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ARIZONA EDITION

1 Billion-Plus Reasons Why YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVE ON FACEBOOK

3 Ways to MAKE YOUR WORKSPACE WORK FOR YOU COVER STORY

S4 GROUP

PRODUCTIVITY KILLERS: 4 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Working Hours


ARIZONA EDITION

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S4 GROUP

CONTENTS 4) DRIP THOSE ONLINE LISTING LEADS 8) 5 TIPS TO GET NEW CLIENTS 12) 3 WAYS TO MAKE YOUR WORKSPACE WORK FOR YOU

14) 1 BILLION-PLUS REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE ACTIVE ON FACEBOOK 18) I’LL TAKE 2 POUNDS OF CONFIDENCE AND 3 POUNDS OF SELF-ESTEEM! 22) PRODUCTIVITY KILLERS: 4 WAYS TO MAKE BETTER USE OF YOUR WORKING HOURS

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Drip Those Online Listing Leads By Walter Sanford

My coaching clients are beginning to find more success with their online listing leads. Whether the lead is coming from postcard-generated invites to complete forms on their site or third-party consolidator leads, the web leads are coming in. The problem with a lot of these leads is bad phone numbers but good email addresses. The question is - how do we engage them in a conversation that leads to a listing appointment? Uncovering the seller’s needs prior to an appointment is always the first step in creating client satisfaction, but it’s very difficult to do without good contact information. By showing these potential sellers value, my clients have found that many sellers who wanted to remain anonymous are now holding up their hands and shouting “I want some of that!” The drip system that creates this kind of excitement is one that’s immediately started after the lead is received. The system shows the value that you can bring to their discovery process. Every three or four days, send an email that lets them know that there is so much more that a top, local, professional agent can add to their search. With my clients, we only give a little bit of information at a time. Usually within a few weeks, we have the serious leads contacting the agent for an over-the-phone consultation. Below are some of the points that we stress in our drip system email campaign for online listing leads: 4

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Week One: Thank you for contacting us for more information regarding the sale of your property. I hope the information we have already provided was of some help to you. We believe that a real estate relationship should be based on the client’s needs. Once we know those needs, we have some very unique solutions that our past sellers have mentioned were available nowhere else. Please give us a call so we can supply some unique answers to unique challenges. Week Two: In our earlier email, we talked about unique solutions. One of the unique solutions we provide our sellers is a pre-listing consultation. Go to www.(yoursite).com/prelistingconsultation to answer a few questions and schedule a phone call that’s convenient for you. This will allow our team to be better prepared to give you some insights regarding what to expect in this market. Week Three: In continuing our theme of delivering value to our potential sellers, one of the most appreciated value propositions that we give our potential sellers is our “seller education system.” If you call us, we can program a search for brand new listings each morning. The search will include specs that compare to your home and the results will be emailed directly to you. This provides you with brand new listings that would be competing with your home, if it was on the market. This makes you the most educated seller in town knowing what the competition is. You’ll receive these new listings at the same time agents in (your town) receive them! Week Four: Occasionally, we have a seller who isn’t interested in considering a sale unless he/she knows the value first. We came up with a solution that eliminates a lengthy listing presentation. We call this our free 48-hour phone value analysis. Go to www.(yoursite).com/valueanalysis. Complete the form and within 48 hours, one of our team members will call you. Based upon the same comparables that appraisers would use, we will let you know the value of your home. This is a fast and inexpensive way to bridge the gap of an expensive appraisal or a time-consuming listing presentation with a service that can be just as accurate. There is no charge for this service, and we are happy to put the numbers together for you! Top Agent Magazine

