all the time around how I’ve personally managed to balance family life and real estate.

    As you’ve probably heard me say a few times in this podcast, I do have 4 kids and I did manage to build a pretty successful business, so I do think I’ve got some insight to shed on this topic. Now every time I talk about this stuff, for whatever reason I get people who decide it’s their place to judge me and decisions I’ve made. They decide without knowing me or my situation, that I have misguided priorities.

    So here’s the deal, if you are a mom that stayed home with your kids and waited until they were all independent, before launching your real estate biz, I totally respect that. Like totally respect It.

    Honestly I wish I could have been that kind of mom, but for whatever reason, I’m just not and I’ve accepted that. So if you’re going to feel judgment towards that, then this episode is not for you. It’s probably better if you just switch to another podcast for today and leave this one alone. Because in this episode, we are going to check all mommy guilt and all judgment at the door. Deal? Great.

    Ok so today I’m going to give you my 7 tips for balancing family and work.

    Tip #1 – Have kids while you can, your career will adjust

    My first piece of advice is to have kids while you can. Your career will adjust. If having children or another child is important to you, don’t ever let your real estate career stand in your way. I am living proof that you can make it work. But you won’t always have the chance to have kids. The door closes and we never know when that’s going to happen. The lovely thing about working in real estate though, is that you can do it until you’re an old bitty. There is no expiry date on real estate agents, so take advantage of your fertile years and make that the priority.

    When I got into this business, I had a 1 year old and a 2.5 year old. I now have a 14 yr old, a 13 yr old, an 11 yr old and a whoops 7 year old. My husband claims that our last one was totally planned, he just didn’t involve me in the plans. But I always joke that he was the best whoops I ever could have made.

    Was it always easy? Heck no.

    It was hell at times. But it’s kinda like labour, I don’t know you forget the bad times, they kinda become comical in hindsight. I had two particularly bad years in my career with respect to managing family life.

    I can’t remember if I have shared the story of how I got into real estate in past episodes, but For the first 6 months, the market had completely crashed so there was nothing going on and I had 2 kids at the time and like I said they were 1 and 2.5 and they were at home with me, but about half way through the year, my business took off and I went from twiddling my thumbs to having a pretty busy business. I couldn’t manage things with two little kids at home, so I put them in daycare initially, but found really quickly that I wasn’t getting to see them at all. They’d be gone all day and when they came home, I’d be out the door for appointments. So after a few months of that, we decided that getting a live in nanny was probably a better option.

    The problem was that our house didn’t have the space to accommodate a live-in nanny and a home office, so we decided to make the leap and upgrade our house. As a side note by the way, when I first got into the business, I had created a vision board of all the things I dreamed about and one of them was a beautiful new house. Well sure enough, we found the house of my dreams and moved in right about the time I’d been in the business for a year. It had a perfect suite in the basement for our nanny and I had a beautiful main floor corner office. I had hit the jackpot and life was great….until it wasn’t. 3 months later my husband and I got divorced.

    I’m not going to lie, the year that followed was pretty much a black hole. I literally don’t have many memories, but I do remember being terrified that I was going to go bankrupt. I didn’t want to move my kids after they’d been through so much, so I bought the house from him and took on the crazy mortgage on my own. It was a really tough year and I worked a lot. Like 18 hours a day, but I somehow found a way to make it work.

    Tip #2 – Reframe how you view parenting and the time you spend with your kids.

    Which brings me to Tip # 2 – when you work in real estate you need to re-frame how you view parenting and the time you spend with your kids.

    Yes we had a live-in nanny, but I walked my son to school every day and made a point to be home at lunch. But I worked in between. Then I’d often pick him up from school and hang out for awhile before heading out for appointments. I certainly missed a lot of bedtime routines, but I usually managed to make up for it during the day.

    Where I’m going with this, is that you have to look at your time with your kids overall. Lots of parents drop their kids off in the morning and then don’t see them until dinner and get a few hours then. For us, although we often have appointments during the evenings, we can see our kids during the day a bit more than regular working people can. So when you’re looking at your time with your kids, keep it in perspective. Don’t just focus on the time you miss in the evenings or on the weekends, if you’re making up for it during the day. 

