How should people in commercial real estate spend their time?

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OPINION: SOMETIMES you need to invest time to make time, even (or especially) when you don’t have the time.

One of the things that I hear from people when I’m talking about the opportunities for professional development is that there’s no time.

“We’re too busy”, is an objection I’ve heard.

An owner of a medium-sized firm told me enthusiastically: “We’re on fire right now. We can’t possibly find the time for professional development”.

I was also told, before I set up CRE Success in 2020, that people in our industry aren’t interested in personal and professional development partly because it takes them away from their day-to-day responsibilities that actually matter.

Just to be clear, I am modest enough to realise that this feedback may just be an indirect way for some people to say that they’re not interested in working with me.

And that’s perfectly ok.

But, even if they’re politely declining my services (thanks for letting me down easy!), it remains true that some people do feel that they’re just too busy to be able to invest the time in themselves (and their teams). It’s an attitude that impinges on many people’s personal lives, too.

That feedback – along with my experience in the industry – told me that showing busy commercial real estate professionals how to save time without impacting their output could be an opportunity to help lots of people.

Here are some thoughts on why, when you’re busy, it’s exactly when you should also find the time to invest in learning and growth, and look for ways to become more efficient.

If you wait until you’re not busy, it’s too late.

So, you say when you’re busy, there’s no time. But then, when your business is not as busy, and revenue has fallen, there can be financial pressures which make it harder to find something else that’s required for investing in yourself: the resource of money.

Moreover, the pressure to find more revenue in tougher times means that learning and growth becomes even less of a focus.

So, wouldn’t it be that, when you are “too busy”, it’s actually a better time to be making those investments?

If you really are too busy, you have a bigger problem

If you really are too busy all the time, there are questions to ask about your current processes and efficiencies (or lack thereof). If you’re just dealing with what’s in front of you, with no time for anything else, how are you going to handle any future growth?

How are you making sure that bigger and better potential opportunities are not going to pass you by? They can be hard to spot when you’re so consumed with what’s going on in front of you.

In our business, you’ve probably heard the idea that it’s ok to lose on price because it means your competitor is too busy working for peanuts to grab the next, bigger opportunity. But what if you’re missing those juicier opportunities, just because you’re so busy in the first place?

If you have no time for professional development, for learning and growth, for coaching and training, maybe have another think about whether, when you are busy, it is exactly the right time to be investing in yourself.

It’s backing yourself and creating the potential for more momentum.

And one of the best ways you can invest in yourself is to put strategies in place to create more leverage in the way you work. Because when you are busy, you can get massive ROI from increasing your capacity. It will also reduce the likelihood that any bigger opportunities you really want don’t pass you by.

I’ll follow up with the second part to this article in Australian Property Journal soon. If you’re avoiding investing time in professional development because you’re already at the top of your game, I’ve got something to say directly to you in that piece.

Also, if you truly believe that you absolutely must be busy if you want to retain your current level of performance, I’ve got some ideas for you to ruminate on as well.

If you can’t wait for that article and you want to start saving time right now, check out episode 4 from season 2 of CRE Success: The Podcast. In less than 30 minutes, Steve Glaveski and I will offer you a ton of ways you can save time and get more done while you work. The episode was released on 6th May 2021.

By Darren Krakowiak.*

Darren is the founder of CRE Success. He exclusively serves the commercial real estate sector with coaching, corporate training and as an invited speaker at industry and company events. He also hosts CRE Success: The Podcast – season 2 starts in April 2021.

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Darren is the founder of CRE Success.
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