Gail and JoAnna's Real Estate Thoughts


What's the minimum wage?

Earnings, Salary, Real Estate




I was talking with a realtor in my office today who mentioned that she actually kept track of the hours she worked this year.  When she did the math and calculated her hourly rate, she was VERY disappointed!  She said, and I quote, "I really need to make more money and work less hours.  I'm not sure if this is minimum wage!"  






Salary pay packet real estate


I don't keep a regular schedule.  I take each day as it comes.  Appointments with buyers or sellers have top priority, then office commitments (meetings, phone time, caravaning) and open houses.   After that I fit everything else in when time allows.  Might be 8 in the morning or midnight.  I'll do paperwork, marketing, blogging, website maintenance, etc. during those times.  I might work 12 hours one day and 6 the next.  Some nights, like last night, I was still sitting at the computer at 2 am!  As a working Mom, I have to take the solitude when I can get it!  I think if I kept track of my total hours I would be in even worse shape than my friend!



Part of my Business Plan for 2009 is to keep a more regimented schedule. Actually allocate time each day to certain tasks.  For example, if I don't allocate a specific amount of time for comptuer work (maybe 2 hours?) , I could end up sitting here all day long!  There is ALWAYS more to do.

I would like to have a structured daily plan to get "everything else" done and have my clients be the only variable.

agenda schedule real estate


What kind of schedules do you keep?  On the average week, how many hours would you realistically say you put in?  When not with clients, do most of you go to an office or work from home?

In this business, is the person who burns the midnight oil every night to be admired OR should that person learn how to work smarter and more efficiently?



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JoAnna Siminerio, Weichert Realtors

JoAnna Siminerio
Weichert Realtors - Marlboro / Manalapan
732-598-6823 cell
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Comment balloon 64 commentsGail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio • December 03 2008 02:24PM


I am not a real estate agent, but I do run a home based business related to the RE market.  I too would hate to actually track my hours and see what I am actually making.  But there is a trade off in that my time if much more flexible than when I was in the corporate world and I would not trade that for anything!

Sue White -

Posted by Sue White ( almost 11 years ago

Personally I am an office person. I seem to get less distracted there. My relatively new role as a Mother has forced me to use my time as efficiently as possible.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Excellent post.  I was thinking the same thing.  I'm going to track my time starting Jan 1st.  So this time next year I'll be able to tell you.

Posted by Kenneth Cole, NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson (Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, -) almost 11 years ago

PS. I Love what you have done with your blog. How festive.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, tracking your time will be beneficial in that you can identify those activities that are actually nonproductive (i.e. non-income producing) versus those that will produce income.  You will not be able to completely avoid any of these activities, but tracking them may help to streamline or even eliminate certain activities or schedule them for those time when you have time to "fill" in between appointments, waiting at the doctors office, etc.  I also find that scheduling "down time" or time spent with your family is just as important than scheduling work time. All the best for 2009!

Posted by Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES, Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living (Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch!) almost 11 years ago

More important than bumping up my productivity, or hourly wage, would be scheduling time for my family. 

My kids are tired of being reminded that I'm doing something VERY important.

I'm tired of having dinner time come around to find that I ran out of time and didn't get to the supermarket, so it is pizza again!


Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, I've tried to keep a schedule but it always gets messed up. One thing I have learned is that you MUST pick a day during the week to take off. I take Wednesday. Of course if that's the only day for an inspection for example you need to bend but really try to stick to it. Trade any floor you get that day and don't get sucked into coming in for some "training" session. You need to schedule time for yourself as well as your family.

Posted by Gail Szeluga, Manalapan, Marlboro & Monmouth County (Weichert Realtors-Marlboro, Manalapan) almost 11 years ago

I try to outline the activities for each week/day -- and I find it makes me more productive.  There has to be some room to changes, but it works most of the time.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) almost 11 years ago

Owning and operating any business takes a lot more time and dedication than most people realize -putting your focus on productive work not just busy work should increase your hourly pays to track what is productive...........

