The 95/5 Principle and How it Affects Our Lives

What is the 95/5 Principle? Well, I made it up.  It is something I observe in life.  I briefly explained the 95/5 principle in my previous blog post (it is below).  As a quick reminder, that is when we make a decision based on how we live in or use that item or space 5% of the time.  It is when we choose to do something because it is only inconvenient 5% of the time.  Or maybe we buy it because we love it despite the narrowness of the actual use.  Let me give you a simple example.  How many of you give 2 ft. of pantry space to a turkey roasting pan, and how often do you roast a turkey?  That is the 95/5 principle, (I know that is a 99/1 item but I am big picture thinker.).

I saw this in my own life recently.  My husband and I have traditionally entertained quite a bit and traveled several times a year.  As a result of that, we never had a dog.  We like dogs well enough, but I wear black too often to want to frequently play with other’s dogs who can’t look at me without shedding.  So, though I manage and enjoy dogs, they were never much part of my life.

As a speaker, I travel a lot, and my husband deals with some pain issues related to his back.  Being in pain alone is a challenging combination.  So after much consideration, we got a goldendoodle puppy (they don’t shed ?).  Now that we have had him for 8 months, we have observed a few things – we travel together less – we expected this, and when it comes to company, I have learned that some people like dogs less than I ever did.  I value those people.  So taking care of the dog with company requires a bit more work on our side.  And a bit of inconvenience and crate time on his part.

I realized that the 95/5 principle was intact here.  We got the dog for the 95% of the time it is just the one or two of us at home.  And we work through the adaptations we have made for the 5% of the time he is a challenge.  Cats are the same.  Some people are allergic to them.  So we made the decision for the majority of our life even though there is some inconvenience as well.  The benefits began to overrule the challenges.

How does this apply to your life?  Is it the right decision for the right dreams?  Are you putting off a good decision because of a small inconvenience?  Are you letting the 5% rule your life?  And is that okay with you?  Sometimes it will be and sometimes we should reconsider.  I wish you peace as you make decisions in your life.

5 Basic Systems Changes for Busy Agents

Real Estate agents have to do many things that require a varied skill set.  And some of the things we need to do are not difficult to do, but require time.  When we are busy, what are some of the easiest things to turn into a system where we can get some help?

  1. Use autoresponders on your email when you know you will be unable to respond in a timely manner. And leave a specific daily voicemail message if you know you will not be able to return calls during the day.  Manage expectations of those trying to contact you.
  2. Hire a service you can use when you need them.  Look for someone in your area who can install signs, make keys, deliver flyers and let in vendors.  If there is no one who can do that, maybe that is a business idea for someone in your office.   Do you have a teenager who needs money or needs to fundraise for a trip or sport?  Make sure they are reliable.
  3. Work with the same title company as much as possible.  When you only have to call one place to check up on all your closings, that saves time.  Also, make sure this company is large enough to be efficient when you or your main processor is out of town.  Do they have backup help to make sure your clients get great service? Are they a reliable part of your successful team?
  4. Set up an email system to send out to your clients – one for buyers and one for sellers – during the contract to close period.  Send them a general email with what to expect that week for the transaction.  Make sure the time frames are clearly described in it.  Start with a template and modify it as necessary.
  5. Set clear working hours and only violate that boundary for specific reasons – like contract negotiations.  Keep your non-work hours for other things.  And if you don’t have enough time to do it all, we need to discuss moving into another layer of systems.

Start with those that are easy, simple and free or nearly so.   Once you have improved some systems, the next level of systems changes will come easier.  And when you need an assistant, the systems for them to use will be in place already.  Keep improving your business for your life.