Forget False Urgency. Master Setting A Strategic Tempo

Key Takeaways:

– Inman is celebrating Agent Appreciation Month, which culminates at Inman Connect New York in January.
– Inman is rolling out the Inman Power Player Awards, New York Power Brokers, and MLS Innovators awards.
– Real estate is a fast-paced industry, and it’s important to combat the sense of false urgency.
– The article suggests using strategic tactics to navigate the dynamic and time-sensitive realm of real estate.
– It is important to integrate discussions about levels of urgency into initial client consultations.
– The Urgency Matrix can help prioritize and focus on what’s truly urgent.
– Recognize the signs of false urgency and approach work with a discerning eye.
– Pinpoint the source of urgency to effectively address it.
– Prioritize ruthlessly by focusing on critical tasks that contribute to the success of a transaction.
– Employ strategic procrastination by delaying non-urgent tasks to create space for more critical activities.
– Vet external requests and communicate realistic timelines to maintain control over internal processes.
– Foster a team culture of true urgency when necessary to respond to genuine needs for swift action.
– By employing these tactics, real estate professionals can navigate the industry with confidence and precision.

inman:

This January marks Inman’s fifth annual Agent Appreciation Month, which culminates at Inman Connect New York in a celebration of agents at the end of January. Plus, we’re rolling out the coveted Inman Power Player Awards, as well as the New York Power Brokers and MLS Innovators awards.

Not only do I love reading Harvard Business Review articles, but I also love music and am often prone to musical metaphors. Everything in life has a tempo; real estate is no different.

These days especially, things can feel like they change faster than the speed of light, making it super easy to feel trapped in a maelstrom of false urgency, where the pressure to act quickly can lead to rushed decisions and compromised outcomes.

To navigate this challenging landscape, it’s crucial to employ strategic tactics that help combat the sense of false urgency. Inspired by the article “5 Tactics to Combat a Culture of False Urgency at Work,” we will explore key strategies and demonstrate how they can be applied to the dynamic and time-sensitive realm of real estate.

A critical component, in my opinion, is how you integrate discussions about levels of urgency into your initial client consultations. Discerning what is truly urgent will vary on a case-by-case basis, during (and beyond) a transaction. It can feel as if we are all essentially “always on” as a result of constant connectivity, making it seem like there is always a proverbial fire to put out. In other words, just because you’re accessible doesn’t mean you’re available.

If you’re not familiar with it, a good tool to help you prioritize and focus on what’s truly urgent is the Urgency Matrix, also commonly known as the Eisenhower Matrix. You can find more information about it here (it’s item No. 4): 9 time-management strategies for busy real estate agents

1. Recognize the signs

The first step in combating false urgency is to recognize its signs. In real estate, this might manifest as a relentless push to close deals quickly, regardless of whether all due diligence has been conducted.

Professionals must be attuned to the subtle cues that suggest urgency may be more perceived than real. This could include pressure from external parties, artificial deadlines, or a general atmosphere of haste.

By acknowledging these signs, real estate professionals can begin to unravel the complexities of urgency and approach their work with a more discerning eye.

Use your experience to guide your clients through a thoughtful, informed decision-making process — one where they are thoroughly considering all aspects of a property in question and understand what the potential ramifications of forgoing certain considerations could be.

2. Pinpoint the source of the urgency

Active listening is critical here. Understanding where the urgency originates is essential to effectively addressing it.

In real estate, urgency can stem from various sources, such as market fluctuations, client demands or internal pressures within the team. By identifying the root cause, professionals can tailor their approach to address the specific issues at play, thereby reducing the likelihood of making hasty decisions.

As their trusted adviser, utilize your real-time knowledge and experience to potentially discern whether the sense of urgency has arisen due to an impending market shift. One of the greatest values you bring to the table is your ability to provide your clients with a thorough analysis of current and historical trends to help provide strategic solutions aligned with the market dynamics and their needs.

3. Prioritize ruthlessly

Combatting false urgency requires a disciplined approach to prioritization. As real estate professionals, we ruthlessly prioritize tasks in our lives and businesses based on their impact and importance.

By focusing on critical tasks first, professionals can ensure that their efforts are directed toward activities that genuinely contribute to the success of a transaction, rather than succumbing to the pressure of less essential matters.

When faced with a tight timeline for closing a deal, prioritize tasks that directly impact the transaction, such as the negotiations, and all the relevant due diligence (thorough property inspections, disclosures and legal reviews, financial assessments, and so on).

By focusing on these critical aspects, professionals can maintain control over the process and avoid succumbing to unnecessary urgency.

4. Employ strategic procrastination

Strategic procrastination involves deliberately delaying non-urgent tasks to create space for more critical and time-sensitive activities. In real estate, this tactic can be particularly effective in preventing the unnecessary rush that often accompanies perceived urgency.

By strategically delaying less critical tasks, professionals can allocate more time and resources to address the most pressing matters.

If faced with multiple tasks demanding immediate attention, a real estate professional may choose to strategically procrastinate on less critical paperwork or administrative duties. This allows them to dedicate more time to crucial negotiations, research or client interactions.

A dear old friend of mine would have referred to this as the perfect opportunity to create a “to-don’t” list or a delegation list. This is a great chance to look at the never-ending list through the lens of the Urgency or Eisenhower Matrix and decide what can be delegated or postponed to a later time.

There are so many tools that one can use to streamline processes to increase efficiency. Understand the value of your time and the impact of the actions you opt to invest time in.