Posted by Conrad Unnerstall, Associate Broker, Homes Brunswick Georgia 912-280-0088 (Chapman Realty) almost 11 years ago

I was really curious how many hours agents are putting in these days.  I agree that I wouldn't trade the flexibility of the hours that this career allows!

40 hours is a traditional work week...

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

This is a good mind bender, we have trouble putting an hourly rate on our business because we are always on call. You go to the store and a client or SOI needs to talk real estate. You are in a social situation and a new acquaintance wants to talk real estate. I tell my friends and clients I am like a doctor (always on call). But if you break it down it is probably around 5 cents an hour! HaHa!

Posted by Caren Wallace, Portland Caren Real Estate (Premier Property Group LLC) almost 11 years ago

I guess I'm below minimum wage at this point...lolol! No seriously though, that's one of the most attractive things about being a Realtor & entrepreneur- we really are in control of how little or how much we make.

Posted by AMBER NOBLE GARLAND - Top Real Estate Expert, Property Tax Appeal Specialist & Author, - The Agent You Can Trust To Deliver REAL Results! (Strategic Marketing Expert & Relocation Specialist Serving New Jersey and nationwide!) almost 11 years ago

Time Management is very important in our business. 

Posted by Steve Laird, Steve Sells Chico Real Estate (Anderson Real Estate Sales) almost 11 years ago

I too am below minimum wage when it comes to the amount of time I spend as compared to the payments I have reeceived.  Definitely need to focus on the more productive tasks that "generate money."

Posted by Vickie Slade, Service You Can Trust ~ Someone You Can Depend On (Colorado Landmark, Realtors) almost 11 years ago

Thanks for taking the time to write exactly what I was just thinking! Today I will spend preparing for 2009 and keeping better track of my time and being more productive.

Posted by Blatt + Cutino, Broker-Associate 831/206-8070*Call today* (Keller Williams Coastal Estates) almost 11 years ago

Very good post, and I agree with others that time management is very important. I cannot comment about now since I am not really working at all (everything is pretty much dead where I am). When business was better, I use to take off Monday's as a planned day off, as for the other 6 days I would start around 9:00 (turning my cell phone on) and shutting the cell phone off and logging off the computer by approximately 6:00 (unless I had an evening appointment). This way my family time started after 6:00, if I was working on an offer then I would keep myself available until 9:00, then the cell went off.

Keeping family time and business seperate is important.

Posted by Christopher Bonta, Realtor, Integrity and Honesty (The Bean Group) almost 11 years ago

Hi JoAnna:

When I first started, I kept a schedule/journal with the hours.  After I did my calculations and got depressed, I stopped keeping track.

I primarily work from my home and put in "many" hours a day, everyday...

Let's put it this way; my day is done when my work is done...even if it goes into the midnight hour some nights. 

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) almost 11 years ago

Hi JoAnna,

Great questions in your post.

I honestly don't spend much time "working" but I do spend a lot of time building equity in my business and continuing to contact my clients through several different mediums.

The time I spend in the business is time "invested" in the business - not just on getting a "deal".

Posted by Mark MacKenzie almost 11 years ago

Hi JoAnna - Gary Keller addresses this in SHIFT. The popular business concept used to be multitasking, but today it is Time Blocking. This means setting aside a block of time for one specific task (for example, lead generation from 8 AM - 10 AM) and not letting anything interfere with acconplishing that task.

Gary recently spoke to a group of agents in Las Vegas. One of my takeaways from that was "Control your time until noon every day, and then let the world come to you."