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Week Five: One of the services that our sellers most appreciate is our “meet the team” concept. You can go to our website or call us directly for the contact information on a trusted team member for almost any service. We know the best plumbers, HVAC techs, electricians, roofers, landscapers, painters, carpenters, and carpet installers in the area. We use them on our own homes, we trust them, and we have long business relationships with them. If you need anything done around your home to prepare for a potential sale or if you just want to get it ready for a special occasion, we know who does the job well here in (your town). Week Six: Our sellers get higher prices because we make their homes desirable to buyers! We call this service our “primp and polish” service. Any consultation is free! We can provide you some simple tips to make your home more inviting to buyers. We will point out any potential red flags and help you place furniture to get things ready to create that emotional pull. We have professional decorators on call. Their services cost money, but we have found their service is a good investment based on the additional monies that we receive for our client’s properties. The initial consultation is free! Please give us a call so we can set this up for you. Week Seven: Did you know that our company has access to a majority of the top real estate agents in any city in the world? If you are considering selling your home here and buying out of town--we can send you to top agents who understand your needs. Top agents know they can’t solve client’s challenges without first knowing what those challenges are. If you want a special house out of town, then give us a call. We know agents who will not only show you standard MLS properties but also properties that are not yet on the market. We call these “secret properties.” These secret properties can be owned by past clients who might consider selling or sellers developed from a postcard mailing campaign in your neighborhood of interest. These agents know many ways to find property that other agents will not show you. We find this service to be one of the best that we provide for our buyers so we wanted to make sure that you get the same service when you move. 6

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Week Eight: If you’re not quite ready to list your property, we have a system called “sell the sizzle before the steak.” I know it sounds a little corny, but we can discretely present that your home might be available to our database of buyers. This helps us to do a little pre-marketing prior to a full commitment of our complete marketing plan. If you are interested in this service, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. Week Nine: Did you know that we have a policy where no real estate agent will be allowed to negotiate with you in person? We do this because many times real estate agents can be very forceful in the presentation of offers from their clients. We ask for that offer to be presented to us, and we will spend as much time as you need with just us - your representatives. This eliminates awkward meetings where you need more time to think, and the buyer’s agent is pushing for an answer. We believe that selling a home should not only be massively profitable but also fun. If you’d like more ideas on how we differ from the competition, email or call me at your convenience. All contacts will be kept confidential. Well, I hope you get the idea that we’re trying to start a conversation with that potential seller instead of letting them fall through the cracks. A drip email campaign for a seller is similar to the campaign for buyers. It’s necessary for listing leads since the majority of information requests come via the web with incorrect or inoperable phone numbers. The only way to get these leads talking is to present them better value than everyone else. Copyright©, 2015 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Walter Sanford has been designing and implementing real estate systems for 30 years. One of the most successful REALTORS® and now wealthy from his systems, Sanford teaches his systems and strategies through his products, seminars, and personal coaching producing the best results in the industry. Do what works, do what is proven. Hire Walter Sanford. Call our office at 800.792.5837, email walter@waltersanford.com, or chat with us online at www.waltersanford.com. Top Agent Magazine

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5 Tips to Get New Clients If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you’ve probably built up a healthy percentage of repeat and referral business. Although it can be tempting to just maintain those relationships rather than generating new business, there’s something to be said for staying on top of 8

your game by never resting on your laurels. Actively pursuing new clients is not only a way to generate more business, but depending on how you do it, it could even lead to a profitable new niche. Here are just a few ways to build up your new client base. Top Agent Magazine


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Become a referral partner with industry peers

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Cold Call Expired and FSBO Listings

Everyone from mortgage lenders, to financial planners, to insurance agents, can be potentially lucrative referral partners for a Realtor®. You may already have great relationships with some that just need to be more formalized. But, you don’t just want to partner with anyone, make sure these are people you also feel completely comfortable referring your clients to - people who share your values and work ethic.

Another avenue to consider is divorce attorneys – yes, you heard that correctly. Helping people go through this difficult period actually requires a very specific skill set. You need to be able to handle the legal aspects, as well as the emotional ones. There are numerous training courses you can take if you decide to take this route, which could end up being a lucrative and much-needed specialty.

