This is the time of year when business planning is en vogue. Real estate business planning webinars and hosted events are very, very well-attended as agents want to get their businesses into high gear for 2015. People buy new calendars and planners, and they even purchase new tech tools to get themselves organized. In fact, it’s probably the best time of year to reveal a new product in the business planning space.
It’s admirable that real estate professionals want to make a plan for the coming year. In fact, ninety percent of the people who meet and exceed their goals actually have a written business plan. But, here’s the thing: if you want to meet your real estate transaction goals for 2015, you probably should have started working towards those new goals in September or October. Specifically, if you want closings in January (not just carry overs of deals that got postponed in December), you need to start working your new plan around the beginning of the fourth quarter.
5 Ways to Increase Your Business
Here’s a list of 5 things you should have been doing since the beginning of the fourth quarter in order to see increased closings in 2015.
- Update your database. At the beginning of the 4th quarter, you or someone under your charge should confirm that all the addresses in your database are good ones—that none of your past clients or referral network have moved. Also, cross reference your closings for the last 12 months with your database list, and make sure all the folks that you represented have been included. If the list is up-to-date, prepare and send your holiday or New Year’s cards. (If sending via bulk mail, use Return Receipt so that you can clean up your list and remove bad addresses.)
- Make phone calls. The more phone calls you make, the more deals that you have in your pipeline. It’s as simple as that. If you want to see more closings, you must pick up the phone. You don’t have to make cold calls if you are not comfortable doing so. Instead, you can make warm calls—call loan officers, settlement officers, your uncle, your best friend, and even Grandma. The key is to pick up the phone, set appointments, ask for support, and tell people you are looking for more business.
- Add a geographic sphere or other target market. The more sources of business that you have, the more leads you will have coming in. Think carefully about how many sources of business you’ve had in the last 12 months. Can you manage any more? Can you add another source and effectively create marketing materials for the entire year for that specific source? If so, consider adding or enlarging your current geographical sphere or target market.
- Hire an assistant. The moment that you finally outsource the mundane tasks that keep you from generating new business is almost the same exact moment that you will see an increase in your business. Hire an assistant that understands that his or her job is to keep you in the field making closing after closing. While these folks may be hard to find, one good assistant can help you double your business.
- Make a written plan. As I previously stated, ninety percent of people who meet and exceed their goals have a written business plan. Do you? If not, sit down and write one because the numbers do not lie. There are all sorts of free downloads and instructional materials available that will help you generate a real estate business plan that will get you going in the right direction for 2015.
If you haven’t already started to plan for 2015, don’t despair. Get started as soon as possible. You’ve heard the phrase, “He who hesitates is lost,” haven’t you?