Posted by John Novak, Henderson, Las Vegas and Summerlin Real Estate (Keller Williams Realty The Marketplace) almost 11 years ago

I think I actually make about $2 an hour!!!  If you can find a way to spend less time and be productive please let us all know.  The successful Realtors that I am around burn the midnight oil every day.  People think we make an outrageous salary, but they don't realize the amount of time we spend being agents.  I have one co-worker who spends about 10 hours a day on his computer....sometimes I wonder what on earth he's doing, but I know he's trying to generate business on-line instead of wasting gasoline.  If anybody figures out how to work a normal 40 hour work week please let me know.  I consider all the time I spend dealing with anything related to real estate working hours...even my time on AR and it's time consuming, but I've learned so much and am ADDICTED!

Posted by Linda Pitts (Sue Wilkinson Real Estate, LLC) almost 11 years ago

Great post... I have had a couple of real estate coaches over the years and one of the most important things that I learned and that was taught to me each time was TIME BLOCK.  Block your lead generating time, follow up time in the morning and leave the rest of the day for buyers and sellers and ALWAYS block time/days for family and fun.

Posted by Cidalia Mendonca Matukas, Realtor Greater Brockton Southeastern Mass R.E. (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago


I think the first step is to look at your numbers. How many appointments did you go on to generate the income that you are at right now? How many appointments turned into closings? What was your average commision/closing? How many leads did you need to generate one appointment? How many closings do you need for next year to generate the income you desire?

These have to be answered if you wish to truly "control" your business and your time. Break it down to the simplest terms- "Am I doing things today to generate appointments?" How many appointments do I need this week? Than do the best you can to generate those appointments for the week. Once you have them, than you have time for the "non-income producing" activities, and yourself and family.

I think everyone gets scared of figuring out their numbers, and being accountable to those numbers. Because the truth is, we all could be better with our time. I could be out looking or calling someone right now for an appointment, however I am on the computer. Is it really bringing me business? But if you truly care about spending more time with family, etc. Don't you owe to yourself and your family to have a plan and follow that plan? Plan the work than work the plan. Good Luck and have a great 2009

Posted by You have to know your numbers almost 11 years ago

My ways to work smarter are pretty simple...

1) I don't take overpriced listings since I will most likely not sell them and get PAID.

2) I screen my buyers well.  No lookey-loos for me.  I want to get PAID.

3) I keep social media to what I think I need to do.

4) I blog for consumers and not agents for the most part.  I want to get PAID.  Not that I don't like referrals, but 100% commission from a client is better than 75% from a referred client.  Target consumers.

5) I track EVERYTHING I do.  Work smarter.

That's it.  Work to get paid. 

Posted by Melina Tomson, Principal Broker/Owner, M.S. (Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon) almost 11 years ago

We've often joked that we would make more per hour at McDonald's plus we might get benefits.

Except for #5, I do what Melina does.

Posted by Elaine Reese, REALTOR® in central Ohio (Real Living HER, Powell Ohio) almost 11 years ago

Hi JoAnna,  I work from home most of the time.  That was I can multi-task since I'm also a mom.  I can get a lot done from my home office without the distractions that I encounter at the real office.  Too much chit chat and not enough work.  I try to use my time away from my family wisely. 

Posted by Erika Rogers, St George Utah Real Estate & Relocation Specialist (Red Rock Real Estate ~ Southern Utah's Largest Independent Brokerage) almost 11 years ago

I am not sure why everyone cant realize how much work goes into our businesses.  I think that I am doing something that benefits my business about 90 hours per week.  Now if I could only convince my girlfriend that AR is

Posted by Jason Fleming (Jason Fleming Agency INC) almost 11 years ago

Can you imagine if we got paid by the hour. All things given the things we learn while working are also very valuable 

Posted by SacramentoCommercialLoans Bank Turn downs welcomed, Quick closings 916-847-7212 (Sacramento commercial loans) almost 11 years ago

Time blocking. It's a tough task to do, but important if you want to get the most out of your time. When you time block your day, make sure you block in the family time, the me time, and some blank time for last-minute clients, etc. Best of luck.

Posted by Anonymous almost 11 years ago

All of us who are complaining about our hourly wage just didn't make enough this year.  I am in the same boat if I broke down the hours.  We just have to go out and get more business. 

