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:
- 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.
- 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 yourcoach.com 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?