5. Vet external requests and buffer your team

External requests, whether from clients or stakeholders, can contribute significantly to a false sense of urgency. Real estate professionals should vet these requests carefully and communicate realistic timelines to external parties.

Buffering the team against external pressures ensures that internal processes are not compromised by unrealistic demands from outside sources.

When a client insists on an accelerated timeline for closing a deal, as an experienced real estate professional, be sure to communicate the necessary timeframes for due diligence and negotiations and what the approximate timeframe will be. By setting realistic expectations and buffering the team against external pressures, they can maintain control over the transaction process.

This is especially critical when you are dealing with clients new to the market in which they desire to transact. Understanding the nuances of the market and the relevant timelines will help you to set the client’s expectations from the onset.

If you do not have direct knowledge, this is a perfect opportunity to leverage your network to gain a greater understanding of the other market your client has come from or is going to.

6. Foster a team culture of true urgency

While combating false urgency is crucial, it’s equally important to foster a team culture of true urgency when necessary. True urgency arises when there is a genuine need for swift action, such as responding to sudden market shifts or addressing critical client concerns.

By distinguishing between false and true urgency, real estate teams can cultivate a culture that values thoughtful decision-making while remaining agile in the face of real-time challenges.

Encourage team members to communicate effectively and escalate issues that require urgent attention. By fostering a culture that balances the need for thoroughness with the ability to act swiftly when necessary, real estate professionals can navigate the complexities of the industry with resilience.

In the fast-paced world of real estate, combating false urgency is a strategic imperative. By recognizing the signs, pinpointing the source of urgency, prioritizing ruthlessly, employing strategic procrastination, vetting external requests and fostering a team culture of true urgency, real estate professionals can navigate the dynamic landscape with confidence and precision.

These tactics empower professionals to make informed decisions, minimize burnout, and ensure that the pressure of urgency does not compromise the quality and integrity of their work.

Nikki Beauchamp is an advisor with Sotheby’s International Realty in New York City. Connect with her on LinkedIn.


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Property Chomp's Take:

Inman, a leading real estate news and events company, is celebrating its fifth annual Agent Appreciation Month this January. The month-long event culminates at Inman Connect New York, where agents are celebrated for their hard work and dedication to the industry. Alongside the celebration, Inman is also presenting the prestigious Inman Power Player Awards, as well as the New York Power Brokers and MLS Innovators awards.

In the fast-paced world of real estate, where things seem to change at the speed of light, it's easy to feel overwhelmed by a sense of false urgency. This false urgency can lead to rushed decisions and compromised outcomes. To navigate this challenging landscape, real estate professionals need to employ strategic tactics that help combat this false urgency.

One important strategy is to integrate discussions about levels of urgency into initial client consultations. Understanding what is truly urgent on a case-by-case basis is crucial during a transaction. Just because you're accessible doesn't mean you're available. Using tools like the Urgency Matrix, also known as the Eisenhower Matrix, can help professionals prioritize tasks and focus on what's truly urgent.

Recognizing the signs of false urgency is the first step in combatting it. This could be a relentless push to close deals quickly, even if due diligence hasn't been conducted. Real estate professionals need to be attuned to the subtle cues that suggest urgency may be more perceived than real. By acknowledging these signs, professionals can approach their work with a more discerning eye and guide their clients through a thoughtful decision-making process.

Pinpointing the source of the urgency is essential in effectively addressing it. Urgency can stem from various sources, such as market fluctuations, client demands, or internal pressures. By identifying the root cause, professionals can tailor their approach to address the specific issues at play and reduce the likelihood of making hasty decisions. Real estate professionals can use their knowledge and experience to discern whether the urgency is due to an impending market shift and provide strategic solutions aligned with the market dynamics.

Ruthless prioritization is another key tactic in combating false urgency. By focusing on critical tasks first, professionals can ensure that their efforts are directed towards activities that genuinely contribute to the success of a transaction. This means prioritizing tasks that directly impact the transaction, such as negotiations and relevant due diligence.

Strategic procrastination involves deliberately delaying non-urgent tasks to create space for more critical and time-sensitive activities. This tactic can be particularly effective in preventing unnecessary rush. By strategically delaying less critical tasks, professionals can allocate more time and resources to address the most pressing matters.

Vetting external requests and buffering the team against external pressures is crucial in maintaining control over the transaction process. Real estate professionals should carefully vet these requests and communicate realistic timelines to external parties. This ensures that internal processes are not compromised by unrealistic demands from outside sources.

While combating false urgency is important, it's equally important to foster a team culture of true urgency when necessary. True urgency arises when there is a genuine need for swift action, such as responding to sudden market shifts or addressing critical client concerns. By distinguishing between false and true urgency, real estate teams can cultivate a culture that values thoughtful decision-making while remaining agile in the face of real-time challenges.

In the fast-paced world of real estate, combating false urgency is a strategic imperative. By recognizing the signs, pinpointing the source of urgency, prioritizing ruthlessly, employing strategic procrastination, vetting external requests, and fostering a team culture of true urgency, real estate professionals can navigate the dynamic landscape with confidence and precision. These tactics empower professionals to make informed decisions, minimize burnout, and ensure that the pressure of urgency does not compromise the quality and integrity of their work.

As Inman celebrates its fifth annual Agent Appreciation Month, it's important to recognize the hard work and dedication of real estate professionals. By employing strategic tactics to combat false urgency, agents can continue to thrive in the ever-changing world of real estate.

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