Locally the realtor drops each month are staggering.  ~100 out of 1200 just last month.  Our hourly wages should increase as the realtor pool shrinks. 

I always look at it as one or two more deals that are coming my way, which can significantly change an income depending on sale price. 

I don't have the patients or desire to track all my hours (its like tracking mileage) but I'm always curious to see the results

Posted by David Monsour (RE/MAX of Gettysburg) almost 11 years ago

Great Blog and congrats on the feature...I need to really delgate my time and move on because like you i could keep going and somethings will never be finished...Thanks for the reminder to get my act together

Posted by Tim Ludemann almost 11 years ago

I calculate this everytime I make a sale.  I divide my total earnings by 2,080 hours. Reason is because I used to work a 40 hour work week and I don't go by hours worked in RE because even if you have a office clerk job, you aren't working "all" the time even though you are getting paid to be on the clock..Same with RE except you aren't on anyone's payroll but your own.  I am up to $11.00 per hour for the year.  I think thats pretty darn good for me because I only do this part time. 

Posted by Kay Bennett, Your Best Cookeville Area Agent! (First Realty Company) almost 11 years ago

Too True David!  I certainly like the idea of undiluting the pool of Real Estate professionals working in the Manalapan and Marboro New Jersey Area!!

I'd like to clarify, I wasn't complaining about the amount of money I made last year!  I exceeded my expectations and while I certainly aspire to bigger and better, I'm more than satisfued with my overall production for 2008.  I think where the complaint lies, is that I put in too many hours AND if you asked me what I spent them doing, I probably couldn't specifically remember most!  While certainly productive, there were not enough specific immediate income-generating tasks. I need to find balance in the New Year!

As for time blocking, I need to schedule limitations to my schedule.  Maybe I will commit 6 hours on Monday thru Friday (outside of spending time with clients).  And that is it!  I like the person who said they work from 9:30 until 6, at 6 the phone goes off and the computer is shut down.  I never do that!

Jason - LOL... when you get your girlfriend to understand Active Rain is biz development, maybe then you can call my kids and explain to them that Mommy is not playing on the computer!!

Melina - You are a Realtor Machine!  I like your structure! 

Don't know who wrote this comment... but love the quote... Plan the work then work the plan!

John - "Control your time until noon every day, and then let the world come to you."  Great planI think it basically talks to what I've been thinking.  Commit to let's say 4 structured, planned hours per day and that would leave 2 - 3 hours to do what motivates me.  Thanks for sharing!


Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

Oh you have read my mind! I get the whole "take the solitude when you can" and often find myself in front of the computer at god awful hours... but is it productive I ask myself? Sometimes no, but I enjoy everything about this career so much! It sounds like you as well might have a "workaholic" gene. But on the plus side, I've rarely seen someone who dislikes what they do become a workaholic!! Good luck with the new scheduling plan!

Posted by Liz Toles, Lethbridge Real Estate ( almost 11 years ago

I can so relate! I just had a closing today for a person I showed 85 houses to and have worked with him since February. Granted he was new to the area and waiting for his home to sell. I feel like I lost money! I try to look on the positive side, I gained a friend, glowing reference,new listing and a new buyer. As a result, I decided today that I was going to track my time per deal, if that is possible to keep up with.

I find it easy to get out and meet people and have coffee, lunches, etc. to cultivate new clients. BUT I feel that all of the administrative stuff suffers. I am going to try to keep Monday's free for administrative things. I am intrigued by time blocking. I get so into emails! When someone emails me I really try to respond quickly but get bogged down.  Maybe time blocking is the answer. I have the book previously mentioned but have not gotten past the first chapter. Maybe I need to block time out for reading.

Posted by Andrea Bell almost 11 years ago

Amber - Soooooo well put...we really are in control of how little or how much we make

Regardless of the Real Estate Market or the overall economy, ultimately as independent contractors,  the choice is ours.  Some years may be better than others of course.  But the given result in any year is controlled by no other than ourselves.