    And I always say quality over quantity. My kids would all go bananas with excitement when I would volunteer on a school trip. I cannot exaggerate how much I hated volunteering on school trips, they are exhausting, but they always got me a huge return on investment with the kids. They perceived that time as way more valuable, than regular time together, so despite hating them, I tried to go when the kids were young. So if there’s things that your kids place high value on that you can make work, do it and then don’t feel so guilty about the other times.

    Speaking of the other times though, when you structure your days like this where you’re kind of switching back and forth between working and parenting, you need to be incredibly intentional around being 100% productive when you are working. You need to make sure that you’re all in during the hours when you’re not with the kids. This is not the time to get sucked into the google vortex or mindlessly scrolling on instagram. You need to have an action plan for everyday with clearly defined objectives of what you want to accomplish to move your business forward.

    So tip #2 was to reframe how you view parenting and the time you spend with your kids.

    Tip #3 – Arrange child care as soon as it makes sense.

    Tip #3 – Is that at some stage you’re going to need child care. As soon as you can afford child-care, I highly encourage you to get some.

    For me personally, having a nanny was really critical. I liked that my kids were home with her and I could see them whenever I wanted, but I could retreat to my office when needed. Our nanny – Eva is her name was with us for almost 8 years in total and I’d be lying if I said I could’ve done it without her. Even though she lived with us in the early years, she didn’t always start in the mornings, some days she’d start at lunch and worked until 8pm as an example. She was really flexible with her time which was super helpful.

    However the year that my youngest child was born – btw I did remarry and our family grew by 2 more kids, she met someone and moved out….and as Murphy’s law would have it, my husband got transferred across the country on a project for work that same year. So I was back to being solo mom from Sunday night to Thursday every week, but this time with 4 kids – and no live-in nanny. That was another year that’s a big blur. I’ll put a picture I posted on Facebook one morning on my website for you to get the picture of what I was dealing with – they were all really little kids still.

    Tip #4 – Use leverage and outsource everything you can afford to that doesn’t spark joy.

    But you know what, somehow I survived and so did my business. It definitely declined that year, but I rebounded the next. If you want to build a thriving real estate business and have a family at the same time, you are going to have to make compromises ok? That’s just the reality of life. One of the compromises you will likely have to make is around money and that’s usually in the form of leverage and that is tip # 4.

    You’re going to need to re-invest some of the money you make, back into systems, processes and people to free up more of your time. We often hear about leveraging stuff on the work front by getting an assistant or a buyer’s agent or building a team and I’m going to save that topic for another episode. But we don’t talk enough about how to also leverage things on the home front and that can have a huge impact on your ability to manage everything. You really need to pay attention around how you’re spending your time, on things that could easily be outsourced – especially at home. I do not grocery shop anymore at all. I have a recurring order and all our groceries get delivered. Do you know how much time that saves? Driving to the grocery store, finding a parking spot, getting a cart, going up and down the aisles, waiting in line to pay, loading all the groceries into your car, driving back home, unloading all the groceries into the house. Vs. Door bell rings, open door, put food in fridge. It costs me $10 a week. Is your time not worth more than $10 an hour? I also use a meal service called Chef’s Plate for 3 dinners a week. You still cook the food, but there’s no planning, very little prep and bonus, my kids have tried so many meals I never would have thought of before.

    We often spend a lot of time doing mundane domestic things without having any awareness of how much time it monopolizes. I talked about this in one of my Morning Motivation Videos on Instagram recently that one of the keys to being super productive with your time, is to become aware of how you spend it first. So spend a week or 2 documenting how you spend your time – there’s an app you can use called Toggl to track it – you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to actually recoup 2 hours a day when you get intentional about it. And do you know how much you can accomplish when you add up 2 hours a day over the course of a year?? A helluva lot!

    So tip # 4 was to use leverage both at work, and at home and to outsource everything that you can afford to, that doesn’t spark joy. I also recommend you go back and listen to episode #15 to figure out what those activities are that fall into your zone of incompetence.

    Tip #5 – Consider taking on a business partner

    Alright moving along to tip #5. One of the things that really got me through many years, was having a business partner. If you’ve got a good business going and you’ve got young kids, having a partner can be one of the compromises that you make to manage it all. Obviously there are challenges and you need to be very careful about who you partner with and how you set the partnership up, but it can be a great way to balance things during the tough years. If you haven’t listened to episode #7 I suggest you go back and check it out. I talk all about the pros and cons of having a successful partnership and how to set one up.

    Tip #6 – Take full responsibility of your time and your calendar.

