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Success is not about the chosen few, but about the few who choose

bullseyeWe’re just a touch over 90 days into the current year, and as the flowers start to bloom, it’s a good opportunity to sit down and review your performance in first quarter 2010.  One a scale of 1-10, where would you rate your performance thus far?  One of the biggest challenges we face as Realtors is the volatile nature of the current market.  How you handle this market turbulence is what separates the average agents from the outstanding ones.

In my business plan, I map out each quarter individually, projecting my sales goals month by month and tracking how and where I intend to spend my money in order to be able to achieve those goals.  By breaking things down quarterly, I can catch gaps and mis-spending much faster than by simply looking at an annual review of my performance.

Meet Your Goals

If you’ve met your goals, that’s great!  Ask yourself what your biggest success has been this year, and how can you replicate it?  Being able to find a “groove” that works for you can be very difficult, and if you’ve already achieved that, use it as a tried and true springboard to increase your business further!  One of your goals in real estate should be to work smarter, not harder.  What can you do with your current business to make it more efficient to allow you to either take on more business or expand your market reach?

Exceed Your Goals

If you’ve beaten your goals, that’s fantastic!  We would all love to be able to exceed our own projections, so keep it going!  It’s possible that you may even want to revise your business plan or annual goals to compensate for the unexpected success.  If you underestimated the overall buying power of the market due to last year’s performance, perhaps it’s time to look at the other three quarters and where you anticipate the market going.  Historically, I tend to plan for 2nd and 3rd quarter to be my busiest periods any given year, but with the tax credits and low interest rates, I changed my 2010 outlook before the year even got started, anticipating Q1 & Q2 as my busiest time of the year.

Shifting Plans?

If you didn’t meet your goals, don’t panic!  Now is the time to figure out what went wrong!  The easy response is: “Well, I set my goals too high, I should have lowered them”.

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Don’t take that road!

With the market constantly changing, setting goals can feel like playing darts blindfolded, I get that.  Reviewing your performance is all about helping yourself adapt to what happens in the market around you.  I a very good friend of mine doesn’t like to do short sales.  All of her numbers have been off for quite some time, and she can’t understand why.

The fact of the matter is most of the non-foreclosure market in her area is short sales, so refusing to handle short sales has severely limited her business.  Instead, she refers them to another agent in the area who’s actually managed to bring on two other agents in the past 9 months to help her handle the increased business volume.  As a matter of fact, the short sale agent doesn’t even worry about marketing herself to sellers directly!  She simply emails all of the local agents, offering to pay 35% on any short sale referral she gets!  It’s an attractive offer for agents like my friend because they know the deal has a better chance of closing, AND they don’t need to worry about the hassle of dealing with the bank.  Bear in mind, it’s an even BETTER deal for the agent that gets the listing! (He who controls the listings controls the market!)

Everybody wins here until someone realizes they’re not doing enough business.  At that point, it’s time to review options.  Perhaps it’s time to take a CDPE course and start doing short sales, or maybe it’s time to completely overhaul your business objectives.  Difficult decisions must be made from time to time in order to excel in this business.  For many, the hardest part is making choices.  As Gary Keller says: “Success is not about the chosen few, but always about the few who choose.”

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Written By

I'm a Realtor in Southern Maryland. I grew up surrounded by the RE business, spent time as an actor, worked as a theatrical designer and technician, and took the road less traveled before settling down in real estate. I run my own local market website at and when I'm not at the office or meeting clients, I can usually be found doing volunteer work, playing with my 3 rescued shelter dogs (Help your local Humane Society!), or in the garage restoring antique cars.


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