You cannot get a prescription for it, but it is a real condition. It is “shiny object syndrome,” a highly contagious disease of distraction. And you may be infected with it if you’re experiencing one or more of these symptoms:
You get excited about new projects, but quickly lose interest after you begin and jump to the next one.
You are set on implementing a new strat egy into your business, but have no game plan to bring it to life.
Your team is confused by your constantly changing business direction.
As an agent, these distractions not only deter you from the most important task at hand, but from profitability. OutFront magazine interviewed two top-producing agents: Wendy Papasan, owner of Papasan Properties Group and Joe Bogar, owner of The Bogar Pilkington Group, to learn how they and their thriving teams are overcoming shiny object syndrome by using lessons from New York Times bestselling books The Millionaire Real Estate Agent, The ONE Thing, and SHIFT, as well as employing Keller Williams models and systems.
What are some of the distractions you must defend against daily?
Wendy Papasan: The struggle that every agent I know wrestles with is learning how to determine the vital differences between the urgent, the merely important, and today’s one thing. There are so many activities in real estate that are on an already established timeline, such as closings in 30 days or people needing to get out of a lease, that it’s easy to get caught up in something that feels like it needs your attention right now.
Joe Bogar: There are innumerable distractions that come from a myriad of angles and sources from our own team to meeting with other agents to client needs and expectations. We must be clear about what and to whom we give our time.
In The ONE Thing, we are reminded that changing our focus from being busy to being productive sets the tone for the day and helps us "go small." How do you help your team narrow their concentration?
Wendy: We have a brief standing meeting where we go around in a circle and say what our one thing is right now. For most of us, it is lead generation and setting appointments, and for our administrative team, it can look different every day.
Additionally, we create our 1-3-5, which is a mini-business plan where our team members identify their one thing, hone in on three strategies to achieve it, and then spell out five tactics to make it happen. We then turn it into a 4-1-1, a weekly accountability meeting, and use it to structure our time and keep our attention focused on our one thing.
Joe: Structure helps our team stay focused. Every Monday morning, we say what our goal, our one thing is for the week, and on Friday we evaluate how it went. The team meets at 8 a.m. to practice scripts before they begin generating leads at 8:45.
We help protect our people from distractions by putting them in the bunker. This is where time blocking and safeguarding lead generation on our calendars is crucial. While our sales team makes calls from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m., the support staff is fielding calls and intercepting emails. This keeps the sales team in the bunker while ensuring our clients are serviced and satisfied.
Do you find the process of elimination distractions more or less difficult when it comes to your personal life?
Wendy: Distractions are part of life and they continue on a daily basis. When I first began in real estate, I was only able to work between 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. while my daughter was in preschool, so I had a small window of opportunity to produce. Because my time was so limited, I learned how to push away distractions. I am thankful for those early days where I learned how to be intentional with time. To this day, when I come home from work, I immediately change clothes and it serves as a symbolic shift from work to home.
Joe: My way around distractions is to get up earlier than everyone else in my family to spend time with God. That gets me grounded for my day. To be the best husband and dad that I can be, I cannot be a 24/7 agent. I have learned to be clear about when to shut my phone and business off so that I can give my full attention to my family. Something I think about when I am tempted to lose sight of my one thing is that allowing distractions to get the best of me is robbing me of time with my family.
What other lessons have helped you overcome shiny object syndrome?
Wendy: The idea of leverage from The Millionaire Real Estate Agent was huge for our growth. We hired good help so that we could give up dollar-per-hour tasks in order to focus on clients and lead generation. Mastering the hiring process is essential to the conversation about avoiding distractions because having the right team in place allows everyone to work according to their skills and talents and to their highest potential. Keller Williams’ Leverage Series is a fantastic curriculum of courses that has helped us put our team together.
Joe: We have been utilizing Tactic #4 (Find the Motivated – Lead Generation) from SHIFT and it has been extremely helpful for our team. We block our time and look for 8-12 quality leads per hour. If we are consistently falling short of that number, then there must be a disconnect, some type of distraction