This is a route a lot of agents take when they are just starting out, that usually leads to great success. You probably haven’t cold called since you started out, and this is a great skill to build up again. It will not only sharpen your sales skills, but could generate a lot more business. People with For Sale By Owners (FSBOs) and expired listings, are usually very motivated to sell. This is a great chance for you to really hone in on why they need to hire you. Do you offer innovative marketing plans? Access to a large sphere of influence? Expired listing clients are looking for ways to sell a property that seems impossible to move. With FSBOs, you need to show them how you can get them more money in their pocket, even

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with paying you a commission. Pursuing both will really engage your mind to think outside of the box, which will not only get you more business, but make you better at what you do. 9


3

Partner up with a Relocation Company

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Become a Builder’s Realtor® of choice

This is another niche market that you can really capitalize on if you want to pursue a new specialty. But, it is a specialty, so getting educated on the process will help you generate the business you want. It’s a complicated area of real estate, you’ll often

times be helping to facilitate dual transactions, as you try and secure a property at the same time you are helping your relocation client sell their previous home. This specialty is becoming an in-demand skill in areas that have major corporate headquarters.

This can be a real score for any Realtor®. The competition might be fierce to land a client like this, but there are numerous ways to make yourself stand out from the rest. Gain certifications and become knowledgeable about the construction process. Be wellversed on what trendy materials, features, and finishes will add value to a property. Get the builder on board with you by offering to take just a segment of the subdivision then wow them with your marketing skills. Take on properties they haven’t been able to sell. You can even offer to throw an open

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Create a Website that Offers Real Value to Potential Clients

Perhaps the most useful way of getting contact information for people looking to sell is by adding a home valuation feature to your website. When people are first considering selling their home, finding out how much 10

house for them. This is another way to show them the level of service they can expect from you. These clients might be harder to land, but the payoff will be enormous.

it is worth is one of the first questions they want answered. By becoming a resource to potential clients (and current clients!), you just might be the first person that comes to mind when they’re actually looking to sell. Top Agent Magazine


S4 GROUP

“We pride ourselves on not being your typical real estate group,” say the co-founders of The S4 Group, Jenny McCall, Kevin Craig, and Tara Walcott. Before they began S4, Jenny, Kevin and Tara had each earned a decade of experience in the real estate realm. For their part, Kevin and Tara had come from a background working with attorneys, helping those experiencing bankruptcy short-sale their homes. Jenny had amassed her own set of experiences in the luxury and traditional resale market. When they decided to join forces, they knew they wanted to do things differently. Together, they combined their insights and talents as business partners and launched the S4 Group, a non-traditional real estate team staffed by specialized professionals. Included in their wheelhouse of skills, the S4 Group has esteemed proficiencies in the following areas: elder law cases, senior living relocation, properties in Chapter 7 bankruptcy, short sales, estate liquidation, probate cases, family law cases of divorce, property clean-out, work with licensed fiduciaries, and service on behalf of professional sports agents and athletes—to name a few. Likewise, much of their team also spearheads traditional resale transactions, so no matter what a client’s needs may be, there is someone on the team eager to be of service. “We’ve always advocated for those who find themselves in situations that require a higher standard of service,” they explain. “We began by advocating for those who were forced from their homes during the mortgage meltdown. We helped homeowners stay in their homes as long as legally possible and negotiated for them to receive government relocation funds. This evolved into our working with a multitude of law practices. We also provide specialized services to clients of fiduciaries, financial advisors, and the entire senior living industry.” Beyond their diverse service experience, what makes the S4 Group stand apart? For starters, each professional on their sixteen-agent team has a particular “superpower,” or service specialty that ensures clients are met with tailored service. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach at S4, and a meaningful emphasis is placed on the group’s diversity of care and collaborative efforts. “We truly care about our clients and tend to focus on helping people and developing relationships rather than pursuing single transactions,” they explain. “We consider ourselves a family of business professionals that puts all focus on our customers. We pride ourselves in our professionalism, respectfulness, education, healthy lifestyles, and family orientation. We pray together before each meeting and support each other as a family.” Another draw of the S4 Group is the team’s ability to provide unique, niche services that often go overlooked by the average agent. For instance, when elderly clients are relocating to a new living situation— be it an assisted living facility, moving in with family, or otherwise—S4