YOU are ALWAYS so doggone motivating!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

Lot of good suggestions, I will need to put some of them in my plan. I start at 5 and end at 2 then I pick up the kids so my day probably starts then uh. I do two hours of (dialing for dollars), 1 hour with staff, 1 hour at the gym, 1 hour reading a RE book or magazine, 1 hour returning calls, 1 hour on the net (e-mail or marketing homes) and 1 hour drive time, chatting (in other words waste time). Then from 4pm to 7pm is for appointments.

Posted by Charles Stallions, 800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services ) almost 11 years ago

Hi JoAnna,

I know I work more than 40 hours a week, which probably makes my hourly wage about 2 or 3$/hour.  But, I love what I do, I'm getting busier and I wouldn't trade the flexibility for any corporate salary (which I used to have) in the world.


Posted by Lynn Brier-De La Cruz (Jacksonville Florida Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

You bet Lynn!! 

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna - I've been in this business for 27 years now.  Your idea of creating a Business Plan for 2009 is a good one.  It is proven those that make a plan, usually perform better and achieve their goals, more often than those that don't.

I was a single mom when I first got my license back in 1981.  I almost killed myself in the early years.  It was nothing to be working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Through the years, I began to work a little smarter, set up some scheduling guidelines, and things began to calm down.  Good luck to you and your plan.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) almost 11 years ago

Business planning is key to focus on the time and action steps that are money making and trying to be efficient to eliminate the busy work !

Posted by The Somers Team, Real People. Real Dreams. Real Estate. (The Somers Team at RE/MAX Access) almost 11 years ago


One of the best approaches that have helped me I set my goal of how much business I would like

to do. Then with my clients i try to listen to what they want then go over it with them to make

sure we agree basically i use the old manufacturing mentality once you start a job you incur cost

until you complete it there is cost still there this will also help to move on in some instances.


Posted by John Douglas (Berkshire Hathaway HomServices Partners Realty) almost 11 years ago

Jo Anna great points. I have worked "normal" hours and also been on the roller coaster without normal hours. At least with commissioned based work you are setting the bar or how high you want it to be. At a normal job that bar is often set for you. Also, people do not normally "work" 8 hours a day.

Posted by Eric McGowan almost 11 years ago

I think we all have to continue to learn how to be smarter about how we work. This is a business where one could work 24 hours a day and there could still be more that could be done.

Posted by Bob & Carolin Benjamin, East Phoenix Arizona Homes (Benjamin Realty LLC) almost 11 years ago

Jo Anna,

I tend to be a bit extreme on this subject but here it goes. Once we had a person in our office ask (a true slacker) ask me "can you help me?" I responded by saying "if I do your work who will do mine". Now  that might not be something to you say to everyone, but it is certainly something you might think.

I think people often forget that this is a business we run, not a hobby. Too many client and all too often agents forget that we sell time...not houses.

Figure out what you want to make next year...let's just say that you want to NET $100,000.00 so maybe you need to gross 125K or so. Figure in the 15 to 30% you should be spending on listing support and business development. So for round figures, lets just say you need to generate 150K. Maybe you would like to work 60 hours per week, so figure you need to generate 3000 per week. Now break that down to the day, or 500 per day based on 6 days per week. By the hour you need to generate $ 50 bucks an hour if you work 10 hours per day. So next time you go to lunch with the gang instead of keeping your nose to the grindstone...add $ 50.00 bucks on to the cost of your lunch. Next time the office idiot wants to tell you about who he hit on at the bar...figure the story to cost you .83 cents a minute.

Now that you know the value of each minute it will be easier to plan them.

To all who read this response and enjoy it, I sure could use a little help. I am trying to rank #1 on google for Palm Beach Gardens Real Estate. If you have a spot on your site where you keep links I sure would appreciate anyone who might copy and paste  this link somewhere on there site.

