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Is It Time to Remodel Your Business Again ??

Having been a Realtor for what seems like several hundred years, the great majority of my time has always been spent in prospecting, working my referral base, showing homes, listing homes, networking, and doing all the typical things... engaging in all the "normal" activities... that Realtors fill our days with.

All of these activities are done when we work "IN" our business... doing the things listed above... plus processing everything... and all the other details from contract to closing.

But these times we find ourselves in are not typical times.  Nor are they the times of 2004 and 2005.  What this means to me is that if I am following my typical work habits from three and four years ago... and continuing to not get the results I received then... perhaps doing something different is in order.

That is where "remodeling time" comes into play.  There is a phrase that goes something like... "insanity is doing the same thing over and over... but expecting different results."  Yes... for many... myself included... these times have more than their share of insanity.

But Remodeling Time is time we spend working ON our business.  Remodel Time is a block of time that we spend uninterrupted... planning new steps to "grow" our business.  (For some very strange reason, my last Lamaze class many years ago just came to mind... but that's another post topic for another time.) 

Remodeling Time is a time to organize, to strategize, and to create new business systems, and then to plan on how to effectively implement them.

There are those who suggests a block of three hours a week be devoted to remodeling.  We are to "seclude" our selves... almost like a jury is sequestered during a trial while they are deliberating.  In effect, we, too, are "deliberating"... creating new systems and putting new plans in place.

I have chosen to take this strategy one step further.  Instead of three hours once a week, I have set aside from 10:00am to 1:00pm each Monday to Remodel about a third of my business.  Each Monday I spend this time... separated from everyone including my cat Mollie T... and work ON my business.  I also set up a schedule of definite steps to do each Thursday during the same 10:00am to 1:00pm time slot to start setting up the framework for implementing my new strategies.

At first this all felt really weird to me.  Spending time just thinking and planning... all by myself... instead of being "out there"... "doing stuff."  But the more I do it... the more I am finding that the time I am spending each week working ON my business... and in a very real sense... Remodeling my business...  the more optimistic I become about finishing the second half of this year in the best possible way !

Comment balloon 30 commentsKaren Anne Stone • July 25 2008 09:37PM

Comments

Hi Karen Anne...Just the thought of sitting and thinking for three hours sounds like a wonderful vacation to me.

It is probably what I need to do, to clear my mind and think things through.  I'm beginning to feel as though I'm going in too many directions and not quite finishing up anything.

Please let us know Monday afternoon or evening how your first morning went.

Kate

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne, your remodel time sounds like time well spent.  I think we all have to look carefully at how to make the most of this market, and my 2005 strategy is useless today, just as today's strategy will be useless when the market shifts again - which it will sometime.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne, your remodel time sounds like time well spent.  I think we all have to look carefully at how to make the most of this market, and my 2005 strategy is useless today, just as today's strategy will be useless when the market shifts again - which it will sometime.

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Hi Again...Are you going to go cold turkey?  No phone calls, no e-mails?  That is what I need to do.

Kate

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 11 years ago

Can you share with us any of your new strategies? What is the secret to actually doing it? I am great at planning ...but implementing is another story

Posted by Joan Mirantz, Realtor, GRI, CBR, SRES - Concord New Hampshire (Homequest Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... Great post and great philosphy!  It sounds like an ongoing variation of Dr. Deming's PDCA Circle.  I studied this for years and still use the priciple today in any of my work related activities.

http://www.ifm.eng.cam.ac.uk/dstools/process/pdca.html

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 11 years ago

Sounds like an incredible plan, but I wouldn't know where to start!  I'll just wait for you to answer Joan's questions! ;o)

Posted by Michelle Miller, ABR, REALTOR (RE/MAX Town & Country) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne, as times change we have to also; don't we? Technology is rapidly moving forward and we can either jump on board or get left in the dust.  I think it takes constant remodeling just to keep up.

Posted by Marchel Peterson, Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro (Results Realty) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne, I very much like your take on working in vs. working on the business. The remodeling phrase is a good one as well with the visual of change. Also, you have set up the discipline of the set aside hours for the focus of working on a business plan. It reminds me of that thought of you can't keep chopping down the trees all the time, you have to sharpen the axe. Very good stuff!!

Posted by Gary Woltal, Assoc. Broker Realtor SFR Dallas Ft. Worth (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne.....this sounds like a refreshing approch to retooling our business to be effective and efficient.  Where will you go to do this?  Please keep us posted how this works out.  Best of luck.  pw

Posted by Pam Winterbauer, "Providing Blue Ribbon Service" (Pam Winterbauer Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Kate:  I just hope I don't fall asleep.  It is much harder to do this than one might imagine.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Patricia:  Yes... so many of us are busy trying to do what we have been doing over the last eight years... the same things... and yet we wonder why so few of those activities are producing positive results.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Karen Anne - great idea, thanks for the post. You reminded me of advice a cousin (and successful serial enterprenuer) gave me many years ago. He encouraged me to just take some time off each day and think. I spend my planning time in my office, but I am going to try the "quiet time" approach.