has service options so that out-of-state family members without the ability to conduct their own in-depth and time-intensive relocation efforts can place their trust in the S4 Group to make the transition smooth, efficient, and managed with warmth and personal attention. Regardless of transaction type, the S4 team takes a customized approach based on each client’s unique circumstances and long-term goals. What’s more, the team culture is founded on giving, and as a local business steeped in the regional community of the Valley-wide area, the S4 Group views their service as an opportunity to give back to the place they call home. They offer regional expertise that extends across the Phoenix Metro Area, so that no matter what neighborhood or community in which a client is looking to buy, sell, or relocate, the S4 Group has the inside track. “We serve where we live and work,” they explain. “We are identified as trusted resources for the communities we live in and look for opportunities to serve our neighbors.” To extend their spirit of service to their local and national communities, the S4 Group gives to a variety of causes. One of their team members founded “Music Remembers’, an organization serving those with Alzheimer’s or dementia, while another team member is a foster parent. Jenny and Kevin serve on the board for “Hon Kachina,” which recognizes Arizona Volunteerism. Other volunteer opportunities that team members participate in include Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army, Phoenix Dream Center, and many more. As a group, the S4 team is active in the Professional Association of Senior Referral Specialists, and they sponsor events for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. In addition to the team’s community-based charitable efforts, they also make it a point to commune as a team and grow their professional bond as an office through team building events, dinners and get-togethers that solidify their collaborative approach. “We try to keep everybody close, and that’s part of the culture our team has created,” Jenny says, “to do things that bring us together.” As for the future of their enterprise, they have plans to continue making inroads in the senior living industry, serving the Phoenix Metro Area’s elderly community and their families as their living situations change. “We want to add value to our clients’ lives beyond real estate,” Jenny explains. Beyond that, their goal is to grow the number of agents that work out of their office, grow their client base, and in turn, grow their community at large. “We just want to continue doing more for the community with and through our Downtown Scottsdale Luxury office,” she says. With years of stellar service already behind them, and a positive, determined eye focused on the future, the road ahead is sure to be paved with prosperity for the S4 Group.

To learn more about the S4 Group visit s4grouprealestate.com, e-mail jennymccallrealtor@gmail.com or messagetokevin@gmail.com, call (602) 989 –2245, or visit their https://www.facebook.com/S4Grouprealestate/ Facebook page here. www.

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3 Ways to Make Your Workspace Work for You Productivity experts agree that a curated workspace positively impacts productivity and mood, but oftentimes we settle for bland desks and cubicles that lack personalized details or considerations for workflow. Why miss out on the opportunity to optimize your surroundings when it could brighten your day—and boost your performance? Keep in mind some of these tactics to make your workspace your own and reap the benefits along the way. 12

DETERMINE YOUR WORKING STYLE AND DECORATE ACCORDINGLY For the creative set, a colorful and art-filled workspace can inspire fresh ideas and reduce stress. Likewise, casual yet aesthetically pleasing furniture, accessories, and décor set an inviting yet functional mood. A pop of color from an office tool—even something as basic as a stapler—can inject a sense of fun and modernism into your daily tasks. For the more analytical, right-brained worker, clean

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lines and zero clutter go a long way. A few well-chosen personal photos in tasteful, unassuming frames can provide a motivating connection to the world beyond the office, while accessories and supplies that are sleek, monochrome, and contemporary inspire a sense of calm efficiency. BUILD A WORKSPACE WITH YOUR DAILY ROUTINE IN MIND If you find yourself spending hours on the phone per day, or assembling stacks of documents and brochures, or even coming and going from the office with frequency—there are simple adjustments you can make to your workspace that will save you time and energy. If you sit for long hours—responding to e-mails or making calls—try incorporating an ergonomic chair or keyboard wrist-pad to maximize comfort. If you spend a long time assembling presentation materials, then file organizers, trays, and easy-to-pull labels can shave valuable time off your efforts. Lastly, those who step out for frequent meetings can reduce the hassle of being on-the-go by making your space mindfully organized—a coatrack and a dish for your keys by the door, an auto-brew coffeemaker, or an easily edited whiteboard calendar can make jet-setting simpler.

