This is the perfect time of year to look back and gain a perspective on what you did and didn’t do right in 2018 so you can make solid plans moving forward. Learn what you should maximize and what you should minimize.
Review every transaction from the point of view of what you did well and what you could have done differently that would have made it better. Maybe you should have communicated sooner. Maybe you could have prepared your clients better.
Review your activities including when you were busiest and the sources of your business. Did most of your business come from telephone prospecting? Your Dirty Dozen (your group of advisors who work on the business of real estate, not in it)? Did it come from the influential people in your life? Did it come from referrals?
Review your strengths. What do you do really well? Where should you add or improve skills? Someone in our company is incredible at networking events. She connects with everyone and finds out about them before they meet so she can start an engaging conversation. Through this skill, she has been able to build a great foundation for her business. During a conversation when I asked about her plans for 2019, she said, “I really need to get on the phone more.” Since her skill and natural abilities lie in networking events, I advised her instead to find more opportunities to get face-to-face with people. If her transactions are coming as a result of her networking events, she needs to find more networking events.
Review your habits. Think about cutting back on a little television time and instead listen to podcasts so you’re spending the time learning.
Ask yourself effective questions:
- Where did I find that business?
- Who referred me business?
- Where can I find more opportunities to network?
- Where can I give more?
- What should I be thinking about?
- With whom should I be connecting?
- To whom should I be listening?
- Who should I be thanking?
- Who should I add to my database or brain trust?
- What should I be learning?
- What do I want to be known for?
Establish your targets, tactics and timelines. For example, “My target is X. This is how I’m going to get there, and this is when I’m going to accomplish it.”
It’s easy to become distracted. You start compromising, doing a little less of the things that brought you your success. You write fewer personal notes, follow-up less. You don’t add those people you met at the party into your database. I see this happen all the time, even with consummate professionals. They get to a certain point in their career with a few achievements under their belt and they assume the business will continue. Real estate is not a business of assumption. We hear so much about disruptors and technology, yet the majority of transactions are coming from relationships. You cannot rest on your laurels and assume that people will continue to keep you top-of-mind for their real estate needs. Look up the people with whom you’ve done business to find out if things have changed in their life. Get to know them all over again. Find out how you could add value to their life (not only from a real estate perspective). If you’re not paying attention and looking for ways you can help them, someone else will. Be a part of the solution.
Fine tune your craft and your relationships. Make this your standard operating procedure. Pay attention to your plan, not only now, but all year. If you do this, chances are your business will increase while other people watch theirs atrophy because they are living reactively instead of proactively. The more you can weave all of these things into your plan the better off you’ll be.