    Tip # 6 – you own your time. We all get the same 24 hours in a day and you do get to decide how you spend it. It’s never about having the time. It’s about making the time. Everything you do, you choose and at the end of the day, you can make time for what matters the most. The more aware and intentional you are about your time, the more productive you’ll be. Every choice you make has a price. Everything you say yes to, means you’re saying no to something else. That means that each time you pick up your brain-draining phone and say yes to watching another dog video, you’re saying nope to ever reaching your biggest and most important goals.

    So take full ownership and responsibility for the choices you make about how you spend your time. Challenge deeply held assumptions about how you’ve constructed your life. You may need to find ways to be more effective in less time, you may need to rebalance responsibilities or set boundaries.

    Remember every choice you make is saying yes to that and no to something else. You can’t do everything, so prioritize what’s important to you and then take ownership of the choices that you make and the consequence of those choices. The best way to do all of that is to own your calendar. I say this all the time. Do not let your clients dictate your time. I was guilty of this for so long. Anytime I got a request for an appointment I’d drop everything I was doing to run out and help. They call that being a pop-tart agent. I just hated saying no to people. I always wanted to be available whenever they needed and I ended up working 7 days a week, crazy hours a day and going months and months on end without a single day off. It was crazy and my health and family started suffering.

    What I discovered a few years ago though is that there is an easy way to still own your calendar and your time, but NOT have to say no to people. So tip #6 is to use an appointment booking system. Train your clients to book appointments directly into your calendar. Let them find a slot that works for them around your schedule. This forces you to be super intentional about your time and planning. It also allows you to prioritize your family and schedule in your kids programs, etc. into your calendar every week. As long as you have a few evenings available and one day on the weekend, most clients will not bat an eye. Then put a link to your calendar everywhere – in your email signature, on your website, on your social media pages. Whenever someone tries to contact you directly to book an appointment, send them the link to your calendar. Now of course sometimes there’s going to be exceptions, but if you train them properly, they will start feeling guilty if they’re asking you to make these exceptions all the time.

    Alright just to recap my top 7 tips for balancing work and family
    Tip # 1 was to have kids while you can, your career will adjust
    Tip #2 was to reframe how you view parenting and the time you spend with your kids.
    Tip #3 was to arrange child care as soon as it makes sense
    Tip #4 was to use leverage and outsource everything you can afford to that doesn’t spark joy.
    Tip # 5 was to consider taking on a business partner
    Tip # 6 was to take full responsibility of your time and your calendar

    And lastly tip #7 is to say no to mommy guilt. I have spent enough time feeling guilty in the last 14 years. And then I felt guilty worrying that I wasn’t feeling guilty enough. It was like guilt layered on top of guilt. Enough already.

    You see there’s regular mommy guilt for working a lot, but there’s a whole different breed of guilt that comes when you choose to work, instead of choosing to be home with your kids and that guilt is a doozy.

    I personally spent so many years wondering why I had all these children if I didn’t want to be a stay at home mom. At times that guilt was so bad that I questioned whether I even deserved to be a mom and that was horrible.

    So I consciously try to say no to that guilt. It doesn’t make me a bad mother that I want to work. It makes me a bad mom when I yell at my kids and I do do that sometimes, but not because I want to work.

    The way I see it, for all the ways I’m screwing my kids up by working, I have to remind myself that I’m also teaching them the value of a strong work ethic and what it means to have grit and perseverance and resilience. I’m emulating what it takes to be successful and I know those are great life skills. So I can only hope that it all balances out in the end.

    I also feel like we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find this mythical work/life balance unicorn, which I don’t think actually exists. For me it actually only ever becomes an issue, when I’m resenting what I’m working on.

    When you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work. So if your life starts to feel out of balance, it’s usually because you’re not liking something about what you’re doing. So when you start feeling that, it’s a sign that you need to re-evaluate your business and find ways to re-focus your energy and look at how you spend your time to kind of spark joy again.

    Alright ladies that is it for this episode, I hope you enjoyed it. Remember if you’ve got a question you’d like me to tackle, make sure you check out the Ask Me highlight on my Instagram page and while you’re there, join me for my 66 day challenge to create a habit of being motivated. I post daily videos, so tune in if you need a pick me up in the morning.

    I will see you next week and remember, the more you learn the more you’ll earn.

    Until next time!