Posted by Jackie - computer-training-atlanta.com, Learn to leverage technology to get more done. (770.498.7333) over 11 years ago

Kate:  Actually, at least for me... going "cold turkey" would be the only way I could concentrate enough to get anything done.  And, while I am at it... perhaps I could actually be "munching" on some cold turkey.  Low calorie, good protein, stimulates thinking, hopefully.  Thanks for the idea !

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Joan:  If I come up with anything earth-shattering, I will be glad to share.  What it may end up being... is deciding more on what activities to delete, and which other ones to stress... in addition to coming up with some new ideas.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Steve:  I used to have a proctologist named Dr Deming.  I wonder if they are related.  :)  Seriously, I will take a look at your link, and share my thoughts with you.  Anyway... I know I need to do something.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Michelle:  Not starting because you don't know where to start sounds like one of my often-used excuses.  I think more importantly it really matters much less as far as where you start... and long as you actually start somewhere.  That is what I myself have to push myself to do.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Marchel:  Oh yes... constant remodeling just to keep up with the techie changes and all.  But, for some of us, myself included, keeping up with the techie stuff is easier to say than it is to do.  Today...just today... I have unhooked my doggone Vista computer and gone back to my last PC... a whiz-bang version of XP Professional.  Just that... will lessen my frustration.  I don't know how you do such a great job of keeping up.  Great job on all that, woman.

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Gary:  Thanks very much for the kind words.  If we are so engulfed IN what we are doing, and never take the time to look at the overall picture... we (or I) could be stuck in a wheel-spinning rut for a very long time.  So there I will be on Monday... sharpening my axe, and thanks to Kate... munching on my "cold turkey."

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Pam:  I will simply sequester myself in my home office.  I think what I will do, however, is get dressed and ready, then get into the car, up to get myself a fresh breakfast burrito, then back home as if I was arriving at my office, and then getting to work.  Sometimes I have to play games with myself to make things like this work.  But, if it works... why not ?

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Jackie:  You might try the idea I just shared with Pam in the comment above this.  It makes it much easier to really cut out a block of time to begin, and work on a project like this.  It kind of makes the approach to it more serious.  And... you are very welcome.  Thanks for your kind words... I'm glad you liked it :)

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Hi Karen Anne...I met one of my best friends at a yoga class years ago.  We were both working at the same place and at lunch time we attended a class at our office.  Elaine fell asleep and was snoring.  After class I spoke with her about it and that did the trick.

If I hear you snoring, I'll give you a nudge.

Kate

Posted by Kate Elim, Realtor 540-226-1964, Selling Homes & Land a (Dockside Realty) over 11 years ago

Kate:  It might take more than a simple nudge, my friend.  But, if it is Monday morning, I will probably need all the help I can get.  Kate... hope things are well with you in Spotsy County.  At least, I think you're in Spotsy ?  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... Related? Heck, they may have been one and the same person. The PDCA model could easily be applied to proctology and I wouldn't doubt that after spending a while as a proctologist that Dr. Deming might have longed for something more probing! :) (Sorry, I couldn't resist!)  

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 11 years ago

Great post with plenty of food for thought.  It is important to keep everything fresh.

Posted by David Slavin, CDPE, ABR, SRES Keller Williams Premier (Keller Williams Premier) over 11 years ago

Steve:  I just know that there are times when I can count on you to come up with something that I wish I couldn't count on you to come up with.  LOL.  Did that make any sense at all ?

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

David:  I think freshness... combined with many other things... really can be a great help to our business.  I am glad you found some things in this post helpful.  Thanks so much for your kind comments.  By the way... I have heard that Katy is such a nice place to live.  Take care...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 11 years ago

Yes it is something you have to constantly keep up on.  With technology changing so rapidly you have to make sure you are staying up on top of things so you don't fall behind.  I map out a master plan once every 6 months and then implement it.  I am always making sure I am staying current with the changing times.

Posted by Linda Reynolds, Bradenton Real Estate (Bradenton Real Estate - Linda Reynolds) over 11 years ago

Wow- You inspire me.  I love your approach and attitude :).

 

Posted by Kat Kelly (Better Homes & Gardens) over 11 years ago

Karen, Sounds like a great idea to me. I will start blocking a time at least once a week to remodel my office, myself and whatever else that needs me to look after.

Posted by Jacqueline Tolstyka, Realtor - Selling Beautiful Northern Michigan (Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors) over 11 years ago

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