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Broker insights: How do you spend your time?

May 2, 2018

male-broker-laptop (320x212)There are only 24 hours in a day, but somehow the best brokers make it work.

“In CRE our golden hours are the normal business hours,” says Bob McComb, creator of Top Dogs CRE Training. “Brokers have about 1,860 golden hours to achieve their financial goals."

This week, we reached out to brokers to ask how many hours they typically put into each working day, and how exactly they spend that time. Here’s what we learned: 
A day in the life of a broker

Mathew Laborde, president of Elifin Realty, estimates that he puts in an average of 13 hours per day. “My work life and personal life are one and the same, so it can be hard to distinguish between the two at times,” he says.


His mornings typically start at 5:30 AM, when he responds to social media and email messages. As he gets ready for work, he listens to podcasts or audiobooks about CRE and sales in general. “An excellent podcast just launched is
Common Area with Tanner McGraw, Apto’s founder and CSO,” Laborde says.

Between 6:30 AM and 7:50 AM, he heads to work, tackles activities left over from yesterday, and preps for the day ahead. By 7:50, he’s on the phone making prospecting calls—something he’ll do for at least the next hour.

The rest of the morning is reserved for higher productivity meetings and activities. “I am the sharpest in the mornings before lunch,” Laborde says. “I like to schedule important meetings, pitches, proposals, and tours in this time block."

At midday, Laborde’s out in the world and expanding his network, meeting influencers, prospects, clients, industry players, or fellow Rotary members for lunch.

Back at the office, he’ll spend the rest of the afternoon responding to email, returning phone calls, having lower-productivity meetings (like those with people selling a service or ad opportunity). Sometimes, he’ll head back out for property visits.

Laborde caps off his day with more networking. “I’ll typically attend an event each night to ‘see and be seen’. Examples of these events would be a networking social, a planning and zoning meeting, a charity fundraiser, a non-profit board meeting, or a class on a topic that interests me."

Meanwhile, David Walwyn, a commercial real estate broker with Newmark Knight Frank, also devotes a significant amount of time and energy to his work, spending between 8 and 10 hours on it each day, “Depending on how many balls are in the air.” He devotes about 60% of his time to deals in progress, and the remaining 40% to business development.

But he also makes sure his schedule works with the realities of family life. “Because I have two toddlers, I work deals at any time possible, including early mornings and evenings,” Walwyn says. “Weekends are for family and maybe some quiet office work time, with no client service on weekends except in rare situations."

A day in the life of a brokerage team

R. Craig Coppola, Founding Principal of the Coppola-Cheney Group at Lee & Associates in Phoenix, says that he and his team spend at least 60 hours per week at their craft.


Coppola says that a major portion of that time includes prospecting. “Yes, after 34 years, I still prospect. I also spend a fair amount of time coaching my team, and I have my own coach,” he says.

In addition to those activities, the team splits time between transactions, building and maintaining client relationships, and marketing their properties as well as their brokerage team.

“How much time is spent on each aspect of our business depends on your role within the team,” Coppola says. “Our younger people spend more time prospecting and our older brokers spend more time working transactions." 

A day in the life of…you

We hope you enjoyed this glimpse at how other brokers spend their days. If you’re looking for more, be sure to check out our A Day in the Life of a Broker infographic, which compares a broker’s daily routine today to what it might have looked like a decade ago.


And if you’re still trying to settle into a daily schedule that works for you, Bob McComb offers a good starting point for allocating your 1,860 available golden hours:
"Divide your required annual gross commission income by 1,860 to determine your required hourly production rate. Then reduce non-productive time and automate, outsource, or delegate indirectly productive work. Focus on producing listings and transactions."

Now we’d love to hear from you: how do you spend your time each day? Do you stick to a schedule that works particularly well for you? Please let us know in the comments!

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Irena Ashcraft

Written by Irena Ashcraft

Irena is a freelance writer who works with innovators, educators, explorers, and changemakers. From brave nonprofits to frontier-straddling startups, she helps clients connect with their biggest fans through writing that's fresh, relatable, and fun.

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