Posted by Steven Schafer, CDPE, SFR, ABR, SRES (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services) almost 11 years ago

I always try to plan my week out ahead of time, does not always work, but I try, I know that I need to have family and me time during the week.  If I only had a double twin!

Posted by Julie Staradumsky, CREN (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore) almost 11 years ago

You think you've got it bad, try being a school teacher.  At least, we have the opportunity to make as much money as we possibly can.  Best advice for your friend is to "work smarter, not harder".

Posted by Jeff Trevarthen (Veritas Real Estate Corporation) almost 11 years ago

Great post -- and we are on the exact same page!  I tend to just wake up each day and start returning phone calls, checking emails and going where the day takes me.  I end up working 10 - 12 hours a day and I would hate to calculate what I actually make in an hour.  For 2009, I just purchased a calendar whiteboard and am creating a focus for each day -- "Web Wednesdays" (blogging, marketing, updating my website, etc), "Thank you Thursdays"  (sending thank yous and notes to former or potential clients), "Flyer Fridays" (visiting my listings to make sure the flyer boxes are full for the weekend), etc. 

I'll let you know if it keeps me on track!

Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) almost 11 years ago

Oh my... what is min. wage ? I honestly could not tell you.. I have not punched a time clock in such a long time.

Great Post !

Posted by Roland Woodworth, Q Realty - Power In Real Estate (Q Realty) almost 11 years ago

I used to just work by the real estate demand, but then I was always working. Now I try to work traditional hours and it gives me a bit more of a life.

Posted by Alan Barker (Boomerang Leads) almost 11 years ago

I am in desperate need of a better schedule.  I seem to work lots of hours and think more organization would help.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 11 years ago

What a great post and I don't know how anyone can survive on minimum wage with these food prices!

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, nice post which got me thinking...

As an entrepreneur/business owner, I think its more about whether time/effort invested into a business activity ultimately yields a high payoff, moreso than how much that would equate to an hourly wage.

So for example, you talked about updating your website, doing some blogging, updating paperwork, etc. and tabulating those into your hours worked. 

The time you put in doing the website might get you 3 extra clients per year, next year.  The time you spend blogging might get you 1 client (if you really do a lot of blogging!) this year.  These activities are, to me, investments, and have future payoffs.  Just like if you invested $10,000 in Microsoft 15 years ago and cashed out today.  For 15 years, you may have been paying yourself "zero", but once you sold the stock (not withstanding today's crazy stock market) you reaped the rewards of your wise investment of money (which I'm sure would have been after a significant investment of time to research the company particulars initially and continually).

The paperwork, however, is where you are effectively paying yourself "minimum wage" in a sense, because that could fairly easily be outsourced to an assistant on a daily basis.

So what I've been trying to perfect, and what you might want to consider, is successfully answering the following question for each of your business activities... "Is this a $100/hr activity or a $10/hr activity?"  If you have a bunch of $10/hr activities, you should get $10/hr help, unless that is what you want to make for the year. 

Here's a practical example... you notice that you host 5 open houses, at 3 hours each, walk away with 3 real leads from your efforts, invest 50 total hours from beginning to end to help those 3 clients buy or sell a home (even if it's 12 months from now), and make an average of $6000 per client. You just worked 165 hours for $18,000, which equates to $109.09/hr.  That would tell you that hosting an open house is a better use of your time than paperwork, so investing time into the open house (while not yielding an immediate result) is an investment worth every second!

Don't know if that helps, but I will say that after I hired an assistant (whose first full year is 2008), I was able to spend 2 months redesigning my website from scratch, 4 months managing back to health some failing investment projects, and adding in a bouncing baby boy back in March, and will finish the year at about 90% of my 2007 gross commission income.  So somewhere around 60% of my time has been monolopolized by non-transactional activities, but by focussing on my high-income activities and always having backup for the $10/hr daily activities, I only took about a 10% income hit.