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ADD EASY DETAILS THAT ENRICH YOUR WORKING EXPERIENCE While organization and décor can rally productivity and mood, there are also a few extra details you can introduce to your workspace to improve the quality of your working life. Healthy, easy to grab-and-go snacks—think nuts, homemade trail mix, and fresh fruit— can keep your energy up without the sugar crush or guilt. If there’s a window nearby, a hard-to-kill plant like a philodendron or a fern not only cleanse the air around you, but also provide a welcome connection to the natural world. Being prepared in a pinch is another great way to make your workspace work for you: a spare tie, a tube of lip balm, hand sanitizer, or a box of Band-Aids can save you a trip to the store when an unexpected need arises. While we take great pains to make our homes our sanctuaries—complete with the decorations, furniture, and food we favor—we often overlook our work areas, even though we spend a sizable portion of our week sitting at the same desk. Challenge yourself to add a few of these personalizing, productivity-boosting details to your work area and bring the comfort of home to your working life.

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1 Billion-Plus Reasons Why You Should Be Active on Facebook By Bubba Mills

The number is staggering and potentially career ending for REALTORS® who ignore it: 1,440,000,000. That’s the total number of monthly active users on the social medium Facebook. That number alone is reason enough to use it regularly in your real estate business. But Facebook can also help turn you into the expert in your community. Just by sharing knowledge and relevant events about the community you can become the go-to source for all things local – a perfect way to capture the attention of prospective buyers. Plus, Facebook advertising also gives you tons of targeting layers like age, location, recent life events and interests. Plus, it constantly adds new targeting filters and functions that help you reach even more niche prospects who closely meet your customer criteria. Talk about pinpointing a target audience. 14

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Another Facebook real estate ad tool is Website Custom Audiences that lets you create Facebook ads that target users who have visited your website. And several apps specifically for Facebook have emerged. Consider these: • Heyo.com: Helps you host contests, showcase promotions and high-

light special offers. • Woobox.com: Let’s you easily create quizzes and other fun tools for engaging content. • Pagemodo.com: Helps you make your Facebook business page both sleek and stylish and tabs allow for easy lead capture. But the latest offering is just as cool. It’s called Facebook Live and it lets you stream live video on the internet. I recently wrote about Periscope, another live video streaming app, but when you use Facebook Live you’re automatically featured at the top of Facebook users’ news feed. What’s more, statistics show that live video is viewed more than recorded video. How can REALTORS® use Facebook Live? Open Houses: Broadcast a walk-through of a new listing

and highlight all the great features.

Webinars: Host live webinars targeted to buyers and sellers. They can sub-

mit questions just like a real-life seminar.

Real Estate Talk Show: Offer the latest news in the industry plus share lo-

cal events and your newest listings. In short, become the Lester Holt or Diane Sawyer of real estate in your town with your own “TV” show! Facebook offers these tips for using Facebook Live: Promote: Tease upcoming Facebook Live broadcasts for more viewers. Plan better: Take time to plan what you want to do in the video, whether

it’s a few key talking points or to have a few questions ready ahead of time in a Q&A, in case incoming comments slow down.

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Invest in some equipment: A shaky live stream turns off viewers so con-

sider a tripod or other stabilizing tools, especially if you’re taking viewers on a tour of an open house. And check the shot before going live.

Get the lighting right: If you’re indoors be sure you have plenty of good

lighting and avoid a lot of light directly behind you because it’ll wash you out.

Sound good: A common mistake for beginners is overlooking sound.

