There’s just not enough time in your day, right?

The thing no one tells you when you start in real estate is that the more work you do, the more work you create for yourself. Being an agent of any kind can be exhausting, demotivating, and thankless.

And then, of course, you go home to not enough personal time, not enough sleep, and not enough quality to your life.

It’s enough to make anyone contemplate leaving their business behind. Maybe it’s no wonder that most real estate agents don’t make it to two years in the industry.

Maybe, like me, you don’t want to be most real estate agents. Instead of changing jobs, try changing your routine. How you set up the first part of your day affects the rest of it. The right morning routine can not only make your day better, but also help you get back more of your personal time, help you close more deals, and improve your overall quality of life. Take a minute and check out my suggestions below—they’ve been proven across the lives of hundreds of other agents.

It’s Not About When—It’s About How

If you’ve been around for any length of time, you’ve probably heard of The 5 AM Club. If you haven’t read Robin Sharma’s book on the topic, I’ll leave it to you to pick it up and decide if it’s useful for your life. I’ll only make one (perhaps controversial) addition to its content: the hour you wake up just doesn’t matter.

Now, I’m not saying that Robin Sharma’s book is useless—quite the contrary, much of the book is excellent advice for establishing a routine—but I’ve noticed that most people take the wrong message from it: that somehow five o’clock in the morning is the right time to wake up. I’ve even seen it taken to the extreme that it’s somehow morally superior to wake up at five am—a ludicrous notion that I invite you to abandon, should you hold it.

It isn’t. There’s nothing magic about five in the morning—aside from the fact that it fits a number of peoples’ schedules so well for being a time of day with few interruptions. Still, you just might find some magic in the right kind of morning routine, no matter when you wake up.

Does How I Start The Day Really Matter That Much?

The start of your day has a profound effect on your productivity and success throughout the rest of it. Your morning mood ripples through the rest of your day and may determine your energy levels, mindset, and capacity for handling your workload. A study by Cinch found that 92% of highly productive people reported having a consistent morning routine.

So, yes—it matters. It might even make all the difference.

So, What’s The Right Morning Routine For Success In Real Estate?

Well, that’s really up to you.

I know, I know—you came here looking for answers, not homework. The thing is, it really is up to you—you’ll be the one implementing the strategies and adapting them to your schedule, market, and needs. So, I have some suggestions for things to include in your morning routine and some principles you should follow, based on research and the success of others, but the actual format of your routine is personal and needs to be determined by your needs.

All that said, here are five tips to get your morning routine just right so you can go out and succeed in real estate:

Make It Consistent

A morning routine isn’t much of a routine if you don’t do it regularly. You have to be consistent in order to get the results you’re after. Make a plan, write it down, and hold yourself to it. If you find that some parts of it could be adjusted or changed entirely, rewrite your plan and implement your changes. 

Be sure to write your plan down so you can hold yourself accountable to it. Adoption is hardest in the earliest stages, so be patient as you change and adapt, but don’t let yourself slack—you’re doing this all for a reason and that reason is increased success and better time management.

Prepare The Night Before

This will look different for different people, but here’s the gist: make it as easy as possible to get going in the morning. Maybe you’ll lay out your clothes or prep your breakfast so it’s easy to make. Personally, I mix up a hydrating drink and put it on my bedside table, set my alarm, set my clothes out, and plan out my day using a time-blocking method and a to-do list.

While I think everyone would benefit from time-blocking and using a daily planner the way I do, it might not suit your needs, personality, or way of thinking. Regardless, I find that planning your day in some detail the night before has merit, no matter the way you do it.

Don’t Snooze

I know it’s tempting. Maybe you currently set three alarms on your phone and let yourself turn two of them off before you wake up. I’ve lived that life. But the research is clear: hitting the snooze button is bad for you. It can leave you groggy for hours after snoozing. It’s also just a bad way to start the day—hitting the snooze button is a broken promise to the you who set your alarm.

Instead of snoozing, try putting your alarm—or phone, if you’re like me—on the other side of the room, forcing yourself to get up to turn it off. You can also try setting your lights on a timer—wi-fi lightbulbs have come a long way—using Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule, or finding any other creative method to keep you from snoozing.

The right morning routine in real estate can make all the difference.

Hydrate, Move, Fuel, Meditate

Your body needs a few things to get it going in the morning. Namely, it needs hydration, movement, and food. The order may differ because of your own circumstances. Your brain also has its own needs and I’ll get to those in just a second.

I recommend a large glass of water (or some other hydrating fluid—i.e. non-caffeinated) shortly after waking up. It has a host of positive effects that you’ll experience for yourself if you just start doing it. I personally use a flavored hydration drink because I find the experience to be slightly more pleasant than just guzzling water on an empty stomach.

You should also do something to get your body moving. Maybe for you that’s the gym or going on a run. Maybe it’s yoga or exercise videos on YouTube. Whatever works for you, works. Get your body going, get your heart rate up, and get your lungs going. If you don’t already do this, you’ll be shocked at how much energy and focus it brings to your day.

Eating in the morning shouldn’t be overlooked. You don’t have to make a whole farm-style breakfast, but you should fuel up somehow. This will give your body and your brain what it needs to get going.

And now we’ve come to your brain. Getting your gears spinning in the morning can be a monumental task. I call this part of my morning meditation, but my version of meditation is likely different than what you might be imagining.

I write. It’s just pure stream of consciousness for about ten minutes, letting me dump all my thoughts, anxieties, and other such things into a Word doc that ultimately doesn’t matter. It’s easily the most important part of my routine. Other forms of “meditation” I’ve come across include breathing exercises, prayer, reading, or some combination of those. They can all be valuable. Find something that works for you.

Meditation is an important part of any morning routine for success in real estate.

What’s Important Now?

This is at the core of the “why?” behind my morning routine, so I’m sharing it with you. While I’m planning the night before, I have to answer one question: “What’s Important Now?” It’s really just a question of what one thing is the most important thing for my upcoming day—is it a close, a meeting, an article, or something else? Knowing this ahead of time and then focusing on it while I prepare for my day points my entire day at the goal. I know that if I accomplish it, I had a successful and productive day. Achieving my “What’s Important Now?” is a real WIN.

You will get more out of a 40-hour work week that’s structured and intentional than you will out of a 60-hour work week that’s executed haphazardly. Start your structure with a strong morning routine and the research says you’re likely to produce more, make more effective use of your time, and have more energy. However you structure your routine, whenever you wake up, and however you plan your day, iterate until you find the perfect fit for you life, career, and schedule, and you’ll find more success in real estate than you have right now.

Up Next: Real Estate Agents: 3 Mindsets For A Shifting Market