Posted by Troy Williams (Real Estate Professionals) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, I vote for "work smarter"!  But first you need to know what's working and what's not,  Treat your business as a business.  Track what you do that actually makes the most money and then figure out how to do more of that, and better...

Refer to my blog, "Did you make money today (or were you just busy)?" as it has a list of priorities, to help you determine which type of activities you should spend the most time on.

and also "Stop procrastinating (list of stuff NOT to do while working)" which is kind of humorous, you'll see why....

I work from my home office but ONLY when the kids are NOT home.  It's not fair to try being a Mom and service your clients at the same time -- your kids will usually get the short end of the stick and you will be frustrated!  So if you want to work at home, take the toddlers to Grandma's house first or wait until they're asleep.

Join my NEW group for professionals who work from their home office at

Regina P. Brown
Allison James Estates & Homes

Posted by Regina P. Brown, M.B.A., Broker, Instructor (MBA Broker Consultants) almost 11 years ago

I would be afraid to count my hours.  I know it is a lot.

Posted by Randy Prothero, Hawaii REALTOR, (808) 384-5645 (eXp Realty) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, Congrats on the star!!! As a self employed person, it is truly amazing how much time we spend working in and on our businesses. Sometimes I do not feel as if I make minimum wage, but being a type A personality...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

I am a working mom too and it is so much easier to get work done while the kids are in bed.  Many times my husband and I are both on our laptops watching tv together, its still relaxing for us and we get a lot done.

Posted by Lauren Krady Lancaster, PA Realtor (Keller Williams Realty) almost 11 years ago

I was so excited to see your gold star. Way to go, Girl! Keep up the good work.

Posted by Cecily Parks (iMove Group, Knipe Realty NW, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

JoAnna, I would guess there is only a small percentage of agents who really keep track of their hours worked vs. what they are earning.  Lord knows, I've resolved to do it so many times!

Posted by Patricia Kennedy, Home in the Capital (RLAH Real Estate) almost 11 years ago

Thanks Cecily!  I flagged your Bucket List post for a feature.  I thought that one was great!

Lauren - Love the idea about dual laptops!!  What a nice way to keep working (blogging) and stay in touch with your husband!

Regina - Thanks for all the links.  I'm excited to check out those posts!

Posted by Gail Szeluga & JoAnna Siminerio, Fostering Community Spirit Through Real Estate (Weichert Realtors - Manalapan - Marlboro) almost 11 years ago

I really need to track my hours.  I often end up working at all hours of the night on paperwork or on the computer emailing, researching or blogging.  Minimum wage might mean a raise!

Posted by Renee L. Norton almost 11 years ago

On average, I really do only work about 40-45 hours per week.  I have become very regimented in taking two days off, and not working past a certain hour of the day...for me...that's 6pm.

Posted by Chris Ann Cleland, Associate Broker, Bristow, VA (Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA) almost 11 years ago

Isn't it aggravating how much time we waste?  I certainly know I put in a ton of hours, but when I'm honest with myself, I know they weren't always productive.

To help me focus on "time blocking" better for specific activities, I've started using a teacher's lesson plan book.  They're only about $5 but it can really help you "see" your day easier.  You could get one at any teacher supply store if you think it might help.

Good luck!

Posted by Shawna Ebersole almost 11 years ago

Back when I was a Realtor in Texas when the oil boom was going bust -- a market similar to what we have been experiencing the past two years here - I kept track of my time just like my attorney did, in six-minute increments. I discovered that I was making $100 an hour. Consequently, that's always been the minimum that I've been willing to accept. Even 30 years later, it's a very good salary.

Posted by Not a real person almost 11 years ago

There are a lot of ways to make money with skills and interests that you already have, you just required to know where to look. If you are a fresher then there is a great program which will show you step by step guide ( getting money from online.

Posted by Emma Watson (Work From Home) over 3 years ago