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Happy New Year! Welcome to 2010! Part 1

I know, I know.  We’ve only just begun 4th quarter, but believe it or not, it really is time to assess what’s been working for 2009, what could have been improved, and what changes you are committed to making in 2010.  Why this early?  Two big reasons:

  1. It’s about Momentum!  Examining your business keeps you working and participating in your business.  Taking your foot of the gas for eggnog, gift giving, and too much gobble-gobble makes for a painfully slow first quarter.
  2. Making a plan and putting it into motion can take time.  Not a great idea to work on that Business Plan for 2010 during the last weeks of 2009 – which, let’s be honest, if you wait that long, you likely won’t be doing a business plan at all – right?

Part 1 will be about assessing 2009.  What’s working?  What didn’t?  We’ll visit ideas for creating a Business Plan for 2010 in Part 2.  This post can’t possibly be extensive enough to cover everything, but it should get you pointed in the right direction.

Questions to Ask – Income Generating Systems

  • Where did your business come from?  What lead source?
  • Are you on track to accomplish your goals?  If not, what went wrong?
  • What is the cost of running the each lead generation system and what was the return on investment?
  • How did the results vary from the plan you created for 2009?
  • How did economic factors play a role in your results?
  • Review how many appointments (listing and buyer appointments) you went on and note the ratio of appointments to closings.  (Note: if you aren’t tracking that, time to start)
  • Assess average sale price, average commission rate

Back Office Systems

Do you have the back office structure in place that allows you to execute your systems?  Do you have the ability to track income, expenses, and production?   What office systems worked really well this year?  Which ones didn’t?


Everyone has a team on some level.  Buyer’s agents, administrative help, transaction coordinator, and even lenders, title officers, escrow officers, coaches, etc.  What worked during the course of the year?  Is it time to hire someone, or even more importantly, is it time to be honest about a change that may be overdue?

Additional questions to consider:

  • What tools or skills did you find that you were lacking in 2009?
  • What areas of your environment are working?  What areas need improvement?
  • Are you working with a company that is a good match for your brand and image?

Many of these questions I use when creating business plan for myself, but additionally, I used these when coaching and training agents.   Tom Ferry with usually has wonderful end of year events geared toward helping one design a solid business plan that are worth looking into.  Many large brokerages have trainings or office meetings geared around this topic.  Engage in them.

Believe it or not, 2010 is beginning and it’s today’s activities that will be first quarter closings.

For you pros, what tips do you have for heading into the fourth quarter and designed a 2010 Plan?

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Written By

Linsey Planeta is the Broker Owner of Belterra Fine Homes in Orange County, California. Linsey rants regularly on her blog, OC Real Estate Voice. She also provides sellers with tips on how to get their home sold on Why Didn't My Home Sell? She has been an active Real Estate Coach and Instructor and loves working with agents so that they may look at their business with fresh eyes, renewed purpose, and defined systems. Linsey can be found in her office or you can also find her on Twitter@Linsey.



  1. Joe Loomer

    October 7, 2009 at 6:59 am

    Excellent “get up and moving” post, Linsey.

    Focus on leading with revenue. Do the things that bring in the leads (and convert at the highest rate) and don’t do the things that don’t bring squat. This is the first year our team has decided to completely eliminate print media and track how much it impacts our business. Now it’s time to sit down and do that assesment – did it hurt us? Was it a good decision? (preliminary numbers sure look good)…

    Navy Chief, Navy Pride

  2. Atlanta Real Estate

    October 7, 2009 at 10:20 am


    Great post. You’re right – if you want to make changes that will affect 2010, now is the time to start implementing them.


  3. tomferry

    October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm


    You’re right on with this post!!!

    NOW is the time to get 2010 designed and ready … a whole new decade, a new page for us all.

    Like you suggest Lindsey, in the month of October I am encouraging agents to get REALLY clear on their numbers and where business came from in 2009. This is key. The other thought is don’t wait for December to contact all of your past clients and SOI. December should be the time when you are reaching out to wish your friends and family warm wishes for the season. Take the month of October and get in contact with your past clients and biggest fans. Get into the conversation of real estate with them. Start with the Z’s and work up, so you ensure everyone gets called this month. Just my 2 cents … and thank you for your kind words! Looking forward to seeing lots of agents in November to design the decade ahead!

    See you at BarCamp SD!


  4. Linsey Planeta

    October 7, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Joe – print media is a prime example of decision making based on ROI analysis. Tough to let go of but I’d be interested to see how that played out for you this year.

    Tom – thanks for taking the time to comment. You always have great insights on this topic. Saw your video this morning. Perfect partner to this conversation:

  5. Fred Romano

    October 8, 2009 at 8:53 am

    2009 just sucked but there was still money flowing. I think 2010 is going to suck even more though. Be prepared for the next wave of foreclosures and job losses.

  6. Missy Caulk

    October 8, 2009 at 9:21 am

    Linsey, this is an awesome check list.

    I track my sales, and marketing and evaluate each year. I drop the things not working and do more of what is.

    Can’t wait for Part 2.

  7. Ken Brand

    October 9, 2009 at 8:02 am

    GAH….is 2010 really only 100 days away?

    Great practical step-by-step actions to make sure the New Year starts with a bang instead of a fizzle.

    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Paula Henry

    October 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Hmmm…….just when i was thinking about taking a break, you come up with an awesome “to do” list which should provide some great insight for making my 2010 goals attainable. Thanks!

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