Consider an external microphone to make sure your viewers can actually hear you. And if the live option makes you a little nervous, you can also stream pre-recorded videos. Hey, that has worked like a charm for TV for decades. Some businesses promote their web series to “air” on Facebook Live at a certain time like TV shows. After they are streamed, Facebook Live videos function as normal Facebook videos. Some business owners believe videos may perform better if they begin as live ones. NowThis, a news company that publishes entirely on social platforms, experimented by streaming a 38-minute compilation of its favorite viral videos via Facebook Live. The stream received over 20,000 views and over 500 comments, according to Facebook’s counters. Yes, all the new-fangled internet tools, apps and options for REALTORS® can be a bit overwhelming. Just take it one step at a time and you’ll slowly be right there in the business-winning mix. E-mail me today at Article@CorcoranCoaching.com and I’ll send you more free information about how technology can help your real estate business. Copyright©, 2016 Bubba Mills. All rights reserved.

Bubba Mills is the CEO of Corcoran Consulting and Coaching Inc. (www.corcorancoaching.com/programs, 800-957-8353), an international Real Estate, Mortgage, and Small Business coaching company committed to helping clients balance success in business, while building value in life. Bubba Mills is a nationally recognized inspirational and education speaker, coach and mentor to the top real estate agents and mortgage companies. To find out more about Corcoran Consulting & Coaching, call 1-800-957-8353 or visit us at www.CorcoranCoaching.com. 16

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I’ll Take 2 Pounds of Confidence and 3 Pounds of Self-Esteem! By Barry Eisen

At least a few times per month I get emails and/or calls asking me to help develop confidence and a positive self-esteem. When you’re hot you’re hot and when you’re not, you’re not. Life has its ups and downs and occasionally everyone feels like they’ve run out of gas and nothing they seem to do works. When you’re in a slump the world can look overwhelming and against you. The more you think about you’re victimhood, the more out of control you feel.What you focus upon becomes larger. Confidence, positive self-esteem...these are just words and something experienced many moons ago. Talk it out with your spouse? Sure. See a therapist? Maybe. Get a coach? Good idea. Call a hypnotist...that’s where I come in, but maybe not in an obvious way. 18

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Hypnosis can be of help in so many areas such as controlling weight, memory improvement, reading faster, stopping smoking, becoming a great public speaker, prospecting and growing a business, eliminating fears, becoming a better golfer/tennis player/baseball player etc., sleeping and energy, controlling pain control in dentistry and child birthing, improving wellness, passing tests and so much more. This is not an over statement. Hypnosis is a performance enhancer because it taps into the best parts of who we are to make the changes necessary to make the changes to evolve ourselves. But “programming” ones mind for confidence and positive self-esteem is not something I’ve seen done effectively. The subconscious says, “What does that mean?” “Give me a picture, what do you want?” Read any neuroscience to know (or simply use common sense) that the subconscious needs specific direction (words, pictures and supportive feelings) for these clear messages to be acted upon. A general business plan is usually a recipe for disaster. A poor teaching plan will confuse students. Mixed general messages given to a 3 year old will produce erratic behavior. A loose navigation plan will have ships traveling in circles. Just like many people. Instead of working on confidence and positive self-esteem, does it make sense to instead, work on a solid business target of success and develop a business plan that will get you there? If you’re planning for the future, is it not a better idea to set an end result and develop strategies that will make it happen? If you’re looking for better health, doesn’t it make sense to set a target for excellence and back it up with a realistic exercise and eating approach that will insure success? The confidence and self-esteem will come along automatically. Create the goal, take action, do the work, be consistent. Your business will never grow more than you do. Your health will never get better without you stretching out beyond who you now are. Your relationships will never be more secure and supportive than you are of yourself. Your confidence and self-esteem will never grow without a reason. Top Agent Magazine

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Before you therapy or drug yourself into confidence and self-esteem, at least try (Oh! I hate that word) the 10 organic following ideas for 2-3 weeks.

1

Set goals that stretch you out and force you to grow. You can’t be depressed when you’re learning something. Learning takes you out of your egocentric predicament.

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Create timelines/target dates for goal accomplishments. This establishes a sense of urgency. It puts a little “gitty up” in your step and mind.

