One of the best things about a career in real estate is that no two days are exactly alike. With that being said, the most successful real estate brokers have a very intentional approach to each and every day — and put a structure in place that allows them to make the most of each day, while still allowing for flexibility.
A “Typical” Day In Chicago Real Estate
An active real estate broker is a true entrepreneur — which means wearing many different hats. On any given day, brokers at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park might spend time on any number of activities. Generally, the most important pieces of a broker’s day center around two core areas:
- Generating and facilitating new relationships
- Servicing existing business opportunities
In my experience, the brokers who structure their days with both of those principles in mind are the ones that I would say are the most successful overall.
People who don’t schedule time for both elements tend to be the ones who ultimately find themselves on the “roller coaster” of real estate income. That’s not too surprising. Think of it this way: If you spend all of your time working hard to generate business opportunities, and then spend all of your time servicing those same opportunities, once you’ve closed the deals you won’t have anything left to do. That means you’ll have to return to square one and focus on generating new opportunities again.
A normal day for a broker will include lead generation and follow ups, business servicing, and training and learning opportunities. All of those pieces work together to form a structure. I think the biggest mistake that people make is that they don’t give themselves a structure to follow. Those who do set a structure and approach each day with intent are going to see a more consistent level of growth, and a more consistent level of success.
With that being said, the exact specifics of your day will vary based on what works best for you. Here is a general guideline for what I think a productive and well-structured day might look like for a Chicago real estate broker:
Block 1: Lead Generation Activities (~9 A.M. — 11 A.M)
Many of the most successful real estate brokers start their days with lead generation activities. That might include:
- making phone calls to your sphere
- writing content or drip campaigns that will activate conversations with prospects
- getting marketing materials into circulation
- creating social media posts
Block 2: Business Servicing Activities (~11 A.M — 3 P.M)
Once you’ve committed time to generating and following up with new leads, it’s important to focus on servicing the clients and opportunities you already have. This might include:
- returning emails
- helping negotiate contracts
- taking advantage of learning opportunities (such as taking a seminar or working with your office’s Managing Broker to improve a tool in your skillset)
- handling anything relating to transactions you have going on (such as having new pictures taken at a listing, or shooting a virtual walkthrough video)
- Learning and skill development
Block 3: “Field Work” (Afternoon — Evening)
Getting out into the community is also a vital part of daily life for real estate brokers. Most of the time, showings in Chicago tend to be geared more toward the late afternoon and into the evening. This makes it easy to center the last piece of your day around client-facing activities, such as:
- new listing appointments
- buyer appointments
- brokers’ opens
Making the Most of Your Time As a Broker
Of course, the specifics of each day may vary; the most important thing is making sure that you approach every day with intent. Some people have daily calendars; some people set weekly or even monthly calendars. It’s important to find what works for you.
In the end, the more you can hold yourself accountable to the structure that you set for yourself, then the more likely it is that you’re going to continue to grow a thriving business while also maintaining balance in your life — both personally and professionally.
A few other things to keep in mind: It’s very easy to get stuck in the minutiae of reactive activities, and not focus on business generating activities. Especially as a newer agent, your natural instinct will likely be to respond to any potential issue, question, or concern as quickly as possible.
It’s a good thing to hold yourself to a high standard for response time and client service. But it’s also important to remember that opportunities tend to be more scarce as you get started. As your business grows and you’re servicing more clients at once, it may not be scalable to handle things in the exact same way. It’s important to find your rhythm, and give yourself the freedom to focus on what you’re working on and manage expectations.
Particularly as a new broker, it’s crucial to set behaviors now that will support your future growth opportunities. That may mean getting to a point where you feel comfortable with picking up the phone and saying: “Thank you so much for the call. I’m just finishing a meeting, let me call you back in 45 minutes when I’m out and I’d be happy to discuss…”
Similarly, one thing we often talk about in our office is that you also have to schedule yourself some time off every now and then — even if that means carving out three hours one day, or taking a half day once in a while. A common mistake that newer brokers make is to not give themselves any freedom to step away from the business. Taking a few steps back every now and then is crucial to organize your thoughts and recharge your batteries.
Join an Office That Helps You Grow Your Business Faster
At Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park, our brokers have a city-wide reputation as some of the most knowledgeable, ethical, professional, and productive in the industry. We invest in our brokers from day one, providing a multidisciplinary training experience. We strive to create a collaborative environment where our brokers feel empowered to use the innovative tools and support we provide to build thriving, sustainable businesses. And we provide bright, modern, comfortable, and safe work stations and conference rooms that make our office a perfect “home base” for your daily activities.
Want to discuss what sets our office apart? Interested in learning more about life as a Chicago real estate broker? I always welcome the opportunity to discuss your real estate career. Whether you are considering a career change or looking for a new partner in your existing business, I look forward to connecting!