Effective - Adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing the intended or expected result.
Efficient - Performing or functioning in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort.
Those are the definitions of the two terms. For the last couple of weeks I have been asking myself how to streamline my business, and not be up at 6am checking out the new listings that expired just 6 hours earlier, and conversely not be up till 1 am writing blog posts, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend as she sleeps, as I make a lot of noise going back and forth to the kitchen to get a snack.
I like to think of myself as a technology geek, and have an app for everything. Need to access a contract from my phone from 10 years ago (my first year in the business)? No problem. Need to scan and fax a contract to another realtor using nothing more than my iPhone? Done. How about having my client in China, and his wife in Germany sign the same contract, but they don't have a printer or scanner, or any fancy apps? Easy Peasy.
Here is the problem, I dream (actually nightmares) of Dropbox, Docusign, PDF Expert, etc etc etc. I fear I am going to develop carpel tunnel syndrome sooner than I should by my constant clicking of that round button on the bottom of my square phone....when is enough enough?
I have some rules that I created for myself, to try not to be one of those zombies you see on the Walking Dead.
1) No phones at the dinner table
This one is self explanatory, drives me nuts.
2) I never answer my phone when with a client.
This one comes with an explanation...(Most clients can attest, getting me on a phone call is probably as easy one of us as dialing up Ryan Gosling to see what he's up to. I have a theory behind this.....hear me out. As much as it can be frustrating to get 4 rings and get my lovely voicemail, that same client knows I give them the same respect when we are in a meeting, or showing houses etc, they will never see me zip away and be 'that guy' (you know, the loud talker, finger in his ear to get maximum hearing call quality). I actually use this as a point in my initial meetings with people, and after I explain it, most clients get it, respect it, and actually like it. That being said, if you need to get a hold of me asap as that neighbours house you wanna buy just went up for sale, I respond to email/text within the hour (normally minutes). I think instead of the old school signs with Realtors smiling as wide as they possible can (yes I mean Eddie Yan) pretending they are on the phone, we need to update those ads to realtors sending an email on their tablets.
3) Never negotiate an offer via text/email
This coming from me, you know its important. Running 10 minutes late for a showing?, send a text. Want to know if this listing is still available? Send away! Asking your client if I can do an open house this weekend, start typing. Negotiating an offer with another agent, explaining why you are offering the price you are, why your clients chose that date for possession, explaining their conditions and terms......PICK UP THE PHONE. Negotiating was never meant to be done over text/email. In fact I prefer to meet the other agent face to face, in one of our offices. You would be surprised how much easier it is.
Cellphones, tablets, apps, make us more efficient, 100%, but do they make us less effective? So often these two things get confused. There is a time and place for everything, and again, I am 100% pro technology but at what point do we become less effective?
This summer I remember going to a wedding and 'snapchatting' most of the ceremony so that I could watch later, send to friends (because after a few beers I figure everyone would want to see videos of 2 people they don't know cut cake right?). My beautiful (she may read this, gotta cover all my bases) girlfriend reminded me 'nicely' that I didn't need to video every part because, well.....I was THERE. The best line she said was 'Why would you want to watch a wedding out of a 4 inch (my screen is 4.7 inches for her information) when you could just watch it'. I hate to admit it, but she was right. Very efficient, zipping videos out in 10 second snippets to anyone that would watch, but how effective was it?
Applying this principle to work, there are times when being effecient is great, but I can tell you this, my old school aunts and uncles aren't going to hire you to sell their house, replace their roof, or do their taxes if you send them an invitation to your blog (irony right?) , maybe invite them for a cup of coffee and chat in person,
just my 2 cents.