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Written by Lisa Fettner

Being an agent can be a lonely job. Unless you’re part of a team or have an assistant, you are completely responsible for the success of your own business. While a career with no limits can be exciting, it can sometimes be as much of a blessing as a curse.

In addition, most agents don’t earn a traditional salary, and it’s often hard to use some of your hard-earned commission money for the resources and technology that can potentially help you earn more money.

However, the reality is that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do to manage your real estate business. In order to truly achieve your goals, you’re going to need help.

Identifying where, when or how you need it can also be challenging. Given below are some ideas to help you get started.

Track your business: Think who, what, where.

• Who: Who was it — a buyer? Seller? First-time buyer? Downsizing seller? Doing so identifies your niche and unique position in your local market.

• What: What did you have to do to close the deal — a simple phone call? Multiple presentations? Long-term drip campaign? Identifying the actual activities and costs to complete the transaction helps you determine the actual cost to your pocketbook — and your time.

• Where: Where did that lead come from — a referral? Online lead? Identifying and tracking the source of your business helps you determine where and how you should be marketing for new business in the future.

Identify your value: What are you really earning/per hour? Does the answer surprise you?

• Look at the “what” section of your business tracking. What items could someone else have done? What were the tasks that you absolutely had to do, or loved doing the most? A REALTOR Magazine article shares great insight on how to calculate your worth. First, look at your annual income minus business expenses, and then divide it by how many hours you worked. Doing so provides you with your hourly rate. You can also apply this metric to determine the cost of each of your transactions.

• Run “aspirational” numbers to help determine what you should be doing differently to be more successful. If you want to earn a six-figure income, how much income do you have to earn, or how many hours do you have to work in order to do so?

Spend to grow and make your life better: You have to invest in your business if you want to grow — but figure out what you need and are willing to do before you hand over a credit card or hire someone.

• Identify those tasks — for example, data entry — that someone else can do for less than your hourly rate. Some people find “busy work” restful and therapeutic, but many of us hate it. When you run the numbers, you’ll find that it makes more sense to offload that work.

• Identify where your “holes” are. Are you only calling those very expensive leads you purchased one or two times, or three days after they hit your inbox? Lead gen management companies have entire licensed teams on staff to instantly call and manage your leads.

• Technology is a wonderful resource, but only if you use it. There are a lot of smart and useful tech tools available to agents today. Not all of it is right for everyone, so it’s important to find the ones that fit your budget, work style and audience. For example, don’t invest in automated texting chat bots if your client base is older and prefers phone calls over texts.

As an agent, you’re the subject matter expert to your past, present and future clients. Be proud of that fact and recognize your value. By identifying the tasks and roles that only you can do and using other resources on the others, you’ll be able to work smarter and take your business to the next level.

Want more time to build relationships that grow your business? ReferralExchange verifies your leads and referrals, contacts and gives them back to you when they’re ready to transact, and matches those clients outside of your area, price point or property type with three great agents.