With less than 10 weeks left to end 2021, it’s time to finalise plans to finish the year strong and lay the foundations to make 2022 extraordinary. Being proactive with your planning can help you keep your priorities on track and take your business to the next level of success.
Many businesses set sales targets and market share aspirations, but few focus on filling the gaps found in processes, performance, and outcomes. The reason being is that they are compelled to keep doing “the work” and generating commission income at the expense of refining and streamlining day-to-day operations and improving the client experience.
They find themselves in a constant battle for time, and before they know it, the year comes to an abrupt end, the finish line is in sight, and the only thing most are thinking about and wanting to do is to switch off for a few weeks and gain some respite before it all starts again. Planning and goal setting take a back seat. That’s to be expected; however, with a little forethought, you can have your cake and eat it too.
Because of this, we’ve compiled a list of activities to focus on for the balance of 2021 and identified the key areas within your business to set up for an extraordinary new year.
Lead sources – the alpha and the omega
I’ve always said, once you list a property, the rest is elementary. Securing the listing is the most important, and you can only do that once you have the opportunity to present. It’s the beginning and the end! Start by identifying and collating your appraisal lead sources. That list will highlight where your prospecting focus should be for next year.
Profit and productivity
One of the perplexing things about many sales agents is that when you ask them how many listings, sales or gross commission income they have written, most won’t know the answer. Or they respond vaguely, which is a telltale sign they haven’t got a clue of the numbers. If you are one of those agents, make a promise to yourself that it will be the last year you won’t know. Here are the minimum KPIs you need to be across:
- Average sale price.
- Average selling commission.
- Number of properties listed.
- Number of properties sold.
- How many “quality” contacts in your CRM.
- Gross commission written and, more importantly, how much profit/personal earnings you made from that commission.
These statistics will be the starting point of building your business plan for the next 12 months. Please note, answers that start with “about” are not acceptable. You need definitive numbers to work with.
Team and operations
Who is on your team, and if you don’t have a team, why not? If you want 2022 to be extraordinary, you will need help. List all the activities that you would love someone else to do for you. For example:
- Database management.
- Sold to settled client care.
- Mainstream prospecting (Just Listed/Sold drops, weekly emails, social media posts etc).
- Buyer overflow and follow-up.
- Building, pest, and finance inspections etc.
The above is by no means exhaustive, but by briefly outlining your operations, it will highlight the gaps within your business, which you can then work on getting help to fill. Remember, success is never a solo journey.
I’m a huge believer of perpetual learning, which naturally requires a commitment to training. It’s noteworthy to acknowledge that our industry is absolutely blessed to have amazing training and trainers who are easily accessible and very affordable. There are multiple high-performance coaches that provide yearly memberships for less than $1,000 annually. That represents unbelievable value.
Start by reviewing what your training calendar looked like for the last 12 months and what areas you feel need improvement. Look up multiple trainers online and subscribe to their email blasts. Thereafter, block out the dates in your calendar for the major conferences and workshops you may wish to attend in 2022, and closer to the dates, book your attendance tickets.
Breaks and vacations
Our industry is renowned for burnout and mental exhaustion by its 24/7 nature. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “go, go, and go” and not plan for mini breaks or a family vacation. That is, most agents are always “on”, always connected to work via our smartphones, and because of it, find it difficult to switch off. That’s just not healthy or sustainable and because of it, having a plan for regular mini-breaks and holidays is imperative.
Start by reviewing the missed opportunities to have taken a break in the last twelve months. Were there any days or weekends you could have simply packed up the night before for a short getaway? Was there a period you sold the majority of your listings and had some “free” time?
For the year ahead, be aware of those opportunities. Be in the mind frame that you will take them. Additionally, plan an extended family holiday or group of friends adventure. Don’t underestimate the value of these “download” periods, and the more you get to action them, the more recharged and productive you will be when you are at work.
Failing to plan means you plan to fail
The subtitle says it all. When you do not make a conscious effort to plan, you are setting yourself up to fail. Planning starts by reviewing what got you to this point and looking at where you want to go. You need to have an understanding that there is never a one size fits all and that success takes a committed approach.
I can almost guarantee that when you review your year and plan for the next, you will find that your real estate career is a measure of timing and consistency. That it requires you to accept that you can always improve and do better, and when you build that type of mindset, you will see a world of opportunity unfold.
Wishing you every success in your real estate career.
Manos Findikakis is CEO and co-founder of the Eview Group.