This week, we’re excited to speak with Naomi Hattaway. She averages 700 miles a week running her real estate business in Northern Virginia.
Tell us about your business. What does a typical day look like for you?
I run a real estate business and have a team of four agents. There really is no such thing as a typical day for Realtors, but my normal mornings start early with a 5:30 a.m. alarm clock. During the school year, my first 2.5 hours of the day are for personal care and getting the kids ready to head out the door. Once they are on their way, I kick into high gear for my clients from my home office.
First order of the day is status updates to all active clients via text, email or even Facebook Messenger. I try and schedule my meetings and client showings/home visits for a late morning (to let rush hour traffic die down) through to early afternoon. It’s important to me to be home in time for the school bus!.
We have a long list of daily tasks that vary, so one day might include a home inspection, a listing appointment, a photo shoot of a new listing and a closing, which can total 6 hours out of my day! Other days may be paperwork heavy, and sometimes our days are filled with community and relationship building activities as well!
Our days as Realtors often carry into the evening depending on our client’s availability and needs. We do try hard though to “shut off” at some point for some family and personal time.
How many miles do you drive in a typical week? Where do you drive as part of your job?
My average is 700 per week, but it can go as high as 800-900 depending on whether I have clients looking in rural areas, and how my week is structured. I live in Western Loudoun County and the expanse of Northern Virginia (my territory served) is a distance of about 50 miles. So, anywhere in between that (including a range of 50 miles to the South as well!) makes for quite a large area to cover in my little red Jeep Wrangler!
What’s changed since you started using MileIQ?
Simply knowing that my mileage is tracked, by virtue of making sure my phone is with me has made that part of running my business super smooth and seamless! I used to cringe when it came time to report my miles, and often times the guessing and hoping would amount in a ton of frustration. Not to mention having to try to remember what trips were business, and inside of business-related trips, for which client, etc. MileIQ has simplified the process to the point that I literally don’t think about it, except to classify my drives (which is so amazingly easy).
What other apps do you recommend to other small business owners?
Hoopla: links to my library card so I can have podcasts and audio books at the ready (and for free!) for all of those times I’m in the Jeep and not on the phone with clients or other Realtors.
Sworkit: easy, super fast workouts that you can do at any point in the day. Being a small business owner means you often sacrifice self-care and this app has great pop-up reminders and helps get in some physical activity!
Outlook: (not your old Microsoft Outlook) this app is crucial to my organization on a day-to-day basis. As it syncs my calendar, email AND my Google Drive/Files and Contact list, it’s an all-in-one.
Facebook Messenger and Groups App: I run several small community closed Facebook groups in my area, as well as one large one that is internationally based. Add to that the fact that nearly 70% of my clients prefer to communicate with Facebook Messenger, and those two apps are absolutely necessarily to my sanity!
What’s the biggest challenge you face running your business, and how do you address it?
Real Estate is a very personal business. Offering amazing customer service and client care at the same time as maintaining a stress-free transaction for everyone involved can be difficult. Often, we have up to 12 different parties to a transaction and it’s up to the Realtors to keep it all together.
It’s rewarding to get to the end of a transaction, but managing the moving parts is definitely a big challenge. Discovering the assets that various team members have to bring to the table is an important part of addressing this situation and we’re really aiming to work smarter AND harder in that arena.
What do you enjoy the most about the kind of work you do?
The satisfaction that comes from having truly walked alongside our clients while they are on the journey of “finding a home.” It’s really amazing to get everyone to the closing table (whether they are buying or selling, or both) and sees the joy and relief, knowing you helped get them to that place. Our industry often gets a bad rap, and it’s also nice to—one client relationship at a —help to dispel the myth and show that Realtors really can do an amazing job!
What tip would you share with other business owners?
- Time block, like nobody’s business.
- Find someone to act as a mentor or accountability partner.
- On the same token, but flipped, find someone to whom YOU can be a mentor!
- Ask for help!
When not working, what do you like to do?
I love to travel, listen to music, garden and visit wineries!
Where can people learn more about your business?
MileIQ’s blog does not constitute professional tax advice. You should contact your own tax professional to discuss your situation.