List your actions of the day on your To-Do list and prioritize all items. Doing the A’s and crossing each off as done, will put a smile on your face and a jolt of small energy in your life. (Accomplishment feels good. Could you use some “feel good”/self-esteem?) You’ll start looking forward 20

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to these little positive jolts and do what is necessary to have them. If I was talking cocaine...that would be a bad thing, but since I’m talking non drug human motivation...that would be a good thing.

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If you’re just feeling flat for no obvious reason, take on an interest/ hobby/project that’s been on your mind in the past. Learning stimulates blood flow to different parts of the brain and increases endorphin flow. (E.g. Calligraphy, sailing, martial arts, reading sci-fi, etc.)

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Follow through like your hair’s on fire. Show yourself what you CAN DO! Create some appropriate reward for the accomplishment. Balance your life with goals in physical, financial, emotional, educational, family, social and spiritual areas. Sometimes more is better. Purposely smile more, laugh easier, hold eye contact a little more (obviously, not in a creepy way) and present a stronger posture.

Learn to relax to slow down, put things in perspective, ask yourself how you feel and how you’re doing 2 or 3 times during your day. Don’t let the day rule you. Be present. Pay attention.

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Act “AS IF” you were already doing things with confidence, making decisions with authority and living the life you want to live. You become what you think about. Barry Eisen teaches personal development seminars and coaches Southern California top producing REALTORS®. “Your business will never grow more than you do” is the theme; self hypnosis and behavior modification are the tools for playing a bigger game. barryeisen.com, barryeisen@LA.twcbc.com 818-769-4300

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Productivity Killers: 4 Ways to Make Better Use of Your Working Hours

Even on the busiest of days, it can be hard not to get distracted by social media, smartphones, chatty colleagues, or personal to-do list items. So how do you keep your professional blinders on and power through your tasks with efficiency? Practice these four tips and witness your productivity skyrocket—easing stress and bringing renewed energy to your daily duties. 22

1. Create a sense of peace and quiet The office may not be your idea of a tranquil oasis, but for most, focus requires quiet and calm to best lend attention to the task at hand. If you find yourself seated next to talkative coworkers or in the center of a bustling office atrium, consider noise can-

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celing headphones, earplugs, or carving out an empty conference room for your work day. Turning the volume down creates fewer chances for disruption, allowing you to make the best use of your time.

4.Take your smartphone off the table

2. Organize your workspace A messy work area breeds anxiety and distraction, but a clean and organized desk inspires efficiency. If you’ve got a busy day ahead, take fifteen minutes and organize your workspace: gather miscellaneous papers into their proper place, dispose of out-of-date or unnecessary documents, or give your keyboard a dusting. Not only does cleaning and organizing your workspace prepare you for the work ahead, it also helps you transition to a productive, goal-oriented mindset.

3.Create a goal-oriented reward system Coffee breaks, coworker catch-up, and social media check-ins tend to break up our workflow on an hourly basis. Instead of trying to go cold turkey on these workplace routines, reframe them as rewards. For every to-do list item you complete, allow yourself a fives minute treat, whether that’s a fresh cup of coffee or a walk around the block. Not only will creating a reward Top Agent Magazine

system help you stay motivated throughout the day, it will also provide you with much-needed mental breaks that actually boost long-term productivity.

The number one productivity killer in this day and age? Smartphones. With access to endless social media portals, web browsing, text conversations, and games, smartphones are one-stop shops for distractions. While you may not want to delete apps from your phone, try leaving your smartphone in a locked desk drawer until your next break, or safely in your car. By simply putting your smartphone out of your line of sight, the impulse to distract yourself is muted. Even though technology and the modern office create ample opportunity for distraction, making these few small adjustments can go a long way in safeguarding your productivity. After all, a productive day allows you to enjoy your time at home and outside the office, without the worry of incomplete tasks and looming deadlines darkening your day. Keep these productivity tricks in mind as you mount your daily to-do list and you’ll be thanking yourself tomorrow.

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