If you haven’t already started thinking and planning for the new financial year, May is as good a time as any to sit down, take stock and make some objective assessments about your business before June hits. Even if you’re happy with the way your agency is tracking, there’s always room for improvement and it’s good management to continually ensure your agency remains well-oiled and in pole position to service property buyers and vendors.
Whatever your focus for the coming months, here are some tips to get you ready for a prosperous financial year:
1. Take time to take stock
Whilst you should never look back too much, reviewing your performance over the last year is the best place to start to identify potential problems, areas in which your agency is excelling and of course, strategies going forward. Pinpoint both the highs and lows and put in place action steps to leverage your findings. Where can you increase profit margins? Are you converting enough prospects into clients? Are your sales where they should be? How does your staff retention compare to other agencies? Asking such questions will help shed some light on how your agency can emerge a winner this year.
2. Identify opportunities for growth
Look at what’s happening in your particular area, and also the property market in general, to identify new areas for growth. Don’t just consider the obvious factors – think outside the box. Is there planning permission for a new residential development in place? Is there a way you could create some local publicity with a nice community story?
3. Set and share your vision
Taking stock and identifying opportunities is pointless without any subsequent action. When you’ve completed your review, re-visit your marketing plan and business development activities and highlight your key focus areas for the year ahead. Ensure your team shares in your vision and that each member is ready to take some ownership too.
Taking this a step further, you might wish to consider involving your team in the process of setting goals. There’s no better way to motivate your staff than ensuring they feel part of the roadmap to success. In addition, your team are a source of invaluable energy, ideas and creativity. They’ve got their ears to the ground and can help you identify potential challenges. Whilst aiming high is good, make sure the vision and subsequent goals you set are realistic and achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to a de-motivated team and low morale.
4. Identify your blockers
It’s important to identify the blockers that will limit your ability to turn vision into reality. Take an honest look at your business operations and identify where you’re least equipped. It’s no doubt costing your agency man hours, money and opportunity cost too.If you struggle with the books, outsource your book-keeping. If marketing is taking up too much time, find a marketing assistant who can support your agency on a part-time basis. If liquidity is limiting growth, look for solutions such as advanced commission. Turn your weak spots into competitive edge.
5. Review your systems and processes
Review each and every system you currently use and investigate if there’s a better solution. Are you delegating enough admin? Are you using the right accounting package? Are you automating your operations? Can you create templates to streamline and standardise agency processes?
6. Stay true to your agency’s unique differentiators
Be careful not to watch your competitors too closely. Stay true to your brand and the business you’ve already worked hard to build. What your agency excels in, might not be what your competitors do well in. Don’t try and be everything to everyone - but ensure that what you do, you do well.
Remember, reviewing your progress and planning for the future is pointless without implementation. So review, think and do. Here’s to a fruitful financial year all round.